The Unfortunate Timeshare Time-Suck and the 4am Fun Bunch

4am-fun-bunch-5

Payam and I took a trip to Vegas this past weekend to celebrate our SIXTH anniversary (of not being married but acting like it). It was pretty fun of course. But let me tell you about the timeshare time-suck we got suckered into. Hah! Did I say the word suck enough? Because it sucked. Like a hoover. Those of you who have been through one of those Wyndham Resort Sales pitches are shaking your heads and laughing at me right now, I know.

Whooo. Boy. What a doozy.

A few drinks may have been involved when Payam and I stumbled out into the night air in search of cheap food. Suddenly out of nowhere someone offered me free Mystere tickets.  You could say it was an organized attack. Why, yes I would like some Mystere tickets. What’s the catch? Nothing, you just have to sit through a 120 minute sales pitch AND guess what, the sales woman will throw in her commission! Just sign your name on the line 15 times and put down fifty bucks that you’ll get back tomorrow.  That doesn’t sound like a scam at all! Well, not to somebody like me who’s spirit animal is tequila AND I really really wanted to go to a show instead of watch Payam gamble all night.

So yeah. We got suckered like the big fat bunch of suckers we are. The next morning we headed to our rendezvous to wait for our shuttle to take the tour. Thirty minutes later we actually got on the tour bus with ten other suckers just like us. You could hear the bleating of all the sheep before slaughter. The woman in front of us told us that back in the day she used to go to four of these a day and practically spend three days in Vegas for free with all the compensation “gifts”. That lifted my spirits a little but it turns out she was totally wrong.

They took us to another hotel and loaded up another 10 suckers before we finally made it to the Wyndham Resort itself, which let me tell you is nothing much. I mean I could understand wanting to sink some investments into Vegas property as the prices soar yearly now that they have multiple resident sports teams and plans of a super fast train between LA and Vegas but… the property itself was not anything I would really seek out. I’m all about boutique hotels and adventure and charm. Wyndham is about families and comfort and having your own kitchen. They didn’t even have a breakfast buffet for us. The “snacks” were gross coffee, powdered cream and a few packaged Danish cheese rolls. I was ready to get out already and we hadn’t even started our 120 minutes.

This was just the beginning of a very complicated waiting game designed to torture and subdue. After another fifteen minutes or so we finally met our friendly Persian sales guy. Of course they stuck us with the Persian guy. I’m sure they put down all the names on a table and when they saw a name that ended in a vowel Payam was a goner. Payam tried to pretend he doesn’t speak Farsi but that lasted all of three seconds. Before he knew it they were shaking hands and talking about where to get the best koobideh in town.

I won’t write up a whole play-by-play of the rest of the torture game but let me just say it was a lot of waiting and NOT talking about numbers. Whenever we would ask what it costs they would say, What is vacation worth to you? It was all about family values and making memories and how horrible you should feel if you don’t spend quality time with your family. Can you really put a price on that?

Yes, actually I can and it does NOT cost me four hours of my day in Vegas. So finally like fifty years later when my eyes were rolling back in my head and Payam was about to break out some karate to get out of there, they told us what the down payment would be. We obviously did not have the money for the deeply secret down payment and we were not interested in getting a loan to finance it. I mean, we did get suckered into the sales pitch but we aren’t complete morons. But that didn’t mean they didn’t try all the tricks in the book. Gifts and incentives galore, lots of going in and out of offices to consult with management. I felt like I was back in a 1990’s car dealership buying my first car. Our sales guy even had the body oder to match.

We were so done. When we finally signed a document saying we really were not interested (imagine that?!!) and we finally got our “gifts,” Payam and I didn’t even want to wait for our shuttle back to our hotel. We ordered an uber and got out of there as fast as we could.

BUT we did get tickets to Mystere and it was awesome!  It is true, there are no bad seats in the house for Mystere. We thought we’d be stuck in the back with our level 3/4 freebie seats but they were great. It was a great show. I can’t say say they were WORTH the four hours of torture but I would definitely pay full price for them.

4am-fun-bunch-2

After the show we met up with my good friend Bethany (from 9th grade!!!) and Stephan (her roommate and therefore my buddy too) who live in Vegas. We partied like rockstars which lead to us exploring Fremont street at 4am like the locals do. It was crazy and fun and I laughed my voice hoarse. Bethany and I always get each other busting up since we have a lot of material being old college roommates and beyond.

And then I got the idea we should take pictures in front of this really well lit pizza sign. Because why not? Bomb lighting is bomb lighting!

4am-fun-bunch-1

What a bunch of nuts, right? Good thing we only do this once or twice a year.

San Francisco Part 2: SFMoma, Sausalito and the Ice Cream Museum

SF-solo-adventure-part2

On my second day in San Francisco I decided to go to SFMOMA. I’m not really a museum person but I want to be. Sometimes I get overloaded on art, kind of like hanging out on Pinterest all day and before you know it you have no motivation to be creative at all because everybody else is way more creative than you’ll ever be. I almost do better in a vacuum. BUT! I do love art so off to the art museum I did go!

2019-warhol-exhibit-1

I paid an extra ten bucks to see the Warhol exhibit and I’m glad I did. I’m not a super fan or anything but I learned a lot about him and found myself relating  to him. That’s always a good thing. Andy Warhol was a graphic artist first, like me. I can see that now but I never knew that before. He also was super awkward and decided to flaunt his flaws instead of try to cover them up. That’s something I could learn a lot from.

2019-warhol-exhibit-3

People feel conflicted about him and I can definitely see why (borrowing others’ talent to stay relevant etc…) but I cannot NOT love the floating helium pillows room. I mean, come on. Is that not the most brilliant thing ever and he did it way back in the 60s! I think we need more floating helium balloon rooms… too bad helium is going extinct. I wonder what it will be like when helium balloons no longer exist. That will be a sad sad day.

2019-warhol-exhibit-2

I wandered around listening to my headphones about his life and funny quotes performed by an actor pretending to be him. It’s really nice to go to a museum by yourself because you can take as long or as little time as you like. Sometimes I went fast, sometimes I went backwards and looked at things more than once.

SFMOMA-1

But what I really like is watching people at a museum. I could could make a coffee table book of photos of people staring and interacting with art but I’m not sure anybody would actually have time to look my book if I made it. There is just so much to look at these days. I miss being bored. Is that what growing up is? Not ever being bored anymore?

SFMOMA-2

It was pleasant. Lots of clean lines and open space. Everything feeling very peaceful and zen. Maybe too zen.

SFMOMA-3

I pondered and took pictures of my favorite pieces. I wandered. Then an instagram friend suggested I visit the fifth floor for a coffee and a sweet. Once that idea was in my head I had to head straight there of course!

SFMOMA-4

There nothing nicer than sitting outside by yourself on a perfectly sunny day with a perfectly aesthetically-pleasing coffee and a pastry. Well, maybe all that AND a friend to chat with but then you are so busy talking, you gobble down your snack too fast and you don’t get as much time to watch the people around you in the courtyard. I guess I do love being alone sometimes.

Before I knew it Payam was pinging me saying his work day was over so we met up and headed off on some touring together. We decided to take the car out of super expensive valet parking and see some further away sites. Starting at Lombard street of course.

SF-lombard-st

Man, what a crowded mess that street is with all the tourists. It was fun poking down the hill with the rest of the cars but there were no good angles to take pictures without getting out of the car and that was impossible too because parking was non-existent. I didn’t care that much since I’ve been there before but it was fun to go just to say we did.

Then we headed to the Gold Gate Bridge. Le sigh…

me-n-payam-SF-2019

We took an early exit and discovered The Presidio. I think I’ve been here when I was a kid but I don’t remember it clearly at all. I didn’t know there were so many bunkers and hideouts to explore. I would have loved to explore more if it wasn’t so freakishly freezing cold. Why is San Francisco so arctic all the time? Thankfully I’ve been to this rodeo before so I know not to pack summer clothes in the summer but still, man, it’s just COLD.  I had to wrap up in a blanket that we keep in the car for picnics just not to go crazy.

SF-presidio-1

We walked and talked and chattered our teeth.

SF-presidio-2

I found this new suicide prevention construction really sad. I’m glad they are doing it to save lives but it just makes me even more sad that so many people are that sad. I’ve had suicidal thoughts myself before so I cannot judge. It can happen to anyone.

SF-golden-gate-bridge

Then we ran back to our car and warmed up. Brrrrr! It was freezing. Seems nice now that I’m back home in 83 degree weather but at the time it was not. Southern Califorians are such pansies.

sausalito-1

Payam wanted to show me the neighborhood he lived in when he first came to this country. He was born in Iran but came to the US when he was three. They lived in Tiburon and it was nice! We definitely did not grow up on the same side of the tracks, me and him. I couldn’t really see his house because you can only see the garage from the street so I didn’t take any pictures. But everything seemed really pretty and right by the water. Great views all around.

sausalito-2

Slowly, Karl, the fog made his way over to this side of the bay and we decided we better head back to our hotel before we froze to death. Just kidding. We are wimps.

SF-victorian

The next day I had tickets to the Museum of Ice Cream. I know I told you I was officially done with pop-up museums but this one was literally just down the street from us so I forced Payam to go with me. And guess what? It is probably the best one I have been to! I mean, yes, I am Over them with a capital O and I don’t need to ever go to one again but this one was really really cute. If you have kids I say definitely take them. If you are just trying to make your instagram feed more colorful then you’ll feel very unoriginal. Pop-up museums are so 2016. (Queue eye roll as If I know anything about anything.)

ice-cream-museum-1

It was just super sweet and cute. They called us campers and we tried camping related treats… s’more ice cream, orange-cicle frozen pies… It was adorable and fun.

ice-cream-museum-2

And you know what I love about Payam? He acted like a kid and had fun too. We can all be child-like more often I think. Right? Why take everything so seriously?

Do you know what Payam screams for? Kale. Screams in fear or anticipation of a tasty treat? Both I think.

ice-cream-museum-3

We interacted. We went the distance. We slapped robot hands and dove into a pool of sprinkles. And then we exited through the gift shop and bought pink plastic magnetic letters like the big fat consumeristic suckers we are.

Yay summer vacation!

Most of all we missed the girls. They would have loved it. Or not. They might have just rolled their eyes.