Our family inherited a time share from my in-laws, Gretchen and Normie. In addition to the place you originally buy at, you have the option to trade your house in for another home in a different part of the states. For that matter, you can trade to vacation in another country.
It’s a good thing that while I grew up, my family traveled all over the world (dad in the military); I love it and would travel to another country in an instant. My family, however, has the attention span of toddlers on crack. If our destination takes longer than three hours to get to, we pass. We go to the mountains in the fall and the shore in the spring. And by the shore, I mean Jersey. None of those fancy Maryland or Delaware beaches for us!
So when the kids were younger, we found a house in Tannersville that we loved. It was only a two, maybe two and a half hour drive. Even though it was secluded, it was close to shopping, water parks, restaurants, rivers, you name it. We loved that house, and the kids pretty much grew up in it.
That being said, as the years passed, it began to get run down. When we first started going, little things would break. Since Matt’s never anywhere without his handy all-in-one tool, he’d fix them. The garbage disposal sent chunks of food flying through the air; he fixed it. The DVD player we brought up took out several fuses; he replaced them. Toilet clogged; he plunged it.
Another year, the over the stove microwave caught on fire; he put it out. Since he couldn’t fix that, we called maintenance; they brought a microwave that might have been new in 1975; it took up the entire countertop.
Matt went from bringing his tool, to bringing his tool box.
The last straw was when we came home and shut the door; the air-conditioner fell out of the window. Normally, when something like that happens, you tend to be surprised. We, however, just stood there for a few seconds and hoped that it wouldn’t rain any time soon.
The following year, Matt announced that it was time to find another place. The kids acted like we’d just killed Aunt Georgia. But with our luck, there’d be a freak monsoon next time we were up; the odds were 50/50 that the air- conditioner had been replaced. Matt stood firm, went online, and found a place near Bushkill Falls that was reminiscent of the one in the movie, “Dirty Dancing.”
It didn’t disappoint.
When we arrived, we had to check in at the main hotel, which contained three fancy restaurants as well as a Pizza Hut, Carvel Ice Cream, and a Cinnabon. As we wandered through the spacious hotel, all we could think was that we’d hit the jackpot. They gave us the keys to our house, along with a map to find it – the resort was that big.
At this point, I should mention that we always take Matt’s pride and joy, a 20- year-old conversion van (think small Winnebago). It holds more stuff than your average apartment, and that’s pretty much what I pack.
As we began to navigate through the grounds of the well-kept community, we noticed the other vehicles. There were Mercedes, Cadillacs and every expensive vehicle on the planet parked in front of the beautiful homes. In my head, I could hear the theme song to the television show, “The Beverly Hillbillies.” We sure looked as out of place as the Clampetts themselves. I resisted the urge to ask the kids where the cee-ment pond was.
The theme song in my head grew louder as we got to our three-level, three bedroom, three bath home, with skylights and decks everywhere.
In fact, our master bedroom was a self-contained apartment. It had its own kitchenette, complete with dining table, couch, king-sized bed, a TV and DVD player. The tub in the bathroom was so big, the Titanic would have sunk in it.
Still, I was loyal to the little Tannersville house. After we settled, I made a list of the contrasts between the two houses. Here’s what I came up with:
New place: Picked up 10 times daily from your front porch.
Old place: Walked four blocks to the dumpster, which may or may not have been emptied since the last time we were there.
New place: Shuttles pick you up at your front door and drive you anywhere in the area. Then they return when you call and drop you off at your front door.
Old place: Your car or your feet.
New place: Patrols drive through the grounds regularly.
Old place: The chain link lock, your eyes and a bat (if you remembered to pack one).
New place: Large TVs and DVD players in every room, complete with working remote controls.
Old place: A 19” color TV in the corner of the living room that we’d pull out and arrange the furniture around. The remote may or may not have batteries in it – if it worked at all.
Things to do:
New place: five pools (three indoor), two game rooms, massive golf course with separate driving range, kiddie center with activities, organized games for both children, parents and families, chartered trips to New York for shopping and plays, as well as tour buses to visit area attractions, on-site bumper boats and two miniature golf courses – to name a few.
Old place: One outdoor pool, made “homey” by leaves and other debris. Hmm. What else? Oh, you could watch squirrels, roll down hills and stuff.
What we did:
New place: Ate, shopped, watched TV, and occasionally swam.
Old place: Ate, shopped, watched TV, and occasionally swam.
All in all, we had a pretty spectacular vacation. We had a lovely house and we did what we enjoyed the most – pretty much nothing. Poor Matt felt a little lost not having to fix anything, but he got over it.
Will we ever go back to Tannersville? Probably; when we’ve overstayed our welcome at Bushkill, which could be as early as next year. Until then, I believe the ending of the Beverly Hillbillies goes something like, “Y’all come back now, ya’ hear?”
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