So - first we stayed five nights in Minnesota at my husband's brother's house - and then we moved on to Wisconsin Dells for five nights. Wisconsin Dells is conveniently located on the route home - making it a convenient stop in the middle of the trip. It's not quite halfway - a couple hours closer to Minnesota than to Michigan - but close enough.
As I mentioned in an earlier post - our timeshare is something that we purchased before we started debt-proof living. Would we have still purchased it if we were practicing debt free living? I'm thinking probably not. But are we glad we have it? Mostly yes. We enjoy it.
Take this place, for instance.
The way our timeshare works is on a point system. We purchase nights wherever our network has space available (similar to calling and making a hotel reservation) and how many nights we get depends on how peak (in season) that week is and where. Wisconsin Dells in April is pretty low points. But it suits us. There are also options as far as what type of unit/how big we'd like. (one bedroom, two bedroom, three bedroom - cottage, townhouse, lodge...that type of thing)
We're also behind on using our points - something we're able to rollover and use next year. (with stipulations) The points we used to go to Wisconsin Dells were actually from two years ago. Had we not used them before May 1st (our renewal date) we would have lost them. So it was a no brainer to go at this time.
We're also currently contemplating Orlando sometime within the next year, Oregon, Dorr County and Williamsburg Virginia.
The thing is - she was the one that closed it first each night. Something about my wild hooligans I think. :)
So within the 1500 square feet - we had five televisions (which for a bunch of tv-less Finns - is key), sleeping for 10 (both couches were sleepers), washer and dryer, two full kitchens (stove, pots and pans, dishwasher, full fridge, coffee pot, microwave) etc...
We never eat out on vacation (can you imagine??). I always Google Costco and Walmart before we go, and we always bring the majority of our food - I plan our menu out before we ever leave home.
So our actual out of pocket expense while on vacation is actually minimal. We've already paid for the timeshare (we do pay yearly fees and maintenance) and our food is no different than what we'd be doing at home. Our only cost is entertainment. In this case - all we paid for was for Pa and the oldest three to go to the Ripley's museum in town. Our waterpark was free for listening to the upgrade meeting.
There has been, in our experiences, also a lot of free things right on sight. In Wisconsin Dells we've enjoyed free paddle boats, free putt-putt, a nice swimming pool and hot tub, and a constant list of optional activities at the clubhouse. In Branson - there were even more options - tennis courts, horse riding. Same with Shenandoah - more horse riding and rowboats..
I guess we more like it than don't.
So if you've ever wondered or considered one, those are some of our experiences. We own thru Bluegreen. It is something we own until we sell it, it is something our children will inherit. It's something I hope our kids will enjoy for their honeymoons and something that we've enjoyed making family memories with. If you're ever considering buying or just want to learn more about it and listen to their presentation - let me know. (stormanen [at] gmail [dot] com) (We'd enjoy referall credits) And we're always open for selling rental time. It's wonderful for large families too - I can't imagine what staying in a hotel would be like when we have this option.
Feel free to ask questions - I'll answer them on this post.
But for now - I've got company coming today!! Hooray! Time for me to go get dressed!