I am in Ohio this weekend, keeping my son company while he competes in the 19th Annual King's Island Open. We have been here several times over the years--here's a blog post with photos from our 2007 trip. That blog post begins with a reference to my 15-year-old son. Well, guess what? That 15-year-old son is three years older now, and this will probably be our last trip together to King's Island. Next year at this time he will be just a few months into his first year of college, and I doubt that he will have time for a weekend chess trip to Ohio. (Or if he does, he won't need me tagging along.)
Not that he really needs me tagging along right now. He's gotten quite good at navigating these chess tournaments. What he hasn't gotten so good at is actually driving to them, which means I'm not quite expendable. Yay! So here I am, stuck at King's Island with time on my hands, having left the rest of the family at home. What am I going to do with my wistful, nostalgic, Janus-faced self?
The only thing I can do: make the most of it. Reading is on the agenda, and more reading, and while I'm at it, a little reading. I might even watch some mindless television (there is still such a thing, right?), all while babying my feet, which have been giving me trouble of late. And of course, there's simply enjoying staying at a resort hotel. The only problem is that it seems this resort has gone a little down hill over the few years we have been coming here. I was satisfied with our first few stays. We didn't make it last year--we had planned to come but my mother-in-law's death necessitated cancelling the trip. But so far this year our stay has been less than impressive. Upon arriving to our room last night we realized that it had not been cleaned and so had to return to the desk to get another room. The new room is acceptable but is showing its age: the dresser is missing a knob, the towels are old and worn, the non-slip strips in the bathtub are peeling, and there are stains on the carpet in the hallway. Trevor and I were short on time last night before his first board, so instead of going out for food we ordered takeout salads from the hotel bar. His salad--a chicken Caesar with romaine lettuce--looked fine; but mine, the signature house salad with iceberg lettuce, craisins, tomatoes, and pine nuts, was less than impressive, with old, brown-around-the-edges lettuce and less-than-fresh tomatoes. It was disappointing. And as I walk around the hotel, I see much neglect not only to furnishings and upkeep but also to cleanliness and service. It is sad to see an established, well-known attraction in decline, but I think that's what is happening here. I suppose that's why the chess organization running the tournament was able to secure a $62/night rate. In light of that, I guess I can't complain too much.
Today I will be seeing my maid of honor and best college friend, who lives not too far from here. We went a number of years without seeing each other but recently reconnected, and now here I am seeing her for the second time in as many years! It will be great fun. She is a wonderful, loving, joy-filled soul who blesses me with her spirit and amazes me with her work ethic. I can't wait.
And oh, yes, the report from chess central is that Trevor won last night! Four rounds to go, one of which is currently in progress. More to come.