I like winning things. I don’t even really care what the prize is; it could be a piece of toast or a diamond ring. The exhilaration of winning is my drug.
The local radio station has a daily plethora of opportunities for a myriad of prizes. From trips to the Grammy awards to movie premiere tickets. The luck of the slightly Scottish has granted me two wins from the radio that pulses out the latest popular beats. My real name coupled with the code word of the day “summer” looked like poetry to the eye of the on-air DJ, so I won a Nivea skin care package. Most of the items weren’t suitable for my use, but my Charlie is quickly growing into the age of skin care regime necessities. Score!
Another time, the “on the ride home” DJ asked for stories about why your ex is your ex. I texted in a short story about how I couldn’t stand my ex’s laugh and would purposely make myself UN-funny so that I wouldn’t have to hear his like-a-dying-chicken cackle. It became exhausting to constantly have to analyze quips or replies to make sure they weren’t witty or the very least bit amusing in order to avoid the sound that made my nerves seize. This story landed me a set of Sony headphones that are pretty boss. When I picked them up from the radio station, I wore them all the way home, even though they weren’t plugged into anything. So gangsta. Charlie uses them the most now, but I have been known to wear them while cleaning the house in my bikini. There may or may not be photos.
Redemption of my latest win just took place this past weekend. Through a magazine subscription about food that is good from a British media group, I won a 2-night stay at a 4 star desert resort in the western quarter of Abu Dhabi. We were awarded with a lovely courtyard room and a delicious lemon-mint welcome drink. The pool was nicely warmed, but the wind was not, so we quickly hid ourselves away in the sauna. After a nail polish mishap, I managed to get myself pulled together for dinner. My efforts were recognized by the waitress with the words, “You look amazing tonight, ma’am!” The Mister insisted with wisdom that I change into jeans after dinner before going to the courtyard for shisha and Moroccan tea. He was very right as the night was quite chilly, even with the added area heater. The ambiance was mostly spectacular, with the glowing blue of the pool water matching the blue glow of the rope lighting wrapped around the palm trees. The Spanish inspired elevator music was the only glaring clash. Arabic music would have been a more suitable, and obvious, choice in my opinion. The surroundings and music kept my cravings in a constant contradiction. I want hummus! No! Pina Colada! No! Shwarmas! Let’s salsa!
My absolute favourite part of staying overnight in a hotel is the breakfast. I love having the choices already prepared for me and coffee delivered to my table. Lingering with caffeine, while I gently adjust to the day beginning rather than having to appease immediate demands, is the way that my life should play out everyday. Since it doesn’t natural progress at that rate, I take full advantage of the treat when it comes my way. I linger. I close my eyes and enjoy each bite. I slowly sip my coffee, even when it isn’t as wonderful as the coffee that I have at home.
After breakfast, The Mister and I finished watching a movie that we had started the night before but we didn’t finish because we are old farts who need our sleep. Our breakfast well on its way to being digested, we donned our workout gear to head to the gym. I started on my warm up: 15 minutes on the treadmill (2 minutes running, 1 minute walking), 10 wall climbs, 20 burpees, 30 pushups. My actual workout was a hodgepodge of exercises that I dimly recalled doing in other classes. Basically, I just wandered around and randomly lifted weights and pretended to grunt. When my workout was done (read: when The Mister said he was finished), we headed to the sauna and commenced with our sauna-run-to-the-pool routine, after which I was suitably tired and relaxed for a nap (after some Chex Mex snacking).
This is when everything took a turn for the douche. Nothing of our surroundings had changed; it was still as pleasant as ever and the staff were very attentive. There was a drama with The Mister’s work that needed attending to and a virus, that I had been fighting for 2 weeks under the surface, took my relaxation as a signal that my defenses were down, so it struck with a joint-singeing-pain fury. Instead of quad-biking our way through the sand-dunes or lounging by the pool with a book, I threw the covers over my head while the scratchy, watery, icky symptoms settled in at home in my eyes and throat and The Mister dealt with people thousands of kilometers away. Dinner time presented a good looking couple, but under the surface, we just wanted to be at home.
A restful sleep (after a call to reception for some pain medication to take down my fever and relieve the pains in my joints) delivered us to heaven that is hotel breakfast once more. This time, I skipped the omelet and went straight to the waiter to request Nutella for the banana I had plucked from the fruit bowl. He brought out an entire, brand new jar of Nutella just for me. I was modest and polite, though. I scooped out a small spoonful onto a small plate and promptly returned the jar. There are rare moments when I have class. The class bit passed as quickly as I finished my banana, and there was nothing left to do but lick up the remaining Nutella. Mmm…. Nutella.
Loaded with a gift voucher, our entire weekend cost us a hefty $30, out of pocket. That was a pretty stellar deal for The Mister since we used it as a Valentine’s get-away. We know how to be thrifty in the name of love.
Now it’s Sunday morning, and while the children slave away at math and grammar skills, I drift away in my memories. And I’m left to wonder: what will I win next?