I learned how to swim in the pool of this Howard Johnson’s hotel in Ocean City, Maryland when I was about six or seven years old. My parents had signed me up for swim lessons at Dossil’s in Middletown, NJ, but after a horrific experience (the instructor would literally grab and throw us crying, scared little kids into the pool if we refused or hesitated to go in—he probably scarred some of them for life), my dad took it upon himself to teach me. He bought a foam fun noodle at the dollar store and put that under me to help my balance as I made my way across the pool. By the end of a single afternoon, I knew how to swim. No tears, no fear of the water. Admittedly, I have not stayed at this hotel since I was about 10, but the memories are still there. They had a great breakfast place (the Satellite Cafe), by the way.