Our Last Day in the Timeshare Condo

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

Aug 26 ~ Day #108
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$10800
$30.00
$9283.38
$85.95
Miles by Road
Miles by Sea
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Miles
13570+10=13580
4451
000
69
18100

Current Location: Kissimmee, Florida

Accommodation: $30.00

Our Last Day in the Condo

Today’s our last day in the timeshare condo. From here on we will be tenting until we leave for Europe on September 5th.

Yes, a Purse IS a Necessity

I don’t know how most women feel about their purses, but I’d feel lost without mine.

So why I am mentioning something like that?

Well, all we’re taking to Europe is our backpacks. It would be really silly to carry a purse and a backpack.

HOWEVER, We will be checking our backpacks at Miami airpot and we are flying through Madrid on the way to London. That means not only do we have to change planes in Madrid but so does our luggage.

There are certain things that I simply will not risk in checked luggage. Things like the laptop, wallets (with credit cards, etc.), Passports (duh!), my jewelry, important papers (reservation confirmations, etc.) and our camera.

So, I initiated a campaign to convince Geoff that I needed a purse, of sorts.

It would have to be small enough and pliable enough to fit into one of the pouches on my backpack, but large enough to take all the stuff I refuse to check with the luggage,

Yes, girls, I was on a mission!

Back to the Flea Markets

When we had gone to the flea markets earlier I had seen some bags that might fit the bill.

These bags (can’t really call them purses) were tapestry, so they could be folded up while they were empty and all the stuff I planned to put in them was still in the backpack.

One of my goals was that even the laptop should be able to fit in the bag giving us (well, me) only one thing to carry after we had checked the backpacks.

Another criteria was that it not only be functional but it also needed to be cheap. After all, I didn’t really need another purse. (Did I say that out loud?)

Found the Perfect Purse

After dragging Geoff around numerous flea market stalls, and visiting some of them more than once (hey, I had to compare features, qualities and price – right?) I finally found the one I wanted.

This bag was a kitty cat motif tapestry, so it would fold up nicely. It had an inside and outside zippered section and the main section itself also zippered shut and then velcroed shut for added security.

It also had its own change purse and an elasticized net pouch on the outside for a water bottle. And, it looked like it should be large enough for the laptop, but we didn’t have the laptop with us so we couldn’t be absolutely certain.

Believing all my criteria had been met, I bought it for a total cost of $5.35 including tax. No, that’s not a typo – $5.35 is correct.

Will the Laptop Fit?

The only thing I wasn’t absolutely certain of was whether or not the laptop would fit.

We had the laptop with us in the car so we immediately gave it a try.

It was like it was made for it! It slid right in and the main zipper of the bag closed snuggly over it. Yay!

Now I don’t have to worry about the stuff I refuse to check and I’ll also have a purse of sort when we’re doing sightseeing and stuff.

Preparing To Move On

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

Aug 25 ~ Day #107
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$10700
$30.00
$9253.38
$86.48
Miles by Road
Miles by Sea
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Miles
13570
4451
000
69
18086

Current Location: Vacation Village at Parkway, Kissimmee, Florida

Accommodation: $30.00

Today’s Total Expenses: $30.00

Lots of Time in the Computer Room

Today we spent lots of time in the computer room at the resort getting the blog updated. We got really far behind – sorry.

Using Up Groceries

Today also consisted of re-evaluating our groceries and using things up.

On Friday we are back to camping until we leave for the UK on September 5th. That means we need to use up anything that’s frozen and most of the stuff that’s refrigerated.

It looks like we have planned pretty well and will certainly be able to use up all the frozen items. Although, the meals are starting to get pretty “creative”, but are still good.

We’ve frozen a bunch of bottled water so that will keep anything we put in our cooler okay for a few days. Camping with just a cooler is always a challenge food-wise. We do have a lot of canned stuff but we’re camping in Florida, so if we want something fresh for the day,
we can always go out and get it.

The key is to make sure that we have nothing fresh left over before we leave as we will be storing the car for the two months we’re in Europe.

Fingers Crossed for Good Weather

We’re also keeping our fingers crossed that the weather will be good just before we leave. Packing up a wet tent and leaving it for two months in a hot car is not a good idea.

So, everyone, cross your fingers for us now!

Inception at IMAX Pointe on International Drive

Blog Title: Inception at IMAX

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

Aug 24 ~ Day #106
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$10600
$58.00
$9223.38
$87.01
Miles by Road
Miles by Sea
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Miles
13542+28=13570
4451
000
69
18086

Current Location: Vacation Village at Parkway, Kissimmee, Florida

Accommodation: $30.00
Entertainment: $28.00

Today’s Total Expenses: $58.00

More Rain? Yep!

We woke up to overcast skies and it wan’t long before it started to rain yet again.

The forecast on the Weather Channel calls for scattered thunderstorms EVERY SINGLE DAY!

Watching the Tropical Updates

We currently use the Weather Channel on TV and the National Hurricane Center (www.nhc.noaa.gov) online to follow any activity in the Atlantic. and, it looks like things are starting to heat up.

Fortunately, it looks like we don’t have to worry at all about
Danielle. But now there’s Earl and something else behind that.

Keep your fingers crossed that there’s nothing we have to worry about over the next few months of hurricane season.

Over the past few years it seems that most of the hurricanes have been going further North than usual. As a matter of fact, over the last 5 years Geoff’s daughter in Halifax has been hit twice, while we got nothing.

It also looks like she may have to worry about Danielle.

Unfortunately, the Weather Channel really only cares about hurricanes that may threaten the US. So, there’s not a whole lot of information about ones that threaten the Bahamas or Atlantic Canada.

Following the path online at the National Hurricane Center is a bit better but still slanted towards US interests. Not surprising as these are US sites.

Checking Out the Travel Club We Just Joined

We managed to get a temporary membership number from Global Discovery Vacations as we still have not received our regular number by email. That was promised to be available to us no later than Monday (yesterday) and still nothing.

Anyway, we have the TransAtlantic Cruise to book and have already determined the best price we can get on our own online. We called and spoke to the travel agent part of the club and they gave us the same price we could get ourselves!

I told them that and they said that certain cruise lines (this one is Celebrity) will not allow travel agents to discount their cruises. So, in this case, the travel club does us no good.

Next, we asked them to find a hotel close to the cruise port in Barcelona for around $60/night. They came back with three hotels ranging from $150 to $250/night and said that was the best they could do.

Again, we can do much better on our own using CheapOstay. And, we told them that, too.

One More Chance

We decided to give the travel club one more chance to prove that they are worth the membership fee.

One of the things they do is offer condo stays around the world. So, I checked for what condos they had available for a certain time frame.

For the entire two week time frame that I checked the ONLY condos they had available were on the Texas Coast. Really? Nothing else? That’s just way too restrictive for our needs.

Our decision was clear – this travel club would just not work for us.

We contacted our salesperson and they told us it was no problem to cancel, we just have to send our cancellation to Global in writing. I’m hoping we can do that by email, we’ll see.

We’ll keep you posted on this.

TransAtlantic Cruise Booked

We went ahead and booked the TransAtlantic Cruise on our own because the travel club couldn’t get us a better price. We certainly don’t want to use them if we’re canceling our membership.

We will be leaving Barcelona on Oct. 25th and arriving in Miami on November 8th. That’s a full two week cruise and we paid a total of $1432.74. That works out to just over $100/day and that includes food, accommodations, entertainment and transportation. A pretty good deal,
actually.

I did check airfare and it was only a couple of hundred dollars less. It was a no-brainer to take the cruise.

Inception at IMAX

Tonight we treated ourselves to a movie. We’ve been wanting to see Inception and it was playing at the IMAX theatre in Orlando.

We had seen Avatar at this same theatre in April, but that was also in 3D. Inception was not in 3D.

It’s a good movie and certainly worth seeing. We’re just not sure if it was worth paying the extra to see it in IMAX.

But, hey, at least in an IMAX theatre I don’t need to put my glasses on to read the credits. They’re not tough to read when the letters are several feet high!

See the movie, but it’s up to you if you want to shell out the extra to see it in IMAX.

We actually went to the late showing – 10:30pm. As it’s almost 2-1/2 hours long, that means we didn’t get out until after 1:00am!

Carbs, Carbs and More Carbs

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

Aug 23 ~ Day #105
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$10500
$30.00
$9165.38
$87.28
Miles by Road
Miles by Sea
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Miles
13542
4451
000
69
18058

Current Location: Vacation Village at Parkway, Kissimmee, Florida

Accommodation: $30.00

Today’s Total Expenses: $30.00

All Carb Breakfast

This morning we were invited to the Manager’s Welcome Breakfast and they had already told us that breakfast would be doughnuts and coffee along with meeting a lot of the people responsible for running this resort.

The turnout was kind of small, given the size of the resort. However, it was interesting to meet some of the people that make this place run so well.

In addition, we met a few others who either exchanged into the resort, like we did, or own here. We met some very interesting people from around the US and even some from the UK.

Disgruntled Internet Users

One of the main topics of discussion was the cost for a WiFi connection when so many other places provide that service for free.

One gentleman that actually owns two weeks at this resort was particularly upset with the exorbitant charge for a service he felt should be free.

The explanation was that it was expensive for the original
installation of WiFi capability and, rather than add the expense to the owners’ maintenance fees, they were passing the cost on to those who actually used it. It seemed a rather thin explanation and it didn’t appease most people. Particularly when, these days, even rinky dink Motel 6’s offer free WiFi

A GOOD Timeshare Lunch

Today is the day we promised to attend the owner’s lunch that wasn’t supposed to be a bid to sell us more timeshare (wink, wink).

The lunch was actually wonderful. We went to a real restaurant in the Disney town of Celebration and had freshly baked bread and Cuban pork with rice and black beans. It was really very tasty and totally unexpected.

However, we then had to work for our lunch by fending off attempts to get us to buy more timeshare. Our salesperson was certainly persistent and we finally had to say we’d had enough.

Of course, that just gets you passed on to the next person, who then tries to sell you a resale, or something more “affordable”.

The prices went from $40,000 to $30,000 to $9,000 to $3,500! No kidding.

But, we persevered only to be told that we now had to drive a fair distance just to collect the promised bribe.

As I mentioned in a earlier post, a 90-minute presentation is rarely that. We arrived at noon and it was after 4:00pm when we were finally at the Gifting Center to collect our promised bribe.

That was pretty much our day shot so we spent a little more time in the resort’s computer room, some time at the pool and then dinner, drink, relaxing, TV.

Ah, what a glamorous life we lead! (chuckle)

Shopping at Flea Markets

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

Aug 22 ~ Day #104
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$10400
$41.00
$9135.38
$87.84
Miles by Road
Miles by Sea
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Miles
13522+20=13542
4451
000
69
18058

Current Location: Vacation Village at Parkway, Kissimmee, Florida

Accommodation: $30.00
Food: $11.00

Today’s Total Expenses: $41.00

Flea Markets

Okay, I gave into my shopping urge and dragged Geoff around a couple of flea markets.

There were a couple not very far from our resort and we browsed through them both as well as a couple of gift shops.

And when I say browsed, that’s what I mean – we didn’t actually buy anything. Really.

Internet Access

Believe it or not, this resort does not have free WiFi in the rooms like our previous resort did.

Oh, sure, you can get WiFi in your room if you want to pay $10 per day or $50 for the week. That’s not going to happen.

So, our only other option was to use their computer room here that has ancient PCs and, if you have a laptop, you actually have to connect using a cable to get the Internet. That’s barbaric!

Actually, I’m typing this post on one of the PCs while Geoff is trying to get other things up-to-date. You’re lucky I’m not swearing at this point. Have I mentioned that I hate PCs? And here I am struggling with one that should have been retired years ago. ARGHHHHH!!!!!

Well, it’s better than no computer and no internet access – but not by much.

Okay, enough of my rant. On to other things ….

Is That Rain – Again?

Yep, it’s the afternoon so – you guessed it – it’s raining. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Florida the “Sunshine State”? Did they mean liquid sunshine?

Okay, I really shouldn’t be complaining. After all, there’s nothing you can do about the weather. And, I am grateful that it’s not winter and it isn’t snow.