Hi from Rick: A Rollicking Reunion
|Irish ETBD guide Stephen McPhilemy flocked by adoring fans.|
Guidebooks usually do a good job of describing the places you'll see on a trip...but they can never capture the joys of making friends along the way. You need to be there. And this past weekend, there...was here.
Our voices are still hoarse from all the fun we had as 1,500 of our tour alumns, guides, and a bunch of our favorite Europeans came together in Edmonds for our 20th annual tour reunion party. Kilt-clad Arthur Smith from the Scottish Highlands spun stories of clan massacres as if they happened yesterday. Rolinka from Holland was dressed up like the milk maid in the Vermeer painting we saw in Amsterdam. Penny flew in from Delphi to tell how, when Zeus tossed out two eagles, they flew around the world, and came together at the center of the world. This is also the spot she now calls home. Kasia told of how her city, Warsaw, rose from the ashes of WWII. Steven McPhilemy virtually took us all to Ireland, as he led several hundred temporary Irishmen and women in a rousing pub song. And Cecilia told how her family in Umbria has enjoyed sharing wine with their name on the label with travelers from around the world for 150 years.
As we research new guidebook editions, tape TV shows, lead tours, and generally poke around Europe looking for new discoveries in 2005, we look forward to looking up our old friends, and finding new ones as well. It's the part of travel you can never really plan for...and end up valuing the most.
To help jump-start your next trip, you'll find plenty of tips in this month's Travel News: Learn about Anne and my winter escape to Venice and Florence (after 20 years of looking at frescos, we finally made one). Get the latest on Eurail strategies from Europe's top expert on rail travel. Join in on the fun conversation as we launch our new public radio show (a weekly hour of travel talk with interviews and call-ins). And stretch your 2005 travel dollar by saving 15% on all travel accessories from now through the end of February in our Travel Store.
Here's to great travels in 2005. Like Zeus' eagles, we'll have lots to talk about when we bump into each other.