Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Meanwhile, back on vacation...

I had a list of ideas of blog posts to write about that vacation that we had what seems like a really long time ago. I finally revisited it and decided I'd better at least do the ones most important to me.

My favorite part of being on vacation was the Kevin didn't have to go to work. That meant that I had someone to talk to 24/7. It was wonderful! Plus, also, additionally the person to talk to was my favorite! It was so nice to spend so much time together. It was also really nice to meet people that he knew before I met him.

Last year while in Florida we attended one of his old mission wards, but I really only talked to 1 family there about Kevin. They love his guts, but they're the kind of family that loves all missionaries. The kind that remembers all of the Elders' names years later. So, although it was nice to know they like my man, it was to be expected. This time we attended a ward I hadn't been to. It was incredible! 5 years after returning home from his mission dozens of people still knew him, and several made an effort to tell me how blessed I was to have a guy like him. Granted, I already knew, but it was so fun to find out that he was a catch even before I knew him.

In addition to that, I gained a greater respect for his prowess in the Spanish language. For some reason I had the misconception that people who served in a Spanish speaking country, rather than Spanish speaking in another country, had the advantage in gaining true fluency. How wrong I was. Those poor guys who serve out of the country only get to learn one accent and one set of slang. I consider myself fluent in Spanish, but as Kevin and I went around visiting people he knew, I realized that it was taking me at least 10 minutes of listening before I started understanding. And then, someone with a new accent and a new set of slang would enter the picture and I'd have to start all over again! Of course, I was at quite the disadvantage. I learned Spanish mostly listening to and speaking with people who spoke with an American accent.

*Insert transition sentence here*

One of the main reasons we went on this vacation is because we purchased a package. They never really told us that a timeshare presentation was involved, and so we ended up signing up for one to get tickets to the parks in Orlando. We ended up having to do two, and having them push a third. (We were smart enough by then to decline.) I though we should share our knowledge on the tricks of the trade, and the relative worth of such presentations.

*When they say 90 minutes, that does not include the meal the are giving you.
You should probably add another hour to the time they promise.

*Some of the meals are good, some are french toast that breaks your knife when trying to cut it.

*They expect everyone to say no at first, and that doesn't deter them.

*Showing polite interest encourages them. There is no need to nod and "uh-huh"

*Also, No need to be surprised at how nice and laid back your sales person is, they'll send in the big guns later

*Telling them you've been on a timeshare presentation before will considerably decrease the amount of effort they put in to trying to sell to you. That's good.

*We decided that 2.5 hours was worth 5 nights in a hotel, but not worth tickets to parks, especially since the hours cut directly into the use of the reward.

*They think they can save you money on vacations by getting you into a time share. This is not true if you spend most of your vacations with family, and those that aren't with family in discount hotels. Somehow it is impossible for them to understand this.

My favorite snippet of our presentation is when one of the "big guns" tried to guilt us into buying by telling us we were stealing our little baby's vacations by not buying now. Pu-lease!

I also liked when our salesperson told us that the Orlando real estate market was "guaranteed to do in the next 5 years what it did in the last 20 years." *rolls her eyes*

We actually spent some time before and after our meetings coming up with fun things to ask/tell our salesperson. My favorite was, "How can you assure me that my time share won't be under water in the next few years due to global warming?" I only wish I had really said it.


Blogger Kevin said...

While I may know a little of many different variations of Spanish, I wish I could know about each of them more in depth...

I'm sure that timeshares can be good for some people, but only for a certain type of people: those who go on annual vacations and who spend huge amounts of money on hotels & entertainment. This type of person could benefit from a timeshare, because he or she is going to spend the money on hotels already. People like us, however, usually vacation to places where we know family and/or friends, so our accommodations are usually already taken care of. Why spend the extra money on a timeshare if you weren't going to spend that money in the first place?

Also, when the salesperson told us that the Orlando real estate market was "guaranteed to do in the next 5 years what it did in the last 20 years," my mind raced back to everything I've learned about investing: "past performance is no guarantee of future results." So what kind of guarantee was she giving us?

4:36 PM  

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