Marino: I was born in Mexico City where I lived for eleven years before moving to San Antonio, Texas. After two years in San Antonio, my family moved to Southern California where I attended junior high and high school in Carlsbad, a coastal town just north of San Diego.
Kathy: I was born in Rhode Island but only spent a few months there as an infant before my family moved to Southern California where I eventually attended El Camino High School in Oceanside (to this day Carlsbad High School’s bitter rival).
On a fateful summer day in 1981, we spotted each other in an awkward encounter at the harbor beach in Oceanside, California. A few weeks later, fate and destiny brought us together again in a small world, odds-defying run-in. We soon began dating and eventually became high school sweethearts.
In 1982, after graduating from high school I, Marino, moved to Playa del Carmen to work with my father, Arnold Bilgore, at KaiLuum, a resort he established in the late 70's. Not suprisingly, the move to Mexico effectively ended our high school relationship.
Throughout the years, we regularly wrote each other and kept in touch (does anybody remember snail mail?) although eventually we allowed ten years to slip by without actually seeing each other.
In 1994, fate and destiny insisted on bringing us together again when Kathy needed a much deserved vacation after her first marriage ended in divorce.
By some measure of chance, Kathy's divorce coencided with my 30th birthday celebration so naturally, I invited Kathy to Playa del Carmen to be my special guest of honor.
Although ten years had passed since we had last seen each other, our undeniable connection and attraction was more than palpable.
After Kathy’s initial visit, we began dating long-distance. In July of 1995, after a year and a half of playing the consumate fools, I secretly gathered family and friends from all over the United States and Mexico, knelt before Kathy, and asked her to marry me. Although I never actually heard her accept, I imagined and reacted like she had.
A few weeks after my proposal, Kathy and Alana (Kathy's daughter - age nine at the time) moved to Playa del Carmen embarking on a new and exciting chapter in our lives.
Kathy and I were married, and the three of us officially merged our lives, in July of 1998.
Approximately one year before we were married, we decided to look for property away from Playa del Carmen. Our initial intention was to buy a small parcel we could develop for a weekend home, a place we could escape to, a getaway from Playa del Carmen’s ever growing popularity and explosive growth.
Fate and destiny, our old friends, once again intervened in our lives when a casual conversation with an acquaintance led us to a property owner who was selling inaccessible jungle parcels.
To this day, we are not entirely sure what compelled us to purchase, sight unseen, these mysterious and inaccessible parcels. Regardless, in May of 1997, we became proud owners of virgin jungle acreage.
In October of 1998, despite the fact we still did not have an access road, we started clearing our property. This meant hiking nearly two miles through dense virgin jungle on narrow surveyor's paths while carrying whatever tools and supplies were required to get the job done.
Just eight months after the first underbrush was cleared, we finished the initial incarnation of our dream including the Casa, basic landscaping, and our originally much smaller pool area.
In July of 1999, we invited about 100 of our closest friends and family members to our first “ranch party”...a 4th of July/House Warming party. Needless to say, everyone was impressed with our rather exotic accomplishment.
In November 1999, our first son Anastazi was born in Cancun as dawn broke. We will never forget the spectacular sunrise that greeted him on the first morning of his life. Little did we know, just 13 months later we would be welcoming a new member of our family.
In December of 2000, Kiani, our second son, was born - also in Cancun. Kiani’s birth was memorable in its own right but that is definitely another story.
From the time the boys were newborns, we've spent as much family time as possible exploring, discovering, and simply enjoying “the ranch” as we had come to call it.
Kathy and I agree many of our most cherished memories are memories of our family time spent together at the ranch.
Although it's hard to articulate, it seems the ranch's atmosphere promotes and encourages togetherness, communication, interaction, and a bond revolving on our shared time. In our opinion, this "effect" is greatly accentuated by the absence of intrussion by common elecrtical devices.
Regardless, watching the boys swim, run, play, discover, learn and grow at the ranch has been life enriching. No doubt the memories we have created there will forever and fondly affect us deeply.
As our family grew and extended family and friends visited, it became apparent everyone eagerly looked forward to spending as much time as possible at the ranch.
At some point we realized referring to our little piece of heaven as "the ranch", did not dignify how important and cherished a place "it" had become.
With the help of our Mayan staff, we ultimately came accross two words “tani” and “nah”. This Mayan portmanteau was ideal…Taninah.
In the language of the Maya, tani means "in front" or "first" while nah means "home".
Taninah (pronounced with an accent on the last “a”) would be a perfect name for our little jungle retreat...after all, we were the first to access and tame just enough virgin jungle to build our unforgetable "first home".
Over the years, applying our imagination, ambition, creativity, and passion, we continually made improvements to our property guided by one mission:
To respectfully create our vision of paradise...not only a prefect physical place to enjoy but also the prefect place to enjoy our family and friends.
Unbeknownst to us, we were also organically creating Taninah...the perfect place for you to enjoy your family and friends. So, if you are reading these words, we beleive fate and destiny, the same compelling and undeniable forces that brought Kathy and I together, played a role in bringing Taninah to you.
On the surface, we are certain you and your family will enjoy Taninah's accommodations as well as all the fun and exciting amenities Taninah now offers; however, our deepest desire is that Taninah's natural beauty, peaceful atmosphere, and unforgettable ambiance will revitalize your souls as it has ours.
It is with great honor and pride that Kathy, Alana, Anastazi, Kiani, and I offer Taninah - our passion, our dream, our paradise, to you and your family.
In appreciation of your consideration,
The Tomacelli Family
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