*Spoiler Alert: This may ruin your hot tub experience for life.
I have always loved to swim, and also enjoy a soak in the hot tub. When traveling to conferences, I would always check to be sure the hotel had a pool and hot tub, and be sure to bring my suit for an after-conference relaxing dip. But as I’ve gotten older, and experienced more in public pools and hot tubs, I’ve become way less excited about it than I used to be.
In theory, both the pool and hot tub are great ideas. The pool for exercise, or cooling off, or just having some fun splashing about. The hot tub for easing stiff muscles, relaxing, or warming up after a cool swim. But in reality, there’s more than meets the eye.
My first negative hot tub experience came many years ago, when I was on a trip to the Bahamas with my friend. The hotel we stayed at had a gorgeous pool and a nice sized hot tub. But one day, there was a gentleman sharing hot tub space with us who was quite well-endowed in the body hair department. All we could focus on was how many stray hairs he was likely to have shed in that hot tub, with us sitting there soaking in the hairy stew.
Skip forward to a few years ago, when I was making use of a hot tub at a nearby hotel. It wasn’t a very big hot tub to begin with, but when you add a family of four, including a toddler and an infant, both in inflatable ring seats, it gets tight. Now I’m all for family fun, but a hot tub is no place for an infant. (Someday you’ll see my piece on places infants do not need to go.) And it is certainly not a place for inflatable toys. There are so many things wrong with this picture, I will skip to the highlights, to drive the point home. Aside from the space being taken up by the inflatables, there was the issue of the infant being in a diaper…in the hot tub…with me. And then, the quote of the day…mother to toddler son, as he draws a booger out of his nose with his finger and shows it to her: “Oh, so now what are you going to do with that booger?” Giggles all around as he discards it…in the hot tub…with me.
So now you know why I am less enthused with the idea of a nice hot soak in a public hot tub after a stressful day. I just hope I exited that hot tub faster than the booger traveled towards me in the swirling, steamy water with not near enough chemicals in it.