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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Member Spotlight: Viola Gianni and James Antisdel

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AAA Member Spotlight

When Viola Gianni first met James Antisdel on a blind date, she knew one thing in advance: Traveling was a big part of his life. After all, it was her daughter, Rina Klein, Antisdel’s AAA Travel Agent in Myrtle Beach, S.C., who set the two up.

For years, Klein’s colleagues arranged extensive world travels for Antisdel, first with his late wife and later solo, as he continued to see the world as a widower, taking off for destinations far and wide on his own. One day, Antisdel asked Klein and other agents in the office if they knew of any potential traveling companions.

She thought he would have a lot in common with her mother, a recent widow. But it took some doing to get her mother to agree to lunch. “She said there was a nice gentleman she wanted me to meet,” says Gianni.  “But I told her I wasn’t interested in having another man in my life after my husband had died. After we met, we hit it off. Our first date lasted seven hours.”

After raising five children and working as a paralegal, Gianni, now 83, hadn’t had the chance to travel. However, since meeting and then marrying Antisdel, now 84, she’s fully embraced his lifestyle. Together, they’ve explored much of Europe, Canada, Central America and sailed on ships that have called at her favorite city, Victoria, B.C. 

Antisdel and Gianni take five to six trips a year. Klein handles the itineraries, making sure that their travels are as comfortable and smooth as possible. For Klein, planning trips for her mother and Antisdel has been a joy. 

“They’re up for anything. She’s a seasoned traveler now. It’s given her experiences that she never had before.”

Travel is a great idea at any age. Call your AAA Travel Agent at 800-398-0379 and start planning!

(Go Magazine Jan/Feb 2018)

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