Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Growing Pains...(Or...Our family keeps growing, and the Southern California Beach Club doesn't like it...)

Okay, so I always warn you when I go off on a rant--so there...you've been warned.  Todd comes from a large family, with 9 children.  Since I've joined this family almost 19 years ago, we've loved going on vacations together.  Oceanside has always been one of those vacations.  Todd's parents bought a timeshare here, at Southern California Beach Club, more than 20 years ago.  They've been coming here as a family since then.  At first, they only owned a 1 bedroom unit--which they would cram with people--sometimes 10 or more, depending on who could come, during the week.  My first time at this resort, Todd and I slept out on the balcony, in sleeping bags, on an air mattress.  There were bodies from wall to wall--and you know what?  We had a blast!  It's a great little resort, right on the beach, and the management has always been so kind and accomodating, even though we had a large group of teenagers and newly marrieds.  Some years later, when we had 3 or 4 of the kids married, Todd's parents bought a second unit here, to accomodate our growing group.  We would bring our little kids, and share rooms, with 2 or 3 couples sharing rooms.  Fast forward now, 12 or more years.  Todd and I own a room, his sister Katie owns a room, his brother Greg owns a room, , Todd's parents own 3 more rooms within the resort--making a total of 6 timeshare properties in this one little resort.  It has been the highlight of my kids summer every year for MANY years, to come here to spend time on the beach and to have fun with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.  Until now.

You see, we have a problem.  We have all followed in Todd's parent's footsteps, and we all have large families.  Granted, none of us have 9 children--most of us have 5 or 6, but in the eyes of people around us--we are pretty much NUTS.  This year, the management decides to tell us that they are going to start enforcing occupancy rules at the resort.  Every resort has occupancy rules--we have stayed at many of them.  Not every resort enforces these rules.  In fact, since we have a large family, and we have stayed at several resorts around the country, (it's why I prefer timeshare resorts to hotel rooms--bigger rooms) I have yet to find one that enforces them.  But the management informed us this week that since Todd and I have 8 people in our room, we need to either buy a 2 bedroom unit--(which makes no sense, since the occupancy for the 2 bedroom is 6, one bedroom is 4), or another 1 bedroom unit at the resort.  When I asked if they were going to enforce this policy across the board, for every room, every week--the lady said YES.  But I don't think they are planning on doing that at all.  I think they are singling our family out because we all have too many kids, and we all are here the same week--which for some reason creates a problem for this manager.  Nevermind that we have been staying at this resort for 20 years, and no one has said ONE THING about occupancy rules, we were forced to get another room for the week--and put our teenagers in it, in order to keep management off our back.  Can I just tell you how disappointed I am that they have thrown such a fit about things this week? (And our week just started yesterday). Our family has spent a ton of $$ on timeshare property in this resort.  If we could just pack up and find another place, we would.  But we LOVE this property.  We have made memories here over the last 20 years that can't be replaced. Emie took her first steps here at this resort. We have our routines, we have our little traditions, and our family has so much fun here--and planned on another 20 years of fun.  It is so frustrating that management can't appreciate that?  I'm not saying that we are angels, and that our kids are perfect in every way--there are a lot of kids here this week.  But I can say this.  We don't smoke or drink, we don't stay up late, we don't have loud teenage parties, or loud music, our kids are rarely in the hotel, because we stay down at the beach every day from morning until late afternoon, and they are so exhausted, they usually fall into bed early as well. 

But here's the thing.  This society that we live in is becoming increasingly intolerant of large families and children. Grumpy old people call the front desk because they hear footsteps of a little child, who can't help but to run, he's so excited to get down to the beach, or the crying of an infant who has been at the beach too long, and is exhausted. (If I ever get to the point where I cringe at the sound of a joyful child--I need to be put in a home, heavens sake). My four year old, (who thinks he's Spiderman), sometimes JUMPS off the couch or the bed--which I'm sure makes a loud thump for the people below us, so they call to complain.  People have no tolerance for others around them.  Yes, I understand that you came here for a nice, relaxing vacation.  But can you also understand that we did too?  Can you understand that every child RUNS when they are excited.  And no matter how many times I tell them "QUIET FEET!", they just can't help themselves?  It's part of being a KID for crying out loud!  Should we just expect our children to act like little adults--lest we ruin YOUR vacation?  Do I really need to constantly be on edge about every sound my children make?  Or are YOU ruining MY vacation by being intolerant of a little noise and commotion that is perfectly acceptable during day hours at what is supposed to be a family resort? We truly do try to contain our children, and their excitement, but honestly, I'm tired of worrying about every peep that comes out of their mouth.  I don't complain about the cigarrette smoke that comes over into my balcony while I'm outside enjoying the beach--even though this is a non smoking resort.  I don't complain about the people in the room below us last year--15 Tongans, who were smoking weed and getting high at all hours of the night and early morning.  I don't complain about the guy in the room downstairs who yelled at my child for running, instead of talking politely to me, the parent, about it.  You know why?  Because I try to be a tolerant person. I am not perfect, and neither are my children, so I don't expect you to be perfect either.  I just want to have a nice vacation--and make memories with my family.  I'm just like you--only I have 6 crazy kids. So shoot me.

So I guess what I'm trying to say, is...if you're looking for a family friendly resort, where you can take your children to have a great time at the beach--that used to be the Southern California Beach Club, in Oceanside.  Now, I'm not so sure--which makes me really, really sad. Despite that--I'm going to stop ranting, stop worrying, and have a nice vacation--and if management, and the people around us don't like it--oh well.  I came here to have FUN--and that's what we're going to do!

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