Hi from Rick: Seriously Focused on Spring
|Volunteer relief workers take a well-earned break in Vernazza last week. The Cinque Terre towns of Vernazza and Monterosso face months of hard work to recover from the October 25th disaster. (Photo courtesy of Cultural Comments).|
For travelers who love Europe, winter isn't "down time" — it's when we dive into planning for spring. That's exactly where my attention is right now, and it's a swirling mix of serious and fun.
Hope in Cinque Terre: The big news has been the catastrophic flooding and mudslides that hit the Cinque Terre towns of Vernazza and Monterosso on October 25th. This disaster has gotten little coverage in the U.S. media, but you'll find news, photos, videos and travelers' comments about the disaster and recovery efforts in our December Tour News. Our friends in this corner of Italy are in for a bleak, backbreaking winter of work to rebuild their livelihood. Next spring is a critical time for most of the rebuilding to be completed and for the lifeblood of their economy — travelers like you and me — to return. Let's do all we can to make that happen.
Savings on spring tours: Another good reason to think about spring now is...you have a chance to enjoy it a few weeks early. Our tour program is offering low-season discounts of up to $500 on a bunch of our warmest routes through Italy, Turkey and Greece — where March and April feel a lot like June. Add lower seasonal air fares and your soon-to-expire (Nov. 30th!) $100 early booking discount to this, and you've got one sunny travel deal to look forward to.
Reunion time: For me, one event always kicks off my mental and emotional spring, even though it happens in January. It's when all our tour guides come together in Edmonds for a week of tour strategy sessions and classes, ending with our biggest party of the year — the annual Tour Alum Reunion. The rekindled friendships and travel energy at this all-day event are amazing. If you traveled with us in 2011, we'd love to see you and your tour buddies in Edmonds on Saturday, January 14th.
Thanks for your love and concern for our friends in the Cinque Terre, and your enthusiasm for all the good that thoughtful travel can bring.