This trip took place from April 20th through April 23rd, 2017.
Our third day in Wisconsin Dells started off pretty slow. James decided when it was time to wake up, per usual. Beth fed him breakfast while I went to the lobby to retrieve ours. I am a big fan of free continental breakfasts. The worst of them give all free breakfasts a bad reputation but most of those that I’ve tried have been just great. The offering at our Holiday Inn Express was superb! My favorite item available was the cinnamon rolls so I grabbed three (one for Beth and two for me). James played on the second bed in our two-queen room and we watched TV until he was ready for his first nap. It wasn’t my preferred activity while on vacation but we couldn’t really do much with a noon appointment at a nearby ski resort; our reason for being in The Dells in the first place.
We received a discounted vacation package for three nights from a timeshare company called Bluegreen Vacations. Their ski resort in the area is called Christmas Mountain, which we had to visit in order to receive the deal (and additional assorted gifts). The two-hour presentation started at noon. I was hoping it would be in a group setting before going to a direct sales pitch but it was all direct. The group portion would have given us a chance to settle in and watch a video or slideshow of the offer without having to be on defense. The direct pitch, however, was like an interview with us as the subjects. Our salesperson’s name was Megan or something. She wanted to know a lot about us like our jobs, our travel hopes and dreams, our families, James, etc.
The interview part took way longer than I expected. She didn’t even get into the membership and the differences between Bluegreen and their many competitors in that market until we’d been with her for over an hour. Then she took us on a tour of the nearest open cabin, which was admittedly nicely adorned (although smaller than I was expecting). Her boss, the money guy, spent twenty minutes with us as well to go over the hard numbers. They wanted over $8000 for a down-payment on a points package. It’s all very complicated to explain all that we would have gotten for our money but we were never going to be able to afford their membership. He tried smaller packages stating that buying that day would be the cheapest we could ever get in since they only offer it once to each person. If we wanted to sign up in the future our deal wouldn’t be as nice. None of the offers they made were appealing and we finally escaped. The entire experience took two hours and forty-five minutes.
Beyond our financial constraints, travelling the timeshare way just isn’t our travel style! Membership would have given us access to the Wisconsin Dells location as well as all other Bluegreen destinations throughout the country but the way it works when you’re in a timeshare is you use your allotted points to book entire weeks at one of their resorts. You pay to travel to the resort on your own and when you get there you mostly stay put. There are activities, of course, and nearby sightseeing, but we’re not currently ‘travel somewhere and sit’ people. We like to travel by car, seeing as many sights along the route as possible on our way to multiple awesome locations. Our two-week trip up and down the East Coast in 2012 involved 27 states and visits to Chicago, Niagara Falls, Vermont, Maine, Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C, Charleston, Orlando, Atlanta, Nashville, and St. Louis. There may come a day in twenty years when our preferences change and all we want to do is sit in our room and relax for a whole week, but not anytime soon.
It was disgustingly wonderful outside. The temperature was just right and the sunny skies put the rain from earlier in the week completely out of mind. Because of the timeshare presentation our day was nearly wasted but I drove us straight to Pirate’s Cove to inject as much fun as possible in the limited time we had left. Beth and I played 36 holes, this time with Beth carrying James around in the Babybjörn. I’m not sure I played that much better but Beth got to experience what I had the day before; golfing with a baby up in your face. He was in a relatively good mood as we golfed the courses called Captain Kidd’s 18 and Pirate’s Lookout 18. It was considerably busier than the day before, both because it was a Saturday and the nicest day imaginable. We were stuck a few groups behind a slow-moving group of drunk frat boys for 18 of those 36 holes (James was displeased). By the end of our two rounds I had taken a three stroke lead overall (yes, despite my seven stroke deficit from the day before). James and his cute little face were too much of a distraction, apparently. He got grumpy and fell asleep once we got him in his car-seat.
Since our timeshare presentation was scheduled for noon we planned a buffet for dinner to compensate. There was a Pizza Ranch quite close to our hotel so we headed there next (I skipped the complimentary victory ice cream). I went straight for the dessert pizzas on round one because I employ a ‘dessert with every course’ pizza buffet strategy. If you’ve never had dessert pizza it’s basically thin pizza dough topped with fruit puree and icing. It’s actually similar to baby food in a way. Beth found the last couple slices of a mac and cheese pizza and offered to share. I didn’t want to take hers assuming I’d get some from the next one that came out. It’s a rotating menu and sure enough, I never saw another mac and cheese pizza while we were there. I usually like barbecue chicken pizza but didn’t like the sauce on their version. The selection while we were there (about an hour) was pretty heavy in vegetables. I don’t like peppers and onions on my pizza so I stuck to pepperoni and various dessert pizzas. An entire college baseball team rolled in so we got out of there. James was waking up anyway. It was nice of him to sleep through our dinner for once.
Apple puree was James’ dinner for the evening, along with some formula and cheerios. Ride Along starring Ice Cube and Kevin Hart was on TBS. Public opinion of Kevin Hart is split but I like him personally. Ice Cube only plays cranky dudes in his movies and this was no exception. After dinner, James was in a goofy mood and played in his mama’s lap. He also likes playing in big piles of pillows which are often found in mass volumes in hotels. I continued watching movies with closed captioning once he went down for the night. The Heat with Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock was alright. I’m sure it would have been better if I could hear the nuance in their joke delivery. Bedtime. End of day three.
Coming Soon: Trip #9 – Wisconsin Dells [Day 4] –>