Well, first of all, I really do love Rick Steves. In September 2005 I made my first trip to Italy, signing up for a Rick Steves tour with my cousin and friend, Carole and Carol (yes, really). I think it was about an 18-day tour, starting in Lake Como and ending in Rome – but I’ll tell you more about that later.
The point is that I went from drooling on the screen during Rick’s PBS specials to finally experiencing the first of many adventures. And I never leave home without the latest, trusty blue and gold book firmly in hand.
So my plan is to use these pages to talk about old trips, plan for new ones, and maybe even try to bring readers along with me whenever I can.
In the last few years I’ve grown to love river cruises. It’s a delightful way to see plenty of interesting places without having to pack and unpack every day. My next trip begins on May 25th in Bucharest on a Viking cruise that wanders up the Danube, finally ending in Budapest. Carole is still my travel buddy and we plan to go from Budapest to Vienna for three days after the cruise, with a day trip to Salzburg (and yes, we will definitely be singing the “Do Re Mi” song!).
Even with the great local guides provided by cruise lines like Viking and Avalon, I bring Rick along. During free time in a little riverside town I might follow his suggestion to stop for coffee and pastry at a particularly friendly café, or circle back to a church to get a better look at the stained glass windows described in Rick’s guide.
And sometimes when I’m just considering where I might like to visit next, I visit www.ricksteves.com to see what Rick says about certain countries or regions, as well as view the comments and recommendations posted by others on the site’s message boards.
You are my hero, Rick Steves! Along with your delightful and knowledgeable tour guides, writers and staff. Maybe one of my trips will be a pilgrimage to Bellingham, Washington, and I’ll blog about that experience for those of you who share my admiration for Rick and his company. (P.S. Don’t worry, Rick. I’m not a stalker or anything. Promise!).
Do you love travel? Do you love Rick Steves? (And do you by any chance know how to find wingdings on WordPress so I can throw in a heart now and then?) Then I hope you’ll join me for this blogging journey. Happy trails!