4 Apr 2021

Easter greetings and a funny story!

 


Wishing you spring flowers & other happy things!


As you may be able to guess, the flowers in this photo were blooming in Cuba. I very much wish I could be there now, or could be planning my next trip. Unfortunately, it's still too early to set a date for a trip. I will most certainly let you know when I see a green light for safe travel...hopefully, that will be later this year.

Meanwhile, I just wanted to take this opportunity to send Easter greetings, as well as to offer you a little amusement. I've written a couple of short stories recently for some online contests and I think you'll find this one entertaining! The theme of the contest was "embarrassment."

I wrote about waitressing, which I did while attending university, although the incident itself is fictional. If anyone has ever eaten at the Stone Crock, I hope the scene I've described isn't familiar! I also hope it will make you laugh, at least a little.

Here's the link to my story, "World's Greatest Waitress."
Please read and, if you enjoyed it, give me a ❤️ at the end of the story.

Gracias,
XO Jenny

9 Feb 2021

It's time for a little good news, isn't it?

Sometimes, it seems, the thorns of life predominate. Nonetheless, bright spots can be found and, even in harsh settings, flowers will bloom. Both happy yellow flowers in these photos were blossoming in rocky, arid spots. When I came across them while hiking in Cuba, they made me smile. I hope that viewing them has the same effect on you!

Beyond flowers and photos, words of cheer and good news are vital for keeping our spirits up these days, in my opinion. I haven't had much good news regarding travel to share with you lately, which is why I haven't sent any recent emails. Now, however, I do have a small bit of positive information!

Sunwing has announced that travel voucher validity will be extended until Sept. 30, 2026 – well beyond the original expiry of June 20, 2022 – and it will be done automatically. You and I do not need to do anything, if we already have future travel credit on file with Sunwing due to pandemic cancellations of non-refundable bookings, as many of us do. This should alleviate stress and pressure regarding the need to use a voucher before you may feel comfortable or safe to travel. And, remember, you are not locked into going with me to Marea del Portillo on a specific date; the vouchers can be used for any of Sunwing's all-inclusive packages (not just in Cuba) whenever you wish, as long as it's booked before Sept. 30, 2026.

Some people have expressed concern that Sunwing could go under before vouchers can be used. Personally, I don't believe that will happen. But, if Sunwing went bankrupt or was sold, you and your money (as well as mine!) would be protected. Ontario has very strong legislation in place regarding the travel industry, and both Sunwing and the agency I'm affiliated with (P&G Travel) are registered members of TICO (Travel Industry Council of Ontario), as required by law. Even if you don't live in Ontario, you're covered because your travel package was sold here. For more information about TICO, click here.

Although some companies have transferable vouchers, Sunwing does not... at least, not yet! I don't have any insider information on that but I very much hope it will happen. I'm just putting the idea out there, you could say! Of course, it could be something Sunwing executives are already pondering. We'll have to wait and see, just as we must wait and see when it will be possible to travel to lovely Marea del Portillo, Cuba, where a piece of my heart resides.

I'm going to conclude this rather long email with another heart-related item – an early Valentine's Day greeting combined with a reminder that you can travel to Cuba via my mind, if you haven't already! I've been getting some nice feedback from people who've read my novel, Cuban Kisses, and felt transported to my favorite part of Cuba! The sequel, Cuban Wishes, will be out soon. The publisher says it can now be ordered via the Ripple Press website. If you only ordered the first book (not the two-book package) and now want the second, you should be able to order it at a discounted price (approx. $5 off) until the end of February. If you have any questions, click their "Contact Us" button in the upper right corner.

Keep smiling,
Jenny

1 Jan 2021

2021 cheers to a better year to come!


As we're skating away on the thin ice of a new day and gliding into the coming year, remember this: always be kind, never give up, treat others with respect and knock three times on the ceiling if you love me, yourself or anyone else – because love is the drug the world needs now more than ever!

27 Dec 2020

Very merry greetings to everyone!


 

In the beginning of the year, when COVID-19 brought the world to a grinding halt, who knew we would still be so profoundly in its clutches by the close of 2020? I certainly didn't! Travel, for the most part, remains stalled. I continue to be reticent to even consider it, particularly with respect to leading groups. I'm sure that will change in 2021 but, at this juncture, I cannot predict a date.

Meanwhile, you can travel to Cuba, in a sense, through my novels! The first book in the Cuban Kisses series is now in print and orders will be sent out during the week following Christmas. As you might imagine, I'm rather excited! It's been described as both a gripping thriller and a steamy romance, populated with engaging and memorable characters, and woven together with an intense love and knowledge of Cuban culture. For now, it's only available from my publisher's website. If you want a signed copy, just indicate as such when you order it – I'll be happy to inscribe it for you!


The photo I used to create the image at the top of this email was taken in Cuba, where they have magnificent, monstrous poinsettias. I've very much missed being there this year... and I've missed visiting other friends and family elsewhere too. In this unusual holiday season, I hope you find ways to celebrate and to fill your cups with joy. Hug your family and friends in your hearts and smile as often as possible – even if it's beneath a mask! Go gently, be kind, merry Christmas and shalom.

XOXO ~ Jenny
 

 

 

6 Nov 2020

Want to travel to Cuba via my mind?

Marea del Portillo beach – southwestern Cuba
 

Travel to Cuba is starting to roll again – make that fly – which is very exciting! International flights have begun landing and have been warmly welcomed. Cuba has set up mandatory free COVID testing upon arrival, as well as other appropriate protocols to keep both visitors and local residents safe. 

I know a number of people who are planning trips and will be going within the upcoming weeks. I'm still watching and waiting to see how things go. I don't feel comfortable taking a group just yet but, if nothing worsens here in Canada or in Cuba in the next few months, I would love to slip off on my own for a scouting mission at the start of the new year!

Meanwhile, Cuba remains in my heart and mind, as always. I guess you could say that I've been mentally traveling there, perhaps more than usual. And, now you can too! The Cuba-centric novel I've been working on for the past couple of years is FINALLY available for sale!!! (Yes, I'm rather excited.)

We don't have the physical copies of Cuban Kisses back from the printer yet but you can pre-order online through my publisher's website. In fact, if you're fast enough, you can get a signed copy (I will sign the first 100 books that are ordered) AND, if you pre-order the sequel at the same time, you'll get a discount of approximately $5 on the two-book package. Cuban Wishes, the second book in the series, should be out in the early part of 2021. 

Here are the links for ordering one or both... 


Once the books are printed, we will be having some virtual or actual events but, at the moment, these are still in the planning stages. 

Until we can safely travel once again, I hope you will enjoy this fictional adventure-romance trip to Cuba!

Besitos, Jenny


 

21 Sept 2020

Finally, some Sunwing news but...

Let's aim for a trip to Cuba in 2021!

There have been many rumors floating around about what will or won't be possible regarding travel to dear Marea del Portillo, Cuba, this year. I've been watching and waiting, not wanting to book another trip that might be cancelled. As well, there were many unanswered questions regarding isolation/quarantine due to the ongoing COVID-19 issues. Upon return to Canada, would we need to hide out for two weeks? How would testing factor in? What about insurance?

For most of the summer, Sunwing had been offering flights to Manzanillo de Cuba beginning in mid October. Some of my friends eagerly booked trips but I still had reservations. I felt that late November would be more viable. Then, October options disappeared from the Sunwing website and, not long after that, so did November. Their site is still showing trips available beginning Dec. 16 but I'm skeptical because I've heard from a trusted source that Sunwing will be cancelling all trips to Manzanillo (Marea), Camagüey and Santiago de Cuba for their winter travel season. Some of my early-booking friends have been advised their trips have been cancelled; others are awaiting what is likely coming.

Maybe things will open up by April 2021 but, of course, nothing is certain. There are still simply too many variables. Outside of Havana, Cuba seemed to be doing pretty well with respect to controlling COVID. Unfortunately, despite precautions, cases of the virus are now on the upswing in other provinces – mainly those close to Havana. Provincial borders have been closed to all except essential travel.

However, Cuba has cautiously opened the doors to tourism in "the Cayos" (islands along the northeastern coast), where the guests can be contained and not allowed onto the mainland; a plan intended to protect both foreigners and nationals. They are also providing free mandatory COVID tests to anyone entering the country and have other health/safety protocols in place. Sunwing and other major airlines are now offering travel packages to Cayo Coco, etc. and have added free COVID-19 insurance coverage. I suspect that Sunwing is planning to drop other Cuban destinations this winter in order to swing tourism traffic to the Cayos, so they're more likely to have full planes and non-discounted prices.

Since it does not appear that we're really out of the woods yet regarding COVID, either in Cuba or North America, I intend to keep watching and waiting. I most certainly HOPE to be able to travel to Marea in the early part of 2021! However, I've stopped anticipating a trip there this year, I'm very sad to say. If the stars were to align and an opportunity presented itself, I would definitely jump on a plane but, at this moment, I just don't see that happening.

Meanwhile, if you're looking for something to offset a potential Cuba-deficit disorder, I may be able to help. I've recently signed a deal to have my first novel published! Entitled, Cuban Kisses / Cuban Wishes, it should be out in November. It's primarily set in Cuba, at a fictionalized version of Marea del Portillo. I will send out a note when it's available to order through my publisher's website. The image below, which I shot at Marea a few years ago, is the template for the book's cover.

Stay tuned!
Jenny

 



 

2 Sept 2020

My first novel will be coming out soon!

Stay tuned! I will be posting news of my forthcoming book very soon. 

I have signed a deal with Ripple Press and we expect to have my first novel, Cuban Kisses/Cuban Wishes, published in time for Christmas!

The story is set in a fictionalized version of the Cuban resort where I frequently lead group trips.

XOXO

Jenny