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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

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Now We’re Cookin’!

Too often when we travel, we frantically fill our schedules with seeing all the major sights, checking things off our bucket lists, and always go-go-going until we’re too exhausted to do much else. Even having a meal is often underappreciated because we rush through it in order to not miss the next thing on our… Continue reading Now We’re Cookin’!

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How to Find Great Values in Venice

Centuries-old former palaces crackle and peel away in the thick, briny air. Bottom floors of old merchants’ warehouses sit empty and still cling half-heartedly to their romantic patina of a time long past, slowly but beautifully decaying under the Venetian heat, humidity, and rising waters. As I glide down the canal on a slow vaporetto,… Continue reading How to Find Great Values in Venice

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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

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Letting Fate Be Your Guide in Venice

Letting Fate Be Your Guide in Venice It’s early morning.  6:30 to be exact.  I’ve yet to take my shower, but centuries-old buildings are bathing in amber-and rose-tinted sunlight and summon me for a visit.  There’s so much to do today, and I need to maximize my time here.  Ninety minutes of Venice practically all… Continue reading Letting Fate Be Your Guide in Venice

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Walk Like a Roman

When I think of Rome, I recall ancient sites, coin-filled Baroque fountains, sexy (and not-so-sexy) men casting Ciao, Bellas at every passing female, and platefuls of pasta that, without fail, end up blissfully in my belly.  Equally engrained in my brain are nostalgic, cinematic images of Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn zipping on a Vespa… Continue reading Walk Like a Roman