My sister had two expensive tickets for a private bus tour through Southern California. It was the romantic kind of tour where couples would be taken from destination to destination on a large bus. And suddenly I was being pressured to go with her.
Plans changed when Christine discovered that her boyfriend had been cheating on her. He begged for forgiveness, saying the secret relationship didn’t mean anything, but Christine wasn’t the forgiving type (especially when it came to cheating).
Christine refused to take him back, but she didn’t want to waste the tickets either. Plus, she was genuinely excited for the trip, which included fun outdoor activities and beautiful scenery.
Our parents overheard Christine asking me to go, and they encouraged me to accept, even though I persistently refused. Our parents felt it would be good sibling bonding time since Christine and I rarely hung out. So, I was offered the other ticket, and I couldn’t refuse.
To get to the location, we took a short train ride, followed by a short cab ride. The meeting location was a small ranch with a lounging area for guests. The ranch itself wasn’t part of the retreat. It was merely a gathering place to start the bus tour. It was hot and painfully early in the morning.
When we got out of the cab, I carried my stuff, and my sister pulled her luggage and carried some small bags.
We went inside the small ranch building and saw an elderly lady behind the receptionist desk.
“Good morning,” the lady said with a super friendly smile.
We both said hello to the lady and made small talk for a while. She was extremely polite, and I could sense that the trip was going to be a lot of fun.
“You’re here for the tour retreat, I’m assuming,” the lady said.
Christine grabbed the tickets from her purse. “Yep, I’ve got the tickets right here. We’re very excited about it.”
“Are those things coming too?” the lady asked, looking at our pile of stuff.
“Of course, why?”
The lady had a confused look. “Well, I’m not sure why you’d be needing all that. Do you know what kind of tour this is?”
“A couples retreat, right?” my sister replied.
“Yes, but this is obviously your first time traveling with us. This is a nudist retreat, dear.”
My sister squinted her eyes. “Excuse me?”
The lady repeated, “This is a nudist retreat.”
Christine looked at the tickets, then she looked at the old lady, then she looked at the tickets again, before turning her attention back to the old lady.
“That’s not mentioned anywhere on the tickets, or the brochures we looked at. Are we in the right location?”
“We’re not allowed to advertise the nudity for legal reasons,” the lady replied. “Only fellow nudists would know about a tour like this.”
“But, but, we’ve come all this way. The tickets are already paid for. Is there any way my bro…I mean…my boyfriend and I, can keep our clothes on?”
The lady gave a deeply sympathetic expression. “I’m so sorry dear. But this is purely a nudist retreat. And we don’t make exceptions, otherwise it would ruin the atmosphere.”
“Oh gosh,” Christine sighed.
The old lady reached across the desk and put her hands on Christine’s hands.
“It’s okay, dear. You’re obviously shocked. Believe me, you’re not the first couple who’s made this mistake.”
“What happened with the other couple’s?”
“They talked about it. Eventually, they decided to give things a try. Before long, they were hooked on the lifestyle.”
“That won’t be happening with us,” Christine said, shaking her head.
“I know it can be tough at first. But why not think it over? The tour bus won’t leave for another two hours. That’ll be plenty of time for you and your boyfriend to discuss things.”