Do you believe that travel memories are the best souvenirs? I do. Especially when that trip is to celebrate a special moment in life, milestone or even a rare sighting of two busy parents away on holiday together without the kids. My husband and I recently had the opportunity to tag on a special anniversary celebration to a business trip in Cancun, Mexico last weekend. Two worlds collided as I introduced my amazing husband of 16 years (and partner for 22 years) to my passionate group of entrepreneurial friends and professional travel bloggers, journalists and social media influencers at TBEX North America in Cancun, Mexico. The setting? The beautiful beachfront, all-inclusive Moon Palace Resort & Spa.


Hip Travel Mama. Monica Lopez, for Flytographer. Cancun Photographer  We are not big gift givers in our family for anniversaries. In a typical year, we celebrate special birthdays and anniversaries by gifting the other with a fun experience, dinner out and a card sharing what this last year has meant to us together and a reminder of our love. Troy is a master at creating fun evenings for us, so we (okay I) get a little competitive with coming up with creative ways to celebrate. One year, when I was a freshman in college and living in the dorms at University of Washington, he sent a limo to pick me up for Valentines Day. This was before cell phones, so I waited for over an hour looking out my dorm window for him to pick me up and he was soooooo late. Troy is prompt. This was odd. I started to worry.

Meanwhile, my roommate and I watched as a black stretch limo pulled up and a driver leaned up against the large, opulent car waiting for someone. We waited. He waited. For almost an hour. We thought, who sends a limo to a college dorm room and then doesn’t show up? I finally got a hold of Troy on the phone and he finally had to say, “Get downstairs. That limo is for you, babe.”

Life is much more complicated now with kids. Coordinating time away together and little surprises is much more difficult. It requires lining up two full-time professionals work schedules. Travel. Having grandmas and grandpas schedule time to take kids to school, soccer games and stay with them overnight. Thanks to the support of many people (you know who you are), we were able to make all of the stars align for one special weekend to celebrate and connect the two important parts of my life I love so much – my husband and my travel community. I decided to surprise him with a photo shoot in Cancun to capture our special anniversary weekend.

A surprise anniversary gift. Enter Flytographer.

This summer, a mutual travel friend (and another more fabulous Ann) introduced me to Flytographer founder, Nicole Smith. We had a call a couple weeks ago. We bonded. I love that she is so passionate about building her business around connecting people. It is the company’s mission to inspire others that memories are the best souvenirs. She’s a mom. She comes from a tech background like me. You should read her story. Flytographer is the world’s first global vacation photography company that helps travelers solve that problem by connecting you with carefully vetted local photographers in over 100 cities worldwide.

The process was so simple and fast. Flytographer requested our travel dates, location and preferred shoot times. They introduced us to Cancun-based photographer Monica who met us at the hotel at 8:00 a.m. We took an hour to shoot some photos on the beach, (admitingly, we were a wee-bit slow from too much tequila and fun festivities the previous night). By Monday, I had the full set of photos ready to download and share. I am in love. With these pictures. With our time together. For the opportunity to capture forever these fleeting moments of us, in the moment, able to focus on just US. A reminder what what you focus on grows stronger. That this relationship, too, deserves focused time. To share with our girls that time away from them is not to get away from them, but to come closer to supporting the foundation of our family. And that, is good for all of us.

Thank you, Mom for making this possible. And without further adieu, here are a few of the photos of these crazy two parents captured that sunny morning in Cancun, Mexico: 

Hip Travel Mama. Monica Lopez, for Flytographer. Cancun Photographer  3Hip Travel Mama. Monica Lopez, for Flytographer. Cancun Photographer 2Hip Travel Mama. Monica Lopez, for Flytographer. Cancun Photographer

Anne Taylor Hartzell, Hip Travel Mama. Photo by Monica Lopez for Flytographer140913_anne_0004Anne and husband at Moon Palace CancunHip Travel Mama. Monica Lopez, for Flytographer. Cancun Photographer

Want to book your own Flytographer shoot? As a limited time offer for Hip Travel Mama readers, you can get $25 off your shoot.  All you have to do is subscribe by email to get your offer code!


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A BIG thank you and photo credit goes to Monica Lopez for Flytographer. 

Disclosure: We received a complimentary Flytographer photo shoot for review purposes. As always, opinions expressed here are our own.

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