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A Travel Angel at the Vatican: Exploring the Papal City-State with the Wife of a Swiss Guard

So often when I travel, I feel like the universe conspires in my favor. Perhaps I’m inclined to be more open to adventure and opportunities that come my way, or maybe, because I seek those moments, I recognize them more readily. Or perhaps there truly is a divine hand at work that guides me towards people and circumstances that stretch and shape me for the better. Whatever the reason, in that chapel and in that moment, I knew precisely how fortunate I was, and I was grateful.

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Italian Experiences with Rick Steves

It’s been more than Rick Steves has led one of our Rick Steves’ Europe Tours, but you’d never know it. His enthusiasm, energy, stamina, knowledge, and love of Europe seems only to have increased with those passing years.  Along with 28 happy tour members, my guide colleague Ben Cameron and I (we’re Rick’s assistants on… Continue reading Italian Experiences with Rick Steves

Caribbean · Culture · Education · History · Tourist · transportation · Travel Philosophy · Travel Planning · Travel Tips & Skills

Bienvenido a Havana: Cuba at First Glance

Weary from 14 hours of travel (in the middle seat of three different airplanes from Seattle to Mexico City to Havana), my body longed for a simple bed to sleep in, but my mind was awhirl with anticipation of a trip of a lifetime. Rick, his son Andy, his daughter Jackie, and I were Cuba-bound,… Continue reading Bienvenido a Havana: Cuba at First Glance

Americas · Culture · Europe · Food · The Great Outdoors · Travel Philosophy · Travel Tips & Skills · USA · Videos

Scenes from a Guide Summit

Name 20 countries from the European Union. Imagine the “typical” citizens of those countries–their features, their demeanors, their gestures, their accents. Now picture a collection of 120 people from those countries who are passionate aficionados on the history, art, culture, politics, and people of those motherlands all descending on a small town just north of… Continue reading Scenes from a Guide Summit

Adventure · Americas · Culture · History · Politics · The Great Outdoors · Travel Philosophy · Travel Tips & Skills · USA · Videos

Right Place, Right Time: Visiting the USS Missouri

With our moving experience at the USS Arizona Memorial completed, Odile and I have just enough time for a blitz visit to the USS Missouri before scooping up her little cherubs from preschool.  As we drive onto Ford Island, the tranquil solemnity I felt on the Arizona quickly gives way to mild panic about having… Continue reading Right Place, Right Time: Visiting the USS Missouri

Architecture · Art · Cruises · Culture · Europe · History · The Great Outdoors · Travel Philosophy · Travel Tips & Skills

36 Hours in Copenhagen

Two days before embarking on the Princess Cruise Lines Emerald Princess, Rick Steves and I had a 36-hour mini-“vacation” in Copenhagen. I say “vacation” because even when Rick is trying to take it easy, his passion for his work tends to not stay dormant. So while this meant we would not be going at a… Continue reading 36 Hours in Copenhagen

Culture · Europe · France · History · The Great Outdoors · Travel Tips & Skills

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 having… Continue reading The French DON’T Hate Americans