We have had an awesome Birthday vacation. We stayed at Floridays Resort in Orlando. The resort is top notch. The people are great. The weather was pretty good. And most importantly we have each other.

Angela negotiated this trip about 6 months ago. We are staying at a place that the top daily rate they can charge is $650 per night. Now, you rarely see the top rate, but it does happen in Florida occasionally. I have had to pay that rate in my past travels when I didn’t have a reservation and something big was in that area that I was staying. Now it wasn’t a $650 a night place more like a regular room rate of $69 that they nailed me for $150.

So here is how we got here today.
We stayed 1 night in a Wyndham hotel last July in the panhandle of Florida. About a month later, they called us up and offered us a hotel rate of something like $120. While on the phone, angela turned to me and said, “The rate is $120.” I said, “that’s not that great.” She said, “Its $120 total for 3 nights.” I said, “BOOK IT NOW WOMAN!”

Of course there was a catch. We had to sit through a timeshare presentation. They told us it would take about 1 ½ hours.

The 1 ½ hours turned into 4 hours of subtle selling from the highly trained staff.

The entire process at the timeshare sales resort is tailored to close you. They are doing everything to get you to spend the money.

As a salesperson since the age of 14, I actually enjoy the process so much that it is kind of weird.

I like to hear their test closes. I like to give them buying signals and watch their reactions. I like to watch the other salespeople and how they act. But the most exciting is the heavy hitter managers. They are smooth. Today I got some classic moves that were absolutely perfect. I have the shutdown response though that allows me to cut the whole show to my timeframe. I am not going to share it here. If you want in on that, email me through the site. I am going to keep that a secret between you and us. Lets just say, I was out in 45 minutes. The guy next to me had me beat though. He was out in 20. I was just having too much fun.

Ok. I admit I am weird about enjoying sales presentations and not buying. I love to be sold to. I also love to say “No” and see what else they will offer. It makes me see why women like to say “No” so much to men.

The original trip we went on was in September as a Good Bye to Cancer trip to celebrate Adelaine being done with Leukemia treatments.

We stayed at a Wyndham Hotel on International Drive in Orlando for 3 nights. We went to Give Kids the World everyday and ate and played. It was a lot of fun. That was the first family vacation that I really sat back and relaxed in years. It was fun turning back into the old Doug.

Well. You can only tour every 6 months at a timeshare resort. So count the months. Adelaine’s birthday fell right at the 6 month minimum window. Now that is timing.

Floridays is AWESOME! It actually makes you want to buy a timeshare. Oh yeah. Floridays is a timeshare. No, we didn’t purchase. Yes, we got a killer deal. Yes, I will email you if you want to know the secrets of a great resort for less than the cost of a dump motel.

Our “Villa” is a 2 bedroom with 2 double beds in the kids room. And of course a king size bed in ours. The kids have their own tv in their room so Sunday morning they stayed quietly in their room and watched it. as they get older they are sneaky about morning tv. Usually we don’t let them get away with it, but when it gives us a chance to sleep in when on vacation, we will let it slide for once.

The kids have their own bathroom with granite counter tops. Yes. Every counter top in here is granite. Very nice indeed.

The kitchen again yes granite counter top including the breakfast island. The full kitchen is full of plates dishes pots pans silverware yeah everything like that. Full size dishwasher, full size refrigerator with ice maker (ice is a necessity when on vacation in Florida), and garbage disposal.

A 40 inch flat panel Panasonic tv is in the living room. Nice new furniture including a couch with a pull out bed. We called them hide-a-beds growing up. I hate slleping on them now, but as I did when I was a kid, the boys think they are so cool. I didn’t tell them it was one so we could keep they in the room with the girls.

Now our room was awesome.

Our view over looked the lake. The 10 foot ceilings make the room feel bigger than it actually is as well. The bedroom opens into the master bath. The master bath has a huge jetted tub big enough for 3 adults. That sounds weird. The master bathtub is big enough for 2 adults to comfortably relax together after a long day of vacationing.

Daisy stayed in the master bath. She enjoys her status as a pet therapy dog almost as much as we do.

This time, only I went on the tour. Again, top secret stuff on how to do that. Shoot me an email. I am actually thinking of turning the whole process it into an ebook and selling it. so you requesting it will actually do me a favor, by forcing me to move the written story to the front of my to do projects.

Give Kids the world has changed their policy for Welcome Back families. You are now only allowed 1 meal per local stay. This economy is hitting non-profit charities hard. A lot of the money also came from wealthy individuals from West Palm Beach. Guess where the majority of Madoff’s investors reside. Yep, WP Beach. Obama is also pushing to eliminate tax deductions for charitable contributions. That is stupid. If charity organizations have to rely on the government for their funding…just look at the us postal service, the VA administration, Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac…aaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggg. Change. I guess Americans are finally going to find out what he meant by his vague platform that was basically one word. I don’t usually throw my politics out there, but seriously.

Back to the happy fluffy stuff.

Of course we choose breakfast for the one meal. Waffles and pancakes and bacon and grits and eggs and sausage and chocolate milk and biscuits and gravy and everything else we never eat at home. Of course we also eat grapes and apples and bananas and cantaloupe and honey dew, but those are everyday treats for us. It is fun to be naughty every once in a while with food.

Miss Whitney came over Sunday night and we had pizza at the pool for the second night in a row. A little place called Flippers Pizza. I recommend Flippers when you are in the Orlando area. Try the Mediterranean Chicken traditional crust pizza, that is their specialty. I am getting horrible at spelling. Mediterranianen is not quite there. Spell check and voice activated speed dial is really allowing us to slide into bad habits. I think it is going to be the end of our country.

The pool area is a blast. There was a live band Saturday night. A full bar that over looks the huge pool. The deepest the pool gets is 4 feet so the kids are fairly safe. They all swim well. Anika is tall enough that she is ok as well.

She has lost over 25 pounds in 8 weeks. Most of it was in the first 4 weeks. Simple dietary changes and daily bike riding as well as an hour playing at the playground. That is all anyone really needs to change their body. The problem is continuing the lifestyle change. That is why I did the mymastercleansediet.com thing to start my path back to good physical condition. Having the blog kept me even more focused and it also is an accountability tool for maintaining good health afterwards.

I also ride my bike 3-4 times a week. I started with 5 miles and now am clicking off 20+ miles in less than hour and a half on my beach cruiser. 5 miles was tough at first. Now 5 miles and I am barely warmed up. I still have a ways to go. You will be able to see my abs one day.

The boys are camping with Grandmama and Grandaddy for this week. The boys love going camping with them. They always say they will miss us dearly. Yeah right. They mean to say they will not miss us at all in fact they forget to even call us. It has been that way since Mason’s first camping trip when he was 2.

Mason will be 9 next month. Time to negotiate another deal for a different resort company stay…

dug