Tim and Marcy had been planning this vacation for a very long time. Finally they were landing at the San Jose del Cabo airport. It had been a long flight from their home in Frozen, Michigan. They were so looking forward to 2 weeks of sunny, luxury, all-inclusive fun at Playa Muy Bonita Verdad in Beautiful Cabo San Lucas.
As the wheels touched down Marcy looked over at Tim, “Playa Muy Bonita Verdad here we come.”
Tim answered, “Si, muy verdad.” Tim had studied a little Spanish in preparation for their trip. “Y muchas sol y cervezas con tequila verde.”
As Tim and Marcy reached the exit door steps to the tarmac, a gust of 80 degrees and a hint of passing rain hit them. Warm and cooling at the same time. “Ah, so warm and wonderful. Better than 20 below, huh Tim? Doncha know?” said Marcy (Frozen, Michigan was not far from Canada.)
“Will you stop that? You know I don’t speak Spanish except for taco, enchilada, tortilla, like that.” Marcy liked to know what was being said, especially from her husband Tim.
“Si, ok, Bueno. But it’s such a fun language. Muy romantico. Er, very romantic. Eh. Marcy?” Tim gave Marcy a little love pat.
They sailed through immigration, picked up their bags, hit the button and got green, which meant no baggage check, and headed through the double doors into the lobby of the airport. Right in front of them was a thirty-something, handsome Mexican man. He had beautiful teeth, perfect wavy black hair, and his cologne proceeded him. He went right up to Tim and Marcy as though he had known them for years.
“Hello my friends! My friends, I am Juan, Juan al Dente. Welcome to Mexico.”
Tim and Marcy look at Juan. “Gracias,” said Tim. He was so happy that he could use his sparse Spanish so soon.
Marcy smiled and blushed a little, “Thank you, we are Marcy and Tim. Thank you. Tim and Marcy.”
Juan looked at them, grinned, and with a twinkle in his eye asked, “Where are you staying, my friends?”
Tim took this one. “Losodors hablar en Playa Muy Bonita Verdad. Habitamosus dos semanas.” Tim began to sweat a little as he had only talked to a computer until today. He wasn’t sure about the correct tense of “habitamo”. He didn’t even know if it was a word. Also he was choking on Juan’s cologne.
“Perfecto, my friends. I know the concierge at Playa Verdad. Fernando, my cousin. As a compliment to your stay in our sunny and warm Baja, California, I would like to take you on a tour of a beautiful, new resort in Cabo tomorrow morning. Tortuga Del Sol is the name of the beautiful, new resort. If you would like to take the tour the resort will offer you, after the tour of the beautiful, new resort, a sumptuous and free brunch, fifty American dollars, and a complementary bag of Jelly Belly’s.”
Marcy didn’t know what to say. Juan was so gracias, so handsome, so fragrant.
Tim said, “Si yes queesto la tiempo por favor?” Tim was really feeling the Spanish now.
“Ok, my friends, I will do you a favor. I will ask Fernando, my cousin, to call you a cab for 9 am. Tomorrow. No need to concern yourselves with any details. Please enjoy your stay in Mexico.” With that Juan escorted Tim and Marcy out into the sunshine and directly to their hotel shuttle. He gave Marcy a long hug, shook Tim’s hand, and said goodbye. “Goodbye, my friends.”
Tim and Marcy looked at each other in the shuttle. Marcy became effusive. “Wow, Tim. That was some amazing Mexican hospitality. We have been here less than 1 hour and already we have scheduled a free tour, a lunch, 50 dollars, and a bag of Jelly Belly’s. I love Jelly Belly’s.”
Tim said, “Si Yes Yo Exciteamente.”
Marcy squinted at Tim, “Stop that!”
Tim and Marcy enjoyed their 1st night ever in Mexico. They really loved the beautiful, all-inclusive resort hotel Playa Muy Bonita Verdad. Good food, great drinks, a cozy bed, the Blue Mountains to the east, the beautiful and calm Sea of Cortez right outside their room.
At 9 am sharp the taxi arrived. 15 minutes later they were at Tortuga Del Sol. The taxi driver opened the door for them and they got out of the taxi to be greeted by a beautiful, thirty-something woman.
“Hi, you must be Tim and Marcy. My name is Mel. I am your hostess and guide.”
Mel was wearing a loose, print dress. She had legs up to here and a hint of decolletage. Her perfume wafted by Tim and his eyes grew wide. She was Canadian. “Come this way, please, to view Tortuga Del Sol, the pride of Cabo San Lucas.”
As they toured the beautiful resort, guided by Mel, Marcy became, again, effusive. “Oh Tim, isn’t it amazing. The view, the beach, 2 swimming pools, 3 restaurants, extra big, king size beds, gardeners everywhere, gardening. Eh?”
“Si, yes, equalamente.” Tim couldn’t take his eyes off their guide. “I love the view.”
After the tour, Mel guided them to the brunch area. They sat in luxurious leather chairs at a small, rustic wood table. Beautiful waitresses moved elegantly among the tables with bottles of champagne. Mel sat with them and asked, “Complementary champagne?”
“Si, yes,” Tim and Marcy said in unison.
After a few glasses and some light conversation Mel said, “Please order whatever you would like from the menu for brunch. It is all delicious. Perfectly prepared by our chef, Juan Al Dente.”
Marcy and Tim looked at each other and chuckled. Juan Al Dente? Marcy took another sip of champagne. “He’s the chef too? Fantastic! What a country!”
After the sumptuous breakfast of assorted fruit, eggs, toast, bacon, sausage, ham, and tacos, Mel said, “Now, for your pleasure, there will be a short, educational presentation about Tortuga Del Sol.”
“Oh, goody,” said Marcy.
Then out walked Johnny Dartanyan Jones. His friends called him Johnny D. He was wearing white chinos, white deck shoes, and a white and blue striped shirt reminiscent of the 60’s. His blond hair was slicked back like a mega church minister, a little duck- tail in the back. He walked up to an easel board with a large chart displayed like a presentation at a corporate board meeting.
He began the presentation, with a long pointer in his hand. “Ladies and Gentleman, un huh! Good morning, un hunh! He pointed the pointer at the chart, at the red arrow that went up in a jagged line. “Have you ever thought about the outlandish, annual increase of the cost of a vacation in your paradise of choice, be it here in our beautiful Cabo San Lucas or an isle in the Mediterranean? Un huh! Have you? Well, if not, please pay attention to the red line representing that cost. It goes only up. Only up I tell you. Up and up, un huh! Over 20% per year, UN HUH!” Johnny D was feeling the spirit. He was hollering the hollowed truth to the unwashed. “The same 1 week vacation that you are enjoying now will cost you, UN HUH! In ten years Un HUH! 20,000 American Dollars. UN HUH!”
Tim was sipping champagne when he heard that number, “Carumba!”
Marcy said, while looking at Mel, “Holy cow, so much money.”
Mel sat serenely with a wry smile on her face as Johnny D continued. “Now ladies and gentleman, please focus your attention on the flat, black line at the bottom of our chart, un huh! It represents the cost of a 1 week vacation in paradise at Tortuga Del Sol.” Johnny D slapped the chart with his pointer. WHAP! “That is, at a lovely, Tortuga Del Sol, time share of your very own, un huh!” He slapped the chart again, twice. WHAP, WHAP! “Notice that the black line does not go up. It remains flat. That is because the cost of your vacation over time will increase not at all. You pay once, for a small price. No increase. None, nada, 0, UN HUH! Not $20,000, un huh, not $10,000, un huh, not $5,000, not $5, no, not one slim dime.” Johnny D slapped the chart with the pointer three times. WHAP, WHAP, WHAP! “Un huh! And you can use your lovely TS, that what I like to call em, here in beautiful Cabo, or you can trade it in our vast, worldwide network for a location of your choice. Do you want to go to that Mediterranean Isle, un huh? Do you want to spend your week on the shores of Cape Cod, un huh? Do you want to have a life adventure and go to an Eco Resort in Tanzania, UN HUH? You can go to these locations and many more. You can trade your TS, rent it out, go to another wonderful location, it slices, it dices, it purees (Johnny forgot himself for a moment) with just a few clicks of our website, UN HUH my friends! And what does it cost, you ask? Do inquiring minds want to know? Please ask the hostess at your table for all the details, UN HUH!” And Johnny D, sweating and exhausted, exited like James Brown leaving the stage at the Palladium.
Tim looked at Marcy, then they both looked at Mel. “Cuanto cuestan estos edificios?” asked Tim. His Spanish had become much better with his 5th glass of champagne.
Marcy also wondered, “How much moolah?”
Mel looked down and wrote a number on a piece of paper. Then she pushed it, very slowly, toward the couple. They looked at the paper. Then Mel said, “There is also a small, annual maintenance fee.” She wrote that on another piece of paper and pushed it out on the table.
Marcy could not believe her eyes, “Wow, that’s a lot of money!”
Tim agreed, “Too mucha, chica blanca!”
Mel responded, “In the long run you will save so much money. Why would you not want to save money?”
Marcy didn’t know what to say. “I don’t know.”
Mel came back, leaning forward toward the couple, “Think of how you will grow older, your income will become fixed and lower than today. The cost of living will go up. But the cost of your vacation will not go up. As older people you will still be able to afford a luxury vacation.
Marcy and Tim were beginning to feel pressure. “I just want to sit by the pool TODAY. That is all. I don’t want to spend a lot of money except on tall drinks with umbrellas in them.,” said Marcy
“Yes, but it is so simple. So simple to partake in the beautiful life at the Paradise of Tortuga Del Sol. Or anywhere in the world. Why would you not want that?” Mel was looking calm, serene, with that wry smile seemingly pasted to her face. But her eyes had gone coal black.
With that they both stood up and Tim said, in English, “We are leaving.”
Tim and Marcy headed for the exit arch to the resort parking lot. 5 beautiful waitresses were blocking the exit. They were lined up like a free kick soccer wall, ready to stop anyone from leaving without buying. No matter. Marcy played hockey and was not afraid of a few skinny girls. Tim sported girth, useful in this situation. BAM! They knocked their way through the defenders. Marcy swiped a couple of bags of Jelly Belly’s that were piled on a nearby table on the way out.
And suddenly they were in the free air of the parking lot. The lithe waitresses were not in pursuit. Mel did not follow them but remained behind at the table repeating her “simple” sales pitch as if to the air.
The couple from Frozen, Michigan hitched a ride back to Playa Muy Bonita Verdad with a Gringo family in a rental car. Marcy said to Tim, “I got you a bag of Jelly Belly’s.”
“Muchas appreciados,” said a much relieved Tim.
An hour later they were back at Playa Verdad, sitting on comfy lounges on the deck at the vast pool, holding long, cool drinks with little umbrellas. The sun was shining brightly, the wind was calm. The temperature was not 20 below. Waiters in white were catering to their every need.
“Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about,” said Marcy.
“Si, yes, verdadamento, chica bonita,” replied her loving husband.