[This is one of a series of interviews. Read more here.]
Ronit has been a friend for years, so I was flattered when she and her fiancé David asked me to be their wedding photographer. I was even more flattered when she asked me to help them plan their honeymoon! They both have two kids (two sets of twins!) and busy careers so they wanted to start off their trip with 24-30 hours on a train ride, departing from their home in San Antonio. Their other goals were that they wanted a destination that was beautiful, warm, and that they hadn't been to before. We discussed a few options and Laguna Beach, CA turned out to be a perfect fit. I'm so glad they enjoyed their trip and it was a pleasure working with them.
Ronit and David, would you please introduce yourselves?
We are newlyweds who scheduled a honeymoon four months after the wedding. We're both professionals with children, each with a set of girl-boy twins. In the span of a year we relocated separately to San Antonio, moved in together for the first time, both changed jobs and planned a wedding. Having help with the honeymoon was a great wedding gift.
Why did you want to start off with a train ride? How was it?
We've both lived in many places and agreed that we wanted to visit somewhere in the continental US that neither had experienced before, and that we could get to by train. The relaxed pace of the train and the chance to enjoy the scenery were appealing. The train ride was terrific, and we highly recommend it. We had a roomette on the Superliner and loved the views and the meals. We left San Antonio at 2:45AM Sunday and got to Los Angeles at 5:15AM Monday.
How and why did you choose Laguna Beach and the Montage Laguna Beach Resort?
Kevin recommended both the destination and the resort, and we were thrilled with both. We've never been to Laguna, and would go back tomorrow if we could escape our obligations at home.
How did you like Laguna Beach?
Beautiful and relaxing doesn't begin to describe it. So much to see and do, but having no schedule made it really feel like a vacation. Because we had a rental car we were able to drive up the coast and see other cities. We enjoyed Balboa Island a lot.
How did you like the Montage Laguna Beach?
Paradise on earth. Every detail was exceptional, and Kevin's relationship with the hotel made the extras possible. The exercise facility and spa were out of this world, as was the hot tub at night.
What were your favorite restaurants and things to do around Laguna Beach?
We enjoyed the shopping along Forest Avenue, the sunsets along the coast (and from the room) and the fantastic food in the area. Our favorites were Alessa (great gnocchi), the Montage (breakfast), Ruby's Shake Shack (peanut butter cup shake) and True Food in Newport Beach's Fashion Island. We also indulged in frozen bananas on Balboa Island.
Is this your first time working with a travel consultant? What was the experience like?
This was our first time working with a travel consultant. It was fun, easy and very helpful. Knowing that a professional found the best rates and most convenient transportation, and having access to his experiences at our destination, gave us confidence that we were taking full advantage of our time away.