20 Years of Service Award, Congrats Rachel!

Family standing on a beach at sunset together
January 14, 2022
Reading Time: 8 minutes
Wow, what can I say? 21 years at Star and I have experienced so much through the years.

Starting right out of college, my goal was to work for a company that truly values and appreciates their employees and boy did I get it right with STAR.

Not only have I learned so much through the years, I have worked on amazing projects with clients and co-workers, always in the spirit of collaboration, hard work, problem-solving, dedication, and fun. I get told so often it’s rare to be with a company for so long, especially as a designer. My answer to that is do what you love and find great people to do it with, then it doesn’t feel like just a “job”. The industry we work in is small and niche’, with amazingly talented people. No two projects I touch are ever the same, which keeps my creative soul happy.

We work hard and we play hard – so when it came time to pick an experience to celebrate my 20th year Anniversary of working with STAR, I knew what I wanted to do. One of my favorite places to visit and relax is Mexico. I have a blended family and spending time together has always been a top priority for my husband and me. Even though we took them on a family trip to Mexico several years ago, they always talked about how it was the best trip ever and they would love to go back. As our children are getting older (2 daughters in college, one daughter graduating this year, another daughter the following year, and our son in three years) their lives are getting busier with school, sports, work and significant others. We felt it was time to bring them back and create some fun new memories, before life gets busier and they transition into adulthood, with less time to come home.

Family standing on a beach at sunset together

We were delighted to have some wonderful friends join us for this trip and it was great to watch them experience Mexico for their first time! The party included our family of seven, and their family of four. I became the planner and organizer, doing all of the research and ultimately deciding where to go.

Family sitting together at a couple of tables near each other in a restaurant

There are so many options and places so we chose an all inclusive resort in Puerto Aventuras, Quitana Roo, Mexico. Easy to get to, it was only a three hour plane ride and one hour van ride from the Cancun International airport. As we arrived at our destination all excited to start our vacation, we were greeted with cocktails and a joyful Bueno Dias from the staff. We ended up getting upgraded to a nicer hotel (there were five on the resort) which meant we had access to ALL of the amenities throughout the resort. As we walked around in the humid 85 degree weather checking out the resort – the kids declared “Mom, you did it again! This is perfect.”

Palm trees lining a beach that has clear blue water
“Mom, you did it again! This is perfect.”

And it really was. Our week was filled with lazy days at the beach, pool side fun, floating with cocktails in hand, meeting new people, shopping, mini golfing, beach volleyball, relaxing, reading and eating cuisine at some great restaurants.

Speaking of restaurants, we got to try out some great food – Italian, Brazilian, Mexican, and on our last night was French Cuisine. This was my favorite, and I wish we could have experienced this one twice. The kids thought this was the best restaurant to eat at too. We don’t do a whole lot of fine dining back home, so being able to eat there as a family was perfect.

Rachel and her husband smiling together while out for dinner

A big highlight of the trip was celebrating my husband Chris’s birthday and going to the spa with our friends for a mini couple’s date. They have you show up an hour early so you can get the full spa experience. You start out in a rain shower with scented oils, moving on to the steam room, then sauna room, and lastly their pools. You have to fully submerge yourself into a pool of ice cold water, then walk out and submerge into a pool of steaming hot water – back and forth. After that, we went into a room to get deep tissue massages that make you wish you could get one every day. Following this we sat ocean side for a brunch filled with mimosa’s, laughs, and a happy heart.

Rachel and her husband standing on a beach in Mexico

After nearly two years COVID, with a lot of stress, ups and downs, this vacation was much needed for our entire family. Getting away and reconnecting was exactly what all of us needed.
A huge thank you to STAR for helping our family make this happen. I am so thankful to have these memories.

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