Dawna Warren and Jim Moore, Untourists of the Week

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Dawna and Jim have taken Untours to Tuscany (1999), Swiss Heartland (2000), Umbria (2002), Greece (2005), Tuscany (2008), Swiss Ticino (2008), Rhine and Holland (2010), Provence (2012) and Alsace (2012). In this picture, they are walking in Greece.

Tell us a little bit about your most recent Untour.

Our all-France visit. Two weeks in St. Didier in Provence with Mont Ventoux in our yard. Then, a couple of weeks among the vineyards on the Route du Vin in Bergheim in Alsace. We travel in summer because we both work during the school year, so our Provence time was the end of June into July, just as the lavender was blooming up around the shoulders of Mont Ventoux. Then we were in Alsace in July as the young storks were beginning to leave their nests.

Why did you choose that particular destination?

We had never been to Untour France. Exploring the region and talking to the people are our favorite things about Untours, so we just dove right in. Provence, for the Mediterranean flair as well as the wonderful heat of summer. Alsace, for the border region, wine, and the fact that the Tour de France went within a couple of hours of our hometown.

What is your favorite Untours memory?

Too many. Here are some that stick out.

  • Waking in the middle of our first night outside Montalcino to see the town floating above us, lit up like a magical ship.
  • Making pasta with grandma in Umbria. Her description of converting the live chicken into our dinner, along with her amusement that a man would cook all the time (Jim is our cook) was fabulous.
  • Hiking the sentieri (paths) in the valleys of Ticino. Finding a little museum in Bellinzona filled with paintings and prints that we could explore on our own.
  • Taking our fourteen-year old nephew to Greece and exploring the places he loved in his classes about Greek mythology.
  • Anywhere we can take a boat–Swiss lakes, the Rhine, Dutch canals.

How is taking an Untour different from other ways of traveling?

It is traveling without traveling–you have a home for a week or two. Time to get to know the locals at the little store, smile at the waitress in the local eating place, and try out a few words with the landlord’s family. And when you don’t feel like seeing the next site’s sights, you can take a day off, stay at home, read a book, or really get to know your local area by walking right out your door.

If you could describe an Untour in just 3 words, what would they be?

Being almost European

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