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.
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 onContinue reading “Italian Experiences with Rick Steves”
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”
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 ofContinue reading “Scenes from a Guide Summit”
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 havingContinue reading “Right Place, Right Time: Visiting the USS Missouri”
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 aContinue reading “36 Hours in Copenhagen”
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”
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”