Friday, October 12, 2012

Food, of course.

With apologies (or thanks) to the lovely magazine, AFAR, I "borrowed" this intriguing question:

If you could fly anywhere for a meal, where would you go?


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Closing the Deal

When you ask people to shell out $3,000 for a 10-day tour of London and other parts of England, you'd better give them some good reasons why they should.

That's why our college is offering a free Information Session for a tour we've scheduled for March 15-24, 2013.  The Tour is Beatles-focused, with stops at all the famous Beatles "haunts," including Abbey Road, and a couple of days in Liverpool, the lads' birthplace.

Since not everyone is a Beatles fan, we've thrown in sidetrips to Stratford-Upon-Avon and Oxford.

The Information Session will be October 9 (which, coincidentally, is John Lennon's birthday).  If you're interested, more information is here.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Time Out

I know I shouldn't, but, honestly, I could easily spend all morning reading Time Out London.

Just try to resist its charms.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My Perfect Day in ________.

If you're a New York Times reader, you've probably run across this feature in the Travel section.

I so enjoy having other travelers  suggesting what sites they'd take in, where they'd stay, where they'd eat or drink a pint.

So, I'm "borrowing" this idea for Parkland and our travel tours.  Calling it "My Perfect Day in _______."

Since so many of you have traveled to London, will you let us know what your "perfect day in London" would look like?  Our Beatles Tour is scheduled for March 2013 and we'll have several days in London.

We'll post your suggestions here on our blog and on Facebook.

Many thanks.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sunglasses at night

Can hardly wait for Parkland College's BEATLES TOUR.  Even though the tour isn't until March 2013, I'm already worrying about my "travel-readiness."  I enjoy travel, but it takes me a long time to bounce back from jet lag.  By the time I'm feeling human, the tour is nearly over.

You can find all kinds of articles and so-called "remedies" for jet lag.  Here's a recent one from the New York Times, that, frankly, I intend to test. 

This music video, which reminds me of the days long ago when I actually watched MTV, seems appropriate.  The key, I think, is to have really cool sunglasses.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Goodbye, Pete Best. Hello, Ringo Starr.

NOTE TO READERS:  Parkland College is sponsoring a Beatles Tour in March 2013.  We'll visit London, Liverpool, and a few spots in-between.  For a complete tour itinerary, go here.

I came across this rare film footage of the Beatles playing "live" in the famous Cavern Club.  Beatles fans will recognize the Cavern Club as the sweaty, grimy, noisy music venue where the Beatles and so many other Liverpool bands honed their skills.

This clip of the Beatles features Ringo on the drums.  Just a week earlier, Pete Best, the Beatles original drummer (and favorite of countless female fans) was ousted from the group.  The lads preferred Ringo, as did the band's new record producer, George Martin.  Mr. Martin was not keen on Pete's drumming.  Brian Epstein, the Beatles' manager, was given the task of telling Pete Best he no longer was a Beatle.

The video clip is from 1962.  By the next year, the Beatles would be the toast of the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe.

On December 10, 1963, CBS News showed the US audiences a newsclip of the Beatles.   A few months later, in February 1964, seventy-three million Americans watched the Beatles perform on "The Ed Sullivan Show."

As for Pete Best, some very interesting info here.

Can't help wondering, would the Beatles have been as successful with Pete Best instead of Ringo Starr?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

"Not the Tour Type"

I've certainly said that about myself; "I'm not the type who travels on group tours."  Oh, no, I like to do what I want when I want.  Plus, why would I want to travel with a bunch of strangers?

But like a lot of things in my life, I've changed, or at least, modified, my opinion.  Travel tours can be the easiest, safest way to see places you've always dreamed of going.  Happened to me: I dreamed of visiting London since I was a child.  I have no idea why it took me so many years to get there.  When I did arrive in London for the first time in my life, it was with a Parkland College-sponsored tour (for community folks, not a Study Abroad type thing).

What worked?  The only thing I had to do was get a passport, pay for the tour, pack my bag, and show up.  I didn't have to worry about airlines, hotels, what to see, or how to get there.  And, I had plenty of "free time," if I wanted to wander London on my own.

I don't recall the exact price for the tour, but I considered it a good value.  Sure, I could have made all the arrangements on my own, probably found a cheaper hotel and better airline deal (maybe not), but the point was, I didn't want to handle all the details.  I enjoyed being able to soak up the pure experience of travel.

Which brings me to this question: Why don't more people take advantage of these types of tours?  Especially tours such as Parkland's which typically are smaller in size (20-25 travelers) than some of the large tour businesses.

Maybe it's because some folks have heard stories about "tours gone wrong."  Knock wood, the tours I've gone on have been free of mishap (that's not to say that you might have to be a little flexible sometimes and adjust the itinerary due to weather or unforeseen circumstances).  And, yes, you might get what I like to call a "character" on your tour.  You know, the one person who is just a bit "quirky."  Hey, that's the roll of the dice.  I can attest to having made new friends on tours and enjoying wine and lively conversation in Spain, Scotland, Italy, and, of course, a pint or two in London pubs. 

Travel is so personal.  Each person approaches his/her journey in a different way.  Isn't it nice, though, to be able to share your experience with folks who you might otherwise have never met?  I think it is and I never thought that I would end up "the tour type."

Do you have any tour stories?