12 July 2007

vacation, part one

I must confess: I am not a beach-lover. If I could walk the edge of the surf and wiggle my toes in the sand, I'd love it (and I’m talking a quiet, unpopulated beach, not some hot-spot that draws every half-naked person within two thousand miles). But I am typically making sure sand is not in someone's mouth, chasing a toddler from visiting other beach-goers, reminding small people belonging to me to please not fling the sand as it gets into other's faces and eyes, and battling a boy who does not want to leave yet (which contrasts sharply with the little girl who adamantly waves “bye-bye ocean” and won’t go too close). I do not find that relaxing. I cannot stand getting sand in my swimsuit; it's disgusting. I don't enjoy sunscreen all over my body, either—and the sand that sticks to the sunscreen…ugh. Then there are the gritty grains that manage to find a way into my mouth. And the sand that traipses through the van and hotel room and the bathtub and ultimately the suitcases...sigh. I much prefer the sandbox at home that I do not have to participate in.

And yes, the first part of our vacation, we went to the beach. We were there for three nights at an incredibly good rate because we had to listen to a time-share spiel. Overall, that kind of deal doesn’t bother me, and I grew up attending a few of them with my parents. However, the poor customer service of the “marketing” part of the company set a bad tone from the get-go (odd, the sales lady seemed to claim no part of the marketing people, as though they were a totally different company—ha, NOT). And the ruthless, rude, conniving, potentially lying side of salespeople irks me to no end. There is absolutely NO reason for me to share personal information with them; they have NO right to inquire multiple times as to who in our family is in therapy and for what reason (information I kicked myself for sharing in the first place, and I refused to tell her any more to the point of wanting to walk out, only I didn’t want to be fined the $200 for not completing the tour and presentation that lasted a whopping two hours at lunch time after which I was ready to pass out from lack of food…yes, at NOON, at least I took lunch with me for the kids to keep them busy; looking back, the fee would probably have been well worth the satisfaction of walking out on her terrible manners.). Oh, and the office area smelled like smoke…?

I can tell you that if I was in the market for a time-share, this particular company would absolutely not get my business (and actually, I’d buy a used time-share at a tiny fraction of the original cost thanks to a tip from a friend!). They were the sour icing on the burnt cake of my beach trip. Well, undercooked cake, it really wasn’t that terrible, just a bit annoying at times. At least the Holiday Inn disguised as a different hotel (yes, the elevator permit listed them as Holiday Inn, but the hotel name on all the signage was different…go figure) had much better quality customer service and an excellent free breakfast in spite of the aging appearance of the place. What I don’t get is why they would not offer to put us up in a location like what they want to sell us…let us really experience the condos (which was in view of a golf course, not beachfront), rather than glimpse it for five minutes.

All in all, it wasn’t that atrocious, as I was with my three (well, four) most favorite people in the world—my husband and my children. Truly, the worst day of the entire week was Thursday, which found us driving 12 hours (the map said 8, and we didn’t stop that often…?) to get to the town where our friend would be getting married. We got in late that night and could only be thankful for the one hour time change that made it appear to be earlier. . .

(Stay tuned for part two, which was far more pleasant and enjoyable for me!)

1 comment:

Carbon said...

i hate those time share things. those people are like sharks. they just don't have any consciouses.