Wednesday, September 20, 2017

5 Fun Things to do in Cherokee County, North Carolina

It's felt like way too long since we were enjoying the cooler weather of the North Carolina mountains, so I figured it was high-time I shared some of our favorite spots from our trip this past summer!

Here are our top 5 things to do in Cherokee County, North Carolina...



1.) Vineyard Hop!
It doesn't matter where we go, our wine loving hearts have one priority; find the nearby vineyards or wineries and hit up as many as possible! There are some awesome options in and around Cherokee County. Though it was hard to pick favorites I think I would have to say our favorite visit was to Calaboose Cellars. One, because the wine was great, but two, because it shares a location with Andrew's Brewing Co. He gets beer, I get wine and we are both happy, happy, happy!! It helps too that it shares the same "real" name as Babe! 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

#TravelTuesday 20 // A ROARing Safari in Nairobi National Park

Happy Travel Tuesday All!! 
It's time for another #TravelTuesday Link Up! 
Just add your post link, to the button at the bottom to join in on the fun. 
I can't wait to see where you have been exploring this month. 

We just had quite the adventure over here in Florida. We rode out Hurricane Irma, at home in Orlando, and thankfully didn't have too much damage! There was a lot of wind, blown transformers, no power until this morning and a small leak in the roof, but ultimately we were safe and sound. We spent yesterday clearing yards and spent a lot of time getting to know our neighbors better. It's been really nice seeing people come together to help one another! 

Needless to say though, the lose of power left me without time to get much ready for this month's link up. It's also been a whirlwind the of a week since I got back from Africa last Sunday. So, I figured I would take today to share some of the pictures from our team's safari in Nariobi National Park! The last time I was in Kenya, over a year and a half ago, we went on Safari there too and had a blast, but missed getting to see lions. This time one of the first things we spotted was a pride of 12! It just goes to show that every Safari will be a new and exciting experience. It was an amazing morning! 

Seeing Lions in Nairobi National Park

Here are some of the beautiful animals we saw... 

Friday, September 8, 2017

September Currently and Fall Giveaway Fun!

Happy Friday All! 
Hope life is going well in your neck of the woods! 
We are rushing around like chickens with our heads cut off over here, but why not take a minute to share a little Fun on Friday with a September Currently?! 
I'm typically one for procrastination anyways! 

Here's a peek at 5 things going on in our little slice of life right now...
{Celebrating} A bunch of new changes come our way! We have been working on getting on the road full-time for a while now. If we are being precise- Me for like three years; Babe for about the last 6 months. Don't want to drop any OFFICIAL news yet, because plans can fall through, but stuff is getting real y'all! Real exciting and real nerve-inducing! 

Do you want to be celebrating too?! Head over to Instagram to enter in my Fall 'Adventure Fuel' giveaway! You could win a Sweet Journey Shop mug and a $10 gift card to Starbucks... yay, PSL!! 

{Watching} FRIENDS... again and again and again! We just finished it for about the 15th time and what did I do?! Started over, of course! We are also introducing my niece to the wonders of Harry Potter, so every time she is over we watch the next one. Last night was number 5! Though she might be a little young she keeps asking to watch them and I really don't know how to say no to her (or to watching HP)! 

{Welcoming} Whatever comes our way! 

{Preparing} OH IRMA! We are currently smack-dab in the middle of Irma's path. Being born and raised in Florida we don't typically sweat a hurricane. This one however seems to have everyone on edge. Good thing I had just gotten my Vita Coco shipment from Amazon, because the stores are completely out of water. We will be filling the bathtub tomorrow, stocking the freezer with ice trays and brewing tons of coffee to add to the fridge... because priorities! Don't worry, we already had plenty of vino! 

{Photographing} Really, I am working on uploading photos. I was in Africa for 10 days, for a vision trip. Our team was visiting a wonderful couple, who are missionaries in Kenya. We met with local churches in a community called Ngando, participated in Bible Clubs with sweet kiddos, and fellowshipped with local women who were taking literacy and English classes. It was such a sweet experience! We also got to go on Safari! Needless to say, my memory card is full! 

Cheers to the weekend (even if it does look rainy)!!
What does your September look like currently?! 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

A Rainy Day in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

When we were in North Carolina, for a wedding in July, we took a day to drive through Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Seeing each of the NPs in the US is super high on my bucket list and this was actually the first one we have had the chance to visit, so I was all kinds of excited! However, the day we were going was actually looking a bit dreary. Halfway through the day it start to drizzle and then it really picked up! We still had an awesome time!! 

Here are options for enjoying Great Smoky Mountain National Park in the rain... 
Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

VIPKID: Finding a Remote Job That Allows Me To Work and Travel

Happy Tuesday All! 
Hoping your week is off to a great start! 

Today I am taking a little time to share a new endeavor, that will hopefully help to get us on the road full-time very soon. Hands raised for all those looking to work remotely!! These days who isn't?! 


Maybe you are a mama (or daddy) looking to stay home with your kids, maybe you are looking for an extra side job that can help you save for something big, or maybe you are like us and hoping to create a life that will allow you the freedom to travel more. Either way, I was in that boat too! I had been searching and searching for a legitimate work-from-home anywhere job, but 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

#TravelTuesday 19// 48 Hours in Washington D.C.

Happy #TravelTuesday! 
I am excited for this month's link up and to see where all your adventures have taken you recently! 
Just add your link to the bottom of this post, so that we can all travel together!

D.C. Washington Monument

This month I am sharing our trip to Washington D.C. at the beginning of June. Babe had to be in Bethesda for work for a week and we have tried numerous times for me to tack on, so that was could spend the weekend before or after exploring the city. After trying numerous times to do this on his other work travels, but never making it work timing wise, we finally just said, "the heck with making sure conditions fit perfectly." I knew I was going to have to be back for work by midday on Sunday, so we had a pretty tight window of time to explore. 

So, here is how we spent our 48 hours in D.C...

Monday, July 24, 2017

Vegas for the Outdoor Adventurer

Vegas for the Outdoor Adventurer

This post is a little late in the making, but in January Babe and I hopped a flight to Vegas. We had been to Vegas once before and had done the lights and glitter, so we weren't really keen to do it again. However, we had gotten a stay in a hotel right on The Strip, in exchange for listening to a time share spiel. We have gotten these phone calls many times before and have usually said "thanks, but no thanks"; this time though something made us go for it. We actually thought it was super worth it- so long as you can walk out saying "no"! You can read more about all the ins-and-outs of that experience here.

Anyways, we knew we would be staying in the heart of Vegas, but we really didn't want to do all the glitz and sensory overload for 3 full days. So, we researched as much as we could and planned out our trip so that we were outdoors and away from the crowds as much as we possibly could be and I couldn't have been happier about it! I LOVED our trip! I never would have thought I could like Vegas so much. To be honest, on this trip I got severely stung by the "go West bug"and I did NOT want to leave.

Anyways, here is how we spent our 4 days exploring the "other side of Vegas"...

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

#TravelTuesday 18// 5 Ways to Enjoy a Road Trip

Happy #TravelTuesday fellow adventure lovers!! 
It's time for another link up (join at the bottom of the post)!!

I have been all over the road lately, so I figured I would take today to share some of my favorite items for passing the time on a road trip! 

Ways to Have Fun on a Road Trip

This post comes at a perfectly fitting time too, because I have been road trip crazy lately! First, we are trying to plan (and then fully execute) our big getaway, in which life will become one never-ending road trip, but secondly, we have been road tripping from Florida to North Carolina- and then between NC and Tennessee- for the last three weeks. On Sunday we will be loading up again and heading back to Orlando. I would like to think I have this road trip thing down pretty well! Maybe it was because my parents started us out with time on the road from a young age, but I LOVE a good day in the car and have found many ways to make the time more fun! 

Here are some of my favorite ideas for enjoying a road trip to the fullest... 
1.) A Whole Heap of Great Books! 
This is first and foremost my ultimate happiness on the road; give me a good book and endless hours to read and I will be in absolute bliss-mode! Here are my top 10 favorite road trip titles: 


10 Great Book Titles

- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern- My number 1 recommended book, no matter what list it is! Such beautiful imagery and imagination!  
- Unwritten by Charles Martin- Really anything by Charles Martin, but this one- a story all about redemption and finding a way back to yourself- is my favorite of his.
- The Winter People- I actually haven't read this one yet, but I LOVE Jennifer McMahon for when I am in the mood for anything spooky! Bonus: It's currently on sale for less than $6!
- The Nightingale- For if you are in need of a good cry! Kristin Hannah is another favorite author of mine and, while I don't usually like historically based novels, this one was drew me in from minute one. I read it on one of our very first RV road trips and Babe literally had to pull off at the nearest rest area, because I was just sobbing like a baby by the end of the book and he wasn't sure what to do with me! 
- The School for Good and Evil series by Soman Chainani- A fairy tale series for younger readers, these books are filled with so much fun and adventure that even older readers stay hooked! This is a series all about friendship and finding out who you truly are. Also, I thought it was just a three book series, but when looking it up to add here I found out there is now a 4th. I guess I know what I will be reading on my next road trip!!
- The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd- Combining my love for honey and bees with a beautiful story of the things that bring people together, this is a definite must read!
- Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen- Another favorite author, I love the touch of magical realism she throws in her books. They are easy reads, and sweet stories, perfect for finishing in just a day's drive!
- The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls- While I am not usually a memoir reader, this one was chosen for book club and had me hooked from start to finish. It's also set to be a movie, released in theaters soon, so if you are a "must read the book first" type of person it would be the perfect time to read it.
- The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood- I haven't read this one yet either (or watched it), but I am super intrigued.
- The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling- I would be remiss if I didn't include my favorite of all time favorites ever! While I know the entire world knows of Harry Potter and has either chosen to read it or not, if you are the latter, I just have to say "please give it a try!" I swore up and down I wasn't jumping on the bandwagon, but now, 10 years after I first did, I have read the series multiple times and am now currently listening to it on audio book!!

**Audio books are another great  road trip go to, especially for when you are driving it solo! While Babe usually listens to music while I read we sometimes like to listen to a book on tape (dating myself haha) together. Right now, anyone who signs up for a free Audible trial for the first time, can get two free books instead of one! 

2.) Fun Road Games!
We play these, especially when we take my nieces and nephews with us (once a year, 10 hours, 4 kids!); our go-tos are...
* The Grocery Store game- one person starts as "it" and they say "I'm going to the grocery store and I am going to buy something that starts with the letter ____". The rest of the car plays against each other to figure out what the person is buying. For example, it could be something easy like carrots, in which case that usually just gets guessed without any clues and the first person to say it gets to be "it". Usually though we try harder things (anchovies is a good one) and then people ask yes or no questions to get clues ("is it a meat?" "Do you find it in the produce section?"). If no one can guess it and everyone gives up the person who was it wins and gets to go again.
* 21 Questions- Someone picks a category (Person, place or thing) and something that falls into that category, without telling anyone what it is, and then the rest of the car works together to figure out what that person is thinking of by asking 21 yes or no questions. If the car figures it out within the 21 questions they win, if they don't the person wins and gets to go again. (A really great option for trying to stump the car- Rubber Cement)
* The Movie Game- Everyone goes around saying titles to movies, but they have to use the last letter of whatever movie was said prior as the first letter of their movie. For example, if the last movie said was Jaws then the next movie has to start with letter S. Movie titles can not be repeated and if someone gets stumped and can't think of a movie (or repeats one) then they are out. This continues until only one person remains and they win! To make it easier, if you have little kids, you can also include books and TV show titles.
* The Question Game- This is perfect for a car trip for two; you basically just go back and forth asking fun questions that you both have to answer. It's a great "get-to-know-you-better" or "what-if-daydreaming" option. Babe and I also play this on long hikes and ask things like:
- Would you rather live on the beach or in the mountains?
- If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?
- If all jobs paid the same, what would you most want to do?
Most of our questions somehow circle around to being about travel, but hey, can you blame us?! Each person answers the questions, even their own. If you have a hard time thinking of new things to ask we love Table Topics card sets! They even have a Table Topics: Road Trip edition!

*When we take the kids we also grab some board games that are easily played in the car, to keep them occupied so that we can enjoy some quiet time while he drives and I read (we love TroubleGuess Who, and Connect 4 because of the minimal amount of pieces that could get lost)

3.) Yummy Snacks!
We typically load up a cooler for the car; it saves us stopping more often, as well as spending too much at the gas station when we do stop! I have been loving Amazon lately for stocking up on snack items. It beats grocery store prices and saves me a trip to the store. You can typically find my Amazon guy delivering boxes of Vita Coco coconut water and KIND Bars (less than $1 each?! Yes, please!)!

4.) Pretty Places to Stretch your Legs!!
5 Ways to Enjoy a Road Trip
Some days we are really just having to book it but, when we can make it happen, finding a nice place to stretch your legs, even for just 5 minutes can make a huge difference! Usually before a road trip I will try to research road side attractions that are a quick in-and-out or look for any outside areas that might be nearby. Keep an eye peeled for signs too and then use your phone to see how far off the exit they might be. On this most recent trip we saw a sign for High Falls State Park and lucked out with it being not even a 5 minute drive off the highway!! We were there just long enough to get in a bathroom break and then walk around admiring the falls for a few minutes, but it gave us a chance to get out of the car and get the blood pumping again!

5.) Good Jams!
I am all about a good road trip sing along!! Babe may roll his eyes to most of my singing, but I think he secretly loves it!! I'm usually jamming to country, but sometimes we like to mix it up a little. What is are your go to tunes on the road?!


And those are 5 of the ways we pass our road trip time! 
Any tips from any other road warriors out there? 
Share them or any other fun travel posts in this month's link up! 

Link up below and let's travel together!! 
A Travel Blogger Link Up from Life's Sweet Words
~On the 2nd Tuesday of every month I will be sharing a new travel post and would love to see where you have been exploring!
~Any linked posts will be pinned under Travel Tuesday on my Pinterest account. 
~Please leave a little love on the post directly before yours and then anywhere else you like! That way we can all grow this community together :) 
~Not many other rules, as I am not a huge fan of those sorts of things! Just add any travel related link and I encourage you to peek around and see where everyone else has been. 
~Feel free to grab the image from the sidebar and add it to your post so others know where to link up. 
~I will also be sharing my favorite post from the month before. June's fave was from The Urben Life, because I am all kinds of itching to get to Yosemite NP and Jenna's pictures from her First Timer's Guide to Yosemite just spurred on my desire to get there ASAP! 


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Hello July

How is it already July?! 
I can not believe that we are halfway through 2017. 
I took a week off between jobs (find out more in my last post), but am now back at it. Taking a vacation is great, but I always feel like there is so much to catch up on after. I am really working on trying to take it slower though and not feel so rushed to get the 'to-do list' completed. It's a glorious feeling to give yourself space to determine your own pace! So, I am not going to jump back in with a full-length travel post just yet; instead I am joining Anne for a July Currently post. 

July Currently

Here is what is happening in my life right now... 
~Documenting~ All the adventures! We spent the last week traveling between Tennessee and North Carolina, visiting friends and family. I have done so much documenting that my phone is filled to the brim and I had to start deleting apps so that I could take more pictures of all the fun. Looks like it might be time for a new phone (boo), because I am in desperate need of more storage space! 

~Accomplishing~ My 'to-do list'; slowly, but surely! I actually stink (real bad!) at being organized with my time. This is the first year I have actually even utilized a planner and, while it is still a huge learning process, I feel like it has made a huge difference. So I am spending the morning filling in my planner for the next two weeks and then it will be time to tackle the things I said I would do! If you are a newbie to the planner world, this one has been super helpful. 

~Enjoying~ A quite morning on the porch, with my coffee and a beautiful view, to ease back into the work grind! I am still away for the next two weeks, but will be working remotely. I am loving being able to set up anywhere and enjoy a gorgeous view and fresh mountain air while I work! 

~Reading~ All the things!! We road tripped up, and will be doing the same to get back home, which I love because it means I stock up on books and read to my hearts content. My current list includes the two books we are reading for book club (Small Great Things and The Orphan Keeper) and In a Dark, Dark Wood. After I finish Small Great Things my plan is to read In a Dark, Dark Wood, because it's been a quick minute since I have read a spookier book and I think it will break up some of the heart-heavy content that is in Small Great Things and The Orphan Keeper. What are you reading? Anything I need to add to my list?  

~Spending~ Too much money!! I just had to buy a new computer, as I had been using my work computer for personal use as well. Leaving my old job meant leaving that computer behind. I am loving my new one, but will be trying to NOT spend very much this next month, because computers are just dang expensive!! Here's to seeing if I can keep myself from eating out in July! Have you ever tried a 'no-spend' month?! I am so curious! Any tips?! 

Hope your July is off to a wonderful start!! 
What's going on in your world currently?! 



Tuesday, June 13, 2017

#TravelTuesday 17// Off to See the World... Kind Of, Maybe, We'll See

It's time for another #TravelTuesday link up!
And I can't wait to see all of your adventures; especially since I don't really have one of my own to offer! Sorry!! I have tons in the works (Vegas, DC...) that I had hoped to use today, but life y'all, life! So, thank you, thank you for your grace and understanding. 


Even though I don't have anything new to share travel wise, I thought I would give you a brief little insight as to why. Soooo, I have kind of been keeping a bit of a secret. And by secret, what I really mean is I wasn't yet ready to put it down in words. Because that makes it real; and while it is very exciting, it is also scary and sad and happy all-in-one. #Allthefeels is an understatement! 

Anywho... I am going to be transitioning off staff at my current job. A job I LOVE and one that has brought me so many wonderful moments and friendships through the past 3 years! I get to teach sweet kiddos about Jesus, hang with some awesome people, and have the most AMAZING team of work peeps. I know you are probably thinking, so why are leaving?! 

Well, this decision gets us one step closer to being on the road full-time. Though nothing is set in stone yet, our plan is to hit the road in some capacity between September and October. I have found a remote position teaching English to kids in China (an awesome gig I will share more about soon, but that you can check out here if the thought peeks your interest. You can use my referral link for a little bonus fun for both of us, if you are hired!) that I can do from the road. We are just waiting to figure out Babe's job stuff (anyone want to hire my financially-business-brained husband remotely, lemme know!! haha). 

So for now, I am spending the majority of the next two weeks training the sweet gal who is going to be taking my position, wrapping up odds-and-ends, and hanging out with all my favorite people at Summit Church before my last day next Thursday. 

That being said, I can't wait to see where all you have been!! I need all the inspiration I can find to remind that this leap of faith isn't totally ridiculous! I am Pinterest crazy on #alltheplaces, because, while I am sad to leave, I am so stoked for the experiences to come! The first trip will be in Tennessee and North Carolina. Anything we HAVE TO see?! I am also really hoping to plan my first solo trip. Any female ladies done a solo-trip before?! Would really appreciate any tips! 


What adventures have you been up to? 
Try a new restaurant in your own backyard? 
Taken a day trip in your home state? Journeyed to far off lands? 

Link up below and let's travel together!! 

~On the 2nd Tuesday of every month I will be sharing a new travel post and would love to see where you have been exploring!
~Any linked posts will be pinned under Travel Tuesday on my Pinterest account. 
~Please leave a little love on the post directly before yours and then anywhere else you like! That way we can all grow this community together :) 
~Not many other rules, as I am not a huge fan of those sorts of things! Just add any travel related link and I encourage you to peek around and see where everyone else has been. 
~Feel free to grab the image from the sidebar and add it to your post so others know where to link up. 
~I will also be sharing my favorite post from the month before. May's fave was from Aloha Lovely, because I could use a little chill in my life right and her Waikiki Chill post has me all kinds of dreaming about a good book, an umbrella drink and one of those half-submerged pool chaise loungers! 





Tuesday, June 6, 2017

30 Great Quotes for Travel Lovers

It's been a long while since I have shared any Words for Wednesday posts! But, being a quote lover, I still keep a running journal of all my favorites. So I figured why not share some quotes that would feed my thirst for wanderlust?! Here are 30 of my favorite travel-inspiring quotes... 



1.) "I believe in looking reality straight in the eye & denying it!" -Garrison Keillor 

2.) "Life is ours to be spent, not saved." - D.H. Lawrence 

3.) "Maybe we could stop time for a few days without falling far behind. Maybe we could jump in the car somewhere beautiful and remote. We'll take of our pain and armor, turn on the music, and explore these places, these towns and these dreams. Yours and mine. We'll just ride it all out for awhile. We'll just drive." - Victoria Erickson

4.) "You aren't always shown the path in life you're supposed to take. Sometimes though, when you're lucky, you meet someone with a map." - From Sarah Addison Allen's The Peach Keeper 

5.) "Meet the world with HOPE in your heart!" - Heather Gudenkauf 

6.) "Make your choice, adventurous stranger, strike the bell and bide the danger, or wonder, til it drives you mad, what would have followed if you had." - C.S. Lewis 

7.) "Sometimes you have to chase the idea of something more." - From Carrie Ryan's The Dead-Tosses Waves 

8.) "She must find a boat and sail in it. No guarantee of shore. Only a conviction that what she wanted could exist' if she dared find it." - Jeanette Winterson 

She must find a boat and sail in it...
source
9.) "The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper." - Eden Phillpots 

10.) "Go out into the world, experience it, and bring back the best and leave the rest." - From Rebecca Wells The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder 

11.) "The river(s) taught me a good bit. It winds, weaves, snakes around. Rarely goes the same way twice. But, in the end, it always ends up in the same place and the gift is never the same." - From Charles Martin's Where the River Ends 

12.) "A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." -Oscar Wilde 

13.) "The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste the experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience." - Eleanor Roosevelt 

14.) "Most of the time the greatest rewards come from doing the things that scare you the most. Maybe you will get everything you wish for or maybe you will get more than you ever could have imagined. Who knows where life will take you; the road is long and in the end the journey is the destination." - One Tree Hill 

15.) "If you always keep your face to the sunshine, you'll never see the shadows." -Helen Keller 

16.) "Faith is the daring of the soul to go further than it can see." -William Newton Clarke

17.) "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined." - Henry David Thoreau 

18.) There is not fairy-book half so wonderful as the lovely world all about us, if we only know how to read it! - Morning Glories 

19.) "When God carved this place with His words He lingered." - From Charles Martin's Long Way Gone

20.) "Road trips are the equivalent of human wings. Ask me to go on one anywhere. We’ll stop in every small town and learn the history and stories, feel the ground and capture the spirit. Then we’ll turn it into our own story that will live inside our history to carry with us always. Because stories are more important than things." – Victoria Erickson 

21.) "Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you'd drop dead in 10 seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories." - Ray Bradbury 

22.) "She was a beautiful dreamer, the kind of girl who kept her head in the clouds, loved above the stars, and left regret beneath the earth she walked on." - R.M. Drake 

23.) "What if it's the there and not the here that I long for? The wander and not the wait, the magic in the lost feet stumbling down the far away street and the way the moon never hangs quite the same?" - Tyler Knott Gregson 

24.) "Will you come travel with me? Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?" - Walt Whitman

25.) "She'll be here until she runs, some just have to chase the sun..." - Kenny Chesney 
26.) "And above all, watch with glittering eyes, the whole world around you. Because the greatest secrets are hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never see it." - Roald Dahl

27.) "Mountains know the secrets we need to learn. That it might take time, it might be hard, but if you just hold on long enough, you will find the strength to rise up." - Tyler Knott Gregson 

28.) "It's a beautiful thing to have lungs that allow you to breathe air and legs that allow you to climb mountains, and it's a shame that sometimes we don't realize that that's enough." - honalie 

29.) "Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in this world." - Gustav Flaubert 

30.) "There are moments I know I will long for even as I live them." - Judith Katzir

Do you have a favorite travel quote?
What inspires you to travel? 

Pin It for Later

Friday, May 26, 2017

Is Listening to a Timeshare Presentation Worth the Perks?


We've all gotten the calls before; the ones saying that "we are from such-an-such timeshare and can offer you a next-to-free stay, at one of our gorgeous resorts, if you just come listen to a two hour presentation on our amenities". Our first answer was always "thanks, but no thanks!" Until one evening it wasn't. 

A little back story to this is that they tend to call me, or more so I tend to be the one who picks up the phone for numbers I don't know. The person on the other end of the line then tries to get me to commit, I question it and think it might actually be a good deal and then go to ask Babe and he says, "no, hang up!" So then it takes me another 5-10 minutes to try to get off the phone and I have now wasted my time. Fast forward a bit and sweet Babe actually answers the phone to a number he doesn't know and a young woman (at least she sounded young) starts in on the offer. Typically, he would hang up pretty quickly, but I guess he let her get pretty far in, because a few minutes later he's calling me into the office (I was in the living room) and asks me if we should do it. I, of course, am thinking,  "what the actual heck?! You give me such a hard time about it and you now look where we're at! I mean, I don't know? Sure, why not?! Let's just try it!" Apparently the girl on the other end of the line just seemed so thankful he was even letting her talk, and hadn't hung up on her or berated her for calling, that he almost felt like he needed to say yes just to give her a chance to make a sale. At this point he had it on speaker phone and when she asked if he wanted to hear about the option of a cruise add on and he replied with, "sure, why not?!" she got so flustered and her voice rose to such an octave that I thought she might have hugged hum through the phone if she could. Needless to say that when we actually agreed to book it I think she might have cried. **Side note: I have a friend who once worked for a call center, before quitting two weeks later because people would be so mean when she called that she would break out in hives. I know those calls can be frustrating, but if you can't say anything nice, it's probably better to just hang up!

Anyways, that was the long-winded version of how we ultimately ended up saying yes. We figured, even if we hated it, at least we tried it once. Now that we are on the other side of the whole experience here are our actual thoughts... 

Did we think that the offered trip was worth it for having to listen to someone try to sell us a timeshare? Our answer: YES! Granted, this was from our personal views of one experience (with Hilton Grand Vacations), but we found it overall completely worth it. Hilton stayed true to their word and our presentation lasted two hours, beginning to end (not including travel time), and they didn't force us into staying past the time to try to keep selling us once we had still said "no". Our hotel was gorgeous, with an amazing view, and they didn't contact us again the rest of our trip once we had left the presentation, which I was worried might happen with "no" answers.
Our only room shot, while trying out the new bluetooth camera stand, as we spent a lot of time outdoors and forgot to document; the room was really nice though, with a beautiful view, jetted tub and kitchenette. 

Planning for the Presentation
- wear comfortable clothing: you will be sitting for a long time, so bring a jacket or something to keep you cozy
- we were provided with food and drink when there; light to moderate snacks, coffee, tea, juice, water... which could substitute breakfast if desired
- have your "no" ready; we started out saying no, our sales guy then told us, "well my job is to spend the next two hours trying to change that", but if you know you want to walk out without a timeshare you HAVE TO stick to your guns no matter what he says
- go into it with a "this is just a learning experience" mindset; while we ultimately stuck to our no, I thought it was interesting learning about how it ran and I loved getting to see their model rooms
- schedule as early into the trip (and day) as possible; you don't want the presentation to be the way you end your trip. We did ours at 10am the 2nd day in and had the whole rest of the day, plus 2 more, ahead of us (Vegas for Outdoor Lovers post coming soon)
- tips for saying no: pick a designated "talker" (this should be the person better at a stone faced no), have the other person say as little as possible, don't give any leverage by getting excited over certain talking points, keep a very flat/ business like manner (any inflection in your voice will give them something to go off of)



Pros Vs Cons
Pro- You get an awesome trip for a fraction of the cost!
Con- If you suck at saying no, you might get suckered! Honestly, I would not even do it if there is not at least one person in your party who can stick to a firm "no". I knew we were saying no, I didn't even want it after listening to the spiel, but I can be so bad at saying "no" that I might have considered it if Babe hadn't been the rock! And your sales person will read that; our guy started directing a lot of the "perks" at me. "You can use your points for shopping! You can use them for spa treatments!...". Thankfully I don't like shopping, but I do enjoy a good massage and he caught that. I finally just stopped talking, and zoned out, so that he had no more leverage on my end and had to go back to trying to convince Andrew.
Pro- If it is a reputable company they will stick to their promises. If they know they aren't going to sell you they won't waste their time; there were plenty more people waiting behind us.
Con- The shuttle; I get car sick, so the shuttle back to our hotel, the Elara (the presentation was at another one of their resorts), was torture. Given that they weren't that far away from each other I might have chosen to walk.
Con- Depending on where you are going the airfare can be crazy; make sure when you are on that initial phone call that you factor in an estimated airfare cost.
Pro- If you enjoy traveling, it's a great way to see places for less! Had we decided not to tack on the cruise addition we would have only paid $250 for a 3 night stay in Vegas; we paid an additional $300 and now have a cruise voucher for a Royal Caribbean Bahamas cruise (which we can upgrade if desired).

So, AS LONG AS YOU CAN SAY NO, it's totally worth it. Should you sit down and decide the time share itself might be a good deal, that's a whole other story. We can't vouch for if that's worth it or not, maybe you could tell us?! But at the end of the day we would definitely listen to another time share spiel in order to get a discounted vacation!
*Note: This is our personal experience of one presentation with a well known company. People in our shuttle back to the hotel told us some horror stories about ones they had sat through where they were kept for hours, so just be wary of which company you go through and what they tell you initially.


How about you?
Have you ever sat through a time share presentation? What were your thoughts? 
Do you currently own time share options? Do you think they are worth it?