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!
Climbing along the coast, I was trying to snap pictures of the cool-blue Puerto Vallarta waters outside my car window (I know, it never works) when we started winding along stone walls draped in jungle-like foliage. Annoyed my view was blocked, I looked around to see where we were just as we were parking at Hotel Mousai — I audibly gasped. The all-glass, chic and incredibly grand entrance was so well-secluded, it somehow snuck up on me.
Though air travel slowed as airports temporarily closed and borders shuttered to stifle the spread of coronavirus, the airline industry — led by oneworld alliance member airlines — enacted enhanced protective measures to reduce risk and protect passengers.
Three weeks after welcoming the first international flights since its borders closed, Saint Lucia’s government reinforced its mandatory travel protocol messaging. The island also launched an informative video with on-island footage of the actual travel experience.
United Airlines plans to bump up its capacity by 4 percent month over month in September; this will account for 37 percent of its schedule compared to the year prior.
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.
Yonder, a reimagined outdoor lodging and camping experience in southern Utah, is set to open Sept. 1. Located on scenic Highway 12 on the grounds of an old drive-in movie theater, Yonder will boast 10 custom Airstreams, 22 modern cabins and 67 RV camping sites. The property also features 2,000 square feet of communal space, with a clubhouse and bathhouse, general store, “drive-in” movie theater, resort pool, hot tub and bonfire pits.
As of July 23, St. Regis Bora Bora Resort is open and ready for travelers. With new precautions, protocols and guidelines regarding guest and staff safety, health and wellness, the resort confidently welcomes travelers to the beloved resort, while showcasing refreshed overwater villas and Iridium Spa.
IHG® Business Edge provides small- to midsized enterprises with benefits and confidence to navigate the evolving business travel environment.
The 1985 song “One Night in Bangkok” mentions many of the overindulgences of this city. One of them is massage parlors. Today, however, a Thai massage is considered an activity that improves one’s physical and mental well-being. The city has shed its former reputation as a place of wild nightlife and decadence, over the past few decades emerging as a major center for international commerce, wellness initiatives and tourism.