Merry Christmas

Dear family and friends,




I wanted to get a Christmas letter out to everyone.  In many ways, 2015 has been a year of transition for me and my family. But it’s been a good year too. I am going to talk about this more later, but I’m thoroughly enjoying running my travel agent business. I’m working on it pretty much six days a week, guessing I’m working somewhere between twenty-five and thirty hours a week. I’m still trying to write some each day. But writing is kind of just a hobby for me at this point. I can’t seem to finish any of my novels.

If you’re friends with me on Facebook, you probably know that my favorite day is Sunday. I love our church, love having time to worship and to be with my friends. And a lot of Sundays I go home with friends to eat and watch movies with friends.

That’s my typical week, now to get into some more specifics. My brother David had started dating a young lady last fall, and I became their third wheel more and more as the time passed. At the beginning of the year Mom and I began attending a church group that met on Sunday evenings.. And then on Wednesdays I’d go with David to church, he and his girl would go to youth group, and I would go to a ladies’ group.


It was in March that my grandparents came to stay at our house At first it was fun having them around. I love my Grandma, and she’s doing fairly well for someone her age. She can take care of herself. And I love Grandpa, but by March he was needing a lot of help. He had dementia and a lot of other health problems. It started out he’d get angry once a day, and then he’d be fine. But he started getting angry more and more as time passed and things got pretty stressful for a while there. In May my brother Joseph came to help with Grandpa, and things got better. Everything seemed better when someone was keeping Grandpa busy..

We decided to put Grandpa into a home this past June. We put him in a home in Pittsburgh. Grandma stayed with my aunt. And after we dropped them off, we took David to his summer job working at a ranch, and his girl left for the summer as well At the beginning of the summer, the plan was that David would work the summer, and he and his girl would be back at the beginning of August.

However, David and his girl decided to go on and get married and then move out west. Things were pretty crazy around our house for a while there. And then on top of that. Grandpa ended up dying. His funeral was a week before David’s wedding. One of my favorite memories of the year is getting to spend the weekend after the wedding with some of my cousins. It was so nice to have some time with them.



But after David’s wedding, life seemed to get really quiet. My church group decided to stop meeting, and just didn’t have that much to do, especially socially.. And that’s still a prayer need. I was part of a women’s bible study this past fall, but I’m really not sure what I’m doing next as far as that sort of thing goes. I would love to find a good group and stay with it.

I’m really enjoying working on my business. My website is

I pretty much blog each day I work, and that is


And my Facebook travel page is sarah

I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year


To stay with relatives or not

I am going to get a little personal here. When I was growing up, my family always used to go to my grandparents’ for Christmas. Both Mom’s and Dad’s parents lived in the same small town in Virgina. My family used to split between my grandparents’ homes. I loved being by myself at my grandparents’, having lots of quiet to read. Dad’s mother made some of the best food.. Since our family lived farther away, we would stay longer than my aunts and their families. But my favorite times were when everyone would gather together. Yes, it was crazy trying to get everyone fed and have places for everyone to sleep. But I loved having everyone together. I have so many wonderful memories of those times. I wouldn’t have wanted to stay in a hotel for anything.

But I know that some people feel differently about that. They would rather be in a comfortable bed than on the couch or floor. They like have somewhere they can go if they need a time out. They don’t like, or in some cases are allergic to, other family’s pets.. I would love to know your thoughts on this.

Places to ring in the new year

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I’m trying to figure out what all to do before Christmas. I’m not even sure whether to work Christmas Eve. I’m not sure what my family is doing. We’ll be gathering with most my siblings the day after Christmas.. So anyway, let’s get started

I have to be honest, New Year’s Day is not my favorite holiday. The holidays are over, it’s time to tell family good-bye and get back to normal life. But if you are looking for something fun to do, here are some ideas.

You might want to try Fort Lauderdale’s Harbor Beach Marriot Resort and Spa. They are going to have a fabulous dinner for you New Year’s Eve, which will cost sixty dollars for each adult, and thirty for each child. They are going to have spare ribs, lobster risotto, and Grouper to name just a few of the menu items. And of course, this is a great place to enjoy the beach and soak up some wwarmth.

If you would like to celebrate the new year in somewhere exotic, Puerta Vallarta. Marriott’s Casamanga is having a big party. Children will have their own buffet. Adults will be treated to a six-course dinner. If you want to stay overnight, there will be all kinds of spa treatments you can indulge in.

More hotels to celebrate at

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I’m not entirely sure what this week, or the days I am going been working, are going to be like. But I’m not sure I am going to do much except what is necessary. Once I do get back from our celebrating, I know I need to work on balancing the things I do for work. But I’ll figure that out more later.

Let’s look at some more hotels which do special things for Christmas. Southbridge Hotel and Conference Center which is in Massachusetts does a nice candlelight package.. Apparently Stonebridge is a village that does a lot for Christmas, and so just being there will get you into the right spirit. And you will get a pass to all the festivities when you buy a package. Festivities will include a visit from Santa, treats, sleigh rides and holiday music. Besides your room, you will also get free breakfast, access to the indoor pool, sports courts and a business center.

Foodies might want to visit Hotel Zamora. When you stay there, you will also receive a picnic basket for two which will have garlic leg of lamb sandwiches and ppeppermint cheesecake lollipops. You will also be given a bottle of champagne. I would love to know what you think about either of these places.

Club Med

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I know it is Saturday, but I still have several things I want to do today. I’m trying to get my Christmas letter together today. And I think I am going to post that later today. We will just see how everything goes. So let’s get started on this.

Club Med is the company which had the idea of going all-inclusive.And now they are going to add an adults-only section to their Punta Cana resort. This will be a place of relaxation, a great place to reconnect with your spouse. The resort also hopes to host business meetings at this oasis of rest. And if your family decides to drop off all the children off at the main resort’s kids’ club, you and any adult with you can enjoy a day at this place as well.

There are, of course pools where you can either relax or workout. You will also have access to a private beach which is exclusively for this resort. And there will be a lounge there that serves food that will delight any adult.

This place will have less than eighty rooms. Each room will come with a very nice bathroom. With each room you will have access to a a nice outdoor space. The tv will come with a complementary movie library for when you want to relax in your own room.. I am going to stop here. Please let me know your thoughts.

Things to think through

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This is a time of year where a lot of people are looking back over the past year. But songs people are also looking forward and trying to decide what the new year might look like for them. I would love to know what travel plans you might be making, especially ones I might be able to help you with.

Today, let’s look at some trends as far as things that are important to Think through when it comes to travel.

  • Most men consider it important to have excellent food and drink when they travel. Women would rather extend their stay as long as possible. Which would be more important to you?
  • Some people are looking to turn their trip into a grand adventure. Others just want to go somewhere and relax.. And this is something you definitely want to figure out before you travel with anyone. If you like relaxing and your husband wants adventure, that’s something where you should figure out compromises.
  • It is always best to determine your trip budget before you leave. Vacation is a time to enjoy yourselves. But you don’t want to overdo it and make yourself miserable when you.

More on luxury cruises

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As we head into the new year, I would welcome any thoughts you have about this blog. What am I doing right? What could I work on to make this blog more enjoyable?

Let’s get back to Crystal Cruises. They are starting to get into the river cruise, which is becoming a big business in and of itself. As is usually the case, Crystal’s river boats are going to hold a lot fewer passengers than most ocean cruises. The average on the river boats will be two hundred. And these boats will have dance floors, a spa and fitness center, and a library to name some of the amenities you will have access to.

And now let’s take a look at Regent Seven seas. This luxury cruise line is coming out with a new ship they are calling “Seven Seas Explorer”. Regent is calling it the most Luxurious ship ever. There are going to be almost four hundred suites. And they are going to have the largest verandas built on a ship. You are going to have a lot of dindining dining options. You will be able to take cooking classes in a fantastic kitchen. There will also be a great pool and spa. This ship will start sailing next summer.

I would love to know what you think of these.

Luxury cruises

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I think I have plans for tonight, and my schedule is kind of shifting because of things with aides. But once again, I see that I have many more followers, and that is always exciting to see. I would love to hear from you at

Let me be up front with you about something. I’ve never been on a cruise myself. But I’m always reading about travel. And I know that a lot of times when cruises are pretty inexpensive to get on, the tendency is to charge you every chance they get. And luxury cruises are usually pretty all-inclusive. By the time you add everything up, some of the inexpensive cruises and an some of the middle grades are pretty much the same cost. So that is something that you might want to keep in mind. That might be part of the reason that the luxury cruise business is booming. If you want me to figure out the actual cost difference, I can do that.

Let’s look at Crystal Cruises who has just been taken over by a new company. Up to this point, Crystal has operated two vessels, but the new company has put three more on order. These new ships are going to have an one to one ratio of crew to guests, they are going to have private homes. They are going to have a lot of water sportingequipment available to you. Crystal is also about to enter the river cruising business as well.

I think we are going to look at this more tomorrow. Please let me know what questions you have.

Cruises with celebrity chefs

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I’m getting  started on work a little earlier than usual, which is always. But my family is helping a friend celebrate her birthday tonight, so I’m trying to get everything done. But anyway..

We do not have cable, at least not cable tv. We do have cable internet, or whatever you want to call it. But I know that people are getting into these cooking shows. So today, let’s look at some cruises where these chefs are going to be doing demonstrations.. To start with, in 2015, Norwegian had Geoffrey Zakarian, but that has ended. But in 2016, they are going to have Jose Garces on their new ship, the Norwegian Escape. Here you are going to be able to taste his unique take on Cuban seafood and Spanish cuisine.

Carnival is going to Host Guy Ferari, who does the show, “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives”. Carnival is putting Guy’s spin on comfort food in a restaurant they’re calling “Guy’s Burger Joint”. And they are going to put that on several of their ships.

I would love to know your thoughts on any of this or any questions you might have.

Cruises to celebrate the New Year

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My family is actually going to gather the week between Christmas and New Year’s. So I think I’m probably going to work up until Christmas Eve, and then not work anymore until the beginning of next year. So let me get going on this so that I can get to some other things.

Okay, the first New Year’s cruise is with Norwegian Cruise Lines. I’m working through Norwegian’s course work these days.. Anyway, Norwegian’s Escape is going to embark from Miami December 26th. They’ll be sailing to Nassau, Tortela, and St Thomas on this Seven-night  voyage. Guests can take in an eighties themed show at the ship’s dinner theater. On New Year’s Eve, guests are going able to enjoy a wide variety of desserts on the buffet, and there will be a countdown celebration on the bridge.

Royal Caribbean is going to celebrate New Year’s with a countdown and champagne toast. You are also going to get a fantastic dinner. Independence of the Seas will set out from Fort Lauderdale the twenty-eighth of December for a five-night cruise.

Holland America is also going to be doing a New Year’s cruise that will be seven nights. They will be serving a special dinner. You will be able to enjoy the different football games, and you will also be able to watch Times Square’s celebration, which is just one of the ways you can enjoy the evening.. Please let me know if you are interested in any of these.