by Melinda Gallo

Club Med Opio

Dave and I have never been to a Club Med before. Last year when we were in the US for a conference, the French mother-company invited Dave and me to come to their French conference. They offered to pay for everything and Dave, in exchange, would do a few presentations. All we had to do was get here.

Yesterday, we arrived in the large reception hall where we were greeted by many different staff people. I gave them our names and we were given the key to our room. We settled in and went back out to have a few drinks for free because we have a special bracelet that means that all drinks are free during our stay.

We wanted to go swimming, but the pool was closed already. We met our group for dinner where we could eat different types of foods. They had fresh tacos, guacamole, and flautas. Dave was very happy. I skipped over some of the French dishes and all of the Italian ones to have some Mexican food as well. I ate as many jalapeños as I could with my taco and guacamole.

Dave and I tasted a little bit of everything. It's fun to try so many different things and not have to finish them all. Dave ate a variety of French cheese while I had some fromage blanc, which I don't get to eat in Italy much. With one press of a button, Dave could have a caffè latte with his dessert.

After dinner we went back to our rooms to work a little bit. We connected to the WiFi network here for 60 Euros (about $75) for 7 days (even though we're only here for 4 days). It was cheaper than paying 20 Euros (about $25) a day! The signal is great and we can take our computers anywhere on the Club Med grounds.

This morning we ate breakfast in the large dining room. It's wonderful to be able to eat fried eggs, pancakes, french toast, scrambled eggs, fruit salad, and much more. I generally don't eat breakfast, but if it's hot and ready, I'm all for it.

After breakfast we had a few hours to ourselves before our conference started so we went to the indoor pool. We were going to go to the large outside pool, but the sky was a little overcast. We realized that we hadn't been swimming in probably three years! I loved being in the water and am trying to figure out where I can go swimming in Florence.

After another copious lunch, Dave did his presentation. The French company told me that I'd have to translate the presentation for the attendees or that I'd have to translate the questions in English for Dave, but that didn't happen at all. The attendees spoke in English and understood Dave's presentation. A few people came up to me and told me in French that Dave's English was clear enough for them to understand. And that he didn't speak too quickly for them.

We sat out by the pool in the early evening, but it was cooling off and we didn't get in. The pool isn't that crowded, so we could have easily gone swimming without much trouble. There were also many small children who were having a blast in their small area of the pool.

We are definitely putting our flimsy "free drinks" bracelets to good use. Anytime we're thirsty, we just go up to the bar and get something to drink even if it's water.

It's almost dinner time and we're both hungry. I don't know if we're really hungry because we haven't eaten in seven hours or if we're just looking forward to what we get to taste tonight. We're off to the bar to meet some of the other developers and then to dinner.

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