Where does the good go

The happiest place on heaven and earth: Part Two (AKA THE RIVETING CONCLUSION)

I woke up bright and early for my timeshare presentation. I’d read on the intertubes that they were *only* allowed two hours, so I wanted to get started as soon as possible, finish up the Holyland… Experience as soon as possible and head out to Universal Studios for Harry Potter living AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

I took my mother to the presentation. (Backstory: twas my mother who insisted I buy a BMW after taking the test drive. Twas my mother who insisted I buy my apartment the first time we went to see it. Twas my mother who has four George Foreman grills and owns every QVC appliance ever hawked on a televised broadcast. My mother has a purchasing problem.) I had explained to her that under no circumstances was I buying a timeshare. That she was not to buy a timeshare. There would be NO timeshare buying. We went over this when I invited her. We went over this at the airport. We went over this the night before. We went over this as I bought coffee that morning.

“No, I got it. I don’t have any money!”


“Okay, and I don’t have any money either, right? Nobody has any money. No money having we? Yes? Nobody is buying any timeshares.”

“Got it.”


Our “tour guide” was thirty minutes late. The guy at the desk assured me that were taking that into account, and would be included in the time allotted for my presentation. Cool. Only 90 more minutes AND no one has even tried to sell me anything!

Finally, this woman comes — she looks South Asian, but doesn’t have an accent or anything, she introduces herself as Seetha.

“Where are you ladies from?”

“New York”/ “Panama” we say simultaneously.

My mother is so weird.

“Panama? Who is from Panama?”

“My mother.”

“Oh, is this your mother?”



“I thought you ladies were from Jamaica. You look Jamaican!”



She walks us around the property for a bit and we come to a patio with a view of the pool and she sits us down, offers us coffee and begins. She tells her whole story. How she has two sons, and her dad died six months ago (it was so sad, he worked his whole life and he planned to retire at 70, then he got cancer and died at 68. He NEVER even got to take a vacation. SPEAKING OF VACATION…)


She then asked me how much I spend a year on vacations.

“Nothing. I go to casinos where I’m comped.”

“Okay, but if you had to pay for those vacations, how much would they be?”


“Well, let’s say $5000.”


“Well, Dawn, and Dawn’s mom, that’s $5000 that you’re JUST THROWING AWAY! You never see that money again. Does that make any sense?”

“Well, it doesn’t cost me anything. So…”

“Right, but wouldn’t it make more sense to put that $5000 towards something. Something YOU OWN?”

I bit my tongue and checked my cellphone clock… she has 72 more minutes then I’ll be drinking Butter beer at the Three Broomsticks.


She goes on and on about the various properties and how my $5000 could be used to buy “a second home. That I could leave to my children… do you have children?”


“Well, someday.”

“Can I deduct the cost of this property on my taxes?”

She gets very serious and says “I am not a lawyer or an accountant. You would have to talk about that with your own financial advisers. This is a very reputable company and I don’t want to defraud you. Tax laws vary from state to state. So I do not know.”

(I giggled at the lawsuit that must have spawned that particular disclaimer speech.)

“Can I sell it, if I don’t want it anymore?”

“Sure. And you can rent it out if you don’t use it! You can leave it to your children in your will…”

I nod. Man, 30 minutes in and she’s given me an imaginary $5000 AND children! This place is MAGIC!

We then take a tour of an actual two bedroom unit. She now has 20 minutes left.

“So, what do you think all this would cost?”

“I don’t know.”


19 minutes left.


“Well, that’s the BEAUTY of this program. It costs whatever you can afford.”

Turns out, instead of buying property, I could buy *points* which could be exchanged to use their property WHENEVER I WANTED (depending on availability.) If you don’t use those points, they roll over for one year, but then you lose them. So, for say $15,000 I could buy 450,000 points and use them for a one week one bedroom in “where do you want to go?” and have X points left over for renting out a two bedroom in Vegas for a couple of days! Imagine the flexibility, Dawn!”

“So… I’m prepaying for hotels?”

“NO! Not hotels! Hotels are where you THROW MONEY AWAY! THIS IS AN INVESTMENT!”

“An investment in points? That I don’t get tax deductions for?”

She now has 12 minutes left and I am nearly home free. She knows I’m not buying, I know I’m not buying, we are about to be out of each other’s lives…

“Could you use the points for cruises? I want to go on a cruise!”

“Sure, Dawn’s Mom, OF COURSE. In addition to properties, we have partnerships with…”

*head desk*

She shows my mom a package for 308,000 points (or something) for $12,000 with a $5,000 down payment and $300 per month payments.

“Of course, you can just put the whole thing on a credit card with zero interest if you want, instead of using our financing.”

“We’ll think about it.”

“Well, here’s the thing. If you purchase this today, I will give you 612,000 points FOR THE same price! And put you on the VIP roster for three years! But if you decline, then you lose those promotions even if you change your mind later and decide you want it.”



“How about you mom?”


“I’d have to think about it, too.”


So, she sends in her “manager” who is there to fill out a “customer service quality control form.” They are now 10 minutes OVER the two hours.

But whatever, the form is short and I’ll be outta there in no time.

“So how was Seetha? Was she professional and respectful?”

You mean, after she said “We looked Jamaican”? “Uh huh. yes.”

“And did she show you the unit?”

“Uh huh yes.”

“But you didn’t like it?”

“It was fine.”

“And I hear mom likes cruises…”

*Spidey sense tingling*

“Uh huh…”

“Well, how about this…”

HE then goes into a WHOLE spiel about how you can *rent* the points. “Just try out the program for two years. If you don’t like it, you can walk away WITH NO commitment! For only $2,300, you get everything Seetha offered, without the strings! Just for $500 down and $200 a month. And as a bonus, the company will throw in a two week Alaskan cruise for you and mom!”

“Yes, we’ll take it!”


“But I don’t want a monthly bill, I just want to pay the whole two thousand dollars now, because I am old and will probably die soon.”

Did I mention that my mom is weird?

Now, I don’t know if she planned this, and if she did, I suppose it was kind of genius, but still, NOW it’s thirty minutes over the two hours and I was supposed to be wrapping up the HolyLand by now!

“Sure, we can take the payment in one transaction.”

“Well, I have to get it out my retirement fund. Obviously, I can’t do that on a Saturday.”

“No problem, I can charge the $500 today and you can pay the rest on your own time whenever you can get the money.”

“No, I just want to pay everything off one time. Can I just pay for this package when I get home.”

“Sure, but to hold the package, I need a deposit…can your daughter…”

“No, I don’t want her to have any bills. *I* want to pay this off at once.”

They were at a standstill.

I tried not to laugh. Though, I wasn’t quite sure if my mother was being serious or intentionally difficult. In the end, they couldn’t hold the package open without the money and she wasn’t giving them any money. So we got the promised $100 American Express gift card and were on our merry way.

It was about 2 o’clock when we finished the Holyland and I didn’t want to waste $200 for half day at Universal Studios, so I asked my mom what she wanted to do next.

“Isn’t this where the space shuttles are?”

A quick “something search” informed me that Kennedy Space Center was about forty minutes away.

Kennedy was cool! We went on a simulated shuttle launch (though there was a creepy “and this is the second when the Challenger exploded, so hold on to your hats ha ha” moment. And the “Angry Birds” exhibit sorta pissed me off. I MEAN HONESTLY! They had a carnie giving kids the plush birds to throw at spinning targets to see how many they could hit. This has to do with space exploration….how exactly?

We got there too late to take the bus out the Area 51 or whatever to see the launchpads (here is where my nemesis @astinto will say he went out to the launchpads TWICE and they were THEEE BEST part!) but they sold us a half price ticket and we stayed at the park till closing. I became obsessed with the Hubble Telescope after watching the IMAX movie about the last repair. (Mostly obsessed with it falling out of the sky and squashing me to death.) I loved the spiral walkway with pictures of all the shuttle missions and then how they turn bronze once the shuttle blows up. Also, dude, how didn’t more shuttles blow up?! They’re designed to be propelled into space by explosions!! Crazysauce. I laughed thinking about how everyone was all into space, then, after landing on the moon four times, we were like “meh…. been there, done that. I want my MTV!”

On the drive back from Kennedy, I made our objective for the next day clear: WE. ARE. GOING. TO. THE. MAGIC. KINGDOM.

We are getting there when the doors open. We are STAYING there till the doors close. We are DOING/SEEING EVERYTHING THERE IS TO DO THERE.

So, the next morning, we got up at 6 AM, had breakfast at the Waffle House and then headed out to the Magic Kingdom.

Of course, I got lost. Like SUPER lost. I ended up in some loading dock where the security guard was like “You’re following that GEE PEE ESS, aintcha?”


We didn’t get there when it opened and the parking lot was already dang half full!

We took a trolley thing to the main gate. I was totes like “I don’t know how I will ever find that car again (it was a rental WITHOUT a remote beep beep key) but I DON’T CARE! (Actually, I kept repeating Simba 18 Heroes Lot! HA! I still remember! Suck it, old age!)

We bought our tickets and this nice lady gave me a map of the park and suggested some things to do.

Her: Blah blah blah blah blah
Me: Where’s Space Mountain?

THEN we took a ferry to the Magic Kingdom. THEN we took a train to Tomorrow Land!

I thought my mom was just gonna stand around, taking pictures of me on the rides, BUT SHE ACTUALLY WENT ON EVERYTHING!

Space Mountain was pretty damn terrifying, but SPLASH mountain was WAY WAY WAY more awesome!! I screamed SOOOOOOO much! It’s a super well designed ride. And once I figured out the “express ticket” system, we managed to go on everything and NEVER wait for the high demand rides. MAGIC KINGDOM WAS AWESOME!!

They have this movie theather that’s not only 3D, but FOUR D and bubbles/water come out of the screen. There was a sudden downpour in the middle of our trip, so everyone packed into the Hall of Presidents.

AND THAT WAS AWESOME TOO! (Based on all my prior knowledge, gleaned from watching episodes about Itchy and Scratchyland on the Simpsons, I thought this would be cheesy animatronic Abraham Lincolns dancing around. But NO!) They had ALL the Presidents!! Including Barack Obama! And they gave speeches and they showed a movie about America!!! I was all U-S-A! U-S-A! And ready to conquer something in the name of the homeland. (I took a picture of one of my favoritest presidents:

The food was pretty abysmal. Anything that seemed edible required reservations, which we didn’t have, so we ended up eating gross ass hotdogs…blech and popcorn.

I was wearing my Rangers t-shirt:

(okay, you can’t really see it, but trust me.)

So we went into the haunted house, which was sooo lame, I didn’t even scream ONCE, and, ask Mary, I am easily frightened. I take that back, I screamed EXACTLY once, when this happened:

We’ve gone through the falling elevator part and are waiting for the moving chairs part. I’m standing in line with my mom waiting in the dark, when I feel a hand on my shoulder. A voice says “BOO!”


A dude, I guess he works the ride, steps out of the darkness, points at my shirt and repeats “BOO THE RANGERS. GO BOSTON.”

My mom is laughing and laughing. I shake my fist.

Afterwards, she goes “the best part of that ride wasn’t even a part of the ride!”

I shake my fist again.

We went on all the rides, I think after Splash Mountain, my favorite was the Buzz Lightyear one. My mom and I did the race car things. She was all afraid to get in the car by herself till she saw a five-year-old hop in the one in front of her. One of our rides was “suspended due to lightning” in the area. But then reopened like ten minutes later. O_o

By nightfall, we had only missed one ride: Peter Pan.

We took a break to watch the parades.

And then fireworks over the castle.

And I saw Mickey Mouse, and Minnie Mouse and Belle and The Little Mermaid and I danced with Chip N Dale and Pluto (who my mom KEPT calling Goofy! SO EMBARRASSING! ) It was super late and I had to be back at work first thing the next morning, so I almost left, but then decided, nah, gotta finish. So we went back to the Peter Pan ride! And didn’t leave the Magic Kingdom till like 1 AM.

Of course, I got lost getting back to the hotel SOOO basically, we got back, packed and headed to the airport to catch our 6 AM flight.

All in all, it was an awesome weekend, I got to see space shuttles and Jesii, see a TomorrowLand where there is a TV and microwave oven in every home, and nobody bought any timeshare points!

During the flight back, now surer than EVER that my mom’s story about Disneyworld was utter BS, I cleared my throat and said “soo, you’re saying we did that when I was four and I didn’t like it? You still sticking to that story?”

“Umm… thinking back, maybe it wasn’t Disney world. Maybe it somewhere else.”




12 Responses to “The happiest place on heaven and earth: Part Two (AKA THE RIVETING CONCLUSION)”

  1. StB Says:

    I want my money back. This post was hardly riveting.

  2. Dawn Summers Says:


  3. Astin Says:

    I haven’t been to the Kennedy Space Center in probably 20 years or more. All I remember is getting a Space Pen from the gift shop. Oh, and a long drive from Clearwater Beach to get there.

    Congrats on not buying timeshare points!

  4. Grange95 Says:

    I bet you were THAT girl in elementary school. The one everyone dreaded on Show and Tell days. How you avoided getting shanked at recess is a mystery.

  5. Dawn Summers Says:

    LOL. I went to public school in Brooklyn. We aint have “show and tell.”

  6. M Says:

    The Haunted Mansion is AWESOME! THPPT

  7. Dawn Summers Says:


  8. April Says:

    Your mother is awesome. I request her ride along on any future time share opportunities I may be exposed to.

    Also, Johnson Space Center is waaayy better. 😉

  9. Mary Says:

    I think it was your apprehension and dread of how awesomely scary the Haunted Mansion would be that made you jump at the slightest provocation.

    Granted, I haven’t been there since I was a wee child, but I do remember completely loving the Haunted Mansion. And Pirates of the Caribbean. And Space Mountain.

  10. Michael Bates Says:

    That sounded just like the Evergreen Resorts timeshare presentation we endured a couple of years ago, right down to the last-ditch effort by the “quality control manager” to sell you *something* before they give you the gift card.

    If you really want a timeshare, you can buy them on eBay for a buck.

    My favorite timeshare presentation moment, which combines the themes of both your Part 1 and Part 2 posts: When the salesman found out we were church-going Christians, he said, “You have a plan for your eternal life, but do you have a plan for your vacation life?”

    Kennedy Space Center is very interesting. (Too bad President Obama shut down the actual launching-people-into-space part of it.)

  11. Pearatty Says:

    My favorite timeshare presentation was the one where we just kept saying, “Nope, we’re just here for the free stuff. Yep, we have no shame, just greedy. Timeshares are a terrible investment. Just here for the free stuff.” They actually got us out pretty quickly. I think they were worried we were scaring off the other suckers in the main presentation.

  12. Pearatty Says:

    Oh, but I meant to say, well done. Well, except for two days at Holyland out of a four-day trip. I mean, you are a very good daughter. I’m sure you will get some kind of heavenly reward for that.

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