As a continuation to my July 4th post, about a glorious day in Rio at the JW Marriott during the World Cup Soccer Match, a trip we made just when our oldest son left to study at MIT and my younger son went to a summer music program, when we came back home we received news that would change our lives forever - a change in which the Marriott Rewards program would play a central part.
I know parents have to be accepting of a child turned 18 heading off to college, but while our 16-year old was at a music program in North Carolina, he was recruited to the New England Conservatory pre-college program in Boston with high school studies specialized music boarding school. We never, ever thought about sending off our youngest until he graduated high school, but he was set on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as he wants to be a classical musician.
Suddenly, my wife and I were faced with the stark reality of becoming empty nesters, not just for a summer, but for a lifetime. We thought about relocating, but even with their respective scholarships, the costs were still going to be really high, and neither of us was in a position to put our jobs on the line. We were going to have to say good-bye to our babies, seeing them just on holidays when possible.
Fortunately, having been a loyal Marriotteer for years, with JWs, Courtyards, and Renaissances being 2nd, 3rd and 4th homes, there was a solution in sight, to help all of us - my wife, my kids and myself, through this transition. If you stay for 4 nights using points at any Marriott property, you get the 5th night free. So, we will spend the end of August and beginning of September shuttling between the Courtyard Natick and the Boston Courtyard Cambridge properties, and then once again for a couple weeks in October during the family long-weekend events. I truly cannot imagine what we would do if we did not have this option of staying at Marriotts, because it is impossible to get short-term leases, and corporate apartment rentals in the Boston area are prohibitively expensive.
So while the time will be fleeting, it is basic, it is necessary, for all of our well-being, to be together as much as possible during this transition, and are so grateful that Marriott program exists! I'll let you know how it goes by the end of August as the saga continues...