Bicycling in Kilkenny

Bicycling in Kilkenny

Flying for Free: Part VII

One of the philosophies of the space-a traveler is to make the most of every time and place they are in. There is no need to waste the mone...

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Flying for Free: Part VII

One of the philosophies of the space-a traveler is to make the most of every time and place they are in. There is no need to waste the money spent on the hotel while waiting for flights, especially when there are kids involved, so despite my exhaustion, I made the way down to the pool to let the boys splash around a bit.

Since the weekend’s flood of visitors had receded, we had the pool to ourselves. We splashed around and swam while alternating dips in the hot tub and the pool. Occasionally, the maid would come in with another stack of fresh towels she had washed after the big weekend. I imagined she must have had a lot more work to do than just the towels, and I began to appreciate all her hard work. So many people complain about the state of their hotel rooms, but they don’t think about the inconsiderate travelers who leave something closer to a toxic waste dump than a hotel room, and somehow, probably with elbow length rubber gloves, these hotel workers manage to get the rooms back to a presentable state before new inhabitants arrive.

As busy as this particular hotel worker was with the pool towel replenishment, she still took the time to help us with our emergency. Darren and I had been swimming in the deep end when we discovered a terrifying spider swimming along with us! This spider was no ordinary spider. First of all, that thing was swimming instead of drowning, and second, it was carrying what appeared to be an egg sack on its back. We tried to cup it in Darren’s goggles, but neither of us was coordinated enough to swim and capture a spider at the same time. We tried to tackle the project from land, but we only succeeded in pushing it further towards the center of the pool. The lady stacking the towels noticed our predicament, and without even being asked, she jumped in to help, but not literally. She placed the current stack of towels on the shelf with the others, and she went in the little room next to pool and came back out with a net. She placed the net on the giant scooper hanging on the wall and went after that nasty spider without a blink, and then she did the most amazing thing. She took a tissue out of her apron and smashed that spider like it was a mere ant or some other tiny bug not carrying an egg sack on its back.

I was pretty amazed by this feat because I haven’t smushed a spider in nearly 12 years. I don’t smash spiders anymore, especially ones clearly carrying their babies on their backs because of a very traumatic spider experience I once had when we had been unfortunately stationed in Arkansas.

It was the middle of the night when I had gotten up to pay the on-base housing’s pink tiled bathroom a visit. Now I’ve always considered myself a badass when it comes to things females are stereotypically repulsed by like changing my own oil, replacing toilets, or snaking drains, so I didn’t think twice about stomping on that wooly looking spider crawling across the 1950s, pink-tiled floor, but that’s when all my courage and tough woman attitude began to transform into a screaming, crying little girl. As if I was in some creepy Stephen King or Alfred HItchcock film, I screamed the most blood-curdling, terrified scream that has ever spewed from my lungs as literally thousands of tiny spiders swarmed from that giant wooly spider’s smashed corpse. Like ripples from a freshly skipped rock in a previously calm pond, those baby spiders spread from the center of that tiny bathroom and began to make their way up the walls and towards the bathroom door leading to the bedroom which was dangerously close to my side of the bed. My screaming continued as John came over to investigate. I got out of there quickly and let him take over. Armed with a can of scrubbing bubbles, he annihilated the entire colony and cleaned it all up. I remember being so grateful he hadn’t been deployed at the time and that he was there to rescue me from that terror.

Since then, I have never, ever smashed another spider, so that hard-working lady at Dover's Comfort Inn and Suites who took time from cleaning up after the weekend’s craziness is on my list of true heroes. She saved us from that nasty spider and smashed it too. She is truly badass.

After all the excitement had passed, John appeared in his swimsuit. I was so glad to see him cause fatigue was starting to defeat me. I grabbed a seat alongside the pool while John took over with the boys. After my chin had dropped to my chest a few times, they finished playing and we all made our way back up to our room. I began thinking about the next day’s flight to Germany and got excited about the idea of being in Europe very soon.

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