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Rick and Bonnie were empty-nesters living in Philly. The ‘kids’ were grown now, Rachel and Tommy, out in the work force, with lives of their own. But your children are always your kids, and Bonnie missed them terribly. She kept leaning on Rick to arrange an extended family vacation.
“Our door’s always open. They’re welcome to come see us any time,” was Rick’s standard retort.
“It’s not the same. They don’t want to come back here and be treated like kids again. We need to get out somewhere together on a real vacation. What about that timeshare we never use?”
Finally, Rick gave in. Bonnie called the kids, and they coordinated their schedules. Rick had been paying forever, year in and year out, for that timeshare they hadn’t used since the kids were still in their teens. He went online to look at his list of resort options. Finally, he called his developer to try and arrange something.
“We’d like to stay in Carlsbad, California at the Playa del Sol”
“I’m so sorry, but you don’t have enough points.”
“Points? We have a deed.”
“I apologize, but that resort was bought out recently. It’s under new management, and we’re now on the points system.”
“Does my deed convert to points?”
“Yes. 10,000 points.”
“Okay. Well, that sounds like a lot. I can’t get back to Carlsbad for that?”
“No sir. That would require more points?”
“How many more?
“Two hundred thousand more.”
“Well where can I go with 10,000 points?”
“How much do I have to pay to get 200,000 points?
“Ten cents a point”.
“That doesn’t sound so bad, but wait, that’s ….$20,000 – this is highway robbery…you take my deed away, and now you want $20,000 just to give me back what I already bought and paid for…?”
” We do have available wonderful upgrades for only 70,000 more points.”
“Upgrades? I had a deed. A deed. I want my deed back.”
“You would have to take that up with our legal department Sir.”
“What, and hire a lawyer to deal with them? Where can 70,000 more points get me? Somewhere warm, I hope.”
“The Rainwater Resort on Monsoon Bay, the Himalayan in Altoona, the …”
Eventually Rick settled on Monsoon, if only because it was supposed to be warm there. Little did he realize at the time that it’s located in India.
And so the family vacation turned out to be more expensive than Rick had hoped. In fact, he almost had to take out a mortgage to pay for the 70,000 points. Plus, airfare to India, for the entire family, set him back another $10,000. Suffice it to say that Rick is not about to retire any time soon.
And as the name would imply, it turned out to be monsoon season, raining continually through the family stay. But at least they got some quality time in at close quarters. So close, in fact, that the ‘kids’ began to squabble, just like in old times, when they’d cram into the car for weekend road trips to Atlantic City.
On the flip side, Bonnie no longer badgers Rick to take a family vacation. She seems to have gotten over it. On a lark, Rick recently decided to try and book another vacation through the developer, by himself. A vacation from his vacation, in essence.
“Your 80,000 points can get you to the Salty Dog Inn located in Yellow Knife, the Truncheon Club Hotel located in Saskatoon, and the Motel 7 located in Fargo.
“What about the Himalayan in Altoona, or even the Monsoon? We just stayed there….”
“That will require another 50,000 points.”
“Aughhh…What else can I get with the points I own? Somewhere warm, at least?”
” Summer season options include the Hardscrabble Hostel in Waco, the Swamp Lodge in Okeechobee, …the Cactus Tavern in Laredo, ….”.
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