Last weekend, my husband and I went back to the mountains, this time so that he could attend a conference where he would be getting an award. I’m used to camping and hiking in the mountains, but this stay was quite different: the conference was held in a luxury resort that’s over 100 years old.
We drove through several terrific thunderstorms and arrived in the dark to drive over a little bridge to get to the resort, which takes up a whole island. The big wooden buildings had decks and balconies. The resort had three pools, all with gorgeous views of the lake, and a boat that’s a replica of a 19th century touring boat. The little book in our room gave me a whole list of options; they had tennis courts, sand volleyball, horseshoe pits, a golf course, ping pong, and billiards. There would be croquet on the teardrop lawn. Yes, croquet. I don’t think I’ve seen a croquet set since my childhood.
“Look there’s a dress code!” I said to my husband. I started reading aloud. “Smart casual for both ladies and gentlemen. Jeans may be worn as long as they are crisp.”
I looked down at the jeans I was wearing. I’m not sure what exactly “crisp” meant, but I was pretty sure that they didn’t qualify.
“You hate dress codes,” my husband said. He couldn’t figure out why I sounded so excited.
“That thunderstorm must have caused a wrinkle in the time-space continuum,” I explained. “We’ve gone back to the 1960s. We’re in the movie Dirty Dancing.”
The next day, as I walked to the pool (wearing a cover-up, of course, per the dress code), I passed children playing croquet on the manicured lawn. A group of uniformed bellboys carried luggage into the front lobby, where a coals glowed in the fireplace and a grand piano waited for the musician who would arrive that evening. At the pool, I chose a lounge chair under a big umbrella: past the edge of the pool, I could see the lake, the mountains, and the sky.
I had walked into a movie. Even the chiming of smartphones in the hands of guests around me could not dispel that illusion.