The year was 1979; the place: Miami, Florida. My mom and I were joining my dad on a business trip. As we approached the hotel, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was a 12-year-old sci-fi geek from small town South Jersey and I had never seen anything so magnificent before. We had just arrived at the Fontainebleau Hotel.
The curving white structure floated over our heads like a utopian vision of the future. As we entered the hotel my eyes feasted on the swanky lobby. I couldn’t wait to see our room! Surely, it was equipped with a variety of futuristic devices — it probably had an anti-gravity-dog-walking treadmill on the balcony à la The Jetsons.
When we reached the room I dashed straight out to the balcony. My initial disappointment at the missing Jetson’s treadmill was forgotten when I saw the pool. It was a tropical paradise! I decided right then that my mission was to convince the bartender that I was old enough to drink piña coladas. I would then float around the pool all week sipping said delicious cocktail.
I raced to the pool in my striped bikini and terrycloth cover-up, toting a copy of The Martian Chronicles. I approached the bar with my heart in my throat and in my most grown-up voice said, “One piña colada, please.” Much to my surprise, the bartender didn’t blink; he just made my drink with a smile. Mission accomplished!
One night, my dad took Mom and I to dinner with one of his business associates. I was wearing a long white cotton dress and pink puka shell necklace. I felt so grown up when my dad’s associate asked me to dance. I’m sure I stepped on his feet a dozen times, but I felt lighter than air.
Tags: Fontainebleu, Miami, pina colada
I haven’t changed much since I was 12. I still love lounging poolside with a piña colada in my mitt — although I didn’t know then that the ones from the Fontainebleu were virgin. Take some time to do something special for yourself to recharge your batteries and connect with some wonderful memories. If you can’t get away, mix up a delicious beverage, grab a favorite book, and take some time to relax. I’ll see you poolside.