September 28th – October 11th, 2009
Honestly, after a few days on our own we were wondering if we really needed our group at all. We had been to London and through much of Paris on our own, were loving the time together, and second guessing our decision to join up with 25 strangers. When it was time to meet with our group for the first time we were nervous. Who, exactly, would we be spending the biggest vacations of our lives with? Well, it didn’t take us long to figure out that we had definitely made the right decision. These people were fantastic.
Below: Group shots in Austria and Tuscany
We’re Better Together
Rick promised us that there would be no grumps on the tour, and he kept his promise. You would think that traveling with 25 strangers would be a feat, but it felt effortless. The thought and care that Colleen put into each and every one of our days was evident in the group’s attitude. We all relied on her to take care of the details while we enjoyed Europe, and each other.
Below: Picnic in Austria, the Coliseum, Mike rowing Rita, walking in Italy and Austria
When you spend hours and hours eating, drinking and exploring together, you become close, and fast! It didn’t take long for us to be comfortable enough with each other to really let lose. We were all there to have a good time, and nobody was going to stop us.
Below: Mary driving the bus, Kevin & Daryl drinking, Lorna yodling, Kevin having a moment at our final dinner together, Daryl riding a pony
Cheers! Prost! Chin Chin!
One of our favorite parts of being with our group was walking into a bar at the end of the day and knowing some of our friends were going to be there. We would order a round or two, and whether we were sipping it or shooting it, we were enjoying it together.
Below: Enjoying drinks all throughout Europe
Colleen; Tour Master Extraordinaire
We really can’t imagine what it takes to guide a group of 28 people through 5 countries in 14 days; all while keeping a smile on your face and making it an incredible experience for everyone. How she did it, we’re not sure. That she did it, we’re forever grateful!
Above: The group in Lindau, Venice, Rome, France and Vatican City
We spent our last night on our tour enjoying dinner with our friends. We laughed, we cried, and then we laughed until we cried. We never imagined that our last night together would be such a tear jerker.
Above: Daryl & Gloria, Erin, Joe & Jeanne
Above:Carol, Fern & Russ, George & Jenny, Gary & Laurie, Susan
Above: Alton & Betty, Rita & Mike, Paul & Lorna
Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow
After our last dinner we weren’t ready to let go just yet. Some of us walked to a nearby pub to enjoy one last round, or two, together.