I worked on my blog by the pool for about a half hour, while three of the four kids—the youngest ones—of that same hotel employee from yesterday, were "watched" by what appeared to be the lady's husband or boyfriend—and maybe or maybe not—the father of one or more of the children.
After about a half hour, Robert was a thoughtful sweetheart and came to the pool with a cup of ice, a soda, and some chips for us. He read some, while I put in my iPod earbuds in an effort to drown out the continual yelling and screaming of the kids.
The boyfriend/husband had to be in his mid-twenties, the most, I'd say, and the things he did over the course of the time we were there, at times approached child abuse. He carried all three of the kids—none of who could swim—on an air mattress, pulling them around the pool, including spending time in the deep end. One would like to think that if they accidentally fell off that raft at once, he'd be able to save all three.
At one point, that little one was having a fit, and the man picked him up in the palm of his hand with it extended over his head, and he threw him about six feet onto that air mattress that: 1) could have really hurt him had he landed a certain way, and 2) was in the deep end so if he'd've bounced off it, he could have landed in the water. Of course the little guy started screaming as soon as he landed on the mattress.
At another point, this same little one, who I'd say was around 1-1.5 years old, walked over to the ladder in the deep end, and a lady next to me yelled, "No, no. That's too deep," before the boyfriend/father saw him.
Later, the older boy, who was probably four or five started having a tantrum. The man, with his right hand only, grabbed the boy by his right arm and tried to lift him in the air. However, the boy grabbed a full-length lounge chair with his left hand, and that made it hard for the man to lift him. Eventually, the man got him loose and he threw him into the middle of the pool, in the deep end, high enough that the boy landed with a hard belly flop and went right under. The man then dove in and pulled him up out of the water. Incredible.
After that, Robert and I had to remove ourselves from the area, just for some peace of mind, much less peace and quiet. Needless to say, this family pretty much ruined the pool time we had there each day. Something tells me that when the feedback form arrives from Quality Inn about our stay, and I'll be using the cut and paste feature on some of the text above.
Before we went to lunch, Robert went outside and ran the air conditioning on high in my car, and put up the sun visor, to cool the car down before we went. Later when we got to the restaurant, he took the side of the booth we were in that faced the windows and practically blinded you when you tried to see the other person.
On November 17, 2004, I responded to a meme called, "100 Things About ME," in my journal. Number 31 was this: "I think Robert Shumaker is one of the kindest, most thoughtful people on the earth." As you can see, almost 5 years later that's more true than ever.
As an aside, since some of those things were no longer true/pertinent, on January 28, 2009, I posted an update of "25 (and then some) Things about ME," which was actually the 100 list pared down to 75.
We had the most delicious lunch at one of our favorite places in Wilmington, Elizabeth's Pizza & Subs on Market Street, just down the street from our hotel, actually. We each had a small house salad, and then each a Stromboli. Robert had the small size, of sausage and peppers, and I had the large size, of pepperoni, salami, and ham. They were both inundated with cheese, too, of course.
Robert's was in two sections, and mine was in four. He brought one section of his home, and I brought two sections of mine. We figured they'd be good for a late night snack after the bars tonight, or for lunch tomorrow.
We watched parts of Bette Davis movies, as there was a marathon of her work going on on TMC, I think it was. Our new favorite quote is from Now, Voyager, when she's telling her love interest's child how to calm down and fall asleep: "Just close your eyes now, and let everything go limp."
We also watched a very interesting documentary about Bette Davis' life, and after that we headed to downtown Wilmington, where we walked along the water, and settled for a light dinner of appetizers at The Reel Cafe.
We waited way too long for a Dozen Oysters on the Half Shell (for Robert), and an order of Crabmeat Dip with Pita Points (for me). Robert had two Miller Lites while we waited and I had one bourbon and Diet Coke. Once it did come, however; I'll give it this: it was delicious.
We walked around for just a little bit after that and then made our way up to Costello's, where we were once again delighted to not have to pay a $5 cover, and where we totally enjoyed tonight's piano player, Benjy Templeton.
The guy is very talented and at one point he played this 10-15 minutes medley of show tunes. Not at all what I expected in a gay bar. (Just kidding. Actually, Costello's is not officially a gay bar. But it's very gay-friendly and there are always gay people there.)
At another point, a guy who I two-stepped with last year at Atlantic Stampede came up to us and said, "Weren't you at the rodeo last year?"
Also in the realm of seeing people you "know," at yet a final point, a small group of Raleigh trade arrived in the bar.
Back at the hotel, we did not eat our leftover Stromboli, but instead lightly snacked on a few other things, and then called it a night. All in all, it was a very lazy, relaxing day. Thanks, my sweet, for the treat of a restful weekend away! And for continuing to be the thoughtful man I met over seven years ago!