Sunday, January 14, 2007

Rick Steves for Rick C

Today I'm starting to plan the things we'd like to see and do in Europe this fall. This begins with a trip to Amazon to go through the huge virtual stacks of Rick Steves' travel guides. Some people don't like the books all that much, but we really love them. They just suit our travel style really well, with lots of walking tours and trips to out of the way places. I love how he'll talk about something important, but will cut to the chase when doing so. Sarah and I really try to avoid the tourist traps and chain restaurants/hotels/stores, so a travel guide that helps us avoid those places is much appreciated.

He's also a heck of a nice guy, and so is his family. We actually had dinner with them unintentionally at a cafe in Paris two summers ago. We were in Paris watching Lance win his last ever Tour de France, and Rick and his family happened to walk up and sit at our table (lots of cafes in Paris have tables where different parties sit together, as space can be limited).

We tried not to bother them too much because I thought they might get tired of the publicity and would appreciate a nice meal as a family, but they seemed genuinely interested in talking with us about our experiences and whether we liked/agreed with the books, so we chatted for awhile. I'll tell you one thing though, we sure got four star treatment from the staff once he sat down with us. The staff recognized him instantly, and it was all service with a smile after that!

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