My wife Wendy had a milestone birthday Thursday (I won't say which one out of self-preservation) and she wanted to do something special to celebrate it. One thing she has always wanted to do since moving here was to stay at the Don Cesar Hotel, which is a 4-star resort on St Petersburg Beach. And it's pink. I hadn't stayed there either so we took the plunge.
It was an interesting mix, as far as I am concerned. There was the usual rich polished wood and shiny brass accents, crystal chandeliers and expensive statues and paintings on every floor. The staff were top notch as well. There were also reminders that the building itself was rather old: cracked plaster here and there that had been filled in and painted over and dusty, dingy air conditioning vents in the ceiling.
That didn't keep us from having a wonderful time, however. The suite that we stayed in was well appointed and clean, with a private balcony, separate bedroom and living room and even a television in the bathroom! We received a free selection of cheeses and breads shortly after we arrived in the room as well. That night we had a wonderful meal at the Maritana, a 4-star restaurant on site. The decor, food and service were wonderful and my wife even got a special birthday dessert.
Next was after dinner drinks at the piano bar. The pianist was nice enough to play a few of my favorite songs without being asked, but my wife was skunked. Ah well, she can't have all the fun now can she? After drinks we walked outside to the private beach to catch the sunset, which was absolutely beautiful. At midnight we had champagne, petit fours and chocolate covered strawberries to bring in her birthday in style.
Our stay concluded the next day with breakfast in bed, followed by a dip in the pool and some seashell hunting on the beach, which was thankfully devoid of any hint of oil. Before checking out we stopped in the ice cream parlor for ice cream and so Wendy could play Ms. Pac Man, her favorite retro video game. All in all it was a wonderful experience, one that I'm sure we'll both never forget.
My question is this: If you could have the most wonderful experience of your life but afterward would remember nothing about it, would you still want to do it? Are the memories of an experience more important than the experience itself?
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