Going offline, on vacation, at the Split Rock Resort in the Poconos of Pennsyltucky

Earlier this month, we went on a family vacation, staying at the Split Rock Resort up in Lake Harmony, PA, in one of their Westwood Villas through an RCI timeshare swap. The accomodations were adequate — two bedrooms each with their own queen sized beds, a reasonably sized kitchen and living area with a TV with a combo VHS/DVD player. The Split Rock Resort, itself, actually does a good job at offering activities that really young children can enjoy, such as affordable mini-golf, a lakeside beach, an indoor pool, bowling lanes and a movie theater. At the end of the week when we were there, they were showing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which we took the girls to see, so that was lucky.

Overall, it was a good vacation in Pennsyltucky which, for our family, is unusual since the last four of five times we’ve tried to vacation there, we’ve had nothing but bad luck. I mean, we’d experienced things such as horrible illness that sets in after we arrive like explosive diarrhea, or our older daughter experiencing night terrors for the first time on the night we arrived, which prompted us to just pack up and leave that same night, or finding out that the resort’s indoor pool was closed for maintenance, leaving us very little to do in the off-season. Of course, people try to tell me that “it has nothing to do with Pennsylvania,” but we’ve vacationed in New Hampshire, Virginia and Massachusetts and we’ve only had these experiences when we go to Pennsylvania. So, yes, correlation is not causation, but when does it stop being mere coincidence?

What surprised me the most about this trip was that even today, in 2005, the best network connection I could get was dial-up. Yes, I do realize this is still Pennsyltucky after all, but I was naively hoping that the Poconos, being as close to New Jersey as it is, might have finally caught up with the times. I was hoping for some form of broadband connection, either wired Ethernet jack somewhere in the Villa, or at best, some Wi-Fi. I would have been glad to settle for having to sit my laptop down in some cheesy office in the main building in order to get connectivity, but it seems even that was too high-tech. Hell, when I asked the front desk about my inability to find some form of broadband connectivity, the person looked back at me as though I was an alien from another planet, speaking a language they didn’t understand. The notion of anything other than dial-up was completely foreign to these people. Come on, folks, it’s time to retire the buggy whip, already.

I guess the one comforting thing about this is that it’s exactly places like good old Lake Harmony, PA, completely oblivious of anything other than dial-up Internet access, that will keep companies like AOL in business for many years to come as long as they continue to offer some reasonable form of narrowband product.


  1. Patrick asked over at my LJ:

    So, was Westwood at Split Rock clean? I just scheduled two units there in August ’06. As I’m cruising the web I’m finding some bad reviews of the place. Disgruntaled ex-employees, people saying it’s filthy.

    My response was:

    The unit was “clean enough” to stay in, but when we first arrived it had a funky smell — nothing that a few scented candles couldn’t fix.

    However, the RCI directory lists the resort as a “RCI Hospitality” resort which according to their FAQ states:

    The Hospitality Award is a newly created award, which is given to resorts that have consistently achieved high remarks in the areas of check-in/check-out and hospitality by RCI members.

    Maybe folks who’ve stayed there just have low expectations. I’m somewhat of a timeshare snob — once you’ve been to a place like The Owner’s Club at the Homestead (#3899), it’s hard to find another resort that can compare.

  2. Hello from the Pocono’s ppl.LOL!I read your letter about Split Rock.Let me fill ya in a lil.I know you stayed @ the Villa’s which are under renovations currently,not only the inside the outside.Unaware that you were not as Happy as we would like you to be,we the front desk would move you to a reno unit or better yet our Brand new Blds that are beautiful.We have 510 rooms,we have more amenties than any other Resort in the area.We will have 800 rooms by the time we are done blds.And a Giant water park to boot.WE at the front desk are proud of our Resort and we want nothing more than anything to have the family’s come back everyyear.We are the family resort of the ponono’s.And we hope you come back again and let us know of any problems you might have we are there to help you.I could go on for hrs about the resort but you got the jest of it I hope.Take care Donna

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