Expert Advice

How One Family Finds Comfort In The Healing Power Of Travel With Hilton Grand Vacations

Every trip is a chance to relive cherished memories — and make new ones, too

The Vacationeer
Hilton Grand Vacations Owners, vacation selfie, Colorado vacation, Breckenridge.

Time can seem to stand still in the day to day. But when you look back, you realize how quickly it flashes forward. That’s why so many of us spend it making memories with the people we love. It’s also why Glen and Jennifer B. chose Hilton Grand Vacations timeshare. They wanted to take unforgettable family trips and make a lifetime of memories together.

Here’s to you, Jen.

Picturesque aerial view of Orlando's urban sprawl at sunset, Florida.    

Looking Forward To Together Time

Glen and Jennifer’s timeshare journey started in 2014 with a trip to the Sunshine State.

“I had finished my doctorate, my wife was a medical social worker and we felt like things were going well,” Glen began. “We had plans to attend a timeshare presentation in Orlando, and we were invited to stay at Parc Soleil, a Hilton Grand Vacation Club. So we made a Disney trip out of it and took our little girls, too. The oldest was in kindergarten at the time and the youngest was four,” he continued.

“We arrived at the resort, and it was phenomenal. I mean, it was beyond anything we would normally book for ourselves. It was just so nice. We had a balcony where you could see the fireworks from Disney, and we were blown away by everything,” said Glen.

“As we went through the timeshare presentation, I joked with my wife that this was going to be a marriage compromise. I said, ‘There’s no way we’re buying this.’ And she said, ‘This is what I've always wanted.’ So, as marriage compromises go, we bought what she wanted,” Glen recalled with a laugh.

"We felt that timeshare would help us take the kind of family vacations we wouldn’t normally take. And my wife wanted us to travel more — to go places we wouldn't normally go."

— Glen B.

Life Gives You Mountains To Climb

Beautiful aerial image, the Grand Canyon, sunset, Arizona.    

Not long after starting their timeshare journey, Glen and his family received the devastating news that Jennifer had been diagnosed with colon cancer.

“By then our girls were in first grade and third grade,” Glen explained. “Jennifer’s diagnosis started five years of sheer survival. She endured five surgeries, weeks-long hospital stays, chemo sessions, radiation treatments, three clinical trials. We tried everything.”

“At one point along the way, Jennifer said she wanted to go see the Grand Canyon. So we used our points, booked a trip, stayed in Las Vegas and she got to see it.”

“Jennifer also dreamed about going to Colorado,” Glen shared. “She made three different attempts, from childhood through adulthood, but it never worked out. And she so wanted to go.”

“At the time, we were managing medical bills and treatments, but I knew I had to at least look, just to see what was available. And there it was — a week at Valdoro Mountain Lodge, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club in Breckenridge. It was like a miracle!”

"Boom, I booked it! You want to go to Colorado, Jennifer? This is your chance! We're going skiing!"

— Glen B.

“So, we booked her first real experience in Colorado. And it was a classic,” said Glen. “It was the greatest thing ever for her. She absolutely loved it and fell in love with Breckenridge. She also fell on the slopes and ended up in a cast, but she had a ball,” Glen recalled with a smile.

Picturesque aerial image, snow-covered mountain town, snow-capped mountains in distance, sunset set painted sky overhead, Breckenridge, Colorado.    

Jennifer would say, “Let's go back. Let's do this all the time.”

“I remember visiting the resort in Breckenridge for the first time, too,” Glen recalled. “I was like, this is incredible. Do people really live like this? Heated garages, on-site ski rentals, hot tubs, everything you could possibly want. And for Jennifer, the Colorado mountains were everything she dreamed they would be.”

The Heart Of The Story

“Our timeshare membership allowed Jennifer to see the Grand Canyon, even when we were struggling with medical bills. It allowed her to go to Colorado and ski. It allowed her to go back to the mountains in the summertime. In fact, I have a cute picture of her on the river in downtown Breckenridge. It became her spot.”

But she didn’t get the chance to go everywhere on her list.

On March 11, 2020, Jennifer passed away — three days before the pandemic shut the world down.

Hilton Grand Vacations Owner, sitting by fireplace, Colorado vacation, Valdoro Mountain Lodge, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club, Breckenridge, Colorado.    

“In that moment, we were so isolated,” Glen shared. “My girls didn’t get to say goodbye at a funeral, surrounded by family. There was nothing. So we decided that we needed a road trip, and we drove up to Mom’s favorite place to go hiking. It was our only real reprieve after she passed.”

"I remember going down to her favorite spot on the river, and I found the rock where she was sitting. I had to take a picture of that. It was a really healing experience for us."

— Glen B.

After losing Jennifer, Glen and his girls talked about ways they could continue to feel close to her and celebrate her memory.

“My wife and I honeymooned at a Hilton property in Hawaii before we became Members,” Glen explained. “So, on the first anniversary of her passing, my daughters and I went to Hilton Hawaiian Village on Oahu. Then, we did it again this summer. We're using the timeshare like Jennifer wanted, and we’re going to all the places.”

"This is what she wanted, so we're going to do it. We're going to see all the places she dreamed of. We'll go to Hawaii every other year. We’ll go back to Breckenridge. We’ll do it all."

— Glen B.
Hilton Grand Vacations Owners posing, Hawaii vacation, Hilton Hawaiian Village®, Honolulu, Hawaii.    

Sometimes, You Need A Bear Hug

Through all of this, Glen had a solo-parenting moment before Jen passed where he found himself at a Build-A-Bear Workshop with his kids.

“While I was there, I made my wife a bear,” he explained. “She was a hippie, so I made this blue bear with peace signs on it, and we called him Peace Bear. She took him with her to all the treatments and hospitals. He was always next to her in bed.”

After Jen passed, Glen discovered that his daughter was also keeping Peace Bear close by for comfort. In fact, he and his girls decided to take another family trip to Breckenridge and Peace Bear came along for the journey.

“The girls wanted to go back there, hike those hikes and see those slopes,” Glen shared. But after the adventure and on their way to the airport, Glen’s daughters proclaimed, “Oh no, we forgot Peace Bear! We think he's under the sheets at the hotel!”

Stuffed bear, neatly made bed, Valdoro Mountain Lodge, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club, Breckenridge, Colorado.    

“They were heartbroken,” said Glen. “They had Peace Bear to remind them of their mom and now he was lost.”

On a mission to save Peace Bear, Glen called the resort to see if anyone had found the lost bear, and to his delight, the answer was yes.

Glen explained, “I was going back to Colorado in a few weeks for work, so the team at the resort assured me they’d look after Peace Bear until I returned. They even offered to ship the bear home, but I couldn’t risk it. I had to come get him myself.”

“The resort team was so excited when I finally arrived,” he continued. “Everyone knew the story and they were so kind. It felt like Peace Bear had won a place in their hearts, too. It was all just so cool.”

Vacation Memories Are A Gift 

"This is Jen’s gift to us."

— Glen B.

“This was all her idea,” Glen went on to share. “Before becoming Hilton Grand Vacations Members, we would go on typical beach trips with our family or go visit friends. But Jennifer wanted us to buy timeshare. She would say, ‘I really want to do this. Otherwise, we won’t go to New York. We won’t go to Hawaii. We won’t go on big trips. But now we will.’”

Hilton Grand Vacations Owner, family selfie, Colorado vacation, Breckenridge.    

As Glen explained, “Every trip has been healing. Even during her illness, we still made family memories together. And now, part of every trip is going to be a mom trip.”

There’s no doubt that Colorado will continue to top the list for Glen and his girls when planning future getaways. But the trio also wants to visit the Caribbean and Los Cabos, Mexico.

Wherever they choose to go next, one thing is certain — Jennifer will be in their hearts and Peace Bear will be by their side.


For more stories, read “Owner Spotlight: How Travel Impacted One Family After A Major Life Change” to see how the benefits of timeshare help keep the Willis family connected. 

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The Vacationeer

The Vacationeer is a collective of Hilton Grand Vacations storytellers whose goal is to inspire travelers to go further. We're always on the lookout for new destinations to explore, useful travel tips, and unique ideas to help you plan the most memorable vacations possible.

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