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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

Adventure · Destinations · Europe · France · Hiking · Italy · The Great Outdoors · transportation · Travel Styles · Travel Tips & Skills

Why Climb Every Mountain When You Can Take the Lift?

Oh, the Alps. Glorious. Majestic. Breathtaking. They’re the mountains of your dreams, every hiker’s delight, and a “must” destination for so many. For the past week and a half, Rick and I have been leading 26 tour members through the Alps from Austria to Italy to Germany and to Switzerland. And now we’ve arrived in… Continue reading Why Climb Every Mountain When You Can Take the Lift?

Adventure · Architecture · Austria · Destinations · Entertainment · Europe · Family-friendly · Hiking · History · The Great Outdoors · Travel Styles

Conquering Fears and Storming a Castle in Austria

My friend Julie once experimented with “The Year of Trying New Things.” Whenever she encountered something she hadn’t tried  or didn’t want to try before (activities, food, routes, ways of thinking), rather than say no to it, she opted to try it…just for kicks. When Rick and I are faced with the choice of doing… Continue reading Conquering Fears and Storming a Castle in Austria

Adventure · Hiking · Italy · Logistics · The Great Outdoors · transportation · Travel Philosophy · Travel Styles · Travel Tips & Skills

The Dynamite Dolomites: Easy to Access, Easy to Love

I’m not what one would call an outdoorsy kind of person, and no one ever mistook me for a Birkenstock-wearing “granola girl,” but I sure do love hiking in the Alps. Our outdoor-loving and nature-respecting European counterparts make getting there so easy. From well-groomed trails and mountain huts to clear signage and industrial-strength cable lifts,… Continue reading The Dynamite Dolomites: Easy to Access, Easy to Love

Adventure · Austria · Destinations · Europe · France · Germany · Hiking · Italy · Switzerland · The Great Outdoors · Tourist · Travel Philosophy · Travel Planning · Travel Styles · Travel Tips & Skills

Are You Gonna Go My Way?

  Not all travelers are created equal. Whether you’re a bold adventurer, culture vulture, foodie fanatic , history buff, or nature-lover, how you travel can be as important as why you travel and where you go. As an avid travel and tour guide, I know that incorporating our personal passions—and even our individual idiosyncrasies—into our travels… Continue reading Are You Gonna Go My Way?

Culture · Europe · Food · Germany · History · Tourist

Market Day in Freiburg: The More Things Change…

Unless today’s Sunday, it’s Market Day in Freiburg. As early as six in the morning, merchants and farmers from near and far descend upon the town, setting up their tents and stalls and artfully displaying their harvests and wares. As sleepy-eyed Freiburgers awake to a new day, the market begins to pulse with activity. … Continue reading Market Day in Freiburg: The More Things Change…

Adventure · Education · Entertainment · Germany · Logistics · packing · Planes · Religion · Travel Philosophy · Travel Planning · Travel Tips & Skills

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Germany

Confession time: I’m a last-minute packer, sometimes finishing up just hours before a flight. Fortunately, I pack so often that I’ve got my incomprehensible-to-most system down pat. On most trips, procrastination serves as stimulus to “get ‘er done.” Rare is it that something needed is forgotten at home. I get to the airport with sufficient… Continue reading A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Germany