Subject: Re: Re: Rick Steves

What a great Frommer's story! I loved it. When we were in Paris in April , EVERYONE had a copy of Steves' Paris book... it was almost comical. We ate in one of his recommended restaurants, because we were too tired to get to the restaurant we had reserved (yes, we called and canceled) and it was incredibly AWFUL. We had his book in hand, since I wanted to take his rue Cler walk (it was OK, but all the Stevesites made if seem like a street in the US) and ducked into this place--- the only bad meal we ate in Paris.

I have been kind of a fan of Frommer lately, since he has been championing the cause of more vacation time for Americans. I of read everything he has to say through a rosy haze; I love anyone that thinks the average working person deserves more time off!

On the serious side:

My family also has had the experience of a sad loss while one of our members was traveling.... I'm not sure how I feel about it, except, and I don't mean this to be cavalier, but I don't think that being able to reach me to tell me that someone I love has died or is gravely injured will in any way alleviate the consequences of the death or illness. This may sound weird, but if they're dead, and I'm blissfully ignorant of the fact, I wouldn't mind staying that way for a little while longer..... I don't mean to insult anyone that has had to suffer with such circumstances, but having lost a child of my own, I don't think knowing about such things sooner or later makes much difference. This is all hugely a matter of personal choice, but as for me, I'd rather hear the bad news later. I think of vacation as fantasy time; keep real life as far away as possible, please...

And, as I said at the beginning of the thread, we always leave contact information for the family, and ALWAYS tell them not to call unless they REALLY need us. My mother once called me in Italy to ask me to help my college student daughter with her homework. These people don't take directions well!

And on the lighter side: Romance (even for us middle-aged folks) is the best part of getting away from it all!

Just an old romantic, Debbie