Hot Tub Time Machine

Hot tub party“Would you mind if we hang the pinata from your tree?”

My neighbor Richard asked me that the other day, as my culdesac was preparing for the annual Golden Gate Heights block party. If someone a few months back were to have told me I’d be asked that question now, you could have knocked me down with a feather. But thus is life in suburban San Francisco.

The night before this pinata was hung, I attended a neighborhood function of another sort: A Hot Tub party.

Yes, a Hot Tub party. Since my new hood is home to several 70’s pads with sweeping views, this all makes sense. One can almost feel the scantily-clad ghosts of Key Parties and Porn from days gone by.

Anyone remember The Hot Tub place on Van Ness? During the early 80’s going on a Hot Tub date was as “normal” as going to the movies. Now, in retrospect, it all sounds so sleazy and truly gruesome. It’s like, “Hey, you wanna slip into a bathing suit and steep in lukewarm water full of other people’s fluids?” Awesome! I’d love to.

So here I was, invited to a party by someone I’d just met but didn’t know, up in Golden Gate Heights, so far from my old life downtown.

I should point out that thankfully, this was a girl’s only event, so there were no mustachioed men lurking about. Still, I wanted to make a good impression. But how does one do that when a) we’d be stripping off our outfits to put on bathing suits and b) it would be dark, we’d be underwater and hugging middle-age anyway, so the suit may not be the place to make an impact anyway and c) I’m going to a fucking hot tub party!

So I threw in the towel: I brought the biggest, brightest, most fun beach towel I owned: a Jonathan Adler blanket-sized number that provides ample coverage of the suited body, color to cut through the fog, and warmth to ward off the San Francisco night air.

Jonathan Adler Towel.

My Jonathan Adler Towel.

My husband joked that I better brace myself for the wild antics that were about to go down up in the backyard on 15th Ave. The truth was, the evening was very tame, consisting of talk about kids, schools and cats, normal stuff ladies of a certain age talk about, hot tub or no hot tub.

So if you’re lucky enough to have a hot tub, or know someone who does, take that cover off and gather with your friends to catch up on life. And treat yourself to a big and bright new towel. I highly recommend checking out for their great selection of Jonathan Adler, Missoni Home and Orla Kiely. Nothing watered down about any of these beauties. Or my new friends and neighborhood.

Missoni, Jonathan Adler, Oria Kiely towels all available from

Missoni, Jonathan Adler, Orla Kiely towels all available from

2 Responses


    Awesome you got in a hot tub! We had one in our back yard growing up, it was awesome although I sometimes got scared because the wood was dark and you couldn’t see the bottom, I thought there were sharks inside. There was also a “groovy” place in L.A. called Hot Tub Fever (yup) and you rent a room with your pals and have a party. I think they were jacuzzi’s though. Flashbacks!

  2. Paula


    That must have been so fantastic having your own hot tub – sans sharks! Those hot-tub rental places were so surreal. Our parents had to have been so terrified, talk about announcing intentions in the most visible of ways. I even went on first dates there, which is really creepy. I have to say that now, getting in a hot tub with a glass of wine in the cold air feels really, really great. xoxo

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