“Wow, that’s beautiful!”
“That’s great, what does beautiful look like?”
Welcome to The Travel Nook,® a custom tour & travel company with family values. Born to Greek immigrant parents and a mom who is blind, my entire life revolved around utilizing all possible resources to show, to teach and to share. When I was five, I learned how to read. The very next day I had a crash course for my first job. I instantly became a bilingual, travel companion for someone with special needs. -- Although I had immense responsibility growing up, I relished the opportunity to learn and explore. I had quickly mastered the New York City bus & subway routes, short cuts and became a sponge for knowledge. Every outing was an intimidating, yet empowering adventure.
Our family was very active. For each road trip, my mission was to research, find the hidden gems, help us navigate, translate & paint the perfect picture so everyone could partake. When I was a 11, our family took our first escorted tour ever, through California. I was completely smitten by the sights, experience & world of hospitality and thought, "Wow, this bus driver gets to go to so many places!" I was the only child on the trip so naturally, I made friends with everyone including establishing a fun rapport with the driver as we drove through the golden hills. One day in Monterey, I noticed we were missing people. I alerted the bus driver. At first he thought I was just chatting him up, and he didn't take me -- an 11 year old seriously until I said... "The honeymooners from South Africa - They are not on the bus!" Realizing that he indeed left people behind, we made the 30 minute trek back to get them. My innate sense of responsibility was a clear sign of my calling. My parents got a nod of gratitude from the driver & I got an ice cream cone at our next stop!
The journey only got better after I learned to drive. Mom & I packed up dad's Chevy & headed to Disney World. I had the reins & without any internet, or guide I went into autopilot. I navigated strategically through all the stimulating sights, smells & sounds... Each day was spent describing each attraction, parade, character & vibrant experience with precision and detail. I don't know what was more exciting... Getting to enjoy this magical place, or witnessing the joy it brought to my Mom. It was a such a rewarding trip for us. With each trip, I expanded my awareness, skills and global repertoire. We traveled further; by plane & ship, making it all the more enriching for us. Providing this confidence, peace of mind and standard of care for our family, (and anyone else who joined us on the journey,) made each experience truly remarkable. And even better than the last.
The diligence to provide memorable travel experiences and passion to explore, took me to the professional travel world where I worked for various tour companies. During this time my husband Steve & I took vacations. Lots of them! In lieu of birthday, holiday & anniversary gifts, we saved for travel. The thrill for life experiences, adventure & the contacts we made along the way gave us the confidence and motivation to pursue this passion professionally. After over 17 years of planning trips, packing & unpacking, touring & working with many groups of students, seniors, families and suppliers across the globe for others, it was only natural that we would take our experience and passion to build a company with our values and ideals. So together in 2014... The Travel Nook ® was born. And we have been making memories for individual & group travel ever since!
There's so much out there to see & everyone should get a chance to see it. No matter your travel style, we're sure to match up your wishlist & help you find some hidden gems while we're at it. We'll prepare you for your journey & leave all the discovery and seizing of opportunities up to you! And although we put in a call for good weather, you might get some rain... How else will you get to witness that beautiful mist, or that glorious rainbow??
We'll do all the hard work for you. The job of packing & joy of discovering is all ready for you. We're always accessible and you'll be comforted knowing you are part of our travel family & never a number.
And that is something, that a website, wholesale club, or friend who likes to plan trips... can ever deliver.
The Travel Nook looks forward to hosting you.
Ria & Steve Maratheftis
The Travel Nook
WE MAKE MEMORIES
4 CONTINENTS VISITED
Some historians believe this custom was first introduced in Europe by wealthy travelers returning from the New World who found pineapples hung outside the entrances to Caribbean villages. They were greeted warmly by the native people and believed the pineapple to be a sign of welcome. Others claim a pineapple was placed on the home gates of sea captains to alert the townsfolk of their safe return from the tropics. It served as an invitation by the family to stop by for refreshments and hear tales of the captain’s time at sea.
In 1770, prior to the Revolutionary War, the pricey pineapple played the role of peacemaker. Government officials utilized pineapples at banquets to keep business relations strong between the colonies planter class & the British Crown. The pineapple was meant to bridge the growing gap between the motherland and her subjects during a period of uneasy peace. After the war, Southern planters saw the pineapple as a cash crop opportunity & the pineapple became a symbol of the newly-minted United States of America, an attainable figure of welcome, individuality and fierce independence.
And so... The pineapple was no longer a frivolous exhibit of wealth possessed by a small minority, but an accessible gesture of neighborliness and unconditional hospitality. As it still is today.
Adapted Excerpt from Beth McKibben Southern Kitchen
The Travel Nook
213-37 39th Ave, #365, Bayside, NY 11361, US (718) 673-2211
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