But before I get started let me share a little background….
2019 started off amazing. I visited the World Federation of Tourist Guides Association convention in Tbilisi, Georgia. This was 3 weeks of touring the country and taking workshops with some of the best guides in the world.
When I returned to New York my husband and I decided that we would actually move to Florida. My mom is in her late 70’s and she had recently visited us over the Holidays and after having some discussions about starting a family we felt it would work out better if we moved in to help her. I would still run my tour company New York Broadway Tours from Florida and continue traveling as a tour director.
The following tour guide season was extremely busy… I worked for Explore America as a tour director and so I was with student groups visiting Philadelphia, Boston, New York, and Washington D.C.
I traveled so much that when I found out my mother-in-law had cancer it was a tough ending to the season. It was aggressive and it came back strong. She didn’t even last a month or so. We had to say goodbye.
Shortly after this we returned back to Florida and I finally started looking for temporary work. I fortunately found a job working as the Executive Assistant for the City Clerk in Winter Haven. I worked with all the commissioners and fell in love with downtown Winter Haven. Of course I didn’t realize that I also had gotten pregnant…. flash forward to still working into the new year in 2020 and then COVID hit.
All the tours for the next season were cancelled and I was needed at City Hall. Flash forward to when I was not needed and unemployment kicked in. Then I had my newborn baby in June and the rest of the year flew by. Now with the idea of a vaccine out it felt like maybe next year I could offer my services locally and help do what I do best. Share my love of history and storytelling for the city of Winter Haven.
My entrepreneurial spirit decided that it was ready and so Winter Haven Food Tours LLC was born!