May 12, 2005

Everbody out of the pool!

Yikes! I went for my pool run this morning (where, why, blue Styrofoam booties, and how it all relates to Peru and the summer solstice described in a previous post), and I tell you, we need a bigger pool! It was ugly in there!

Things started to devolve a few weeks ago when the seniors' water aerobics classes evaporated because the fitness center lost its instructor. Now, all the seniors still come each morning, but instead of being in a gay, tidy group in the shallow end, bouncing and bobbing to the Beach Boys, they float around in little widely-scattered bunches because they don't know what else to do. And, there's a new lap swimmer who thinks the pool was built just for him and thrashes through the water, invading the seniors' space and splashing them in the face. Today, one spry gal hit back, literally. Then, there are the folks who don't play by the commonly-accepted pool rule that says you share lanes if it's crowded. Ohhhh. I could go on. Ugly, really ugly. I shudder to think what tomorrow will bring. Hand-to-hand combat? Mass chaos? Violence that will require a police visit to this otherwise quiet neighborhood YMCA? We need a bigger pool.

Like the one in the photo above. The Hotel Arribas in Colares, Portugal has the biggest swimming pool I've ever seen. We based ourselves in Colares, known for its Atlantic beaches and wine-making tradition, while we explored the area around Sintra, a fairytale town and UNESCO World Heritage Site filled with pastel castles , exploding with flowers, shrubs and fruit trees, and ringed by a lush, deep green forest. We'd drive from Colares up the mountainside to Sintra, get our fill of sights, then drive back down to enjoy the beach and the hotel's gargantuan saltwater pool.

A piscina of epic proportions. A pool so big you got lost in it. Like being in the middle of a football field filled with water. I'll dream about it tomorrow morning as I fight my way through the YMCA pool.