First Place Winner – Member Travel Story Contest Written by Members Shelley and Tim Arnold
“Vacations for our family are always during the hot summer. This means cool dips in and out of the blue pool, ice-cold beverages, toasts to life, love, and good times. Leading into sun-kissed tan lines at the end of the day, indulging in romantic dinners with the one I love, a nice little wild night of dancing, sweat, topped off with hot Cabo and cold tequila shots at midnight. We typically wrap up our evenings of fun by the next morning as we enjoy a delicious breakfast, “medicinal mimosas,” relaxing spa treatments, and good morning hugs (then repeat).
That is the way it was, and that’s the way it was going to be time and time again, hasta mañana.
We booked our next trip before we left our last one. This was going to be our forever plan work hard, play harder, until the end of our days.
Everything was prepared for our family and friends. We began packing our suitcases a month in advance of our next trip. Deciding what to wear, what not to wear, I packed my new swimsuit that still had the tag on it. I had a fresh white tank top tucked in the corner of my luggage, just waiting to be unpacked and introduced to the Cabo sunlight.
I received a May Breast Cancer diagnosis…
Suddenly we went from anticipating life to wondering if this life was ending!
Doctor visits, appointments, opinions, tests, and decisions to be made ….scary times.
Then we remembered, oh Lord …we have a vacation scheduled in July… twenty-three family and friends depending on us for another wonderful time! What are we going to do? A long conversation, back and forth, up, down, cancel, not cancel…are we ok to go, not ok to go …..stress!!!!
After an appointment with specialists, scheduled surgery, and a treatment plan, we were clear to do what we wanted to do. Then, after a heartfelt conversation, one tearful night…I said to my lifelong love and traveler….nothing is guaranteed in this life except for death …..but today we dance …we choose to live, to take our special time together that could be our last for a while and rest before the soon coming battle.
We called the Villa Group and talked to Fernando at the resort; we explained our situation, then jumped on that plane like there was no tomorrow and arrived at the resort …..checked in and walked down the hall. We began smelling and feeling all the sights and sounds of our paradise here on this earth …opened the door, still heavy, and swallowing hard… I stepped in and thought to myself, “I’m strong, but this could be my last trip as I know it,” and then suddenly, this is what we saw …
YOU ARE A WARRIOR!!!
Right there on the bed in stone, pebbles spelled out!
YOU ARE A WARRIOR!!!
I knew then…
I am strong ..I am a survivor
I AM A WARRIOR!
I am loved!!
Our hearts were lifted, vacation had begun, it’s going to be ok, we left our worries and heavy hearts behind to enjoy our time away.
Well, it’s been almost three years and several vacations since.
And we are still strong, and we are survivors, and YOU ARE A WARRIOR is clear in our minds because of our family and friends at the VILLA GROUP!
Special thanks to Fernando for making our time there a special place of healing for me, my husband, and our family”.
Shelley and Tim Arnold
These members won 1st place for our last Member Story Contest, which consists of the following prize: 1 free week stay in a 1 Bedroom at Villa del Palmar Cabo or Villa del Palmar Puerto Vallarta with free roundtrip transportation to and from the airport for 2 people, 2 free, all-inclusive meal plans, and $200 in tour credits to be redeemed at the Activities office onsite ($100 per person).
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