Over Sue Baker’s 15 years with Untours, she’s had lots of time to travel and build memories. On the occasion of our 40th anniversary, she shared these gems from her work and personal travels with Untours in Europe.
Fun memories of Untourists…
Our former staff person in Rome led our Untour group on a tour of the Vatican. Before our tour started, she handed out the ear pieces for her talk and some of us put them on right away. It was before the formal tour, and she was rummaging around in her purse and mumbling to herself in Italian when our client with his earpiece in said “that’s as close as I ever want to get to being inside a woman’s head.”
While on an Untour in Tuscany, our dear clients Rose and Charles were hugged by the Buonconvento bakery woman and her mother after they had visited the bakery on a daily basis for the two weeks of their Untour. It was the sweetest thing.
I have fond memories of a midnight boat ride on the Grand Canal with our Venice staff person Denny, escorting some clients who were very late to arrive. They were so grateful to have been met after a major airline delay, and our gliding late-night arrival could not have been more magical.
I met four wonderful women who frequently travel together on Untours and other trips. They travel well together. Their secret? One of them told me they all have something they are good at: One likes to drive. One is good at navigating (before GPS). One does the cooking. And one “likes to pour.”
Things we still talk about in my family…
It was a VERY cold spring day (the kind of day you never quite pack right for) in Umbria for the olive oil tasting group event. It was held in an unheated stone walled building on the farm. It was a great event. We learned so much about extra virgin olive oil. But nothing ever tasted so good as the warm grilled bread with garlic and new olive oil. It really warmed all of us in the group.
My son Scott felt very grown up at age 16 when Ludovico, our host at the Ada Teresa apartment on one of our favorite farms in Tuscany, insisted he taste their wine because “like a first kiss, he will always remember his first wine and it should be a great one!”
We still laugh about the waiter in the Venetian restaurant who refused to bring grated cheese for my son’s pasta with clams. He said the chef wouldn’t allow it! No cheese on shellfish!
The night sky in Tuscany is really something to behold. We remember enjoying the stars one gorgeous night at Le Chiuse, where it was perfectly dark except for the light over our apartment door. After much discussion, my husband put our son on his shoulders so he could unscrew the lightbulb. It made all the difference!