Given the rain Boston was suffering on Saturday, I never would have forgiven myself if I didn’t at least try the pool. It was borderline swimming weather: 65 and sunny, but with a stiff breeze that had threatened my hat on several occasions. I trucked through the hotel lobby, the casino, the restaurants, the shopping mall and down an escalator to get to MGM’s massive swimming pool complex.
The first pool I found was closed. The second pool I came across, an artificial river winding around a fake rock formation, was filled with tubing dads with tribal sleeve tattoos and dirty palm fronds. The third pool, Wet Republic, was a fenced-off imitation of MTV’s Spring Break ’98: margaritas in yard glasses, DJ spinning house music, no one really swimming. If I wanted to change, I could use one of the men’s rooms (which smelled like men’s rooms at public pools invariably smell) or rent a cabana.
Finally I flagged a pool attendant down. “Do you have any regular pools around here?” I asked. “Where a guy could do laps?”
“We’ve got … no, that one’s closed,” he said. “There’s the river pool.”
“I’m just looking for a pool,” I said. “A concrete hole in the ground filled with water.”
He pointed me toward a pool near the center of the complex that was no deeper than five feet. I swam around for a bit, climbed out shivering and then tried the river pool. It was actually fun, aside from the bobbing Busch cans: an artificial current pulled you along if you kicked your feet up. Worth exploring if you stay at the MGM.