Friday, August 7, 2009

Great Guides, Small Groups, No Grumps

Hi from Rick: Get out there, listen and learn. I love Rick Steves. He is a travel agent who is now a celebrity himself. We see his TV show on PBS. I am on his email list AND someday I will take one of his tours. Today, he sent an email and made a comment about freedom.

We are blessed to be free and affluent enough to travel if we want. That freedom and opportunity is most clear when you share a meal with people who could only dream about it.

He made this comment about some people he met previously on his travels. Here is his YouTube on Travel as a Political Act -Intro and Travel as a Political Act - Part 2. Part 2 takes a little while to load.

He probably makes all the conservatives in this country curl their toes because he is so liberal. But he acknowledges God, he loves the people of the world, he does his part to protect the environment and he is SO practical!! What great packing advice. What interesting and very REAL places he recommends!

When we went to Ireland and England in 2004, I bought luggage and a Britrail pass from Rick if I remember correctly.

I wrote him before we went about what we planned to do. After we got back I wrote again about our experiences during that Christmas time on his Graffiti wall. Later I was on his new radio show. I called in twice: to talk about Ireland (about 2/3s into the show after George) and then another time to talk about Rome (-about this photo. My cousin and I found this odd place when visiting Rome. I helped Japanese tourists find their way downstairs to see it with my poor French, mad hand waving and English. They found it and smiled and bowed. I felt very satisfied).

Lastly, I wrote a monologue about my home town, only I used the whole Yadkin Valley. They read it on the air after the Arthur Frommer show. They read what I wrote mostly correctly. (Pull the show to the end, about 1/2 inch from the end and their it will be.) One of my friends, who recorded Rick Steves podcasts for his long drives, was driving along thinking someone should write about the Yadkin Valley, and lo! an angel appeared.. no I appeared on his recording of this Arthur Frommer show.

Rick Steves sent me a free travel sack for my 15 seconds of fame and I talked to him twice LIVE on the phone for the radio show. Very cool. I almost claim to know him personally. Almost.

Note: Rick Steves is from Seattle, Washington, USA which over on the Pacific coast is further from me than London, England. He has a little different accent. We have a friend in OVTA from the state of Washington and he talks the same way. Just a little bit different... But enjoy all his radio archives if you want to hear about the whole world.

We are blessed in this country there is no doubt. And I love my conservative relatives and my liberal friends. Freedom makes this possible. We all share the same country and the same state and usually get along fine even if we argue.

Travel reminds us of the advantages our forefathers gave us by sacrificing so much during the American Revolution. This is so true for me. I love you. I love your food. I love your music. I love your art and your grandmothers. I hope someday you will come and love our North Carolina food, music, art and people too.

If you live outside of NC, you will find almost as many interesting and very REAL cultural experiences as Rick recommends in Europe, if you visit NC. If you live in NC, I guarantee, you will find almost as many interesting and very REAL and DIFFERENT NC cultural experiences as Rick recommends in Europe, if you just move from one end of our great state to the other.

So, I hope you will follow the Revolution across NC and experience all the gifts from the diversity of peoples who moved here and fought for freedom in the 1770s and 80s. Here is a map of the Revolutionary Trail as it exists for the moment.

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