After boarding the coach to their hotel Charlie was once again on edge. One of the passengers was missing, and the guide refused to leave the terminal until the person was found.
The missing man finally wandered up to the coach after half an hour.
He climbed leisurely aboard, offering no explanation for his delay to the other agitated passengers, took a seat, and began reading a book as though he had all the time in the world.
Maureen was hard pressed to stop Charlie bawling the man out.
After a picturesque drive the passengers started disembarking from the coach as each hotel was arrived at. Their hotel was to be second last on the list, and Maureen gasped with joy when it hove into view.
“Doesn’t it look beautiful love,” she gushed, gazing with wondrous eyes at the huge darkened-glass encased hotel, shimmering in the bright sunlight.
Charlie was nonplussed. He wanted a shower and something to eat.
He was already feeling exhausted, and the evening hadn’t even started yet!
After collecting their keys from the reception they took the lift to the third floor.
They found their room, and opening the door, peered into the gloomy interior.
The heavy dark curtains had been drawn to keep out the invasive sunlight.
Charlie groped for the light switch, and suddenly the room was bathed in a low soothing light.
He put down the two cases he was carrying, took off his shoes and jacket, and flopped onto the bed. This heat was getting to him, but Maureen was too excited to feel anything but happy.
She drew back the heavy curtains, and slid open the sliding doors to their balcony.
She gave a little scream of joy on finding their room was directly above the swimming pool.
“Charlie, the pool is directly below our room,” she reported.
“Well I hope it isn’t full of screaming teenagers all day long,” Charlie replied sullenly .
Maureen started to unpack the cases while Charlie lay there resting.
After finishing the unpacking, she turned to her dozing husband and asked, “Shall we have a quick look around the hotel love?”
“Not me, he replied. I’m going to have a little kip, but you go if you want.”
Maureen needed no second bidding, and down the stairs she tripped, intent of finding out everything she could about the hotel.
She wandered dreamily around the huge complex, admiring the gardens and the luxurious restaurant.
The staff were busy arranging the tables and seats for the guests evening meal.
She sighed. She had never seen anything quite so beautiful as this in her entire life.
Taking a seat on a large sofa in the huge reception hall, she spent some time
observing the arrival and departure of other guests. It was all a very new and exciting adventure compared to her usual mundane life.
Most of the guests arrived with expensive luggage, but others, like Charlie and herself, had only battered old suitcases and the inevitable plastic carrier bags.
What a revelation this was to her. She had never witnessed such splendour and activity before.
The hotel staff bustled around her, tending to the needs of their guests.
So busily engaged in her day-dreaming was she, that she failed to hear an attentive waiter asking if she would like anything to drink.
Looking up at the speaker she became flustered at this totally unexpected attention.
“Oh,thank you so much,” she replied. “I would love a cup of coffee please.”
The waiter hurried away, and returned shortly with a tray containing coffee, milk and sugar, along with a small selection of local pastries.
She lay back on the soft cushions and closed her eyes; My oh my, this was so very different to their old caravan at Whitby.
It was while she was enjoying her second cup of coffee that Charlie appeared.
“I’ve been searching high and low for you,” he whined. Spying the coffee he peered enquiringly into the nearly empty pot.
“If you want coffee love I’ll order some for us.” She beckoned a passing waiter and requested more coffee.
“Certainly madam,” uttered the waiter, and scurried off to fulfil the request.
Within moments he was back with yet another huge pot of steaming coffee for them both.
“Thank you so much,” Maureen beamed at the waiter.
“My pleasure madam,” replied the waiter and smiled back.
Charlie was taken aback at the apparent lady-like attitude of Maureen. However, he said nothing and sipped his coffee.
It was nearly seven o’clock, and people began streaming into the foyer.
“Must be getting onto tea-time,” said Charlie, rubbing his hands together. “I’m certainly ready for it, I’m starving.”
Promptly at seven o’clock the huge doors to the restaurant swung open, and the people there hurried into the restaurant.
They both finished their coffee’s and joined the other guests.
Charlie’s eyes opened wide when he perused the buffet banquet that lay before him. Maureen gulped in surprise, but collected a small tea-plate and helped herself to a salad starter.
Charlie took a dinner plate and started selecting food from the meat and vegetable section of the buffet.
They took a window seat overlooking the garden, and slowly ate their meal.
“Well, what do you think about this place love?”, Maureen quietly asked.
“Not bad, not bad at all,” muttered Charlie, between devouring huge slices of meat.
Charlie wasn’t what you could call a refined diner, and Maureen was glad that they had chosen a window seat, where not too many of the other guests could witness his table manners.
After finishing their meals they spent some time strolling around the gardens in the cooling evening air.
For Maureen this day had been sheer bliss. For Charlie, the day had been tiring, and he would be glad to get to bed.
Far too many people talking and laughing for his liking.
He preferred the quiet of the camp-site, and an early night.
He voiced his opinion to Maureen, and she suddenly began to see “Her Charlie” in a different light.
She wanted to stay awake and watch the entertainment, but Charlie wanted to go back to their room and sleep. He’d had a good meal, and he was tired again.
Grudgingly she agreed, and they trooped back to the room. Within minutes Charlie was snoring his head off, but she lay wide awake, staring at the ceiling, recalling the wonderful day that she had spent here being waited upon, and not having to do any housework. Bliss, sheer bliss.
I’m sorry folks. I think this is going to be a little longer than I had at first planned.
Hope I can keep it short and find a fitting finish.