One of the things that I like about traveling, I am only slightly embarrassed to admit, is the itty-bitty grooming and cleansing products that are often provided with one's lodging. These small bottles, tubes, and bars remind me that I am really on a vacation. It is often a proprietary line for the lodging chain only, or something that can be purchased online or in a gift shop at an outrageous price. As an example, the delightful shampoo that we were given so liberally at the Walt Disney Resort where we stayed a few nights last fall can be purchased at the resort gift shop for twenty dollars a bottle. Yes, twenty dollars. I am not in the habit of spending twenty dollars on a bottle of shampoo as I would rather spend twenty dollars on groceries, thank you.
As I said, however, the staff was very generous with extra supplies when asked, and we came home with some extra shampoos and soaps. When we feel nostalgic, we unwrap a Mickey soap or open a bottle of the shampoo and remember the time when we were traveling. While we were in the timeshare property here in Colorado, I was able to obtain some extra toiletries to take home. I was particularly eager to take home some of the body lotion, since it is in a small tube that will fit in almost any size of purse or even a pocket. I packed all of the other toiletries in our suitcase and slipped a tube of the lotion in my purse for the long ride home.
Theoretically, the drive home should take around five hours or thereabouts. If there are any people that can drive straight through that far without stopping, whether it be for food, potty breaks, or photo opportunities, they certainly weren't any of the four people in the car. After we had been traveling a while, we realized that it was time to answer the call of nature and pulled into a rest stop. Now, for most of us, rest stops are a matter of absolute necessity. They may or may not have flushing toilets and running water, two things to which I am very attached. This rest stop was charming, though, with lovely paint colors and artwork. I was also surprised when I washed my hands, because it felt like I was washing my hands with well water. I expected the water in this area to be what we refer to as hard water because of the high mineral content. But my hands felt just like they did when I washed them at Bill and Alice's home, with their soft well water.
After we got back in the car and headed on down the road, I took the little tube of lotion out of my purse and moisturized my hands for some relief from the drying wind. Ahh, the relief that only people from a dry climate like ours can understand. We kept on the road until we hit a fair-sized mountain town and stopped for lunch. Once again I marveled at the soft slippery feel of the soap on my hands as I washed up with more soft mountain water, and once again put lotion on my hands when we were back on the road.
After we had been traveling for a while, I began to search for something in my purse. Hmm, I had to get the little tube of lotion out of the way so that I could see if what I was looking for was beneath it. I don't even remember what it was that I was trying to find in my purse, because what I ended up finding was a bit of a surprise. I burst out laughing when I realized that what I had been putting on my hands all day was this:
Yes, I had been rubbing hair conditioner into my hands all day! Suddenly the mystery was solved. These mountain towns and rest stops didn't have super-soft water after all. When I was washing my hands the conditioner got all slippery, like it usually does when water is added to the picture. I got a great laugh out of it and told the others in the car. They probably thought something like "crazy Katrina strikes again," but they laughed about it too. And let me share something with you. I now have a little tube of conditioner on my bedside table and use it on my hands every night before I go to sleep. I also rub it into my dry elbows, which have improved immensely since I've begun this routine.
The conditioner also has a lovely light pine, woodsy-foresty scent. It takes me back to the days of our vacation and the times we were outdoors in forested areas. I can sense the pines and cedars around me as I close my eyes and breathe in the soft aroma. While I lounge in my warm bed, I think of the cold February mountain breezes (okay, icy winds!) and the many wonders I have recently seen, and I am briefly transported. Not bad for a little container of free lotion!
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