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 Four Seasons Resort and Residences Anguilla is opening its acclaimed doors Oct. 22 to celebrate its fifth and most exciting season. The resort will introduce new programming including culinary, fitness and music.
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
Seabourn recently announced the name of its second new ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ship: Seabourn Pursuit. The name reflects the passion of expedition travelers to seek out and explore natural wonders and destinations through activities around the globe.
Though the Chicago area has been my home for decades, the view from the Water Tower Suite on the 26th floor of The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago made me gasp. I had admired Chicago’s dramatic skyline many times, but never from this angle. Through expansive windows, the skyscrapers of 900 N. Michigan Ave. and the John Hancock Center, now named 875 North Michigan Avenue, rose to my right. Far below, the landmark Chicago Water Tower nestled in a ring of trees. One of the few survivors of the Great Chicago Fire, a turning point in the city’s history being remembered on its 150th anniversary in 2021, the Gothic Revival relic resembled a fairy-tale castle in a children’s playset.
Since its prestige for attracting the world elite grew in the 1960s, Greece remains the go-to destination for glittering holidays. Each step of the journey is enrobed in luxury, from culinary traditions with the highest standard of execution and name-brand, high-end shopping to first-rate wellness locales and elite accommodations, like 5-star hotels, private villas and yachts.
President Biden signed H.R. 2278, bipartisan legislation to designate a September 11th National Memorial Trail. The trail route will link the National September 11th Memorial and Museum in New York; the Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, Virginia; and the Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
In April 2021, I was skimming Facebook when an ad for a blind-folded dining experience popped up on my newsfeed. The event was hosted through a company called Fever that offers fun, interactive events in major cities and virtually for people to enjoy. Intrigued, I clicked the link to learn more. The description made the event sound exciting and mysterious. When I give someone a present for their birthday, the holidays or a wedding, I like to give the gift of an experience that the recipient can learn something from. My boyfriend’s 30th birthday was in June, when the event was to be hosted, so I thought this would be a great surprise for him.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Austin, Texas, with us.