Last week, I searched and searched for a hotel with a water park in Orange County. I knew what I wanted to find, and I was sure there was one in the OC because of all the attractions for families. I finally found one I wanted to book. And they had absolutely no reservations available. I tried to book online, I tried to call, and I even called back to check for cancellations. No luck.
So I booked another very nice hotel. Yes, it's the one my husband had wanted to book all along. It has a nice pool and Jacuzzi, but nothing special about it, except that it's across the street from the beach. Okay, that's pretty special, but in this June Gloom weather, the beach is pretty darn chilly and the ocean water is still very cold. The nice part about this particular beach is that there are fire rings, and we had a lovely bonfire there Saturday night.
Fast forward three days. We're back home, reading the mail. I find an ad for that very hotel. Imagine my shock when I read that this hotel now has a water park for kids! Quickly scanning for an opening date, it says the water park has been open for two months now. Unbelievable. It is a large sprawling hotel, but how on earth did we miss an entire water park?
We had covered a lot of the expansive property during our short stay. Our room was in the main courtyard with the swimming pool, and it was some distance from the lobby. We'd been to the next courtyard over for the spa grotto and the courtyard in the other direction to park our bikes and eat lunch. I couldn't fathom where the new water park might be.
I rummaged through my purse and found I still had the hotel map with our room location marked on it. Right there on the map, in tiny print (for my old eyes, anway), just beyond the south end of the hotel, was a little blue patch marked "Slyders water park." Ask and ye shall receive. But only if you're paying attention.
The Universe was giving me some pretty clear signals here. Hotel One is booked. "You are looking in the wrong place." Hotel Two is available. "This is what you want." I just didn't trust that I was being given what I truly wanted.
So what else have I missed? Let this be a lesson to me to find the gift in every experience that seems to be pointing me in the wrong direction. Easier said that done, true, but it's like looking for that last gift hidden way back under the Christmas tree. I might have to crawl on the floor and risk some pine needle pokes, but it's worth the effort.
As luck would have it, my husband's business is taking us back to the OC, and we'll have a second shot at finding that elusive water park.