OCT. 10 IS MY BIRTHDAY, and last year we were sailing on the high seas on the Queen Mary 2 when Hurricane Michael made devastating landfall at Mexico Beach and Tyndall Air Force Base near Callaway, Florida. For many parts of the country, and the world for that matter, these are unknown places. For those living and working in the region, it was a life-changing event and the people, land and more have yet to fully heal.
For me, it was a personal blow as we have a rental property on the barrier island of St. Joseph Peninsula on the Gulf of Mexico, specifically Cape San Blas. People often ask how I found Cape San Blas and I think back to when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig ruptured in the Gulf on April 20, 2010. Though most people would run the other way, the footage of pristine beaches drew my attention. On a trip to Miami, I took a long weekend, played golf at Bay Point Resort and Golf Club, Panama City (see GT April 2011), and drove to Port St. Joe to meet with Glenda McLemore, owner of g3 Realty Group.
I saw many great places and went back to business, always keeping the Cape in the back of my mind. Glenda presumed I was one of those people who liked touring houses but never purchase. Finally, in January 2014 we headed to Florida to get away from the cold Northeast. The worst ice storm in recorded history struck, but the next day we toured properties and found one. We ended up as displaced Yankees on the Forgotten Coast, close to Apalachicola, known for its oysters and the inventor of air-conditioning.
Everything was like a dream as we rented the place to Michigan snow birds in winter and Atlantans in summer. When Michael hit, 162 mph winds caused unprecedented damage; Mexico Beach looked like a nuclear bomb went off. Homes were destroyed, many ripped off their foundations. We were lucky the roof remained on and the windows stayed intact, but as they say, water finds a way. Our significant damage has been repaired and we are back in business with happy renters enjoying the Gulf. I pray for those affected by Hurricane Dorian, which recently caused devastation elsewhere. I know how it feels, and I encourage you to give to the charity of your choice; I recommend the American Red Cross.
Turning back to travel, I am flying to Lanai in Hawai’i and staying at the Four Seasons to celebrate my birthday in style while playing golf. I’m looking forward to United’s non-stop flight from Newark to Honolulu in its lie-flat business-class seats. I’ll report back about that service as well as the resort and golf course.
Lastly, our friends at Posadas have a special offer at globaltravelerusa.com or in this issue. Book any of Posadas’ properties with the best available rate on its website or through 1 800 FIESTA 1, and use code GLTRAVELER to receive one additional night free. I highly recommend you try a fantastic Posadas property.
I plan on traveling to Mexico soon to enjoy the cultural aspects of Mexico City and venture off for some great golf, too!
The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.
For all its cosmopolitan trappings, Singapore remains, at heart, a tropical island. The city planners determinedly preserved gennery and the high groves of concrete and glass, and for a complete escape from urban bustle there still remain patches of the jungle and mangroves that covered the island when Sir Stamford Raffles first established a trading outpost here in 1819.
In this era of 6,500-passenger mega-ships, any cruise vessel conveying fewer than a thousand voyagers is considered a small ship, including high-end luxury liners, deluxe expedition ships and the world’s riverboats. The focus on many small ships is the destination rather than the conveyance, the expert chat rather than the Broadway show, the watersport rather than the casino, the scenery and culture rather than the full-service spa and specialty restaurant. Passengers make a travel style choice, forgoing the options and pleasures of a resort-sized vessel for the deeper, more immersive experience of a yacht-scaled ship.
Air Tahiti Nui resumed service from Los Angeles (LAX) to Papeete (PPT) last week. To welcome travelers back to French Polynesia, Air Tahiti Nui offers fares starting as low as $775 round-trip from Los Angeles, and $789 from San Francisco (SFO). The airline also allows a free date change on all of its tickets.
Turkish Airlines, already flying to more countries than any other airline, announced its 10th U.S. gateway: Newark Liberty International Airport. Service will launch May 21, with four flights per week between EWR and Istanbul (IST). Beginning June 1, the frequency increases to daily.
Magdalena, a Maryland Bistro in The Ivy Hotel partnered with Uncle Nearest premium whiskey to create a Preakness-inspired cocktail ahead of this weekend’s event. The Laws and Lilies libation honors the contributions of Black jockeys in the early days of American horse racing. Emmanuel S. West, Jr., director of food & beverage, The Ivy Hotel, crafted the cocktail using Uncle Nearest’s 1856 Premium Whiskey.