This Is What They Said

This Is What They Said

Shannon’s View


Some people say you only have 18 summers with your kids.  I feel sorry for people that think that.  We just took my son on our summer vacation to Negril, Jamaica.  We went to celebrate the summer and to also celebrate his 18th birthday.  So was this it?  Was this the LAST vacation I take with my son?  Umm…Hell No!
First let me tell you about this recent vacation.  I am known for romance travel.  I specialize in honeymoons and romance travel so writing about a family vacation is something a little different for me.  Was there romance and love? Absolutely!  How do you go on a family vacation and share a room with 3 guys and there not be LOVE?  As always on vacations you forget about the emails, the work, the hassles of you relax, you unwind and live in the moment.  What can be more romantic than that and what a perfect opportunity to set an example for two young men to see romance and love is between a couple that share love for each other.
There was adventure.  The adventure was limited to the guys.  They had their fun snorkeling, paddle boarding and knee boarding however on the day before Logan’s 18th birthday the fun was had.  It started with some parasailing and then we took it over to Rick’s Café where they both mustered up the courage to do the 35 foot cliff jump.  Rich and I’s most risky adventure was walking down the beach and finding a baby star fish in the water!  However watching the excitement and adrenaline rush in guys was more than enough excitement for me.
While the guys were off playing at the beach and meeting new friends.  Rich and I were spending time on the beach listening to music, taking strolls along the beach and playing in the water.  Dinner time was always spend together with the four of us.  That was my favorite part.  Listening to Logan and Trey talking about their day and their new friends.  The dinners were filled with laughter and conversations about memories that were made during the day and so much more.  We had conversations about their futures and our past.  We talked about the people of Jamaica, how they live, their culture and how things are so different in the U.S.  We drank from coconuts, ate dinner on the beach, watched fire dancers , the boys danced in a conga line, and I got to share a special slow dance with Logan on his 18th birthday.
I may be a sentimental mom being Logan turned 18 and is a senior in high school this year. I know in my heart that this trip was by far not our last vacation together.  This is the first of many more to come as enters adulthood.  Yes, I know Logan is going be off in college and in the future have his only family one day and have their on vacations. I also know that we have many more memories to share together traveling.   I treasure the memories of watching him run in the beach as a 5 year old, and the Disney memories of him riding the rides and me holding his hand as we walk through crowds.  I look forward to sharing new memories with him as he enters into adulthood.
One thing I know for sure is that I have instilled on Logan and his friend, Trey is travel matters.  Travel brings people closer together, travel educates, travel brings about new curiosities, travel pushes aside the need to digitally connected, travel keeps you living in the moment and travel allows you to see things with a different perspective.  Travel matters.
Logan’s View
Who doesn’t love paradise? Traveling to Negril, Jamaica has been a great blessing in my life. This was my second time traveling to Jamaica and it was just as amazing as the first time. Being in Jamaica has an effect on me that makes me almost want to love everybody and everything I see. I don’t believe the whole time I was there, there was not a single second of bordem or sadness.
There wasn’t a day we were there when we weren’t busy having fun with some activity available. There was a large variety of water sports available like skiing, water trikes, kayaking, sailing, and paddle boarding which I highly enjoyed doing. Standing on a board looking at the beautiful beach with clear blue water, pretty skies, with the only worry if you can keep your balance is the most relaxing and most beautiful thing ever. We also got to go parasailing which gave us a better view the land and beach of Jamaica. We took a couple trips snorkeling and I’m not a person who snorkels often, but snorkeling in Jamaica is a very neat experience. There are tons of different pretty fish and beautiful plant life and coral to see.
One day we took a taxi to Rick’s Café because some of my friends told me about this famous cliff there that everybody jumps off of. It was the day before my eighteenth birthday and I got to jump off a thirty five foot cliff in Jamaica into the beautiful ocean. It’s a moment that I will cherish and never forget. It was the most thrilling thing I have ever done and after I jumped I couldn’t seem to stop smiling for a while. All these activities were very amazing, but one day we just decided to relax on the beach all day which is just very nice and peaceful.
 One of my favorite parts about traveling is all the people you get to meet and share moments with. The first day when we landed we went relax around the beach and pools which was a very beautiful sight. Later we met some new friends that day from all around the world, all different characteristics and personalities. They were nice people and very fun to share the trip with. The employees of the resort were really fun and very entertaining to be around. It’s really neat to chat with them about their home and share the experiences and cultures of each other’s homeland.
Leaving Jamaica and all the people we met felt like having to break up with a pretty lady that you love. If there was a mood or feeling we had the whole time to describe this trip, I would say we were high on life.
Trey’s View
When one imagines a family vacation, majority of the people will imagine a week’s long trip to Orange beach, Panama City beach, maybe even Destine beach. Very few though say that they imagine an out of country resort, in the Caribbean, and of which is all expense paid (inside the resort that is). Two years ago and this year I was gifted the opportunity to be able to experience that sort vacation with my second family. Which was everything but ordinary and definitely an eye opening experience.
          Two years ago the resort was almost the same as it was this year. Granted, there are a few add-ons to the resort for instance a new restaurant, water parks, scenery, and games like “jumbo jenga” or ping pong. For me, there seems to be a correlation between the amount of fun you have and your age. As you age you’re able to do more, see more, and be on your own more often. With that being said, going back to Negril this year, being two years older, was a better time. Though beaches Negril was a blast, if I had to give one negative (though very small and doesn’t necessarily impact the amount of fun we have on the trip) it would be that the staff excitement and readiness to work declined in some areas and almost inclined in some areas. Ideal would be for there to be a happy medium throughout or even top notch service through every area of the staff. Though there is that one negative it is engulfed by the amount of positives this resort has to offer. I would definitely love to go back and would recommend it to anyone looking to have a great time.
3 Things You Need To Know About Travel Professionals. Especially me.

3 Things You Need To Know About Travel Professionals. Especially me.

Back in the day (not that I am that old wink wink)  travel agents were basically the only way people were able to book airline tickets, hotels, rental cars, and vacations.  Store front agencies were all over.  People would walk in, sit at the desk and tell the “agent” they want to go to (fill in the blank with your favorite destination).  Then the travel agent would get up and go to the “brochure rack” and  hand them to the client to look at. They would book airline tickets and PRINT them , call up Disney world or a Cruise line to book the reservations.  This was kind of like going to a “record” store and buying a new album.  Wow, have times changed.

Fast forward 25 years, the internet is here, there is an APP for everything.  There are people out there that have never heard of a travel agent!  There are people out there that do not realize the benefit and the value of using a travel professional.  I like to call them travel professionals or a travel consultant because we are more than an agent now! I’ll admit while this article pertains to most travel professionals this is truly about my personal passion for my job. Here are 3 things you may have not known about travel professionals.

1- Excitement…yes. They (well I am and most are) are just as excited about this trip as you are.  You are not just data that is being entered into a search engine.  You are a real person and we are so excited to make this dream trip come true for you.  Personally, the favorite part of my job is “when I meet with a client to go over documents before they leave.  I feel like I’m going on the trip too!”-Shannon

2 – Connections– I make it a point to create relationships with resort managers, vendors, suppliers and other agents.  I have access to information that is not available to the general public. What does this mean to you?  Better customer service, better knowledge of products and destinations from real people that can be passed along to you to make your trip even better.

3- Knowledge– I went to school for travel and tourism for 14 months.  I learned the ins and outs of the travel industry.  I continue my education by attending conferences, classes, seminars, and webinars on a regular basis.  Travel is a passion and I have knowledge and expertise that will guide you along your travels to make your trip as smooth as possible.

Now you know…. now you can help spread the word and make more people aware of how beneficial a travel professional is.  Share this with someone you know that is engaged, thinking of a destination wedding, wanting to plan a romantic getaway.  I would love to make their DREAM come true!  It’s my purpose and my passion!

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