Monday, August 10, 2015

Reunion 2016 Info

This is your first Reunion 2016 update.   As you may know, the family voted overwhelmingly to head back to the beach next year.  At the meeting in Crystal River we were leaning toward the Sandcastle on Lido Beach near Sarasota.  They made us an attractive offer but as it turns out we seem to have a better offer from the Dolphin Beach Resort on St Pete Beach,  If you have a good memory, you will recall that we had some great reunions there many years ago.  The resort seems to have gone through some renovations and is in really good shape today, so let’s go back in time and head to the Dolphin next year! 
The Dolphin was already booked for the dates we targeted (July 14 -17) so we booked July 21 -24, 2016 and the hotel will honor the reduced rates 3 days before and after those dates.
We first got some really good feedback from Phyllis Fender, she writes:
"Joyce Crews and I have been going to the Dolphin in St Pete for several years now, the buildings have been painted, in the rooms there are new beds, new carpet, and flat screen TV’s.  The lobby has been remodeled, and they put new chairs by pool this last year.  The ice machines are always working, the bathrooms are the same, still very small.  Even though there are no kitchens in the rooms, there is a small refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker.  We love it there, Joyce and I went in June we got a pool side so Joyce would be near the pool. I think this place is Great!"
Also, Rachael Tisdale went and checked it out too and had this to say:
"Somebody please send Joyce Crews a thank you card!  This resort is fantastic!  Everything was clean and the staff are friendly. The sales person, Barbara, was able to answer every question I asked and she is more than willing to accommodate a few of our special requests. The photos links at the bottom of this email are truthfully what you see when you walk inside a room today. The baseboards show a bit of wear, but there is no musky smell. Everything has been updated/renovated within the last three years.
The guest rooms are very spacious. Every single room includes a mini-fridge, microwave, small dining table and chairs. Every other room has a balcony. Several of the first floor rooms open directly to the beach or the pool with sliding glass doors. Beachfront rooms have two queen beds or a king upon request.  Poolside rooms and standard rooms have two double beds. The bathrooms were clean and resembled the same layout at the Plantation on Crystal River. (You may not care about this, but your wives will!)
Several great dining options exist both inside the hotel and within walking distance. The hotel restaurant offers a full service breakfast buffet for adults $12.99 and kids $6.99. Their lounge, outside bar and restaurant all offer a wide variety of menu options and live entertainment on the weekends. The pool bar is nice and stays open from 11am until 10pm. 
The ballroom is beautiful and huge, it will easily seat all of us in any setting we wish to arrange. A dance floor is already in place. The talent show will definitely be back on the agenda next year!  Linens are included with the cost of each dinner.  We spoke at length about the dinner and reached the following compromise: the resort is willing to offer us lunch menus and pricing during dinner time as long as we commit to eating at 5:30pm. The menu features several options, including an All American Cookout. The buffet will be as follows: charcoal grilled beef hot dogs and hamburgers served with buns, tomatoes, onions, lettuce and an assortment of condiments. Sides include baked beans, potato salad, creamy coleslaw and a sliced seasonal fresh fruit display. Dessert is All American Apple Pie. Drinks include coffee and iced tea. (Tea is served with sugar on the side or can be sweetened upon request.) The cost is $17.95 per adult, $13.46 per child (10 and under) and free for children 2 and under. The resort does add an additional 20% for gratuity and 7% for sales tax.  A $300 deposit is due upon reservation and a final head count needs to be presented 4 days prior to the event. 
The Cabana Hut is much nicer than the name implies. It's a small room located directly on the beach, beside the pool and shuffleboards. From the room, you can see the beach, volleyball court, pool bar, etc. It is an air conditioned with two mini-fridges a few tables and several chairs. It's not as big as the room we had at the Plantation, but the view is so much better. One concern was the step in the room; many older people are prone to falling/tripping over this step, not to mention it's inaccessible for wheelchairs. To my surprise, Barbara said she'd have them install a permanent ramp! The Room would be free for every night that we book 20 or more rooms. We are also welcome to bring in any snacks, food and beverages we would like. This hut will be a much needed gathering place central to all of our outdoor activities.
Speaking of outdoor activities, there is one volleyball net and we are allowed to add another. The pool is extremely clean, has ample seating and even a few tiki huts with tables and chairs. Saint Pete Beach is beautiful and has plenty of space for our Beach Olympics. I even spoke with a very nice Marine who owns/operates the beach rentals. He said if we call in advance, he'd offer us reserved beach cabanas at a discounted rate. (Normally $8.50/hour or $25/day.) We can also rent kayaks and water bikes, go parasailing, and take chartered trips to Shell Island. This area has so much to offer!  The resort is across from Publix, CVS, Chick-fil-a, Dollar Tree and Dipping Dots ice cream just to name a few! 
It may not be a five star resort, but I think it will be a wonderful location for our next family reunion. The dates available were not what we had talked about, but they are close. The resort will hold 20-25 rooms with more available upon request. We would need to encourage the family to book as soon as possible so they won't be stuck paying higher prices for a lesser room elsewhere.
Forget two thumbs up, I already put my toes in the St. Pete sand and can't wait to go back! This will be a great place for us gather as a family."
So a great big thanks to both Phyllis and Rachael for gathering this information and heading us back to the Dolphin!
The Dolphin and the room rates are approximately:
Standard Double -  $125
Poolside Double -   $156
Deluxe Beachfront 2 Queens or 1 King - $190
These prices should include the 12% tax, there is no Resort or Parking Fees. (Rollaway beds are $15 extra per night)

You will need to tell the hotel Reservations person that your "group code" is:  G/SALI/2016
We contracted with the hotel to have a Saturday evening family dinner of Hamburgers and Hot Dogs as Rachael outlined above.  Even though the prices are a little high, these prices cover our use of the Ballroom for the evening, it's really not that bad and we will all be together as everyone wanted.  So we can also plan on a Talent Show and maybe even revive the $1.98 Beauty Show.  We can also have some Lebanese dancing if we can find someone to provide music.  Anyone got any ideas on the music? 

Maybe we can talk the following folks into:
Talent Show - Rachael & Kristen
Beach Olympics - Craig and Uncle Bob
Cards / Poker - Craig
$1.98 - Beauty Show – Josie and Sara
You need to act quickly to reserve your room(s) at the Dolphin as they will only hold about 25 rooms for us for a short time (couple of months).  After that you will be competing with all of their regular returning guests and the rates will not be as good as those quoted above.  So call and make your reservations TODAY!
Ok, I guess that’s a lot of words for our first update, I am sure there will be much more information to follow.
Let me know if you have any questions, ideas, or concerns and once again, check out the pictures below!
Bill Ward

Monday, July 21, 2014

2015 Reunion Details!

Saliba Family Reunion 2015

It was great all being together in Crystal River this year and now we can look forward to next year!  As you know, if you attended this year’s Family Meeting, next year we are going back to the Planation Resort on Crystal River.  Thank you Dot-Dot for reminding us of our heritage and family strength!
The Family decided on the dates of July 7th- 12th but the Planation will give us our reduced rates from July 5th – 15th if you want to come a little early or even stay later.
Major Rooms Consideration:  Just like this year, we will be there during the very popular “Scalloping Season” so you will need to make your room reservations as quickly as possible to be sure you will get a room and the type room you want as well as if you want to be near your family. The hotel has blocked out 40 rooms for us (we used 32 this year) but they are on a first come, first serve basis and we are competing with the outside world for the best rooms. Some of us waited too long this year and as result did not get to be closer to the action or had to stay at another hotel.  Let’s try to all be together next year!
Plantation on Crystal River - 9301 W. Fort Island Trail Crystal River, Florida 34429 
Reservations:   800-632-6262 or 352-795-4211    
Web Address:
As this year, please send payments directly to Craig Saliba for the $20 Family Reunion Fee.   Craig Saliba
4370 Signal Ridge Court
Buford, GA 30518
Hospitality Room:  We will have the same Cypress Room as our Hospitality Room and we will once again supply coffee and doughnuts starting on Friday morning.
The Room Rates increased by $20 per room and type. There are seven (7) types of accommodations, and the rooms range from $120 to $204, which are still about $20 less than their regular rate for this year.  If you have ANY problems, let me know please (my contact info is below).
  1. Garden View      (King or Double)    $120
  2. Water View        (King or Double)    $140
  3. Patio Garden      (King or Double)    $140 
  4. Patio Water        (King or Double)    $160  (Very Limited)
  5. Jr. Suite Garden (King or Double)    $160
  6. Jr. Suite Water   (King or Double)    $180
  7. Golf Villas            (King or Double)    $204  (Loft King or Double Upstairs, Queen Sofa Down) 
A few reminders about our reunion:  
- Hospitality fee $ 20.00 per family (Please send to Craig Saliba)
- Please Bring Contributions of Snacks & Drinks for the Hospitality Room
- Silent Auction (please bring items for the auction)
Schedule of Events
  • Thursday – Doughnuts, Check-In & Mingle with the family. Make dinner plans with your family
  • Friday – Doughnuts, Possible Family Dinner, Golf, Croquet and Volleyball Tournaments (On Property), Pool, Boating, Fishing and Scalloping.
  • Saturday- Doughnuts, Family Meeting at 11AM, Kids Olympics 10AM, Golf, Croquet and Volleyball Tournaments, Pool, Boating, Fishing and Scalloping, Dinner on your own.
  • Sunday – Say our goodbyes…… 
Family Dinner – I am still working with the hotel to see if there is a way to have a Family Dinner on-site at a reasonable costs.  I will keep you informed.
The following people volunteered to be in charge of a committee.   Please contact them if you have any suggestions, questions or if you would like to assist.

Bill Ward 

Kids Olympics: 
Nancy & Craig Mirr, Roger & Mary Nama

Mary and Roger Nama

Craig Mirr

Hospitality / Doughnuts:
Fieda & Gerald

Pat Marquis 
Plantation Activities:
  • 18 Hole Par 72 Golf / 9 Hole Par 3 Course
  • Organize your Volleyball / Croquet / Shuffleboard Teams
  • Free Internet / Free Parking / Small refrigerators in most rooms
  • Full Service Spa
  • Pool / Restaurants and Lounge and Tiki Bar
  • Great Manatee watching, fishing and scalloping and diving activities
  • Pontoon Boats, Kayaks, Canoes rentals on the property
Near By Attractions:
  • Manatee Lanes
  • Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park
  • Crystal River Mall Cinema
  • Rainbow River
  • Archaeologist State Park
  • Rails to Trails
There are a number of really good restaurants nearby.  Since we have a little more experience after this year’s reunion, I have started and attached a restaurant list which we can all refine during the year

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

It's Almost Time for the Reunion!

It's getting very close to Reunion Time and we are looking forward to seeing everyone at the Plantation Inn on Crystal River, July 10 - 13
The hotel is now sold out and at this point if anyone needs another room, they would have to go on a waiting list and if they were able to get a room, the rate would be at regular rack rates for the hotel which is considerably higher than our reunion rates.

A few reminders about our reunion:  
- Hospitality fee $ 20.00 per family  (Please send to Craig Saliba)
- Please Bring Contributions of Snacks & Drinks for the Hospitality Room
- Silent Auction (please bring items for the auction)
- Bingo (please bring items for bingo)
Thursday  Check-In & Mingle with the family. Make dinner plans with your family and be back by 7:30 pm for BINGO

Friday       Golf, Croquet and Volleyball Tournaments (On Property), Pool, Boating, Fishing and Scalloping.
Saturday  Family Meeting at 12PM; Golf, Croquet and Volleyball Tournaments (On Property), Pool, Boating, Fishing and Scalloping
Remember that the Planation Inn has a variety of water sport options on property to partake in.  Things like Snorkeling, Pontoon Boats, Kayaks, Canoes, Jon Boats, Scuba Diving, Manatee Snorkel Tours, River Tours, Sunset Cruises, Saltwater Fishing Charters, Scalloping Charters and Rainbow River Drift Tours.
Family Dinner – There will not be a formal Family Dinner or Cook Out this year as the hotel does not allow us to grill on the property and the hotel offerings were pretty expensive (like $20 or more per head).  However: most of us are meeting at a place called Cracker Bar & Grill for Friday nite dinner.  The place is popular and not that large but if we get there early, (say 5PM) we can all gather on their big outdoor deck or some tables inside and have our own fun dinner!  Check out their website:  It looks like a fun place!

If you haven't already done so. Please send payments directly to Craig Saliba for the dinner and the $20 hospitality fee.   
Craig Saliba
4370 Signal Ridge Court
Buford, GA 30518
The following people are in charge of a committee.   Please contact them if you have any suggestions, questions or if you would like to assist .

Bill Ward

Bobby and Stacey Purser

Beach Olympics:
Patrick, Bobby and Casey

Mary and Roger Nama

Debi Knowles

Craig Mirr

Bob Nama & Mary Jane

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Reunion Details for 2014 are Posted

Please check out the Reunion Page for full details, but get your reservation in soon for next year's reunion!!

Next year we are going, “Back in Time” to thePlanation Resort on Crystal River.  You may recall that we have had a Reunion there some time back…maybe 25 or 30 years.  Unfortunately, most of us are too old to remember, so let’s try it again!
The Family wanted to move the date back to the week of July 7th- 13th, so we did.  

There is one major consideration We will be there during the very popular “Scalloping Season” so you will need to make your room reservations as quickly as you can to be sure you get the type room you want as well as if you want to be near your family.  Please go to the website below and check out the photos and the property layout before you make your reservations.
Plantation on Crystal River - 9301 W. Fort Island Trail Crystal River, Florida 34429 
Web Address:


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Family Meeting Wrap-Up

We had the family meeting this morning, and next year's reunion was the primary topic of discussion.  It looks like next year, after a 36ish year hiatus, we will be heading back to the Crystal River Plantation.  Bill Ward has spoken to them prior to the reunion this year and has preliminary information that we will be able to go there next year for a reasonable price.  More details will be coming in the next week or so.  Bill, Tina, Debbie & Larry have graciously agreed to chair next year!

If you want to check out their site, go to and take a look around.  If things go well, we will need to get reservations in soon, so check back!

Be sure your e-mail address is up-to-date as well!  If there needs to be a change to yours (or someone else that you know is wrong), send the changes to so they can be updated ASAP.

We all would like to extend a special thanks to Kelly and Brian Sheehan for chairing this year's reunion.  Also to Casey Ward and Bobby Purser for running the beach olympics!