Subject: RE: Tours vs. non-tours
Merry Christmas, Seasons Greetings, to my fellow travlers.

This group is one of the nicest Christmas presents I will get his year.

Like most of us I normaly like to travel on my own and not on a tour. Several years ago I took the tour from hell and that horrible experience has kept me from taking any tours at all since then. The tour was just an overt grab for money. At one point, the tour guide announced we could only spend 1/2 hour at a famous museum because we were behind schedule. We were supposed to have 1.5 hours! Then after lunch, guess what? Big surprise extra. We stopped at a garden and gift store for 45 minues (not on the schedule). People were grumbling and refusing to tip the driver, so our tour guide verbally reprimanded us and told us we should be extra generous because the driver stopped at this tourist-trap gift shop.

In any event, I am taking my first tour in years because I want to go to Paris and have nobody to accompany me in the one week I can make the trip this year. So I am taking a Rick Steve's one week special tour of Paris. The tour offers about 40% free time, and Rick's brochures promise no ripoffs like I mentioned above. I will let you all know what I think if there is interest.

Travel in good health.

Raul