I thought I was in a normal hotel room…


But then I turned a corner and discovered this Jacuzzi tub.  Why is there a Jacuzzi tub in the middle of my $80 a night hotel room in Indiana, Pennsylvania?  I do not know.  I’m just glad it’s not heart-shaped.  Or on a rotating platform!


My Operation Beautiful presentation at IUP went really, really well!  Over 300 students attended – an amazing turnout.  In fact, it was standing room only!  I feel like I’ve really got my ‘core messages’ down pat, too; sometimes, I think I’m explaining something clearly, but then I look out to the audience and feel like it’s not connecting deeply enough.  But today, I would look out at the audience and see students nodding in agreement. 


Indiana University of Pennsylvania – you were great!  Thanks for having me.


I drove to a little college bar for dinner. 


One thing I LOVE about Pennsylvania:  Especially in Western PA, they put French fries on everything.  Including stuffed in sandwiches.  And on top of salads.


Oh yeah.


It was just a simple Garden salad (with fries!) but it was good.  After a large lunch and a Larabar for a snack, it was perfect.


So… Do you think that Jacuzzi tub is too creepy to get into?  Or should I turn on the jets and sink in? 



  • Kristen (inspiredbydooce) October 17, 2011, 8:26 pm

    Do it!
    Enjoy the Jacuzzi and ignore that it might be slightly icky.

  • Sana October 17, 2011, 8:28 pm

    Just pretend like you are 21 and jump in!

  • Jolene (Homespun Heritage) October 17, 2011, 8:29 pm

    ~Enjoy it!~ You only live once!

  • Maren October 17, 2011, 8:30 pm

    I guess I’m kind of naive when it comes to things like that, so I say screw it and jump in!

  • Kristyn October 17, 2011, 8:31 pm

    It’s a little hardcore in the middle of your room, but my fiancé says that’s pretty “balls deep.” that’s his wonderful new term for everything he seems awesome. 🙂 You had a great presentation it sounds…. Soak in or as Jim says, “go balls deep.” Lord have mercy. Hehe

  • Kim October 17, 2011, 8:32 pm

    Jets on – sink in, my friend!!

  • cathy@1970kikiproject October 17, 2011, 8:32 pm

    Definitely give it a try! Who knows when you’ll have another opportunity like this!

  • Amanda October 17, 2011, 8:34 pm

    I say enjoy the jacuzzi! I’d give it a quick once over, but assuming it looks clean and the rest of the room is in good condition – go for it!

    That salad made me smile. Do they ask if you want fries on it, or are they just a regular topping, like croutons? Either way, that’s awesome. 🙂

  • Devon @FastFoodie October 17, 2011, 8:35 pm

    No one believes me when I say they put fries on everything in PGH! When I was there for grad school a few years ago, I found it a hilarious discovery (coming from Seattle). Now, I try to get people I know to go to the local (San Francisco) Primanti Brother’s knockoff to try the fries on a sandwich! (Though I can’t eat them myself).

    • CaitlinHTP October 18, 2011, 8:36 am

      Primanti’s is the bomb!!!

  • Kathryn @ Flopoodle October 17, 2011, 8:44 pm

    Just do it! It won’t bite 😉

  • Amber October 17, 2011, 8:44 pm

    Turn on the jets and relax! The point is to let your thoughts go, so don’t think about it too much. Enjoy!

  • Julia H. @ The Petite Spiel October 17, 2011, 8:45 pm

    Get in that tub! How often do you get down time to just sit & enjoy a jacuzzi?? Soak it up!

  • Vanessa @ Swift as Shadows October 17, 2011, 8:46 pm

    Cracking up over the random jacuzzi! As far as using it, I’d go by how it looks and the general feel of the rest of the room/bathroom. Does it look well taken care of? Too bad you don’t have any cleaning products!

  • Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga October 17, 2011, 8:47 pm

    Fries on salads..lol. They look like GREAT fries, actually!

    Glad your gig went so well!

  • Sarena (Rhr Non-Dairy Queen) October 17, 2011, 8:48 pm

    Congrats on the presentation! I’m so glad it went well! I say enjoy the tub! You only live once, right!?

  • Julie @ Shining From Within October 17, 2011, 8:58 pm

    It might have creepy germs!!!! I’d forgo it..

  • Jacalyn October 17, 2011, 9:03 pm

    Totally not creepy. Don’t sink it… dive in!
    (Unless the room has shady pink neon lighting or specials on skin-a-max, then I would not get in.)

  • Lauren October 17, 2011, 9:04 pm

    Haha, we DO put fries on everything. 🙂 Glad the presentation went well.

  • Karen @ Run Shop Travel October 17, 2011, 9:04 pm

    Congrats on your presentation!

    After seeing how hard it is to maintain jacuzzi tubs (parents have one; I used to have one) and keep them clean and I wouldn’t trust a hotel to do it well enough so I’d stay out of the tub, or take a bath but don’t turn on the jets. No fun I know. But nothing is worse than little flecks of mold flying out and floating around the water while you are trying to relax! I know from experience. Sorry to have probably just grossed everyone out!

    • Caitlin October 17, 2011, 9:10 pm

      This comment convinced me. Not getting in.

      • Karen @ Run Shop Travel October 17, 2011, 10:24 pm

        Sorry to have been the party pooper & spoil the potential fun 🙂

  • Michelle October 17, 2011, 9:08 pm

    I would go for it! Relax while you can.

  • Yo October 17, 2011, 9:09 pm

    We appear to be in the minority, but I wouldn’t chance the jacuzzi either. I’m skeptical about everything in a hotel room and doubtful of the cleaning.

    • CaitlinHTP October 18, 2011, 8:38 am

      I agreed with you in the end!! Creepers!

  • Carolyn October 17, 2011, 9:17 pm

    Turn on the jets now!

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey October 17, 2011, 9:31 pm

    do. not. get. in.

  • CheezyK October 17, 2011, 9:38 pm

    Chips are a good addition to just about anything. We grabbed what we thought would be a standard quick, slightly greasy, kebab when we were in Pisa recently (sorry, there’s really no way to just casually mention that 🙂 ). It was the best kebab ever! Not only did it take the guy nearly 20 minutes to prepare because he cooked the pita fresh in the wood-fire oven, once we sat down to eat it we discovered beautiful meat, fresh salad, delicious sauces AND CHIPS! I would never have thought to do that myself but it was really good!

    (P.S. Glad to see Karen convinced you, I’ve done the spa/jacuzzi thing once and once only in a hotel – it was too icky to ever contemplate again!)

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife October 17, 2011, 9:39 pm

    Pretty sure it would be relaxing….until you see mold or grossness flying in…..that could be NOT so wonderful. Enjoy the bed and all it has to offer!!

    Glad it went so well 🙂

  • Kelly October 17, 2011, 9:40 pm

    ohmygosh. Garden Salad with Fries?! That sounds fantastic!!

  • Alli October 17, 2011, 9:42 pm

    You should totally get in the hot tub. I am a graduate of IUP. GO IUP! We got married there and I’m pretty sure stayed in the same hotel on our wedding night. Classy like that, right here. Never got sick from the hot tub. DO IT! Indiana, PA is the greatest place on Earth. Make sure you visit the Meadows before leaving! Best frozen yogurt ever! (In a totally weird and unrelated note – we had mutual friends in college… weird!)

    • CaitlinHTP October 18, 2011, 8:38 am

      We did?? Who!

    • Dani October 18, 2011, 1:07 pm

      Ohh, the Meadows! I’m from DuBois and they have a location there, too! SO SO good!

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen October 17, 2011, 9:45 pm

    The tub in the middle of the room is weird! I have a thing with hotel tubs/jacuzzi/baths and they completely gross me out. It’s a germ freak thing so I’d never get in it. In fact, I don’t think I’d ever take a bath anywhere but my own house. Is that weird? haha

  • Laura October 17, 2011, 9:49 pm

    Haha that is so random… it’s weird that it’s surrounded by carpet, instead of being in the bathroom! But totally… you gotta do it– you could even watch TV while in it! Maybe that’s the point…? Haha

  • Juliette @ Finish Your Broccoli October 17, 2011, 9:53 pm

    Caitlin – you are SO right about the fries on salads in western/upstate PA (basically anywhere in PA that’s not Philly, ha)! Almost all of my friends from high school went to Penn State, and I discovered the fabulousness that is fries atop a salad. It’s probably the BEST hangover cure. Think about it — tons of greens PLUS fried food. Perfection.

  • katie @ KatieDid October 17, 2011, 10:01 pm

    I would be all over that jacuzzi! And those french freis for that matter… what an awesome salad addition, I’ve never seen that one before!

  • Rose October 17, 2011, 10:03 pm

    That’s where I went to school. Never saw that jacuzzi though.

  • Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me October 17, 2011, 10:03 pm

    omg take advantage and jacuzzi it up!

  • Deva @ Deva by Definition October 17, 2011, 10:06 pm

    I’d totally take advantage of the jacuzzi tub!

  • Ashley @ My Food 'N' FitnessDiaries October 17, 2011, 10:08 pm

    It looks pretty legit to me. I say do it!

  • Army Amy* October 17, 2011, 10:12 pm

    Looks like a great turnout! That’s got to feel good!*

  • Katie @ Peace Love and Oats October 17, 2011, 10:14 pm

    that is so random!?!?!? A jacuzzi in the middle of your room!? I would have DIED of laughter!

  • Alexa @ The Girl In Chucks October 17, 2011, 10:22 pm

    My experience, entitled: How to Ruin a Romantic Weekend in a Nice Suite

    My BF and I had a jacuzzi tub in the middle of our room at Silver Legacy Casino in Reno. We totally used it.

    It was a little awkward, as though we had seen each other naked a billion times, we had never bathed or showered together. So we get in and look for the button to turn it on. This goes on for like 7 minutes and it is getting ridiculous sitting in a fricken bathtub with no bubbles. We finally figure it out.

    It’s pretty cool at first. We add bubbles. Joke around. Fling the bubbles at each other for added entertainment.

    Then we realize that he ran the water too hot and that we’re both turning bright red and are overheating. We decide that 10-15 minutes is plenty and make to get out of the tub.

    I get out, get unbelievably dizzy, walk three steps towards a chair and faint. He wasn’t facing me, so when he turns around he just sees my butt in the air and thinks I am joking and has some kind of inappropriate thought about my butt. Then I don’t move and he asks, “Are you okay?” just as I start to come out of it.

    My response:


    After some water and air I was a-okay. But. Um. Kinda makes me not want to try one of those out again, less there be a repeat performance. Fail.

    • Marla October 17, 2011, 10:28 pm

      I am sorry ,but you totally made ma laugh out loud Alexa!
      What a funny story (but probably not at the time!!)
      Tee hee 😉

      • Alexa @ The Girl In Chucks October 17, 2011, 11:42 pm

        It was pretty hilarious….even at the time…but I felt so embarrassed! We kept talking and laughing about it for the rest of the trip, but every time, I just kept feeling so lame!

    • CaitlinHTP October 18, 2011, 8:40 am

      Best story ever. I am glad you are okay though!

      • Alexa @ The Girl In Chucks October 18, 2011, 11:13 am

        Haha. Yeah. I was fine. I sometimes have a smilar problem when I take showers that are too hot, or I stay in too long…dizzy, nauseated. Always okay after I get myself out of the shower, sit down and drink some water.

        I guess I should have been on the look out for this sort of thing before we got in and I should’ve asked him to run the water a little cooler…bit I’ve never had it happen in a hot tub before. I use the whirlpool at the gym all of the time and never have an issue.

        Live and learn; hot tub and collapse with your naked butt in the air. 😛

  • Dana October 17, 2011, 10:32 pm

    Glad you enjoyed my alma mater! I’m also from Pittsburgh, born and raised, and yes, fries on salads are totally normal. They don’t ask, that’s just how they come.

    See, we have way more than sports teams (go Steelers!).

  • Baby Blue October 17, 2011, 10:35 pm

    Jacuzzis in $80 a night should be left alone.
    In my ‘umble opinion, of course 😉

  • AmandaonMaui October 17, 2011, 10:48 pm

    I say sink in! I’m also glad your talk was so well received. Perhaps you should take a tape recorder in the future and listen to what exactly it was you said that connected with the people in just the right way.

    Just to let you know, if you’re seriously going gluten free you have to be careful about eating anything fried out (including french fries). If they’re fried in the same oil as other food you will be getting cross contaminated. I pigged out on fries while in Seattle because I never have the when I go out here. Nobody is conscious of that need yet.

  • Christine @ BookishlyB October 17, 2011, 11:38 pm

    Wipe it out with a towel and pour in some soap. It’ll cancel out any residue. I’m sure it’s no worse that the bedspread…

  • Chetney October 17, 2011, 11:42 pm

    I think the question is why don’t ALL 80$ a night hotel rooms have Jacuzzis?!?

  • JenATX October 17, 2011, 11:44 pm

    get in! it’ll make a good story when you get back from the trip

  • Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) October 17, 2011, 11:55 pm

    Go for it! I say live it up and jump right in. 🙂 So glad you had a nice presentation. You are truly an inspiration!

  • crystal October 18, 2011, 12:58 am

    You can get nasty infections from those. I got one from a hospital jacuzzi tub and my doctor said you get them from jacuzzi tubs or hospitals.

    • CaitlinHTP October 18, 2011, 8:40 am


  • Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count October 18, 2011, 12:59 am

    If you felt like relaxing, no reason not to use the jacuzzi! That would kill me if there were fries on the salad…hard to resist them if they’re right there on your salad! Never heard of that before.

  • Khushboo October 18, 2011, 1:03 am

    I don’t think it’s too creepy at all- I would definitely get into it, such a great way to relaaax!

  • Brittany October 18, 2011, 6:10 am

    I would definitely go in the tub!! Glad you had a great speech with the college 😀

  • kathleen @ the daily crumb October 18, 2011, 6:40 am

    ha! a fry topped salad. you see something new every day!

    i say go for the tub!! no use letting it go to waste.

  • Hillary October 18, 2011, 7:05 am

    Did you bring sanitizing wipes? If so, go right ahead! ; )

    • CaitlinHTP October 18, 2011, 8:34 am

      Hhaah I should’ve just squirted my hand sanitizer in the tub.

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin October 18, 2011, 7:21 am

    Haha I’ve never seen fries ON a salad before. That’s hilarious!

  • Kelly October 18, 2011, 7:32 am

    Creepy. Definitely creepy!

  • Molly @ RDexposed October 18, 2011, 8:20 am

    I applied to IUP’s internship (randomly) and wound up at a different PA internship. Nice to see where I applied to!

  • Tania @ The Health Macadamia October 18, 2011, 8:37 am

    Oh trust me, I went to school in Eastern PA – they put fries on everything too!

  • Carrie @ No More Tomorrows October 18, 2011, 12:23 pm

    I used to work at a hotel. We thoroughly cleaned the jet tub every day. Now I know you can’t know for sure that all housekeepers are always thorough, but I allow myself to make that assumption and enjoy my hotel rooms as if I had been the one to clean it and knew it was done right.

  • Amber K October 18, 2011, 12:43 pm

    Fries on salad…sounds great!

    I would be too grossed out to get into it, but maybe a good cleaning first would get rid of the heebie jeebies 🙂

  • Kerrie October 18, 2011, 4:22 pm

    Traveling tip from a hotel person- never put your luggage on the bed. If the hotel or bed has bed bugs that’s the #1 way you bring them home. Always keep your luggage stored on the luggage rack away from the bed or chair/couch. 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP October 18, 2011, 5:25 pm

      omg so gross. thank you for telling me!

  • Sophie @ threetimesf October 19, 2011, 1:46 am

    The jacuzzi looks amazing – get on in!!

    Haha, I love the frie-salad combo….although sort of defeats the idea of having a salad. Tastes good though 🙂

  • Rodzilla October 21, 2011, 2:39 pm

    Hey Caitlin,

    I’m a student at IUP and couldn’t get off work for the life of me. I’m still kicking myself, but tahnks so much for coming to IUP. I first read about operation beautiful about a year ago and am very happy to see how far you’ve taken/are taking it.

    • CaitlinHTP October 21, 2011, 9:04 pm

      Aw thank you so much for your support. Thank you for such a sweet remark! I wish you could’ve been there, too!

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