Why did you decide to become a travel consultant?

It’s a Small World. I remember when Disney World opened in 1971 and watched as all my friends from school came in with the new multi-colored Mouse Ears that were a radical departure from the traditional black. Begging started, but my parents said “No.”  Next, the It’s a Small World ride was featured on the Today show. Pleading started. Another “No.” Ironically my Dad was working at the Commerce Department at the time and had to take a Soviet Union trade delegation to Disney World. What?! When my brother and I found out that Dad had taken the Russians to Disney AND they got to ride It’s A Small World AND they got to skip the line (the original FastPass), it was all over and we were in Orlando the following Spring. Thank you, former USSR. It is, indeed, a small world.

After all I went through to get my first trip to Disney, it has been a joy to share the magic with my kids.  It’s A Small World is my daughter’s favorite ride. What I love about Disney is that it meets everyone where they are. Even if you are sure it’s not for you, you will probably love it. My parents dreaded theme parks and they had a great vacation with us. I think Dad played golf, but what remember was that everyone was happy and wondered why we hadn’t done this sooner.  When my son was younger and first diagnosed with autism, the parks were his favorite destination and the only place he could wait in line without a meltdown. My husband and I felt relief just walking into Disney. We knew everything would be OK.

That is what I want to offer others: a high quality vacation where there is nothing to worry about and there is something that appeals to everyone.  On every trip we have taken, Disney or otherwise, service has been the It Factor that has defined our experiences.  If the services is exceptional, anywhere can be a five star resort.

What would be your ideal vacation?

My ideal vacation would be having my family, our cousins and my in-laws all together somewhere like a castle in Ireland or Scotland. There would be a private chef, who also didn’t have an issue with chicken strips, and a private guide that would take all the pressure off the adults. We would have a great time exploring the castle, hiking through the landscape and learning about the culture and country we were in. We would get to do some fun activities and games as well. Schedules would offer flexibility so we could do things on our own, too. Sounds a little like Adventures by Disney, actually.

Tell us a little about your family (spouse, children, pets)

I live in Houston, TX with my husband, two children and (at this writing) three dogs and two hamsters. We live close to my in-laws, and NASA, where my father-in-law worked for over forty years. I love being so close to the water and so close to a major city. We are active in our community, church and several charitable organizations.

Beach or mountains?

I am definitely a beach girl. Why else would anyone go to grad school in Malibu? Since childhood, the beach has been my Happy Place. My kids agree, too. My video-game addicted son can spend hours engineering a sand castle or snorkeling and my incredibly energetic daughter loves to swim in the ocean and boogie board. My husband used to surf back in the day, so this is a destination we can all agree on. In addition to the sand and surf, the beach is where every day rules don’t apply and you can’t be too casual.  That works for me.

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