We took the kids on vacation to the Florida Keys over spring break. We stayed at a family-friendly destination, but it was also a luxury resort, so there were some areas designated for adults only, including the Tranquility Pool.
I spotted it from a distance on our first evening there. I was sitting at an outdoor table at the nearby Beach Café sipping gulping wine while begging Riley to take just one bite of the hamburger he ordered that was, in his words, “too spicy,” and pleading with Dylan to eat just one bite of the plain spaghetti with no sauce, oil, or butter and parmesan cheese on the side that wasn’t even on the menu but the staff was kind enough to prepare that, according to him, tasted funny. As our typical dinnertime chaos ensued (it happens at home as well as on tropical islands in paradise, in case you were wondering), I couldn’t stop myself from fantasizing about what it would be like to be on the other side of the gates of the Tranquility Pool.
Three days later, I found out. When we first arrived, Mike and I urged forced the kids to go to the resort’s kid camp. They needed the push as much as we needed the break, and let me tell you something. They loved it. It was so much fun that they went back for a morning or afternoon session every day we were there (yay!), which is how I got my glimpse of tranquility.
Once the kids were safely checked in for a priceless afternoon of activities and adventure, I tossed my book in a bag and headed immediately in search of rainbows and unicorns at the Tranquility Pool. I checked out an extra-soft towel from the attendant at the entrance who was in charge of towel distribution and, I suspected, keeping the riffraff out, and I boldly stepped through the pearly gates.
What I found was extraordinary.
The lounge chairs at the Tranquility Pool had cushions. Cushions! Some of them were attached together like beds. Beds! There was at least an arms length of space between each cushioned bed, and there were shade umbrellas for everyone. It was glorious.
At least three women were reading books in the pool. They had their books in the freakin’ water! And the pages didn’t get wet! At every curve and corner of the pool, small clusters of men and women conversed softly. They were probably discussing their sunset cruise from the night before or their plans for dinner down the road later in the evening. Occasionally, I heard faint laughter. One couple was engaged in deep conversation while doing an effortless, synchronized sidestroke from one end of the empty pool to the other. They were swim-talking, for Pete’s sake!
In awe, I made myself comfortable on a cushioned bed under an umbrella with plenty of shade. I people-gawked for a few minutes and then proceeded to read my book. I tried, anyway, but I felt the opposite of tranquil, damn it!
I gave it my all. I floated in the pool. I thought about bringing my book into the water, but surely it would get wet. Surely! I rested on my cushioned bed with my eyes closed for a bit, and I even ordered a glass of wine to take the edge off, but I couldn’t relax. It was too damn quiet! All that peace and serenity made my skin crawl. Quite frankly, it was more tranquility than I could handle.
Mere minutes into my mission, I gathered my belongings, returned my extra-soft towel to the bouncer attendant, and hightailed it back to the crowded main resort pool where I planted myself in an un-cushioned, nothing-like-a-bed lounge chair with a sliver of shade surround by splashing, screaming, running, and crying kids. I took a deep, cleansing breath and devoured my book comforted by the chaos to which I was accustomed until it was time to pick up the boys from camp.