Monday, December 20, 2010

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like...

I imagine most of you are spending Christmas at home with loved ones all around, and what could be nicer than that? But if you're like me, and let's hope you're not, duty calls and I must hit the road in pursuit of fantastic timeshare destinations. This ambassador business knows no holidays, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I go on vacation for a living for Pete's sake, what would I do with a holiday anyway? Mow my lawn? Me thinks not. No, I've got my wish list narrowed down to a few prime Christmas locations, and I just need to pull the trigger on one of them. Decisions, decisions...

When I think Christmas I automatically think of crotchety old Ebenezer Scrooge and Dickensian London. I am not sure what that says about me, but if you've never been to London at Christmas time you should consider it. First of all, there are very few tourists and you can get to see all of the top tourist sites for reduced prices and without the lines. Take in the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, check out the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, and visit the London Bridge at a leisurely pace. And specifically for the holidays you can visit 48 Doughty Street, where Charles Dickens lived and worked. It is all decked our for Christmas and you can enjoy minced pies and knock back a glass of "Smoking Bishop," Dickens's favorite punch. And don't miss the Christmas Pantomimes. Do you know about these? They are a UK tradition, where actors perform folk classics like "Cinderella" or "Jack and the Beanstalk". But unlike the originals, men play the leading lady roles and vice versa. Little children are played by beefy wrestler types, and adults by children. Good still triumphs over evil in the end, but everything else is upside-down in these hilarious yuletide farces. Basing yourself out of a London timeshare will make your stay all the more festive.

Or how about Christmas "down under"? Sure Christmas isn't the first thing that pops into your mind when you think of Australia but, remember, it is summertime there and the Gold Coast has some of the best surfing beaches in the world. This juxtaposition of time and geography is not lost on the Aussies. Everything is decked out in lights, and carolers abound. Except, instead of scarves and snow boots, bikinis and sunscreen are the appropriate attire. And if surfing is not your thing, great swimming beaches can be found in nearby New South Wales, and there is even a hinterland rainforest in Gold Coast proper. I am not really sure what constitutes a hinterland rainforest, but it sounds way cool. A timeshare rental in Surfers Paradise puts you right in the thick of things.

Sticking with warm climate - but a bit closer to home - why not San Juan, Puerto Rico? The largest city in this U.S. territory, San Juan has strong Catholic traditions dating back to the Spanish colonization. Suffice it to say that they take their Christmas pretty seriously here. The celebrations run from mid-November to mid-January and include largely sacred and joyous observances. Being a Caribbean Island there will of course be fireworks and honking of car horns, but typical activities include singing aguinaldos (Christmas carols), going to Misa de Aguinaldo (midnight mass), and a feast celebrating Nochebuena (Christmas eve). If you stay on through New Year's, you can celebrate El Día de los Tres Reyes Magos (Three King Day) with a huge parade, and someone may even offer/insist you eat twelve grapes for good luck. But remember, they call it Año Viejo, or "Old Year", instead of New Year, which is certainly one way to look at it. Or you could simply kick back on some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. Puerto Rican timeshare rentals are popular destination any time of the year.

Of course I am always a sucker for New York City, as you know. Can you beat The Rockettes at Radio City, The Tree at Rockefeller Center, FAO Schwarz for toy shopping, or a carriage ride around Central Park? The city that never sleeps is in overdrive this time of year, and I can think of no other place like it on earth. Hey, did you know that each Rockette goes through 7 complete wardrobe changes during the Christmas Spectacular, with less than 90 seconds allotted for each? Yeah, it takes over 200 people to pull off each performance of this show. And it is estimated that during the Christmas season each Rockette performs 1200 of their signature "eye-high" kicks per day. Are you kidding me?! Even if I could keep up with that pace, I don't meet their strict height and weight requirements. Oh well, I can always dream. A timeshare rental at The Manhattan Club will put you within steps of all of this, and so much more.

Well I guess I need to make a decision and be on my way. If you've been naughty, and you know who you are, you've got less than a week to make amends. Either way, have a safe and joyous holiday and remember, it's about the giving and not the getting.

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