Room 403

*Note: this post is part of a 20-day writing prompt 101 program I’m participating in. Today’s Prompt: “If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?”:

Room 403

Room 403

“It’s OK baby, you can stay in here all day.”

He said this as he rubbed his eyes, pulled on a lightweight fresco suit jacket and headed toward Room 403’s stately oak door. A consummate business traveler accustomed to a world clock that adjusts for no one, my husband snickered lovingly at my failed attempt to feign coherence after a long journey originating at Boston Logan International and concluding here – Room 403.

His offer held appeal. I spent several hours squeezed into seat 34E on a British Airways 747, willing away the hours under Bose headphones and in-flight movies. Patiently conversed with inquisitive customs agents to gain entry to Spain. Communicated through hand signals the correct address to a Catalan-speaking taxi driver. And subsisted on variations of a flavorless power bar theme. These are logistics my frequent-flyer husband takes in elegant stride, but me? Not so much. I haven’t globe-trotted in over a decade. I was tired. And tempted to sleep the entire day ahead away. But no. I can’t…

“It’s OK baby, you can stay in here all day.”

And miss out on everything beyond Room 403? As his guest, I have three precious days – starting now, at 10 AM local time – to absorb everything I possibly can. The fabulous shopping boulevard Passeig de Gracia just outside my hotel’s door, where viewing chic passersby is every bit as attention-grabbing as the store window mannequins dripping four-figure price tags off their designer sleeves. The holy Sagrada de Familia – Gaudi’s masterpiece and a Top Ten ‘must-see’ in my tour book calling me over in the other direction. The sun! Just an opportunity to stand outside without a jacket in February, after enduring several weeks of epic storms is reason alone to get out of this room.

“It’s OK baby, you can stay in here all day.”

Until I try to focus through my spectacles, pinching my temples after 24+ hours glued to my head, reflecting distorted images back to my tired, strained eyes. Until I notice my every other word competing with an unavoidable yawn. Until my hips land into a plush, white heap of multiple thread count linens atop a bed luring me down. I’m not going anywhere just now.

“It’s OK baby, you can stay in here all day.”

And why shouldn’t I? I’m now discovering the quiet bliss of Room 403, whose “standard category” classification obfuscates its true beauty:

  • Soaring ceilings, peaceful spaciousness with the morning sun beaming through, and a comforting sense of equilibrium amidst soft, white gauzy shades and linens contrasting with earthy woods and velvet tapestries.
  • The skin-caressing, spring-like breeze wafting in through the ajar French door, accompanied by a symphony of high-pitched ongoing laughter from little voices in a school courtyard somewhere just beyond the intricate balustrade of my Juliet balcony.
  • Elegantly-appointed antiques and modern lamps with dimmer switches to accommodate my falling eyelids, and a leather bound service book assuring anything-I-could-possibly-need-to-relax is just a press of a button away.
  • A canvas waiting to be painted out my window – varying shades of yellow Mediterranean stucco walls and colorful tile roofs.
  • Adapter cords too complicated to trigger any urge to plug in or disconnect from the all-consuming pleasures of Room 403.
Hotel Casa Fuster

Hotel Casa Fuster

Before I realize it, I’m asleep. And to my equal surprise and delight, I awaken in late afternoon without feeling any urge to leave Room 403. I’m so comfortable. So present. And there’s still the bathroom to explore – ensconced in marble and chrome, with a giant soaking tub and toasty towels resting on heated racks. How can I possibly leave this room without first spending an hour or so luxuriating in designer bubble bath?

Eventually, I’ll make the short descent three floors down to the curvy, Modernista-style lobby. In due time, I’ll take in that gulp of outdoor sunshine before discovering what’s behind the smiles everyone wears so proudly here.

But for now. I’m exactly where I want to be. Room 403.

“It’s OK baby, you can stay here all day.”

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