Michael Strickland's blog on all things travel: news, deals, destinations, dreams and more.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Travel Show: Day Two

Okay, today I did get a little burned out. Not by the travel seminars and other cool stuff, but by the droves of people. It got old trying to navigate through the hordes, especially when people stopped in the middle of the aisle when something caught their attention. And since I get to deal with such crowds on a daily basis, commuting via subway here in New York City, it was easy to lose patience with that aspect of the show.

Nevertheless, Rick Steves once again proved to be the highlight. While he's a great speaker and writer, he focuses on Europe, so you'd think I wouldn't be such a big fan. After all, there are so many non-European destinations I'd like to visit, and scuba diving has become a big part of my traveling. But I guess it's because I identify so much with his travel philosophy: finding the "back doors" and lesser-known places, avoiding the crowded tourist sites and package tours, getting to know the locals and their way of life. And I confess I envy his lifestyle—he's spent four months of every year traveling for the past 25 years!

And once again, we availed ourselves of the tasting opportunities. Chef Daisy Martinez shared some Puerto Rican delicacies, and wine critic Eric Asimov poured wines from "rare wine destinations" like Greece, Austria and Slovenia (pictured: Cassie trying the latter). We also tried "Pyrat" rum from Anguilla while we waited (in vain) to see if we won a free trip.

The last seminar of the day—and of the show—took us to colonial Mexico. We looked forward to this one, because we're planning a trip to Oaxaca and Mexico City for this fall. And after learning more about the other colonial cities of Mexico, we're going to have to plan a follow-up trip to Guanajuato, Zacatecas and San Miguel de Allende.

The show is over, and it's Sunday night, which means tomorrow is another workday spent dreaming about my next travel experience!

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