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.
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…
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?!