It’s just shy of a week before my wife and I head west to Chicago for Christmas, and everyone I know is pretty much cruising on autopilot–pretty typical for about this time of the year.  It’s a wonder anything gets done at all!

It isn’t particularly cold here during the day, but it drops to near freezing at night.  (Thank God I quit working outside in that…)  I was talking with Alli last night about how long it’s been since we’ve been able to take a vacation (the last real one was on our honeymoon), and we’ve decided that it’s time to prioritize a trip in the next couple of years, before Little Ones come along, and the speed of life really gets going.

Not an hour after we had this conversation, I get a call from my Ma…she tells me she “bought a franchise,” and I can only imagine what shape this will take, since she doesn’t have a background in business.  I was wrong to doubt her, though, because one thing she does have a background in is travel.  She’s been a flight attendant for going on eight or nine years now, and she managed to get my Dad onto all 7 continents before he passed away a couple of years ago, of complications related to dimentia.  She’s been all over the planet.  Imagine my Republican, uber-conservative, freedom-and-gun-loving Dad tooling around St. Petersburg or Beijing.  Cracks me up every time I think of it.

Anyway, she called to tell me that Cloud 9 Vacations is up and running, and to spread the word.  Any of you who know my Ma will see this is a logical next step for her.  After all, she’s done a lot of the “try it before you buy it” for you already, and she can tell you with confidence which places/cruises/trips will be top-notch, and which ones to avoid.  Any of you who haven’t met her yet will learn instantly that I got my outgoing nature (and most of my personality) from her.  She’s fun and easy to get to know.  I keep my friends from seeing her too much because I’m afraid they’ll like her more than me. <Insert laugh-track here>

Well, what are you waiting for?  Go and check it out!  I’m telling you, I looked at a couple of week-long cruises around the Mediterranean–you get probably six or seven ports of call, and the whole fare is just shy of a thousand bucks.  For my readers here on the U.S. mainland, you can do a 7-day cruise to St. Barth’s out of Miami for just over six hundred bucks!  It’s hard to find a decent hotel that cheap–comes out to under $90 a day, and you’re literally traveling the whole time!  She’s also partnered up with American Express, which means bookoo travel points if you use your AmEx card to book the trip.

Call my Ma (Denise Grana) toll-free at 855.334.9500, or check out, and you can find her blog at  She’ll hook you up with a trip you won’t forget!

    • Canadian Performer’s Money
    • December 18th, 2012

    Great to see your mom taking action and starting a business instead of complaining that there are no jobs and the government should do something.

    Best of luck to her!

  1. Thanks for the comment, CPM! I agree–that’s how we were raised in our family, so I’m not shocked to see her doing this. If you’re planning on heading down here soon, just let my Ma know. She can find you the best airfares, too, and if you’ll be in the DC/Baltimore area, make sure to let me know and we can meet for a beer, if possible. Catch you later!

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