Veux-tu m’epouser?

One of the hottest new trends in the romance travel industry is a destination proposal, or otherwise known as, an “engagementcation”. The latest statistics show that about 1 in 3 marriage proposals take place while on vacation or a weekend getaway. I, of course, am a huge fan of the idea and love to see pictures and read stories about unique, romantic, creative and over-the-top schemes.

Pulling off a memorable destination proposal requires quite a bit of thought and planning but the most important detail is “location, location, location.” An exotic resort in the Caribbean, a winery in Napa Valley, a mountaintop lodge in Colorado or an iconic landmark in New York City are some popular choices. Even better would be the Eiffel tower in Paris, the Trevi fountain in Rome, a gondola ride in Venice or overlooking the Pitons in St. Lucia. As much as I am a beach girl, any and all of those destinations would elicit a big YES from me!

Eiffel TowerTrevi fountiainPitons

The “engagementcation” genre is becoming so popular that many wedding planners, high-end resorts AND travel agents (wink wink) are expanding their businesses to reach the destination proposal market. They have staff and resources to assist with the where/when/how details of pulling off a fairytale proposal. Details like flowers, a champagne picnic, private table at a romantic restaurant, a secluded beach, hot air balloon ride, a horse-drawn carriage, sunset sail or helicopter charter, etc. The possibilities for a one-of-a-kind proposal are truly endless!

Sandcastle proposal Scuba proposal Beach proposal

The marriage proposal, after all, is really all about the story. The telling and re-telling of the feelings, emotions and memories that make up that magical moment. It may be a bit of a stretch to match Prince William’s super -romantic proposal to Kate on an African safari in Kenya, but a little thought, planning and effort can go a long way!

Disney Proposal Engagement ring NY Proposal

Unbeknownst to his “hipness”, I’m sure, my husband also planned a destination proposal. It coincided with my birthday, which was how he was able to pull off the surprise and disguised it as a planned trip to Charleston, SC.  Perfectly timed, on a rooftop bar overlooking historic downtown as the sun was setting, he got down on one knee and said those magic four words (I think… I’m not really 100% what he said… It really was all a blur!!).  It was a night I will never forget and I am forever thankful for the “proposal story” we get to tell!

Rooftop proposal Ring proposal Peninsula proposal

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What happens in Cabo…

Although Cabo San Lucas (Los Cabos) has been on my destination “bucket list”, I always thought the opportunity to actually go would be several years (or decades) off.  So when some very dear friends invited my husband and me to join them at the beautiful Fiesta Americana Grand Los Cabos Golf and Spa Resort for six days, I graciously accepted (followed up by back flips and cartwheels) and started packing my bags!  Not only was I excited to see all the beauty and activity the Baja peninsula had to offer, but I am always a fan of heading somewhere tropical in the brutally cold months of January/February.  And yes, being a native Southerner, 30 degrees is BRUTAL!

Cabo San Lucas is at the tip of the 800 mile long Baja California Peninsula and has the Sea of Cortez on one shore and the Pacific ocean on the other.  In addition to fantastic year-round weather and beautiful beaches, Cabo is especially well known for sport fishing, vibrant nightlife, championship golf courses and the famous stone arch called El Arco.  We were fortunate enough to experience all of these (minus golf, not so much my thing) and more!!

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Let me begin with our amazing resort, Fiesta Americana.  I absolutely can’t rave enough about it!  The views, rooms, pools, grounds, amenities, food, staff and service were TOP NOTCH!!  I have truly never seen such an impeccably maintained property and staff that go above and beyond to meet your every need!  Not only would  highly recommend this resort to anyone considering a visit to Cabo, but I will definitely be planning a return trip for myself!!

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One of the things that we were most looking forward to on our trip was our Cabo Sport Fishing deep-sea fishing charter.  And when I say WE, I mean my husband was REALLY excited about the fishing and I was a little more enthusiastic about whale sightings and working on my tan.  Although the day began early (6am!) and chilly (goodbye tan) and some of us may have gotten a little seasick (this girl), it was a fantastic experience and a highlight of our vacation!  Pulling out of the marina as the sun rose, we passed the iconic stone arch and our captain had us on the fish in no time!  Not only were we fortunate enough to reel in five large fish (four Mahi Mahi’s!), the whale sightings were breathtaking and numerous! Our deck hand then filleted our Mahi Mahi right on the back of the boat and we had it prepared at a restaurant at the marina – sushi ya’ll??

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After an exhausting day of “sport” fishing (hehe), we were definitely looking forward to checking out the shopping, restaurants and nightlife of downtown Cabo.  Walking through the markets looking for souvenirs was made even more enjoyable by my husband trying on and comparing Mexican masks.  He, of course, bought one and also a genuine-leather beer holster.  We’re classy like that.

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The first night we had dinner at a very highly-recommended restaurant, The Office. Situated directly on the beach (think sand in your toes), the great food, live mariachi band and festive atmosphere created the authentic Mexican dining experience we hoped for.  I 100% agree with the rave reviews and would consider it a can’t-miss for anyone visiting Cabo!

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Our vacation would not have been complete without a visit to the original Cabo Wabo.   Although there wasn’t a Sammy Hagar sighting, the delicious margaritas and guacamole and endless laughs with our friends more than made up for it!  I’d like to think that all the “walking” and “activity” we did during the week totally cancelled out all of the calories consumed but I doubt it.  I may be feeling jiggly, but it was totally worth it!

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One of the things that totally made the trip were the wonderful people we met, both locals and fellow tourists.  Understandably, everyone is happy and friendly, warm and outgoing, eager to share ideas and suggestions and best of all, quick to buy you a tequila shot!  True story 🙂

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Travel, to me, is one of life’s greatest gifts.  The opportunity to travel with loved ones and close friends can make it even more enjoyable and fulfilling.  I love this quote from writer Susan Sontag, “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”  Thank you Mark and Beth for the memories and belly-laughs and allowing me to check another one off the list!!

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Sandy Lane = PARADISE!!

My husband and I recently returned from an incredible week-long vacation that included visits to 6 Caribbean islands and many of their finest resorts.  One, Sandy Lane, was head, neck and shoulders above the rest!

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Set on the beautiful western coast of Barbados, Sandy Lane conveys luxury and excellence on every level.  Pulling into the grounds all I could say was, “Wow!!” and thought it had to be one of THE finest resorts on the planet!  We were greeted by an extremely friendly staff with warm smiles and chilled eucalyptus-scented towels.  I may be easily impressed, but I thought this was an extremely nice touch!  The entrance and terrace perfectly frame the breathtaking view of the pristine resort grounds and the beautiful, turquoise blue Bajan water.  We were then given an extensive tour of the entire resort by a lovely and gracious staff member.  One of the very first things I noticed was the extensive use of the color pink in the furnishings and decorations.  I asked about this and found out the owner’s favorite color is pink (like ME!!) and that’s what lead to the color palette selection.  I’ll be honest, this was absolutely one of my favorite things about the resort!

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The exquisite design and attention to detail in the restaurants, bars and lounges can’t even be put in to words.  I can only imagine the delightful experience it must be to relax with a cocktail and enjoy a delicious meal in the open-air, beachfront setting.  Every where we went, I couldn’t help but notice the extremely high level of service by the staff and the huge smiles on their faces.  You could tell they absolutely love their jobs and work tirelessly to maintain the level of service and consistency to give resort guests a one-of-a-kind experience.

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If I had one word to describe Sandy Lane’s accommodations, it would be – STUNNING!  All the guest rooms we saw, from garden view to ocean view to suites, are huge and exceptionally luxurious!  They are impeccably decorated and styled, there is a ton of closet space and the bathrooms are large and elegant.  No detail is overlooked – the finest linens on the beds, the fluffy robes and slippers in the bathroom, the fresh and clean smells of luxury bath products and a touch-screen remote that controls the lights, curtains, air conditioning and music.  I could totally see myself and my husband relaxing with a glass of wine on the expansive balcony, listening to soft jazz as the sun slowly set.

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The Spa at Sandy Lane is over 40,000 square feet of pure luxury and includes a state of the art fitness center.  Since I am one of those wackos that likes to work out on vacation, this is actually very important to me.  The spa facilities are exquisite, with every possible amenity and treatment you could imagine.  I was absolutely drooling over the outdoor relaxation area that included hot and cold showers, a whirlpool, hot tub and steam rooms.  The Spa Cafe offers a light and healthy meal option which is the perfect complement to a day at the Spa.  Also served by The Spa Cafe and a swim up bar, is the gorgeous pool with cascading waterfalls.  Relaxation at it’s finest!

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For those that don’t think that relaxing by the beach with an umbrella drink is the best vacation ever (what is wrong with them??), there are plenty of options for the active-minded.  In addition to a variety of water sports, there are 9 tennis courts and 2 world-class golf courses.

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One of the main reasons for our visit to Sandy Lane was to preview it for a wedding and/or honeymoon destination for our clients.  It really goes without saying that the service and attention to detail that is evident throughout the resort would translate in to a magical wedding celebration or an unforgettable honeymoon.  The beautiful facilities, variety of location options and an on-site wedding planner guarantees a one-of-a-kind event.  If it was good enough for Tiger Woods’ wedding, you know it has to be GOOOOOD!!!

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Let me finish by saying that my husband, whose idea of a fun is sitting in a deer stand at 6:00am in 30 degree weather, was equally blown away by the beautiful and luxurious Sandy Lane.  We couldn’t stop raving about it during and after our trip and are definitely planning on making a trip to experience this amazing resort for ourselves.  Hopefully, in the very near future (hint hint) – 3 year anniversary, maybe??

Romance, Relaxation & Rejuvenation…. Sign. Me. Up.

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