my valued clients and friends,
The end of summer has brought conflicting feelings to my desk and spirit.
On one hand, the long, hot Texas days, filled with juicy sno-cones and
cooling off at the pool as often as possible, are ending. It is hard to
let go of so much time filled with warmth and possibility. On the other
hand, anticipating the chillier months of fall, school starting back for
our neighborhood kids and the upcoming holidays, makes me feel excited
My love of travel, and helping people to enjoy life to its fullest, are
what make my job so much fun. I truly experience your vacations vicariously
when planning and researching for you. My desire is for your vacations
to be special and memorable. For that reason, I try to listen carefully
to what you want in your travels...whether it is a comprehensive tour
to a particular country or region, a relaxing vacation at the beach or
an adventurous trip off the beaten travel track.
This year I've had clients go to many different places all over the world.
There has been a renewed appreciation for the discovery of the beauty
of our great country. One client, after her trip to Washington D.C., with
her 11 year old grandson, told me how meaningful and special it was to
visit Mt. Vernon, the Capitol and the wonderful memorials to our country's
founding fathers. This is a gift her grandson will always remember. Another
group of client/friends are this next month going to the great Northwest,
where they will visit Seattle, take the Victoria Clipper over to Victoria
where they'll stay at the classic and historic Empress Hotel, before a
stay at a B and B on Bainbridge Island. Another group, from a dentists'
office (what wonderful bosses to have) are taking off for a four day beach
vacation in Jamaica one weekend in October. Honeymooners have headed to
the Caribbean and Maui.
Personal travel this year has included a stay in New Orleans' wonderful
French Quarter when we were in town to celebrate our daughter Jennifer's
graduation from Loyola; a Seadream Caribbean cruise with friends and a
trip to the state of Veracruz with our other daughter Laura and her boyfriend.
I love New Orleans. It is so delightfully different! We toured the Cathedral,
ate wonderful meals, visited antique shops, drank coffee and had beignets
at the famous Cafe du Monde and just soaked up New Orleans' special ambience.
Staying in the right place really does add enjoyment to travel.
Our cruise on Seadream II (www.seadreamyachtclub.com), the smallest ship
on which I've cruised, was wonderful. I hesitate to call it a ship, because
I really felt like a very pampered guest on a private yacht. Their ultra-attentive
staff, marvelous food, water-sports craft, and great itinerary made for
a very special week. Call me for great fall pricing (Europe) and early
booking fares for 2003.
Finally, I want to recommend a new place for many, the state of Veracruz
in Mexico. This is for those who want to find another place off the beaten
track. Cortez first arrived in this area in the 1500s. The port city,
Veracruz, has wonderful historical sites, is well known for its seafood,
love of dancing and music. Beautiful old hotels have been restored on
the Zocolo. It is a city full of life! Then, it was off to Xalapa, the
"Athens of Mexico", a lovely city in the mountains where you
can shop, eat, and enjoy a cooler summer. Coatepec, a lovely colonial
town, a few miles from Xalapa, is famous for its delicious coffee, delicate
orchids, and beautiful forests and waterfalls. Rafting and adventure trips
are growing in popularity in this area. I checked out hotels, so if you
are interested in this area, please let me know, and I'd love to help
plan your trip.
It is never too early to plan your next vacation. My desire is to create
an itinerary that excites you. All of our experiences and resources are
available to you to create the travel experience that you want. Please
email your wishes, and I'll be in touch!
Wishing you a happy and inspired fall.
Irene Ellis, CTC