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Pool day

Started: 2020-02-23 14:57:20

Submitted: 2020-02-23 17:44:16

Visibility: World-readable

16th February 2020: In which the intrepid narrator takes his children to the resort pool to enjoy the Southern California sun

We spent our first full day in Southern California enjoying the resort pools in the sun.

Sun over the golf course at Marriott Shadow Ridge
Sun over the golf course at Marriott Shadow Ridge

In the morning, after a leisurely breakfast, I took the kids to the big family pool at Marriott's Shadow Ridge resort. The morning was clear and bright, the morning sun fifteen degrees higher in the sky than it would be back in Seattle, without a cloud in the sky. I felt like a sunflower, standing straighter and happier in the bright sun, turning to face the sun to maximize my benefit from it as it dispelled the winter gloom and depression I'd flown from the day before. The air was spring-warm, about 75°F, and the pool was heated. The only time I felt chilly was when I was sitting, wet, on the edge of the pool, exposed to the cooling effect of the air without the benefit of the pool's relative warmth.

The pool started at three feet deep, got up to five feet deep in the middle, and ascended back to three feet deep at the other end. This was shallow enough for Calvin to stand up in the shallowest part of the pool, and he's a sufficiently-confident swimmer that he can at least tread water to stay afloat in the deeper part; but even the shallowest part was too deep for Julian to stand. We brought a personal flotation device for him but I had forgotten to pick it up while leaving our villa, so he stayed on the steps at one end of the pool, with me nearby, while Calvin played in the three-foot-deep water. Julian grew more confident in the water and climbed down to the lower steps and played with the pool rings: I tossed them to him on the steps, and to Calvin in the deeper water, and they'd dive for the rings to retrieve them and throw them back to me.

There was a toddler splashing carefully on the top step who eyed Julian curiously as he dove. Her mother explained, "He's practicing swimming with his face under the water," and I was reminded that, no matter how young Julian still is, there are in fact children younger than him and he's come a long ways in the last almost-five years.

At one point Julian pulled himself along the side of the pool in what I assume must be the swimming equivalent of cruising.

Kiesa showed up late in the morning, having walked around the resort to try to figure out where everything else was. She went back to our room for Julian's PFD, and when she returned Julian put it on and swam happily around the pool, supported by the extra buoyancy, while Calvin swam and dove around him.

We returned to our villa for lunch, then thought about returning to one of the pools for the afternoon; but the kids were occupied by their electronics, playing Minecraft together on their Kindle tablets.

Calvin reads Calvin and Hobbes on the resort lawn
Calvin reads Calvin and Hobbes on the resort lawn

I took a walk around the resort in the bright afternoon sun, visiting the other pools, including the relatively newer pool named "Snake Bites". I sat in the shade near the pool and saw someone gesticulating with their phone in my direction at what I thought was a random bird just out of view behind the table; then the bird hopped out from behind the table and I saw that it was a roadrunner, casually visiting the pool with everyone else.

Roadrunner at the resort pool
Roadrunner at the resort pool

The resort texted me to let me know that they were going to be showing Frozen II at the Snake Bites pool on their big pool-side Jumbotron (bright enough to be visible even in the direct sunlight). (Kiesa had called the events desk earlier to check when they would be showing movies but had been told they showed movies on Friday and Saturday nights -- and would be leaving before the next Friday night. I guess they decided there was enough demand to add a movie, and texted me because they knew we'd expressed interest.)

Watching Frozen II in the Snake Bite Pool
Watching Frozen II in the Snake Bite Pool

We headed to the Snake Bites pool to watch the movie, starting at 17:00. (This pool, I noticed, had a zero-depth-entry edge; I filed this away for the next time we went to the pool.) No one in my family had actually seen this movie yet; I didn't give it my full attention but I was amused by the plot and the animation (though I couldn't help but notice the obvious MPEG compression artifacts in the scenes where characters were operating in black environments; I wondered if that was a failure in the compression in the movie transfer, or whether the Jumbotron's brightness was cranked up to 11 to make it visible in the direct bright sun).

Date palm at dusk
Date palm at dusk

The movie, however, caused problems with our supper schedule. When the movie was over (and after Calvin had watched all of the credits, a habit I gave him) we drove to a crowded pizza place a few miles away in Palm Desert, before returning late to the villa for the night.

Then I'll get another piano, and we'll be even.
- Heidi Enderson, 08 September 2001, in response to Neelix's
computer-acquisition schemes