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A Celebration of Sarah

Posted by Tony & Cheri on June 7, 2007

“In the tropics, people come and they go”. – Jimmy Buffet

Sarah B
It’s fashionable to talk about how travel influences people and how living in a different place and culture can change a person for the better. However we often forget that the rewards of travel can run in both directions and that a visitor to a country can change the landscape as well as how the local people feel and act. On a few very special occasions, a traveler can leave a place better than it was. Our friend Sarah is such a person.

Shortly after moving to Playa we met Sarah. She had moved here only a few months before we did. She came down to take a break from years of school, work, and some personal sadness. A short stay in the sun seemed to be just what she needed. She never left. Playa seduced her. But then again, the love affair was mutual.

There are ex-pats who come here to party until the booze, the money or the locals’ patience is used up. Then they drift away. Not Sarah. She became part of Playa. True enough, our girl loves to party! There is probably no bar top in Playa that has not been danced upon by Sarah as she waved a glass of tequila and shouted “Woo-hoo!” to the world. However Sarah has meant much more to Playa than just one more pretty girl dancing the night away. Sarah became part of life down here for many people.

Sarah has the world’s biggest heart. Anytime there was a person in need or a charity function planned, Sarah jumped in to help with all she has. From the Bloody Chicas to the local fire fighters, to collecting school supplies and clothing for local underprivileged children and unwed mothers, to raising money for ex-pats in need of assistance…Sarah has always been there. After she became a member of the newly established church in Paamul she became one of its biggest supporters. When she went to work at the El Papalote grade school she didn’t just teach children English, she threw herself into events and celebrations and became a member of the families whose children went there and the folks who taught there.

SarahBecause of that giving spirit, everyone young and old adores “Sarita.” She became the first crush of Angelito, the seven year old son of our maid Elvira. Actually the whole staff at the Luna Blue fell a little bit in love with Sarah for her warmth, her little thoughtful gifts and that wonderful smile.

Then there are the two of us. Sarah has been part of our life here from the beginning. She raided our closets for Halloween costumes, she created spontaneous events at our house (there’s a barbeque at your place tonight…didn’t I tell you?!); she banged up our car (kids!!!) and she scared the hell out of us by getting sick with dengue and kidney infections (like the time she called at midnight with a 104 degree temperature: “Papa T, I don’t feel very good.”). Life with Sarah has never been dull.

We soon discovered she was a talented artist and put her to work. She designed the unique Luna Blue Hotel & Garden logo which graces our webpage signs and t-shirts. She also painted the favorite places signpost hanging in our garden. We weren’t alone in appreciating Sarah’s talents. Her designs have been seen all over Playa and the internet. You can see some of her work on her web page, She’ll continue to be our own personal grapics designer, even though now everything will have to be done long distance. 😦

And she has taken very good care of us. She has been that special kind of friend who listens and never judges. She was always there to help and work no matter what the project. We never asked Sarah to do anything and had her say no. She is that unique person who always comes through and is always willing to give. She held our hands, dried our tears, and told us we could go on even when we thought we couldn’t. She housesat our animals, baked us incredible goodies and dragged us to the beach, the bar or the party when it all got to be too much.

We really don’t know if we would still be here today in Playa, running a successful hotel, if we hadn’t had Sarah as part of our lives.

Sarah & AdamNow she is leaving us. No longer will we see that little brown skinned girl heading past the hotel early in the morning on her way to the beach, yelling “I’ll stop by on my way back!” No longer will we walk by her house on the way home from work and have her run out on her tiny balcony saying “Come on up. I have…brownies/tequila/good gossip!”

Sarah has fallen in love and is moving back to the States to be with her guy, Adam. We totally approve. We think he is perfect for her and her for him. After all, we introduced them, thinking what a perfect couple they would make. We know they will be very happy together. And of course we will insist they occasionally come back for a visit (on birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, anniversaries, 4th of July, Flag Day…).

Sarah thinks she is leaving Playa on June 11th. She is wrong. She will forever be part of the heart and soul of Playa del Carmen. Her courage, generosity, and joy of life are now intertwined with this special place and the people who live and visit here. We are all changed for the better for having met her.

Thank you, darling girl, for everything. We love you.

Papa T and Cheri


Sarah & Papa T

14 Responses to “A Celebration of Sarah”

  1. Sarah said

    You guys are making me cry! I also don’t know what I would’ve down without you here, my “Mexican” parents (or is that father and sister?!). The world works in such strange ways…us both ending up here from different sides of the USA at the same time. And then there is Adam who came from the middle of the USA and stayed in your hotel, so you were able to introduce me! I love you both too! Now, let’s go have margaritas in a few hours and stop this crying!!

  2. Cuff said

    Such nice sentiments Tony and Cheri! Ruth and I were SO fortunate to have met Sarah. I am in awe of the absolute “pouring out of one’s self” that Sarah exhibited while in Playa. There is an ancient quote: “Bloom where you are planted!” No one demonstrated this more than Sarah.

  3. Kittiekat said

    Sarah suggested that I get back on the forum so that I could find the link to this beautiful tribute you wrote, Tony. Thank you for your words, your sharing and capturing how we all feel about Sarah. Part of Sarah’s charm is that she loved us all and we knew it- and we are all so different- I looked around her B’day party that night at the Beer Bucket and thought- wow, look at all these different kinds of people and we all have Sarah in common….
    Each member of her Playa family will keep a piece of her heart here with us.

  4. Sarah said

    Everytime I read this I get teary! I love you guys and I miss you!! (And if you come visit I will make all the goodies you want!)

  5. tommy said

    Ah I hate to see her go but completely understand the reason as Adam is a rock solid guy! Toni & Cheri your words could not describe her any better. She touched my life as a warm and friendly soul that always had a smile on! She will be missed in Playa I am sure!!! All the best Sarah and Adam you deserve it!!!!!

  6. Sarah said

    Aww, thanks, Tommy!

    Tony and Cheri…I MISS YOU!! It’s really hitting me lately! Sniff, sniff! Love you!

  7. Sarah said

    I just read this again…and I am teary again! And it has noting to do with the cubra libres I just drank! I really miss you both! Now, come on over…I have some tequila AND some Playa gossip!!

  8. Tappy (Tam) said

    Sarah is a sweetie and I can see why you all miss her so much.

  9. […] For more about Sarah, go to our blog entry: A Celebration for Sarah. […]

  10. Anne Colbourne said

    Sarah I don’t know you or Adam you but I know Cheri & Tony who I think are wonderful, warm caring people. I was truly touched by how much you have impacted on their lives and everyone in Playa. I wish you and Adam all the best for your exciting future together. Congratulations.

    Hi, Anne!!!!! So cool to see you here! Come and see us, please! I miss you!


  11. Ali Skultety said

    Okay Tony and Cheri…thank you for getting me all teary eyed, beautiful and caring words. Which, I have witnessed firsthand when you have spoken to me about Sarah.

    Congratulations to Sarah and Adam!! I wish you a lifetime of love and adventures!

    – your extended California family whom you have not met yet!

  12. Sarah said

    Hi Ali and Anne! Thank you for the nice messages and wishes!


  13. Sharon Horrigan said

    I remember meeting Sarah and Adam and liked them right away. Such a wonderful story and a great happy ending. Sarah and Adam enjoy that little girl.

  14. Michelle Hetrick said

    I had the pleasure of meeting Sarah and Adam on one of their visits back to Playa in 2010. They are indeed a very special and beautiful couple. From reading your story, I so wish I could have lived in Playa when Sarah did. It just sounds like it was such a nice tight-knit group and friendship.
    I view the pictures of Sadie vicariously, envying such a beautiful love story.
    Hope to run into you all again. Sadie, too, someday.

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