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Mama Deb
mamadeb
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Mama Deb [userpic]
Pesach Villas

I stopped into a kosher pizza place for a bite to eat before Pa-kua yesterday. While I was there, I picked up a flyer for Pesach Villas in Orlando.



A bit of an explanation for them as needs it: cleaning and cooking for Passover is a huge endeavor, sometimes more than can be done. One way to avoid it is to sell your house (it's a real sale and transfer of ownership, but it reverts back to you after the holiday)and go away to a Pesach hotel, which will also provide the seders and all meals. These are often in resorts or resort locations, and are, in effect, the vacation for the year. At least one, which takes place in the former Lunacon hotel (known familiarly as the Escher Hilton), is advertised as close enough to NYC that people can go to work, taking with them the box lunches provided by the hotel. The resort types will also provide lunches for those who go off premises (as well as three meals a day, snacks and 24 hour tea-rooms). They also provide entertainment, religious classes and age-appropriate programming for the kids.

None of these come cheap, btw. They're all in 4 figures to *start*, and may not include travel expenses. However, some people need this and many enjoy it, and there are some for whom this is how you spend Pesach.

Normally, of course, it's a hotel thing. You get however many rooms you need to cram with your family, you eat in the dining room or tea-room, there are set hours (usually seperate for men and women) for the swimming pool, and even if you have private sederim (a room set aside for just your family so that there isn't the cacaphony of conflicting customs or because you think it's nicer), all other meals are communal.

The villas, which is written in laughable English, is something else. You get a little *house* all your own, with a garage, possibly a screened-in private pool (so you make your own hours and modesty is preserved), three-five bedrooms and a fully stocked kitchen. And you get all your meals *anyway*, and someone to serve them. Pay extra, and you get maid service. Pay even more extra, and you get a private "butler" to serve your food. Pay more, and you get kids programming. The coolest bit is that you get to keep all the utensils and small appliances they provide (in fact, I assume it's more like "PLEASE TAKE THEM!", since they can't be sure how careful you'll be with milk and meat - the food provided will all be pesadich.)

And they talk about how lovely it would be to be when "your house is your FORT". You get to use all your own minhagim, and your own timing, and your own dress code. When a kid gets tired, you can put him to bed in his own room, not on chairs. And it's completely private except for the person serving your food. You know. Just as if you were at home...

And I understand why people want to go away. These villas, for example, are in Orlando, so there's Disney World right there. Or it's the best way to be with the whole family, or there are problems about either having seder guests or being them. And, you know. For a mother, especially one who has a large family or who works outside the home, or both, sitting back and letting someone else do the cooking and serving would be a true vacation, unlike, say, the summers in the bungalow colonies.

Me, I love making the s'dorim, and I have regular guests to mine. And this year, since I now have cleaning help, getting the apartment ready will be relatively easy. And I realized something. I could hire a crew to clean my house and prepare my kitchen for Passover for less that 1/10 the price of a Pesach hotel, and I could even get the seders catered if I wanted to - places in Flatbush certainly offer that service.

It would not be a vacation. It would not be a chance to travel to someplace exotic or fun. Nor would there be the family around me, except the ones who come to my seders. I'd still have to cook all the other meals. And I wouldn't be coming back with a trunkful of utensils and small appliances.

But it would be cheaper. No, I'm not doing it, but it's there for future reference.

And we'd be our own Bal-a-boss, as the flyer said.

Comments



I used to go to hotels for Pesach when I was single and living with my parents. One year I was a counselor in a kids' program, but for most, I used to help out a blind man at the hotel of his choice. It was nice, but I thank G-d that I now have my own kosher home.

THe Pesach Villas sounds like it would be part of KosherLand, the Jewish Theme Park.

Seriously, I know what they're talking about from reading about it - but it seems like overkill. I am so far removed from the whole catered-maided-butled lifestyle that it might as well be on another planet.

My MIL sometimes has her holidays catered, but she's almost 70 years old and has crippling arthritis and still wants to host 40 people at her home.

I think that hiring a service to come in and clean? Especially since I assume those providing the service are rabinically approved in some way?

Could be a brilliant use of funds.

You would still be left with pleanty of work- switching out dishes, doing the cooking, but the amount of life making easier?

Might be a nice thing to try one year.

I think that hiring a service to come in and clean? Especially since I assume those providing the service are rabinically approved in some way?

Could be a brilliant use of funds.

You would still be left with pleanty of work- switching out dishes, doing the cooking, but the amount of life making easier?

Might be a nice thing to try one year.

I never, never, thought I'd want to go away for Pesach. I love Pesach cleaning. I love Pesach cooking. I love Pesach food! (I eat a LOT of fruits and vegetables for Pesach... I start out by purchasing a case of avocados!)

I'm not sure what made me want to go away this year, but the thing that made me decide that I really did want to do it was that we'll be going with the Felds. All of them. And the Pearlmans (and a couple Bursteins for good measure), too! Neither Seth nor I have families that we can (or even want to) spend the holidays with. But we love the Feld/Pearlman clan!They are just like family, only better! I suspect we won't make a habit of going away for Pesach, but I'm excited to do it this once.

I hate the Pesach cleaning, but then I hate cleaning. I enjoy the challenge of Pesach cooking, though.

I've never been to a hotel Pesach, so I have no idea how they would be - but, yeah. Given how well I know those families, it would have to be a blast.

I like having my own seders. We go to Jonathan's family for Passover and tension for two day yom tovs, and I look forward to the three-day ones.

(Anonymous)
flatbush

I could even get the seders catered if I wanted to - places in Flatbush certainly offer that service.

hi, this is ziviya from the LMB list. i didn't know you live in flatbush! me too!

eh, mind if i ask whereabouts?

ziviya, astonished to find a lmb listie near on hand :)

Re: flatbush

I don't want to be too specific in public.

So. Around Ave M and Coney Island Avenue.

(Anonymous)
Re: flatbush

and i'm near ave j & coney isle, aka 'pizza central' :)

i'll be lurking in your journal for a while, most likely. one day i'll get a journal too, maybe. does the care and feeding of lj take up a lot of time?

ziviya, curious

One way to avoid it is to sell your house (it's a real sale and transfer of ownership, but it reverts back to you after the holiday)

Technical correction: it doesn't automatically revert back to you, you buy it back. That's why it's a real sale, not some kind of gimmick. If the buyer wants to keep all or part of the chametz and not sell it back, that's fine with you - he's paying market price, so you can just go out and buy more. Or not, as you choose.

And you don't sell the house itself, just all the chametz that it contains, and you let (or sublet) the house. Or, in the case where you're not going away, just the rooms or cupboards where the sold chametz is stored.