My wife and I normally don’t respond to those enticingly free weekends away. Completely free they tell you… you only have to attend a sales pitch to buy in the world of dream vacations. Against our better judgment we swallowed the bait to go see the good life at Georgian Manor Resort in Collingwood. Putting aside the obvious allusion to P.T. Barnum I will say that my instinct was dead right. We didn’t get into the resort into late last night for reasons having to do with trying to get teenagers (and one preteen) packed into the car, ensure their newspapers were delivered, etcetera, etcetera.
We did enjoy the indoor pool (thought it was quite small and very old) and the kids enjoyed the cable TV, arcade and the buffet breakfast this morning.
But then it was our turn to pay the piper. The piper started out as a very nice woman who seemed sincerely interested in us. But she was trying to get us interested in their points system of enforced vacations. That’s why we were treated to the one night stay after all. She showed us a slick movie and some very nice suites (very different from the 2 bed hotel room with nowhere near enough room for the three kids and us). She showed us two different schemes for achieving their version of the ‘good life’. We could even ‘sell’ the names of friends to get more points (i.e.: the pyramid scheme). Then she showed the cheap version which would probably better apply to us. She called over an expert to show us an even cheaper way to make some of our dreams come true. And when we repeated our ‘no’ we got the hard sell from a crotchety old geezer who said he respected our decision but showed us yet another offer. An offer we’d be crazy to say no to. Then he smilingly insulted our choice of ‘no’ to our faces saying that the offer was gone if we walked out… that any future deal would be like a Lada instead of the Cadillac we had just turned down.
Perhaps Karen and I should have thicker skins. Perhaps we should learn to be more dissembling. But we certainly felt the condescension and didn’t like it one bit. We were so angry that we left even though we could have kept ‘trying’ the facilities for the rest of the day if we wanted. I was so angry I didn’t notice that they made our mistake on our bill and charged us for someone else’s breakfast. Why not add to the injury?
What they’re selling is the whole idea of ‘a vacation’. They want us to invest significant sums of money (over $200 a month) so we can have 1 or 2 or more weeks of the ‘good life’. And then there’s the indignity of taxes, user fees, and more (probably way more that we would learn about to our eternal dismay if we had been lulled into accepting their deal). Hey: everyone deserves a piece of that vacation dollar after all.
I do like the idea of a vacation that is done no matter what… it is good for the soul and for family life. But a plan that extends past 2050 is a little much. Every family has their own mine fields to chart a course through and few, in my opinion, can be so flexible. We can’t and we can’t afford it. There are so many ways we can spend what little excess income we may have. We bought an electric guitar on the way home, for example. That was one of our $200 payments (and more) but it was, in my humble opinion, a much better investment that going along with someone’s idea of what a vacation should be.
In the final analysis this whole scheme was a terrific waste of our valuable time and I’m sorry we were sucked in. We would have been much better off staying at home.
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