I had never been to Hawaii. My beautiful wife and her family have been going ever since she was a child, and she was very excited for us to vacation there together. This was back in 2011, we were newly engaged. My then fiance made it clear we would be traveling in style, all thanks to our new travel agent, Susan Tanzman. She had found Susan's name through Conde Nast Magazine, and it turned out that Susan was something of an expert on Hawaii. Well, the experience was amazing. We stayed at The Kahala and were treated like royalty. We saw so much of what the island had to offer, including a trek into a rain forest, and a hike up to the top of Diamond Head, where you can see in every direction for miles. The trip was such a success, that when it came time to plan our honeymoon, we could think of no one else we would rather handle our trip then Susan. After discussing it with her, we decided that rather than go back to Hawaii so soon, we would explore the Caribbean.
So in the beginning of November 2012, my wife and I visited two islands for our honeymoon; St Martin and St Bart. Each was lovely, each had it's own specific feel. As before, we were showered with special treatment, room upgrades and amenities where ever we went.
We first stayed at the La Samanna Resort, and literally had the best room in the house. The suite was gigantic, the ocean views were breath taking, and the outdoor "cool" tub on the vast balcony was the perfect compliment to a lazy nap in the sun. Most days after breakfast, complimentary, thanks to Susan, we would stroll down to the private beach, lay out and relax to the sound of the waves. Then in the afternoons it was back up to our private balcony, to appreciate hand in hand, listening to what felt like our own personal palm tree, swaying in the breeze.
On St Bart, Susan booked us in at at Le Christopher Hotel, an absolutely charming spot, with modern rooms, a wonderful swimming pool and tanning deck that is just feet from the water. Again here we got the special treatment from the beginning from the very friendly staff. There were multiple restaurants and several activities, we felt like we never had to leave the resort. Many days we played tennis on the professional size courts, and worked up a nice sweat before heading down to the water. One night Susan arranged a romantic candlelit dinner for two out on the beach. There were candles in the sand leading us to our beautifully set table. We ate amazing food and drank champagne, all served by our own private server, and all of it under the shinning stars. That night was very special. Each island was its own mini vacation, and I am so thankful that Susan planned it that way.
So many of us, myself included, just click a button on the internet, get some deal, and hope for the best. This method of planning a vacation seems easier then hiring a professional, but honestly, Susan made sure we never had to lift a finger. Everything was planned and coordinated with the venues and local transport down to the last detail.
I had never realized the influence of a proper travel agent before, how someone with a long relationship with a resort or hotel can ensure that the vacation is more than just a quick getaway from the daily grind, but truly a special memory that you can treasure forever. That's what we wanted our honeymoon to be, memorable and wonderful, and I thank Susan for making both of those things come true.