A Life Saved...now our best "Buddy"



We were vacationing on Grand Bahama October 2010. One evening, my husband was out by the seawall of Mayfield Beach & Tennis Club and heard some whimpering below. He discovered a dog, stranded on some rocks with the tide filling in around him. My husband lifted the dog to safety. He looked thin and hungry, so we fed him that night (and of course, he returned the next day!) We fed him again and gave him fresh water. My husband contacted the Humane Society of Grand Bahama to pick him up. There was something in that dog's eyes that spoke to us. In our 30 years of marriage, we never owned a dog...even though my husband has been hinting at getting one for several years. The next day, my husband Leo went to the Humane Society to visit the dog and donate some food. They took a picture of him and the dog with our camera. When we returned home, I contacted the Humane Society of Grand Bahama via email and attached a picture of Leo and the little "Potcake" (they tell us it's a mixed breed indigenous to the Bahamas). I asked if it was at all possible to adopt this dog, and can we get him up to the northeast? I wanted to surprise my husband and bring the dog here. They were so accommodating! When Leo told me he also contacted the shelter about adoption, I immediately had to contact the humane society again and tell them I wanted to keep this a surprise for Leo...to please tell him that the dog has either been adopted, or is not medically ready to transport yet. They played the game so well...and within a couple of weeks, our little Buddy was on his way to us. The first leg of his trip was on a private pilot's lap from Grand Bahama. When he reached Ft Lauderdale, a foster mom picked him up and brought him to her house (she attached a lovely note on his crate to us saying that we had a "real special dog" here). The foster mom brought him back to the airport the next morning and after a stop in Atlanta, I finally got to meet our little Potcake at our local airport in CT. My son and I brought him home. When we brought him in the house, my husband was in shock...really didn't say much, just kind of fell to the floor, and the dog and him rolled around playing with each other. I had a lot of support from friends, so they all entered the house after the initial homecoming to wish Leo and our little potcake "Buddy" well. He really is the sweetest dog and best Buddy ever!


- Submitted by: vcegelka

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Beach Rockets

We had been looking forward to our east coast beach vacation for months and had invited my son's friend to go with us. We lived in Sarasota, but enjoyed the "other" side of Florida in Cape Canaveral just as much. The four of us packed up and got ready to go for a long weekend, looking forward to spending some time at the edge of the ocean. We had no idea what awaited us. In the weeks before leaving, we had been watching the news that the space shuttle launch had experienced delay after delay. The day we departed, we found out the shuttle was scheduled to be launched the night of our arrival! We had front row seats to one of the most spectacular (and final) night launchings from the Kennedy Space Center. The crew included a young Clearwater, Florida astronaut, Nicole Stott, who was going to the International Space Station. My teenage son and his friend were so excited. What a stunning view we had of that launch from our balcony. It lit up the sky - and the ocean - for miles around! We were at Ron Jon several months later and incredibly, again totally by coincidence, we were able to see the landing of another shuttle that carried that same Florida astronaut back to Cape Canaveral! Good times... and the beach was pretty spectacular, too.


- Submitted by: Jim&Leslie

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The Dragon of the Castle

It was a ski trip to Martin B. Lofer in Austria. We booked our resort unaware of the unusual place. Struggling off of the bus with our suitcases and ski boots we asked a gal getting off the bus for directions. Over there in the field she said. We walked across the road and couldn't believe the resort. It was a hunting lodge of the King of Bavaria from 1314. There were animal heads on the outside of the building and when we entered we gasped at the sites. Vibrant pink paint, exquisite antique furniture, animals stuffed on display in the hallways. The ceilings were painted with murals of cupids, beautiful women and knights in action scenes. The arches in the massive hallways were held up by muscular greek gods. Our room had carved angels in the corner of the 12 foot ceiling with a canopied bed. We felt we had been transported into the past where noblemen and gracious women would arrive in horse-drawn carriages. Gawking is the only word to describe our reaction as we explored the many rooms and hallways. Dreams were easy to come by in such a fascinating place. Skiing was fun and the bonus was returning each night to sleep in our castle, or at least ours for a week.


- Submitted by: Whaletail

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28 years and counting

Mark your calendar for week 29 next year. We're all going on vacation to Hilton Head. We bought a timeshare. Those were the words my mother-in-law said to me 28 years ago. I didn't know when week 29 was, nor did I know what a timeshare was but 28 years later, I have come to appreciate, understand, and anticipate week 29. Over the years, we have met perspective spouses, watched our babies grow, celebrated birthdays and anniversaries, and even shed tears caused by family deaths on that beach at Hilton Head. The proverbial circle of life with week 29 as a backdrop. No matter the severity of the winter weather, sunny week 29 was waiting. No matter the stress of our day-to-day jobs, relaxing week 29 was waiting. No matter the 51 hectic weeks between trips, mellow week 29 was waiting. Last year my mother-in-law could not go to Hilton Head because of cancer, but this year she was back stronger than ever. She was ready to treat everyone, especially her new great granddaughter, to ice cream. What lies ahead? Who knows? But what we do know is that week 29, our timeshare, and the Hilton Head beach will be there to soothe our jangled nerves.


- Submitted by: worldtraveller

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Where in the world am I?

Well, my parents told me we were going on vacation. I got to the airport --that plane was bigger than the world! We got on the plane and took off. Why did they go soooo fast? I wasn't in that big of a hurry! When we got to Cabo , our resort was the best..Swimming pools and slides and a beach just feet away. Where do I start? Well one day I played in the pool all day. Another day we went to pier and I couldn't believe my eyes---there was Captain Hook--my good friend! Then I tried on several sombreros. Why are they so big! Next day I went para sailing--how fun. While at divorce beach I held 6 iguanas. Mom and dad said NO to bringing one home. I spent another day at my resort. What fun.. This is my story thru the eyes of a 4 year old.


- Submitted by: cowboys

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Special cruise

To celebrate our retirement, my wife and I booked a 7-day Alaska cruise and a one week stay at Whistler Vacation Club. It was the first post-retirement trip for two lovebirds who had worked for 35 years and were ready to enjoy life to the fullest. The Alaska cruise was incredible aboard Princess Cruise, the weather was very decent for a late September voyage. We saw incredible scenery, encountered plenty of wildlife and met very interesting people on and off the ship. The week stay in Whistler, just before the 2010 Olympics was out of this world. The accommodation was first class and the scenery in and around Whistler is just unbelievable. What a great week we had from gondola rides, to zip-lining to long walks in the forest (without seeing grizzly bears), everything was perfect. What a perfect, perfect start for our new life journey and we would like to thank RCI for making this once in a lifetime experience a reality. And the best, after 35 years of marriage, we are still together and much in love. I think spending time alone with the love of my life through RCI vacations will ensure many more tremendous experience and keep improving our quality of life.


- Submitted by: Shawi50

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Fire on the Mountain

The first time we exchanged into Massanutten, we were staying in Mountainside Villas over the fourth of July weekend. Now, we are Canadians so it is not our national holiday but July 4th happens to be my daughter's birthday. As we were getting the kids ready for bed, we heard a popping sound and went out to the balcony to see the  most amazing fireworks display from the mountaintop. Just when you thought it was over, there were more spectacular displays. Finally, when the last shower of fireworks erupted, my daughter yawns and sleepily says " I guess they knew it was my birthday..."


- Submitted by: cinnamongirl

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Last Fall my husband and I, just recently retired, took a trip of a lifetime. After the wedding of our son on October 9, in Banff, Canada we set out for Vancouver, where we toured and visited friends. Then off we ventured down the west coast highway. I had booked 7 RCI affiliated resorts from Point Arena, to Palm Springs. From there we set off to Lake Havasu, then to Las Vegas, then Sedona. After that we returned to Lake Havasu and then to Palm Springs. Then we returned to Canada for Christmas. We saw so much beautiful scenery and stayed in some great places. Thanks to our RCI membership we were able to visit so many wonderful places and see so many incredible things. We went to flea markets, climbed mountains, walked on the beach, road through the Redwood forest, did some wine tasting, visited the Living Desert, went on a desert tour in Sedona and gambled in Las Vegas. We put 19,720 km on our vehicle. We have so many great memories.


- Submitted by: raproc

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A first vacation for Mother & Son

My son was a missing child for 15 years. I last saw him at 3 years old. When he was almost 18, I searched through a paid service and found his father. Afraid he would run again, I put an ad in the local newspaper. Days later, he answered the ad. I was finally reunited with my son. A year later we took a vacation. It was the most joyous time. The kid in all of us came out that week. All the things I missed with him growing up, was concentrated in this glorious week in Tahoe. The thrill of watching my child ski for the first time, sledding, the joy on his face doing things together again. It was life changing for both of us to reconnect after all these years in such a spectacular setting as Tahoe. The Ridge was fantastic, rooms were large, quiet, and luxurious. We kept so busy with all the amenities. This week at the Ridge began the journey of healing between a mother and her son! A week neither of us will never forget!


- Submitted by: Dispatcher

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Cabo Cabo Cabo!

Three years ago I had booked a resort for my family in Cancun, Mexico. It was the day after Christmas and we were excited about leaving snowy Salt Lake City, Utah. However, when we arrived at the airport, our plane to Cancun was overbooked so we could not all make the flight. Next to the Cancun flight gate, there was a flight leaving to Cabo San Lucas. They had seats for us! I called RCI from the airport and told them the situation. The customer service rep told me that he could switch us to a resort in Cabo without any additional charges. So all 7 of us flew to Cabo. We took a taxi to the Pueblo Bonito Resort at Sunset Beach. The porters at the resort drove us to our unit via golf carts. The resort is built on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean. We entered our unit and were wowed! It was a 4 bedroom Presidential Suite with the most awesome view of the ocean. On our balcony was our own hot tub. Our family had a tremendous week of fun at this beautiful resort. This resort and its staff were 5 Star. I can only say thank you RCI for helping us to experience family memories together that we will treasure forever!


- Submitted by: alden

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