Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Why Don't We Own an Aruba Timeshare?

Hmmm...rewind to 1999 and we had made a profit on the sale of our condo in NJ. Choices were a deeded studio timeshare purchase at Playa Linda Beach Resort in Aruba for one week or a Jacuzzi Hot Tub. $5000 same price for either one.

It came down to the logic that we could use the hot tub 365 days a year or as many days as we were home and not in Aruba.

If we had purchased the Aruba timeshare we would have only been able to use it one week a year. Naturally the Jacuzzi has depreciated, but the price of the studio at the PLBR at that time was about $5000 and now can be had for about $4000.

Some people in northern climates only use their hot tubs during the summer, but even in Indiana in the snow we used ours in the winter. Running from the hot tub across the deck into the house just became part of the winter fun. Nothing like a nice hot soak after an afternoon of shoveling snow! And believe me, as the snow shoveler in "our" family, I spent a good many days outside doing our walk and drive. To this day we are more than likely the only people on our block in Georgia where, though we live at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, it snows next to never.

Our Jacuzzi is big and holds 5 people. C. only goes in once in awhile so it is now a nice way for Jerry and I to "get away" once in awhile. Nice way to spend some relaxing time alone together under the stars or on a lazy weekend afternoon. If the weather here is warm enough I can close my eyes and imagine I am in Aruba. In the 7 years we have had it, the Jacuzzi has only had to be repaired once <> when a rodent from our backyard woods chewed some of the wires. Last year we bought a new lid with a one touch cover lift. Fantastic investment so now we use it even more than ever!

Looking back, it worked to our advantage that we did not purchase the Aruba timeshare at Playa Linda. Jerry at that time had been working IT in the private sector and is now teaching public school. We are REALLY limited as to our weeks (weeks 24 - 28 not that I am keeping track ) we could comfortably fit into our summer schedule and the studio, now that we are a family of three, would have been on the smallish side.

When dh's parents gave us a week of their timeshare to trade into Aruba, we used to eat breakfast "in" and some lunches too. Now, he doesn't want to even see a kitchen while on vacation. Jerry says that a hotel room makes it feel more like a vacation. People say having the living room is nice because it makes it like home. No matter to us. I am the latest riser of the family at about 8 am. We are then off to breakfast and off to the beach. Back to the room at 5 or 6 pm, maybe a little later, shower and then off to dinner, come back to the room, a little TV, "maybe" if we can keep our eyes open and then just keep repeating. We don't usually take a nap, though may doze off on the beach and that fresh Aruba sea air just knocks the heck out of both of us. I NEVER sleep better ANYWHERE than when I am in Aruba. All in all, in Aruba we never spend much time in our room.

Last year, or maybe the year before we looked at the Lanai units at Playa Linda and they are very very attractive. New with direct access to the beach, you walk out of your room, down the walkway and voila! Well, we would have had to finance and don't want to take on any debt besides the house and car payment... you get the picture. So I will keep dreaming and stay out of debt.

Now seeing how all of the folks at Aruba's La Cabana Beach and Racquet Club and the "new" Aruban Resort & Casino (former La Cabana Villas) are getting walloped with special assessments (as well as I "think" the Ocean Club) it would be a near disaster for us if we had to lay out an additional $1000 besides the $400-$600 maintenance for a unit that is already "paid for". So essentially even though you buy it up front, it is not "free" each year.

Then you are back to being locked into the same time period, and airfares are so crazy. For us, just another reason why Playa Linda would have been disadvantageous. It runs Sunday to Sunday which are more expensive travel days than say Thursday to Thursday. That does not even include the mobs at the airport in Aruba.