On 2020, hot tubs, quarantine, and witches in a blizzard, Part 2

By: S.A. Rowner

(continued from part 1)


Uh-oh. Apparently, they sent him to a completely different house than what he’d booked, and it looked nothing even remotely like the pictures. Upon reaching out to the owner, she assured them not to worry, she had made a mistake and she owns multiple houses, so don’t worry if it’s completely not what they booked, and when on a convincing speech about how much better this home would be.


Hmmmmmm. What did he have to lose, by staying, I guessed.  At least it had a hot tub, right?




So they pulled their minivan up the long, steep driveway and began to unload, just as the skies began to unload a two day blizzard of nearly 3’ of snow on them, the driveway and the car.


This was going to get interesting.


They settled in and headed for the hot tub, supposed to be the centerpiece of their entertainment for the trip.


Oops. Cold. The landlord hadn’t warmed it up, so they’d have to wait. No big deal, but you need to realize that a hot tub heats up by only 2-3 degrees per hour. This was going to be a L-O-N-G wait.


When they finally could get in, they immediately sensed something wrong, as everyone in the family got horribly irritating skin rashes from the chemically unbalanced water.


Could it get any worse? And they had no recourse, as they had made a private pay arrangement with the owner as opposed to booking through a booking system that could have intervened, or at least helped them with a refund, or at minimum, leave a review for the next guests reflecting their experience. Nothing doing.


My friend called me, and I was feeling guilty for all of his hardships. After all, I pushed him to do this. So I suggested that he bail out a bunch of water from the hot tub, and refill it with shovelfuls of snow, to lower the chemical content in the water.


He started doing that and immediately his phone rings.


It was the landlady.


“Vhy arre you pudding shnovw in der hottub? Vhudd arre you doo-eeng?” She wanted to know.


Wait one second. How could she possibly have known that?


Looking around, they spotted cameras constantly keeping an intrusive eye on them, even out by the hot tub!


“Eez goot” said the lady. “No too much chlooorreen, and eez perfect bahlanced bromine, dee vhadder.”


Uh huh.


And these rashes got here all by themselves, right?


Man, this wasn’t turning out to be too great.


The snow kept piling up, and when they were supposed to checkout, I called them for an update.


“We’re trapped here”, they said. At this point, I had no great advice to offer them.


Moral of the story, some people just aren’t created with the kind of personality to wing all of these issues, and pull off this kind of vacation on their own.


They should vacation in a place that takes care of all these things, including kosher kitchens, proper maintenance, all of the little things they’d need and then some, and not have to worry about cameras intruding on their privacy, which by the way, is illegal.


My friend and his family are in that category.


The good news is, with the help of a tow truck and snow plows they eventually made it out of their entrapment, cold feet, rashes and all.


And when I asked his son if there was anything that they enjoyed about the vacation, I really didn’t get much of a positive response.


Surprised? The optimist in me was still trying to assuage my guilt.


They should have gone to a luxurious vacation home from LuxuryKosherVillas.com. Kosher vacation rentals in Florida, Kosher vacation homes in New york, Kosher vacation homes with indoor pools, kosher vacation homses with hot tubs; yup. they have it.


For what they ended up paying for the wrong mediocre property that they got, they could’ve done very nicely in a beautifully cared for, perfectly outfitted kosher vacation home.


And if it didn’t have a hot tub, (some do,) they still would have been better off and would’ve gone home without irritating chemical rashes.


And in so many great locations, many warm all year-round, being close to the shore, it doesn’t snow nearly as much as the inland areas do. This particular storm brought a few slushy inches to the Lakewood are, for one, that wouldn’t have gotten them stuck in the snow.


Never mind feeling trapped by a witch  of a landlord peering intently at their every move on cameras.


I think they’ve learned their lesson.


Oh and their cold feet? They’re no longer brominated, not to worry, but to be honest, I’m not sure how quickly they be jumping to get into another so quickly.


And I don’t blame them a bit.