I’ve Been Pickpocketed!

I know there’s no need to over-react.  I wasn’t attacked, I’m not injured, and everything that needed to get taken care of got taken care of.  In fact, the instant that I realized my wallet was no longer in my bag, there was nothing for me to do but smile.  Smile at my own carelessnessContinue reading “I’ve Been Pickpocketed!”

A Place That’s All Your Own

One of the most annoying things about travel/tourism is that if you’re going to someplace that’s popular, everyone else is too.  That means crowds, lines that seem to have no end, pushing and shoving, and odors that you didn’t think were humanly possible.  With all of that mass of humanity, patience and a good senseContinue reading “A Place That’s All Your Own”

Natural Beauty: Worth the Bite

I detest insects.  I can’t help it.  I like spiders, snakes, dogs, cats, cows, chickens, monkeys, and sheep, but not insects.  They tend to bite me…a lot.  So, I generally do my best to avoid them.  My windows are kept closed if there’s no screen, and I wear Off! or a citronella wristband (so fashionable)Continue reading “Natural Beauty: Worth the Bite”

Making the Best out of Being Where You Are (part 2 The How-To)

In my previous blog post, I wrote: Whether you’re away on vacation or just living like a local on “staycation”, whether it’s your virgin visit or you know the place like a pro, find alternate ways to enjoy the place you’re visiting.  You have the opportunity and the choice to do something beyond the ordinary,Continue reading “Making the Best out of Being Where You Are (part 2 The How-To)”

Making the Best out of Being Where You Are (part 1 — The Paris Staycation)

Summertime in Paris can sometimes be a real grind for American tourists.  It’s the pinnacle of high season when the majority of families coordinate their kids’ vacation with time off from work.  If going with the flow isn’t your strong suit, the energy can be unbearably crushing.  Most museums can be inundated with tourists fromContinue reading “Making the Best out of Being Where You Are (part 1 — The Paris Staycation)”

The French DON’T Hate Americans

I’ve wrapped up a Rick Steves’ Paris and the Heart of France tour as an assistant guide, and I feel blessed to have been on tour with Julie.  As an American ex-pat raising her children in the Burgundy region of France, she has so much insight into the French psyche, customs and history.  And havingContinue reading “The French DON’T Hate Americans”

Travel — Moving Your Body and So Much More

The last few days have moved me in unanticipated ways – physically, intellectually and emotionally.  From Paris, we headed south and stopped by Guedélon, a 13th century-style castle being currently constructed, using tools, techniques and materials of that time period.  It is one of the coolest places I’ve ever been.  I’m a visual learner.  AtContinue reading “Travel — Moving Your Body and So Much More”

Light Bulb Moments in the City of Light

As an assistant tour guide, my job is to first and foremost help the tour members however I can, answering questions when I can, offering recommendations when needed, making sure there are no stragglers and that no one gets left behind, passing our tickets/brochures/what have you, finding out who wants what for dinner, setting up/cleaningContinue reading “Light Bulb Moments in the City of Light”

My First Day on the Job

Do you remember your first day of work?  I’ve had several jobs since I was sixteen:  Tall Flag instructor, retail clothes salesperson/cashier, restaurant hostess, Pocahontas (true story), high school Spanish teacher, and now assistant tour guide.  I have vivid memories of my first day at Disneyland and my first day at Carlsbad High School, andContinue reading “My First Day on the Job”

Where It All Began…

            I’m about to start my first tour as an assistant guide, and I get to start in my favorite city: Paris.  Since 2000, I’ve managed to come back to this city at least once a year, and I can’t ever seem to get enough.  It never gets old, and IContinue reading “Where It All Began…”