TRAVEL THERE: WESTIN MAKES AN OFFER WE CAN’T REFUSE
We’d talked about it. The Anniversary Cruise had eaten up more than its fair share of our budget. We needed to give traveling a break. Then we got the invitation from Westin. Come take a look at our Vacation Club it said. Stay four nights for $299 it said. Had they been offering a trip to anywhere else, the invitation would have gone into the trash, but they wanted us to come to Arizona.
I’m Just Leaving This Right Here
I opened the envelope, read the offer and then shuffled it around on my desk for a few days. As I moved the offer around on my desk, I started making a case for the trip. While the Anniversary Cruise had been expensive, I’d done a multi-year cost analysis and we’d stayed within the allotted amount. We just didn’t have anymore right then. However each month the travel budgets accrues a little bit…and we didn’t have to make the reservations until September sometime…and then we had a year to take the trip. It was at least worth running by Bill.
I went down to his office and made a disclaimer, “This showed up in the mail and it was too good to just throw away. I’m going to put it here in your mail pile and you can take a look at it if you want.” I think he probably moved it around on his desk for a day or two. Then he said, “What’s the deal with this trip? I don’t want to read the whole thing.” I cheered inside. The question was almost as good as a rubber stamp of approval.
I explained just how amazing the offer was. It wouldn’t be our first trip like this. We’ve been to Hawaii, Branson, Palm Desert and a number of other places, visiting time shares on the cheap. Bill hates the sales pitch, but he loves the price. And we love Arizona. I got the green light. We discussed potential travel dates and decided on February, because the real estate market would still be cool and we wouldn’t miss a bunch of shoots. Bill even said, “Why don’t you also look into a visit to Sedona? We love that place.”
And We’re Off
I called up the Westin, picked our travel dates and started dreaming of desert nights. But I didn’t just dream. I went online and ordered up free travel guides from Arizona, Scottsdale, Phoenix and Sedona. As the guides arrived in the mail I started poring over them, turning down the corner of pages and highlighting the good stuff.
Then one day, out of the blue, I get an email from Southwest Airlines. We haven’t flown with them in decades and I’m not on any of their mailing lists, but there it was. They wanted to sell me some cheap air fares. I jumped on it with alacrity. It seemed as if the travel gods had sanctioned this trip and were doing everything they could to make it wonderful.
Come back next week and I’ll share how I put the trip together.