We love family vacations and we own a week at Marriott Vacation Club to prove it. Each year we gather our children, their spouses, and their children and go to one of their resorts. Every other year, we invite the grandparents. Who knew that buying one week could parcel itself into so much more?
In addition to our usual south Florida family vacation in September, for the past three years we’ve traveled to Hilton Head, SC in January for a mini-vacation with whichever of our children and their families can make it. It is chilly, but the resort is usually almost empty, making it extremely relaxing for all. Well, almost all. You see there is one utilitarian family member that we soon discovered had a deep aversion to Hilton Head, SC, and it made this very clear to all concerned. It was my daughter’s family car, the little Traverse that, evidently, just couldn’t.
Its displeasure, or maybe the reason for it, started out somewhat innocently, but boldly. It ran over something in South Carolina, nobody is sure what, but it required Rachel and Thomas to buy four brand new South Carolina tires. On vacation. It was expensive. This was the beginning. A warning. Was anything learned from it? No.
Year two the warning was a little more refined. Perhaps it felt badly for being the cause of so much money spent the first year. The second year it tried a more subtle approach, giving only a hint of its displeasure. While driving over a dusty road, it flashed its check engine light. Repeatedly. This can be unsettling for a family with three children that has to drive 307 miles home. Since they had the car completely checked over before they left, they called their mechanic for advice. He thought all would be well and the little Traverse, after flashing its warning, brought its family home safely. Hoping its point was made, it sadly realized that, once again, its people had learned nothing.
The following year, knowing that Hilton Head was again in the plans for January, its efforts were much more drastic. It just couldn’t go back to South Carolina. It.Just.Couldn’t. By now it realized that it was owned by a family that refused to acknowledge its aversion to this place. It decided there was only one way out. But, before taking such drastic measures, it tried to quietly voice its displeasure. It stalled, it sputtered, hoping beyond hope that the family just might listen and stay home. They didn’t. And so, the day before the trip was to be made, the little Traverse, knowingly and deliberately, succumbed to a slow death. It mustered just enough strength to bring its people to the dealership, gave its best effort to at least look like a good trade-in, and died. It had made a courageous stand to live life on its own terms and, as always with the loss of a family member, even a utilitarian one, there was sadness. But, not for long.
Its replacement was big! It was sleek! It had Captains chairs! AND, at least for this year, it loved South Carolina! As far as next year goes, well it’s really not that big a deal!