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!
Seoul Convention Bureau is poised for a strong bounce back from the COVID-19 virus. The company rolled out a new PLUS SEOUL program to offer extra support to the meetings, incentive, conventions and exhibition industry in response to the virus.
Looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own adventure of a lifetime. Volvo allows you to custom order your new automobile tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.
Japan National Tourism Organization While would-be travelers around the world are self-isolating and putting travel plans on hold, Japan Nation Tourism Organization sends the fun home. While everyone’s wanderlust grows, JNTO offers virtual experiences showcasing the best of the island country.
Luxury Hotel Brand NH Collection to Make New York City Debut with NH Collection New York Madison Avenue
NH Collection is set to enter the New York City market and North America for the first time with the opening of NH Collection New York Madison Avenue. The hotel takes inspiration from 1920s Renaissance Revival architecture and channels New York’s Golden Age of Advertising to create an elegant, vintage vibe. The brand brings along its European flair for additional touches of eclectic elegance throughout the property.
oneworld is an alliance of 13 world-leading airlines committed to providing the highest level of service and connecting you to more than 1,100 destinations around the world.
Genting Cruise Line is just one of the many travel companies implementing ways for travelers to change plans easily to provide peace of mind.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, small businesses create two-thirds of net new jobs and account for nearly 48 percent of the U.S. private sector workforce. And small- and medium-sized businesses outpace all other sectors as one of the fastest-growing in the United States. InterContinental® Hotels Group (IHG) goes above and beyond to create opportunities for this segment with its IHG® Business Edge program, voted Best Small- to Mid-Sized Business Program in Global Traveler’s 2019 GT Tested Reader Survey awards.
For the next several weeks, we are compiling the thoughts and experiences of our staff, writers and readers about the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. As a travel publication, we’ve all been affected during these difficult times, as have many of our clients, friends, partners and more.