Monday, August 29, 2016

Resort Review - Couples Tower Isle, Ocho Rios Jamaica

Resort Review - Couples Tower Isle, Ocho Rios Jamaica

Last month I had the opportunity to visit one of my top honeymoon resorts in Jamaica. I have always loved the Couples Resorts chain and this visit reminded me why.

From the moment I stepped into the lobby I felt life's stresses melt away. The bellman, Byron, was welcoming and friendly with a smile that never stopped. The front desk staff checked me in quickly and efficiently and was soon escorted to a beautiful room with an incredible ocean view.

The room was bright and simple with a large balcony and typical amenities. What was not typical was the mini bar. This was no "mini" set up. Couples resorts offers full sized bottles of liquors and wine with options to customize based on each guest's preference. Best of all, this is included in the all-inclusive price!

The Food
Couples Tower Isle offers six unique restaurants with delicious food! There will be more about that in the next blog post (written by a special guest blogger). I will mention now that vegetarians need not worry. The buffet always had vegetarian choices in addition to a wonderful salad bar and soup options. The pool grill that is open late night and offers a very tasty veggie burger and the Veggie Bar offers healthy vegetarian food (and food for omnivores) plus smoothies and juices.

The Inclusions
Perhaps the best thing about Couples Resorts is that everything is included. More so than most other all-inclusive resorts. Everything from non-motorized water sports, entertainment, food, drinks, gratuities and even off-property excursions. You can go on a Catamaran Cruise (so much fun!), visit Dunn's River Falls, take a shopping shuttle, shuttle to Margaritaville, glassbottom boat ride and go snorkeling or SCUBA. This is all part of the all-inclusive package!

The Beach
The beach here is much smaller than Couples Negril or Couples Swept Away but it was clean, and has swimmable water. The resort itself is small, so having a small beach was never a problem. There were always some available chairs.

The Pools
The main pool has a quiet atmosphere and waterfall. Perfect for lounging and relaxing. The swim up bar pool has a much more lively atmosphere. If you want to listen to upbeat music, play games and socialize this is the place!

Every night there is something going on at Couples Tower Isle. I loved the martini night on the roof, sing-a-long at the piano bar and live music at the pool and beach.

This is a fantastic resort for romance where you can do everything or do nothing. For booking information visit

Thursday, May 12, 2016

10 Ways to Stay Fit While Traveling

My last few trips I came back with my clothes fitting quite tight, so I  decided that before my next vacation I should have a game plan to help me stay on track.

For a lot of people a vacation is a once-a-year escape and they can choose to indulge completely. I think that is great!  However, for people like me who travel several times throughout the year, complete indulgence is not always possible. 

I asked a friend of mine and personal trainer,  Amy Lillie, for some tips on staying in shape while traveling and here is what she said:

1. Opt for Stairs
 What a great calorie-burner! At the airport, hotel, mall or museum take the stairs whenever possible.

2. Sight-See in Walking Shoes Instead of Taxis
There’s often no better way to take in the joys, scents, and surprises of the cultures you’re visiting than on foot.

3. Play with the Kids
Go ahead, relax and sunbathe a little, but make sure you have some calorie-burning fun with the kids, too. Play “Marco Polo” in the pool, pick up sea shells on the sea shore or go bike riding. Chances are, you’ll have as much fun (maybe even more!) as the little ones.

4. Plan Movement Opportunities Into Every Day
After lunch, take off for aerobic adventures. Go for a nice long walk along the park or shore. Ask your hotel’s concierge for walking maps of the area. If you’re in unfamiliar territory, your concierge should also be able to point out safe, crime-free pedestrian routes.

5. Turn Airline Terminals Into Walking Tracks
Instead of just sitting, take the opportunity to burn some calories! Listen to you favorite music and take walk up and down the terminal. Every step counts!  With just 15 minutes of brisk walking, you can burn 100 or more calories. Walking will also keep you from getting bored and mindlessly munching.

6. Book for Fitness
When booking hotels, choose only those with fitness centers and/or guest passes to nearby gyms. If you can roll out of bed and roll into a gym minutes later, you’ll have given yourself the best insurance that you’ll fit fitness into each day. Plus, working out every morning will increase your motivation to eat more healthfully throughout the day.

7. Don't Overindulge at Every Meal
Don't deprive yourself, use moderation when you indulge in your favorite splurge foods. For example, have a bite or two of your favorite dessert, but don't eat the whole slice. If you know that you'll be having dinner at a restaurant you've been dying to try, then eat lighter throughout the day so you have some calories to spare. Apply the 80/20 rule: Make 20 percent of your daily calories the treat food of your choice, then try to stick to your healthy diet as best you can for the other 80 percent. Think of your calories as an allowance: Save on calories where you can, and spend them on things that are really worth it.

8. Don't Drink Up Your Calories
Ordering a poolside frozen margarita can blow a good portion of your calorie count for the day — just one contains a whooping 700 calories! Sure, you're on vacation and want to unwind with a couple of drinks, just make a healthier choice when it comes to alcohol too. Instead of sugar-laden cocktails, choose lower-calorie drinks like a white-wine spritzer, light beer, red or white wine, flavored vodka with club soda, or tequila on the rocks with lime.

9. Aim for Fitness-Maintenance
While vacationing, you may not have as much time as you do at home for your regular workout, but that’s okay. Always remember that doing something is a whole lot better than doing nothing at all! Shoot for at least 50% of your normal routine.

10. Savor the Rewards
Each day as you wake, anticipating the wonderful things you’ll be doing, the sights you’ll be seeing, remind yourself how great it feels to be fit and healthy!

For more travel tips visit or

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Top Honeymoon Destinations of 2016

I'm often asked by clients what the "hottest" destinations are for honeymoons each year. The truth is, I can't recommend the perfect destination to anyone without first learning about their interests, budget and travel style. It's important to work with you travel agent on finding what works best for YOU. I can however, provide you with some great ideas to get started based on current trends, pricing, flight options and available activities. 

Here is my list of the top five honeymoon destinations of 2016.

1. Cuba
We have all been hearing about travel to Cuba lately. There have been some great advances in American's ability to travel there, including several new flight options. While there are still restrictions it is certainly a hot destination this year. In fact, you should book as soon as possible since hotels are filling up fast! 

Cuba is a great option for couples looking for something new and exciting. Your honeymoon will be full of cultural activities and friendly locals. Keep in mind that with the current travel restrictions you won't be "at your leisure." To visit Cuba you will still need to follow guidelines which require a structured itinerary. 

2. Italy
With cities like Venice, Rome, Florence and Tuscany it's easy to see why so many couples want to make Italy their honeymoon destination. Food and wine tours are big this year, as well as visits to historical sites and private tours of museums and vineyards. For the couple that wants to see it all, there are fantastic 10-14 day tours which take you through multiple cities and to all of the top attractions. Pair that with an English speaking guide and most meals included and you have a worry-free and inclusive experience. 

3. Australia 
The strength of the Australian dollar continues to fall, which is good for US travelers. Your money will go further there this year which could allow you to experience more of what this great continent offers. From romantic nature experiences, lively cities with art and fine dining to some of the best beaches and snorkeling in the world, Australia has something for everyone. 

4. Iceland
Iceland offers some incredible scenery, natural wonders and Reykjavik is a city full of culture, street art, museums and music. Can you think of anything more romantic than viewing the northern lights with your new spouse? Iceland is a great place to view them. Stay at a place such as the Ion Hotel and you will be in honeymoon bliss! Iceland Air has some amazing rates if your dates are flexible. 

5. The Caribbean & Mexico
These destinations are always a honeymoon favorite for several reasons. They offer all-inclusive resorts, which offer a great value and convenience. They also offer a close proximity to the US (many with non-stop flights), beautiful beaches, tropical weather, soft adventure and plenty of water activities. Many resorts are adults-only or offer an adults-only section, which can be ideal for romance. There are many options to choose from including budget-friendly resorts, 5-star luxury properties and everything in between. 

Talk to your travel agent about what's important to you.  Your honeymoon should be a memorable and magical experience!

Don't have a travel agent? visit . We specialize in honeymoons and destination weddings.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Tour Review - Xenotes Tour Cancun Mexico

I first experienced a cenote last June when I stayed at Sandos Caracol in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. The resort conveniently has one of these natural sink holes on site and allows guests to swim and explore it. I found it intriguing and refreshing and when I returned to Mexico in September I decided to check out some more of the Yucatan cenotes.

A cenote is a natural pit, or sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath. There are several different types of cenotes. I was able to experience an open cenote, cave cenote and semi open cenote on this tour.

The Xenotes Tour bus arrived at my hotel right on time at 9:00 am. The driver, and our tour guide, Ismael, came out to greet me and my traveling companion. He was friendly and enthusiastic and I could tell that this would be a fun experience.

There were already a few people in the bus and we headed out to pick up a few more. In total we had about 15 people in our group. Ismael named us "The Iguanas" and gave us a quick overview of the day ahead in both English and Spanish.

The bus was air-conditioned and comfortable, until the "Mayan Massage" began. It sounds delightful, but is actually what our guide called the constant and intense bumps we experienced on the back roads that led to the cenotes.  Anyone with back problems or issues with a very rough and bumpy ride would find this quite unpleasant.

As we approached the first cenote, K'áak´, I saw a zip line that ran across. I immediately got excited and wanted to get in. Ismael, and our photographer, Jamie, took us to a shelter area with restrooms, showers and some picnic tables. Its important not to disturb the natural waters so we were all instructed to shower in order to remove any bug sprays, sunscreens, soaps and shampoo residue before getting in.

Next we grabbed our life jackets and formed a circle. It was time to ask the Alux for permission to enter the sacred waters. Once our chant was finished we lined up and took turns zip lining and dropping into the green water of this open cenote. The water was cool and refreshing and after the initial jump I allowed myself to just float quietly and take in my surroundings.

When we got out of the water we were treated to coffee, teas, fruit and snacks before heading to our next stop, the cave cenote guarded by Lu'um. This was bar far the most enchanting. When we arrived we were fitted with our rappelling gear, which included a harness and helmet before climbing up a steep set of stairs to a wooden platform built around the trees.

We were attached to our ropes and led down into the cave. The water here was the coldest. It was also the most beautiful. The water was a deep blue and there was a small amount of sunlight that shone in through the top. To my delight there were bats all over the walls, and there were tree roots that extended from the opening of the cenote all the way down into the water. It was incredible to be immersed in something so natural.

The next cenote was open and river-like. We all got into kayaks and floated down the water, surrounded by high rock formations. It was calm and peaceful. We followed that with snorkeling in another section of the cenote. There's not much to see in the water, but it was still a fun experience.

Lunch was great. As a vegetarian I was a little limited, but there was salad, a vegetable mix, bread and cheese. There was also lunch meat, soup and pasta salad. Wine and beer was provided, along with bottled water.

The final cenote was Lik, the wind cenote. This had two different options for zip lining. You could hang from a bar or use the sling. There was also a fantastic cliff that we were able to jump from into the water (That was my favorite).

This was an incredible introduction to several different types of cenotes in Mexico. I highly recommend the company, Xenotes Oasis Maya. The tour guides were professional and entertaining and I felt completely safe the entire time.

Interested in booking this tour? Visit for more information.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Cruising with Autism

Taking vacations with children or adults who have special needs can be very  difficult to plan and execute. Between crowds, long wait times, over stimulation and an unfamiliar environment vacations can be a scary and stressful situation for some.

Many companies have started to better accommodate families with special needs. Today I wanted to focus on Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and their Autism Certification. Below you will find some FAQ.

What is Autism Friendly Certification? 
Autism Friendly Certification is awarded by Autism on the Seas TM to cruise lines for their efforts to ensure their products and services are accessible for inclusion and participation by the autism and developmental disability. Royal Caribbean’s fleet has achieved Silver Level Autism Friendly Certification.
What does Autism Friendly Certification include? 
Autism Friendly Certification includes achievement in up to seven areas, such as cruise line staff training, youth program services, pre-vacation planning and services, dining and dietary needs, disability accommodations, guest satisfaction and feedback, and support for “autism group cruises with staff.” There are four levels of certification, each progressing with increased levels of staff training.
What does Bronze Level Certification include?
Bronze Level Certification confirms the ship’s readiness to accommodate guests with autism and other development disabilities to provide equal access to onboard services and amenities. Features vary by ship.
What does Silver, Gold and Diamond Level certification include? 
Silver, Gold and Diamond Levels focus on increased staff training. Silver Level ensures that all Youth Staff have received basic awareness training in autism and other developmental disabilities. Gold Level ensures that all Youth Staff have received advanced training, and we provide other shipboard staff with basic awareness training. Diamond Level ensures that we provide “hands-on” training for our Youth Staff.
How does Autism Friendly Certification impact families with autism?
Families living with autism sailing on Royal Caribbean’s Autism Friendly Certified ships can be confident that Royal Caribbean has autism friendly products and services that will help accommodate family members with autism.


What do you offer for families living with autism?
We currently provide a range of autism friendly products and services, and they include: • Priority check-in, boarding and departure • Special dietary accommodations including gluten-free • Adventure Ocean flexible grouping by ability for children 3 to 11 years old • Adventure Ocean toilet-trained policy exception • Pagers/Phones for parents of children in Adventure Ocean program while signed into our care (subject to availability)
What’s changing in terms of what you offer families living with autism?
We have added new Autism Friendly features such as: • Autism Friendly Films • Autism Friendly Toy Lending • Autism Friendly Activities • Cruising Social Story
What are Autism Friendly Films?
Autism Friendly Films are presented in a low-lit and low volume environment. Guests are encouraged to freely talk and walk around during the film. These films will be offered on all autism group cruises and cruises when there are at least five children with autism onboard. Dates and times will be highlighted in the Cruise Compass.
What is Autism Friendly Toy Lending?
Autism Friendly Toy Lending is available in our Adventure Ocean Youth Program on all ships. Upon request we will provide a tote bag of autism friendly toys that may be used in Adventure Ocean or in their stateroom. Parents may select other autism friendly toys that are more appropriate for their child. Examples of Autism Friendly Toys include: non-toxic crayons, markers, water colors, building blocks, dominoes, and picture books.
What are Autism Friendly Activities?
We offer activities in for children of all abilities. Families are encouraged to consult with Adventure Ocean staff regarding any special needs that their children may have in order to identify which activities are appropriate for their child and any possible modifications.
What is a Social Story?
A Social Story is a written or visual guide describing various social interactions, situations, behaviors, skills or concepts. These Social Stories help individuals with autism to better cope with social situations. Royal Caribbean offers a Cruising Social Story about cruising to help families with autism prepare for their cruise vacation. To get our Cruising Social Story, please go to our website at
What do you offer for teens with autism?
• Expedited check-in, boarding and departure • Special dietary accommodations including gluten-free • Autism Friendly Toy Lending • Autism Friendly Films • Social Story • Our Teen Program with teen-only hangouts and activities. Please note while some activities are hosted, they do not provide supervision or one on one attention. (Adults are not permitted in Teen spaces.)
What do you offer for adults with autism?
• Expedited check-in, boarding and departure • Special dietary accommodations including gluten-free • Autism Friendly Toy Lending • Autism Friendly Films • Social Story • Our Cruise Activities Program. Please note while some activities are hosted, they do not provide supervision or one on one attention (Adults are not permitted in Teen or Adventure Ocean spaces.)


What if my family member has difficulty waiting in line?
Please notify one of our pier or shipboard staff members for assistance. Please let us know you have a family member with autism and he or she is unable to wait in line. We’ll do our best to assist you. What if my family member has a special dietary need?
We offer gluten free and casein (dairy) free options as well as accommodate other special dietary needs. Gluten free options are listed on our main dining room menus. Check with your Head Waiter for assistance with selecting appropriate menu items. We can accommodate most food allergies in the main dining room. Once you are on the ship, speak with our Head Waiter to discuss your allergies and review your menu selections for the next day. For complex food allergies contact our Access Department for assistance. Please note we may not be able to accommodate all food allergies.
What if my family member requires one on one attention?
We are unable to provide continuous one on one attention. We will discuss different options with you on how to best accommodate your family member.

For current pricing and offers visit

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Table for One - Part 2

Table for One  - Part 2

I guess it's really not fair to say that I would be alone in Mexico for the next seven days, I was meeting up with other travel agents during the middle of my trip. They were however, still strangers and this type of travel was still very new to me.

Since I was staying in the preferred club room at Now Sapphire, I was able to check in at the preferred club lounge. As I sat down to check in the bartender came over and offered to make me a drink. Even though it wasn't quite noon in Mexico, it was in Cincinnati, so I decided to go ahead and have a piña colada.

Check in was easy. I left my bags with the bellhop and decided to explore the resort. I walked around and took pictures for a little while, and I looked at all of the couples, friends, and families enjoying the beach and pools. Still, I didn't feel alone or lonely I was feeling a rush of excitement just being at the resort.

I decided it was time to have some lunch and found a casual beach side grille called Blue Water. I walked up to the hostess and said "table for one." 

I was seated outside at a table overlooking the ocean. There was a gentle breeze and clear sky that day.  The waiter took my order and brought out chips and guacamole. I was never a fan of guacamole before traveling to Mexico and now I will admit I'm a bit obsessed.

As I was sitting at the table waiting for my food I stared out into the ocean. All I could hear was the sound of the waves, and the seagulls flying around. Two blackbirds landed on the table next to me looking for leftover scraps. For a few minutes I watched them fighting over spilled tortilla chips and chasing each other around. I could feel the smile forming on my face. This was awesome. 

It's amazing the things that you notice and the things that you appreciate when you are left with only your thoughts for a while. A few minutes before my food came some of the other tables filled with families and couples. I observed them talking and laughing and sharing stories, but no one was staring out into the ocean, listening to the waves, or watching the birds.

After lunch I met with the sales manager for a tour of the property and checked into my room. I was delighted to find a special Champagne gift in my room, and giggled a little when I saw two champagne glasses for "Mr. and Mrs."

After changing into my swimsuit and cover-up, I walked down to the beach bar. On my way I ran into Steve and Mary from my flight. We chatted for a bit and it felt good to see familiar faces.

I really liked the beach bar. Instead of bar stools there where swings made from rope and wood. Being as short as I am I'm sure it looked somewhat comical to see me trying to get on to the swing. Once I was situated, however, it was so comfortable and relaxing I could've stayed there all night.

There were four guests sitting at the bar who I started a conversation with. There was a husband and wife, their adult daughter and friend. They insisted I do a shot with them, and even though I'm not a shot drinker I obliged. I sat there for a while chatting with them, and tried a couple more drinks they suggested. 

They told me they would be at the nightclub that evening and that I should stop by and party with them. I declined since I was getting up so early the next morning, but it was nice knowing how easily I was connecting with people.

Such a fun group!

They were right, this was delicious! 

That night I dressed up for dinner, and chose the Mediterranean restaurant, Cibu.  I did get a strange look when I told the hostess it was just me, but I didn't let it bother me. As I sat down at my table by the window I looked around the room and saw several couples having romantic dinners and a few groups as well. For a split second I felt lonely, but I brushed it off and decided that I was going to enjoy my dinner. I ordered wine, a bruschetta appetizer and a vegetarian lasagna. All of the food was incredible. I was so glad that I decided to go dine at this restaurant instead of choosing the casual beach grill or room service.

After dinner I was walking through the lobby bar and ran into the group from the beach bar. They introduced me to some of their other friends that they were traveling with. It was nice to have this sense of friendship when I was traveling alone. 

As much as I wanted to continue to socialize I knew I needed to get to sleep. The next morning I would be crossing an item off of my bucket list that I had been looking forward to for years. I would swim with whale sharks. 

The whale shark tour was incredible.  That alone was worth the trip to Mexico. When I returned to the resort I met with my driver who would take me to my next destination. 

Sandos Playacar is a large resort with an amazing beach, but I didn't get to explore it quite yet. I was already running late to meet with the other travel agents for dinner. We were to meet in the lobby area at 6:15 PM. I had no idea who I was looking for or if I was even in the right place. Finally, around 6:25 PM I saw a woman wearing a name badge that identified her as part of the group. We eventually found the others and headed to the Mexican restaurant at the resort. 

The best part about this group was that no one knew each other. I have been to several meetings and dinners before with other agents who all worked together or knew each other already and it was always a little awkward to be the one in the group that no one knows. That night, we were all in the same boat. 

After our group had dinner and attended the Madonna show we went our separate ways. I settled into my room and fell asleep quickly. 

The next morning I woke up early and decided to walk the beach. There's nothing like being one of the first people on the beach in the morning. It's the most peaceful and magical feelings. I took a few pictures of the sun rising and stared into the ocean for a few moments. This was another one of those moments when I was really glad to be alone.

One thing I really like about Sandos Playacar is the long stretch of beach.  I started walking away from the resort with nothing but beach and ocean in sight. I was fortunate enough to pass a morning jogger, who gladly took this photo for me.

On my way to breakfast I passed Jorge,  (a resident iguana that I named the night before), and a couple who I had met briefly while leaving the Madonna show. I had only been at the resort for 12 hours and already felt at home.


Breakfast was easy to do solo, and I noticed there were quite a few people eating alone that morning. I got a seat by the window and felt a nice breeze while I enjoyed my coffee.

Amazing latte at Sandos Playacar

Friday, August 7, 2015

Table For One

Solo Travel - Part 1 

I’ve never been the type of person who was comfortable going out solo. Sure, I liked my alone time and had no issues running errands alone, shopping or just spending a quiet evening at home.  But eating at a restaurant by myself, seeing a movie and certainly traveling alone was out of my comfort zone.
I often felt envious of the people who had the confidence to travel alone and I couldn’t have imagined becoming one of those people. In late June this year everything changed.

I received an email about a travel agent opportunity in Mexico. It involved touring three resorts and meeting several contacts at a popular resort chain that I have sent many clients to. It was the perfect opportunity to increase my knowledge, meet face-to-face with the hotel staff and see the new accommodations that one of the resorts recently built.

This was an agent-only trip, which meant no guests allowed. I couldn’t pass up this opportunity so I pushed past my comfort zone and confirmed my participation.

I had some concerns about traveling alone which I think anyone would have. I knew that I needed to be aware of my surroundings at all times. I made sure not to flash money and I didn’t wear expensive jewelry. I learned as much Spanish as I could in the month that I had to prepare and made sure that my transportation and accommodations were pre-arranged and confirmed. 

My stomach filled with butterflies as I wheeled my luggage through the automatic doors of the CVG Airport and down the hall to the Frontier counter. I waited a short time for my turn, then answered matter-of-factly when the agent asked, “Is it just you?”

After checking my luggage it was time for the security line. There’s nothing pleasant about airport security but the process was fast and I didn’t have to wait around for a traveling companion. 

I always arrive to the airport early. I would much rather spend extra time relaxing and reading than panicking and running to the gate. So, just as any other trip, I had a lot of time to spare. I went to Starbucks and ordered a latte, and leisurely walked down to my gate.

When I got there I plugged in my phone to charge and started reading one of the travel magazines I brought with me. There was a group of young travelers nearby and I couldn’t help but overhear their conversations. They were likely in their early twenties and they were all wearing matching T-shirts announcing their “Cancun Summer Vacation 2015.”

I couldn’t help but overhear their conversations and share in their excitement for the journey ahead. 

Right before boarding I witnessed this group attempting to use a selfie-stick to take a group photo. Even with the stick fully extended they still couldn’t quite fit the whole bunch into the frame so I offered to snap a few photos. As we all boarded the plane together I felt like a temporary member of the “Cancun Summer Vacation 2015 group.”

I love direct flights. Three hours later we were in Cancun. It was sunny and 80 degrees. The airport is was easy to navigate and since we arrived so early in the day it was not yet crowded. I waited a short time in the customs line after grabbing my checked luggage. I was one of the lucky ones and they pulled my bag aside to go through it by hand. Having it organized and having my smaller items all in clear plastic bags was extremely helpful.

Once I got my bag back I headed to the restroom. Typically I would ask my traveling partner to watch my bags while I went in, but this time I was on my own. I fumbled around a bit trying to navigate the small entry way and even smaller amount of space I had to fit my checked bag, carry-on bag and large purse… but I made it work and as strange as it may sound, I felt a sense of accomplishment. I also decided that I should learn to travel lighter. I heeded the sign in at the sink that read, “Water not suitable for drinking,” and opted to use some hand sanitizer after washing my hands just in case.

It was time to meet up with my transfer. I booked with AmStar,  who I highly recommend. I quickly walked past the “Time Share” area of the airport (as I always tell my clients to do) and went straight outside where I found a nice gentleman holding a sign with my name. He called his co-worker over to assist me.

Rafael was a cute twenty-something charmer with a huge smile. He told me not to wait in the transfer line, that he would assist me personally. We talked back and forth and he helped me practice my Spanish for about ten minutes while we waited for my van to come. When the driver came out, Rafael introduced me and sent me on my way, ending our conversation with, “Enjoy Cancun, bonita pelirroja.”

The driver said we had a couple joining us before we headed out to the resort. They arrived a few minutes later and we left the airport. I struck up a friendly conversation with them, learning that they had been on my flight too, were from Cincinnati and their names were Steve and Mary. We had a nice talk and they took my business card to keep in touch after the trip. As we pulled up to my resort, Now Sapphire, it started to sink in. I was in Mexico… alone for the next seven days...

Now Sapphire - Riviera Maya Mexico