Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The rule of the pool

I have heard the story before, and it's true.

There are squatter's rights to the chairs at the pool of major resorts, and it's damn competitive.

Mexico was no exception.

There are plenty of chairs around the pool area, some get a lot of sun, some don't. But none are as valuable as those closest to the pool.

I noticed that there were plenty of towels spread all over the pool chairs each day, but not many people in them. That wasn't a shock, but on our third day I was up earlier than I had been on day 2, and when I was down near the pool I found that there were plenty of towels spread across lounge chairs, but hardly a soul to be found at the pool. Some people also left books, magazines, newspapers, flip flops or other personal items with a towel on their designated chair. Somehow by doing that you guarantee yourself right to that chair for as long as you want it that day, whether you're using it or not.

It's nice to be close to the pool, as you're closer to the bar, but my brother and I learned a couple of important things about being poolside. No matter how much sun you get at certain times of the day, the trees and other obstructions will limit the hours in which your chair gets direct sunlight. For some that's not a consideration, but if you want to soak up the sun, it can pose a problem.

And at our resort the ocean breeze didn't quite work its way through the pool deck, so it got hot in the sun. You'd think I was sitting in a sauna by how much I would sweat in the sun. Sure, I'd drink beverages to keep cool, but sweat would pour out of me in the sun.

But not at the beach. We could pull chairs toward the water and be free of all obstructions each afternoon, yet we'd never get that hot at the beach, there was always a nice breeze to keep us from overheating.

We spent some time poolside and on the beach, both have their benefits. But when you travel to an ocean-side resort, why would you want to spend all your time poolside, as if you're in Minnesota rather than Mexico? I don't get it, especially when you have to get up before 8 a.m. to stake your claim to one of those precious spots.

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