Rockies Train

Over the years, we have often been asked to describe our favorite travel memories. While there are too many to recount here, a few stand out in our minds. As we look back, beginning in the early 70s when we both started in the travel industry, the song “Memories … pressed between the pages of my mind”* describes these souvenirs, forever ours …

Rebecca’s favorite memories:

It wasn’t until 1968, as a college student, that I flew for the first time (from Oshkosh to Chicago). That small taste of air travel became an addiction. Hundreds of flights later, my journeys have taught me about a plethora of subjects. Unexpected experiences, good or challenging, provide the best stories.

Shortly after my marriage, I took my mother-in-law, Gini, to Mexico. I wanted to parasail in Acapulco, but she did not want me to. Instead, in Mexico City, I fought a baby bull in a real bull ring. Gini was not happy, but relieved when I stepped away unscathed. I fondly remember this, while Gini works to forget.

In 1978, I went on a photographic safari to Eastern Africa. It was an amazing trip with an unexpected opportunity, courtesy of a British pilot. He asked me if I wanted to sit in the copilot seat of a Piper Navajo. Of course, I accepted. It was not an ordinary flight. We flew from one of our camps around and over the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro.

One thing travel has taught me is that people are universally kind. A few women and I had just finished dinner at a neighborhood restaurant off the beaten track in Istanbul, Turkey. Suddenly, platters of fruit appeared on the table. I told the waiter we had not ordered the fruit. He then handed me an unsigned note that read, “I visited your country many years ago; people were so kind and I wanted to return the favor.”

Kathy’s favorite memories:

I fondly recall traveling the world with my daughter as she was growing up, seeing it through her eyes as she looked, with wonder, at all things new. It was such a pleasure to introduce her to new cultures, foods and ways of life. Example: Since 1888, Hong Kong’s Star Ferries, called by many “the world’s greatest ride” and each with a name, have been sailing between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. She made it a goal to learn and memorize all 13 of them and to ride with me on as many as possible. I cherish the memory of each and every ride with her and our travels together around the globe.

Another favorite is a 1980s adventure. The travel agents in our Royal Air Maroc study group had an unscheduled overnight in Rabat, Morocco, due to a change in plans. The only hotel available was one that was totally empty except for the armed guards everywhere. We found out the next morning (after leaving) that the hotel’s only other guests were Yasser Arafat and the King of Morocco—there for a summit meeting.

No story of favorite memories would be complete without beautiful Italy! From Lake Como’s Varenna, with its incredible mountainside vistas and glorious ferry rides to Bellagio and Menaggio, to wandering the streets of Florence, to eating true Italian pasta and panna cotta daily, to the Amalfi Coast … Italy is in a class of “memories” all by itself! “Memories, sweetened through the ages, just like wine …”*

*written by Billy Strange and Mac Davis; recorded by Elvis Presley in 1968

Ready to  make some memories? Call or email Travel Leaders/Goli’s Avenues of Travel at (608) 784-9820 or to get started.

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