Our Williamsburg Trip, Part 1: The Timeshare

One of my favorite things in the world is vacations – whether it be a week on a sunny island, a one-night getaway to a B&B or a three-day weekend somewhere within driving distance. It really doesn’t matter WHERE; I just love to get away for a bit. Especially if there is a beach nearby!

I am frequently (ahem… always) the vacation planner. I’ve planned every single vacation that my husband and I have taken. Ever. I have a spreadsheet I use for our packing lists, I do a bit of research before we go to find fun things to do, I remind Travis to ask off of work, and I even PACK for the entire family.

It can be a bit exhausting, even if I do love traveling.

I may have mentioned a time or two (or twelve) that I’d love it if my husband surprised me by planning something. I’d honestly be happy with ANYTHING if he took the initiative and planned a getaway.

Well, apparently my husband was listening because one day when he and Jack were shopping at Bass Pro Shop he was approached by a man asking if he’d like a 3 day/2 night vacation package for just $199. The man told him what a GREAT DEAL it was, because for the price of $199 you go on the amazing vacation AND get a $25 Bass Pro gift card today. Oh yeah, AND an additional $75 in Bass Pro gift cards when you go on your trip!

Sounds pretty great, right?!

My adorable husband thought it sounded pretty great too. He can be the hero by planning a fun vacation and it will hardly even cost us anything! He signed some paperwork and went on his way.

When I noticed the strange charge on our credit card, Travis told me about the AMAZING DEAL he had purchased for us. He handed me the paperwork and that is when I saw that we had gotten snagged for a timeshare presentation. Yup, the amazing deal with a timeshare weekend where you are required to attend an “approximately two-hour sales presentation and tour.” After a bit of googling I found that many of the presentations lasted much longer than two-hours… which is when I started to worry.

But then, I found it. The magic words in the teeny tiny print: “Maryland residents are not required to attend a timeshare sales presentation in conjunction with this promotion.”

That’s right, Marylanders are exempt, which means we can enjoy the trip, receive the gift cards and mosey on our way! YAY, Maryland!

We booked our weekend for the Bluegreen Patrick Henry Square in Williamsburg, Virginia. It did cost an extra $50 to have a weekend reservation, but it was worth it. The suite was BEAUTIFUL with two bedrooms, a large sitting area, two bathrooms and a full kitchen.

hotel room

Our room had a king-sized bed that I wish I could have brought home with me. We set up Jack’s pack-and-play in the other room… but soon realized that this will probably be his last time sleeping in it. My kid is a GIANT! And I’m not sure why he’s doing a kissy-face in this picture…

pack and play

The hotel was located within walking distance to Colonial Williamsburg, which was fantastic. There were tons of restaurants around too – including 5 pancake houses within about a half-mile. Apparently Williamsburg visitors love their pancakes!

There were also horses across the street, which Jack LOVED! Basically every time we walked out of the hotel doors he started yelling, “Horse, HORSE! Neigh! Neigh!”


When we checked in we were informed that we’d have to show up at a 8:30 am timeshare meeting the next morning. I told them that we were Maryland residents and would be passing on the blabbity blab, but they said that we still had to show up and prove our state residency.


The next morning I was all fired up, ready to fight the good battle to get out of there with our gift cards. I had my game-face on.  Imagine me entering a room in slow motion with Turn Down for What blaring* and maybe an explosion behind me. It was totally like that. I instructed Travis to keep from smiling and being nice (it’s really hard for him, because he is one of the nicest guys in the WORLD). Jack was ready to spazz out because he hadn’t had his morning cup of milk yet. We were READY.

And it was totally anticlimactic because it took about 10 minutes total. We filled out some paperwork, got some mild snootiness from the receptionist, and went on our way with $75 of Bass Pro money.


So there you go, our timeshare experience was SO MUCH less horrible than we were expecting! We actually loved the hotel, even though you’d have to either buy another timeshare weekend or purchase the actual timeshare to stay there again.

I’d love to hear about your timeshare experiences – have you ever bought a timeshare weekend? Did you get sucked into a super long presentation? Are you as confused by the Turn Down for What video as I am?

3/4/16 Update: I published this post on 2014 and in the last couple months I’ve gotten a few emails that Maryland law has recently changed to allow time share presentations. When we dealt with this, it was right in the small print on the offer that we were not required to go… so be sure to check the small print for your particular ‘deal’ before committing.

*I JUST watched the Turn Down for What video for the first time and that is EXACTLY how I imagined I’d enter the room. You know, like a crazy man humping a TV. Obviously. Also, what the hell is happening in this video and why is it making me laugh so hard that tears are streaming down my face?!

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18 thoughts on “Our Williamsburg Trip, Part 1: The Timeshare”

  1. “Maryland residents are not required to attend a timeshare sales presentation in conjunction with this promotion.”
    Is this true for ALL timeshare things like this?? If so, SIGN ME UP!

    I love your pictures of Jack, he is SUCH a cutie! Glad you had a good time 🙂

  2. Also, yes, I HAVE seen the “Turn Down For What” video. What the heck??? I don’t understand it at all, maybe I’m too old. I also don’t know what “turn down for what” means so I hope I don’t offend anyone when sing it at random times.

  3. I got sucked into a BlueGreen presentation and am a pushover, so I bought a package. It was a horrible financial burden in my mid 20s when I was single, but now that I’m married and making a little more money, it’s not awful (but still not a brilliant choice!). But since I have it, I am making the best of it! We went to Aruba for our honeymoon and stayed at a resort and it was AWESOME! I have been looking at the Williamsburg location for a while now as my best friend lives out East and I thought it might be a fun place to meet for a girl’s weekend. Glad to hear its a good one!

    1. Aruba would be wonderful for a honeymoon — good choice! I would highly recommend the Williamsburg location for a girls weekend because there is lots to do within a 20 minute drive. =)

    1. I’ve heard of a lot of parents who have timeshares that they like (my friend is using her parent’s timeshare for her honeymoon!), but at this point in my life I think that the money would be better spent by adding it to Jack’s College Savings Plan! =) We did have such a fun time and I wish we could go back again ASAP!

  4. We are currently at Shenandoah Crossing getting ready for a BlueGreen presentation. I found the law about MD (we live in SoMD) and just thought that must be too good to be true. I’ve had nightmares of stray charges on my credit card or getting evicted from our camping site for saying no. Sounds like (hopefully) I’ll have to endure 10 to 15 minutes of uncomfortable conversation and the hopefully we’ll be on our merry way. Did you ever encounter stray CC charges or follow up calls? Glaring stares for the duration of your stay or threats of having “pay back” for the room or anything. I am hoping maybe these people realize that someone may come back on them if they balk at the MD thing. Oh, did they sell your info to 3rd parties that you know of? Thanks for the info, I feel a little relieved about our presentation in about an hour.

    1. Hi Beth – We didn’t experience any of that. We just told them that as Maryland residents we didn’t have to stay for the presentation and they gave us our gift cards within less than 10 minutes. Only a little sarcasm — no glaring stares, credit card charges or overt rudeness. They also didn’t sell our info to anyone. Honestly, I loved the resort we stayed at and I’d totally do it all over again! I hope everything goes smoothly for you! =)

  5. you have no idea, how much you made my day!

    I got “sucked in” yesterday ( and I have thick skin, so wasn’t worried, but was worried about my wife and kiddo) then I saw the fine print, and did the happy dance!!!!

    main reason im pissed is cause the sales person at Bass Pro sings a different tune before getting there

    any additional advice when I show up to “Shorten” the bS?

    1. Just lead with “I’m a Maryland resident and I’m not required to attend the presentation” and you should be good to go. If they take too long, give your kid the go ahead to throw a tantrum… lol

  6. I found this post by chance and wooooh! We are doing the Orlando deal in about 4-6 weeks and came across a horrible thread about the company on tripadvisor. When you stated the MD law did you have to prove residency or show debit/credit cards or any thing? I don’t want to deal with any of it honestly.

    1. I was told today by the hit at Bass Pro that this law for Maryland had stopped as of October. I’m not sure where to look for the info to be sure. Do you Joules? Jessi, if you go before March 23rd (when we go) I’d love to hear your experience.

  7. I used that MD law a couple times
    And have a Williamsburg Pkg. To use
    Now…. literally just got off phone
    With them they can’t book my dates because no TOURS are available. I told her I didn’t have to go on the tour
    Anyway, she got a quite annoyed with me said yes you do….. I hung up on her but NOW I SEE PEOPLE SAYING THE MD LAW CHANGED..:( OH WELL FUN WHILE IT LASTED!

  8. Hi all,

    My girlfriend and I are Maryland residents and just went to a timeshare resort in Virginia. We did exactly what you said, told them we are Maryland residents before the tours started…they took us too the back and gave us our gift card and refunded the deposit no questions asked so just an FYI this still works! Thank you!

  9. I would like to know if Maryland residents are now required to take the sales tour for timeshare offers to receive our free gifts. Please let me know it tell me where o can check to find the answer.

    1. We just came back from Smoky Mountain resort in Gatlinburg. I found this line at the last minute…while waiting for the meeting which we could not stay for anyway. I took the paper work to the desk. They took it in the back to say … “want to make sure you received the proper paper work”. I said “Really, its your document!” I just stared at the woman. After 10 minutes another woman came out and said you are free to go. I didn’t want their gifts. So we left. Word of caution… if the Maryland law has changed… READ the paper work BEFORE you sign, make sure the sentence about Md residents don’t have to stay is in their paper work. BECAUSE once you sign THEIR paper work it’s a done deal and they can say they gave you the wrong paper work… they created the contract! Good luck everyone.

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