Key Couples

Love comes in many forms — but few romances can compare to the perfect pairings in paradise you are about to meet. Herewith: A glimpse into the love stories behind some of Key Biscayne’s most dynamic duos.
Words by Jorge Arauz | Portraits by Josue Acosta | January 30, 2021 | People

Alan & Marjorie Goldberg

“We have an immense amount of admiration, love, devotion, commitment and respect for one another and are dedicated to make our love work. We have each other to lean on in good times and bad.”

Together since 1973, Alan & Marjorie Goldberg have had quite the love story! They met when he was the Publisher of American Baby Magazine and she was the President of Family Bazaar, a New York marketing company. They married at the St. Regis Hotel in New York in 1975 and have been on one continuous adventure ever since. On New Year’s Eve 1984/85, the couple was on a return flight from St. Thomas to New York when their plane was hijacked to Cuba. Once they were freed, their ordeal was documented in newspapers around the world and a slew of front pages and interview requests followed. A few months after the ordeal, once the media frenzy subsided and they began to settle back in to business as usual, the couple decided to live the dream by retiring to sail their boat, Amour5, a 58-foot Bristol sailboat, across the ocean to Europe with stops in France, Italy, Spain, Corsica and Sardinia. “That summer, we left port in Antigua for Porto Jose Banus in Spain, making a stop in The Azures on the way,” they say. “Living at sea for many months is a challenge that incorporates adventure, romance and makes memories for a lifetime!” Although on some legs of the journey they had a crew of friends aboard, during most of the trip it was just the two of them. “There’s nothing more romantic than sailing together under the stars,” they say. Today, the couple is on a brand new adventure in Key Biscayne. They have 4 daughters, 7 grandchildren and are awaiting the birth of a great-grandson. “Visiting us in Key Biscayne is a favorite pastime for our family,” they say. So what’s the secret to such a long and happy marriage? “We try to make each other’s lives as enjoyable as possible,” they say. “We’ve been together so long that we each know when to stand back, when to keep quiet and when to pursue!”

Moncy Blanco-Herrera & Sarah McKenzie Blanco-Herrera

“The greatest part of being together is our low-key home life — it’s nice to know that we have one another to lean on after a long day.”

He’s a leading Personal Injury & Insurance Attorney and she’s Head of Southeast Private Bank Events at J.P. Morgan. Together, this powerhouse pair has been together for more than a decade. Ironically, these two Key Rats didn’t meet in Key Biscayne, they met at a bar in Manhattan! “We were stuck in a huge snowstorm with our mutual friends the weekend of my 30th birthday,” says Moncy. “Somehow we had spent our entire lives in Key Biscayne and had never crossed paths!” A few years later, the pair was married at Plymouth Congregational Church and had their reception at the Key Biscayne Yacht Club. “We didn’t choose a first song to dance to until the morning of our wedding,” they say. “That whole first song thing is just not us! We settled on Toto’s Africa because 1.) The song is awesome and we both love it! and 2.) We do not take ourselves too seriously!” By far, Moncy and Sarah say the greatest adventure of their life has been raising their two children. “We’re lucky we’re still here!,” jokes Moncy. They say that they couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. “The truth is that every part of this island, of this tight-knit community has shaped who we are as people and I can only hope that it can provide our children the same form of pride, confidence, and refuge that it provided us,” they say. “The way we describe Key Biscayne to others is that it’s like living in a small seaside town that exists quietly and centrally from a global city. Where else in America can you find that?!”

Tom Bercu & Etienne Lartigau

Imagine being told repairs to your home would take 60 days before you could move back in so you rent a small apartment around the corner and move in temporarily with the love of your life (and your two dogs!) as you wait the birth of your daughter (who arrived a month early!) only to have COVID to hit and be forced to move back into your unfinished house. Tom Bercu, an event production entrepreneur, and Etienne Lartigau, a Certified Professional Coach with a huge passion for health and wellness, didn’t have to imagine that scenario — they lived it! “Each day, when the workmen arrived at 7 a.m., we would all go out to the detached garage that also served as a home office and spend the day there,” they say. “When the workers left each day, we would go back into the house, sanitize it, and go to sleep. Rinse and repeat…for 3 months!.” Now much more peaceful at their spacious condo at The Ocean Club in Key Biscayne, the couple, who has been together for 2.5 years and recently moved from Los Angeles, has some tips for making romance last. “We respect and appreciate each other and we communicate,” they say. “And equally importantly, we give each other breathing room and we most definitely help each other with doing the dishes!” So what does the future hold for the pair? “Although we haven’t gotten engaged yet, when we do, we’ll circle back on this,” they say. “We enivision our wedding will take place on a beach somewhere surrounded by family, friends and loved ones!”

Frank & JoAnne Civantos

“The best part of being together is we know that we are there for one another and can depend on each other no matter what — making time to focus on each other is a key priority for us!”

When Frank & JoAnne Civantos met more than 30 years ago, it was like a scene out of Grey’s Anatomy. The couple met at Children’s Memorial Hospital of Chicago while Frank was rotating on the Pediatric Ear, Nose & Throat Team during his Residency; and JoAnne was a Pediatric Medical/Surgical Nurse. “I called Frank to tell him his orders were not in the style that his supervising attending surgeon would prefer,” says JoAnne. “Basically, I was looking out for the patient, but also making Frank look good.” Frank’s response: “Thank you! How can I repay you?” JoAnne’s answer sealed their fate: “You can buy me flowers.” And so it came to be that after 3.5 years of dating, Frank popped the question by bringing her flower request full circle. “We made dinner plans to go to a restaurant, which was not a frequent event,” says Frank. “When the waiter brought her drink order, it had a note on it that said ‘Look inside the bouquet’ — there was a ring inside the flowers on the table!” After they were married during an epic wedding that included lots of hula dancing and salsa music, the couple honeymooned in Tahiti before moving to Key Biscayne in 1992, two weeks before Hurricane Andrew! Now with their 4 adult children out of the house, the couple is looking forward to the next chapter of their lives. “Now that we are empty-nesters, we are rediscovering each other,” they say, mentioning their favorite activities include taking their boat to Elliott Key and catching the sunset at the Key Biscayne Yacht Club. “We are so fortunate to have this amazing island as our home!”