For me, a big part of the joy in leading this three-week tour has been collaborating with two fine guides: Trish Feaster and Ben Cameron. We tag-teamed the tour and learned from each other all along the way. We have well over 100 guides at Rick Steves Europe Tours -- both Americans and Europeans. I encourage them to play to their strengths, while studying in areas where they may be weak. Ben and Trish beautifully covered for me when I was weak, and that gave me a great chance to learn.
Trish takes the mic and engages our group as we cruise down the highway.
On a Rick Steves tour, you learn to use the public transportation. Here in Rome, tour guide Ben coaches the group as we master the Roman underground.
Hiking through the Alps with a good guide (like Ben Cameron), you know where the farm-fresh yogurt and tastiest cheese is, you relax knowing you're on the right trail, and you know just which mountain vistas are not to be missed.
Here in Rome, Ben and I make sure all 28 of us get on the packed bus #280 as we head from St. Peter's Square to dinner in Trastevere. One of the exhilarating challenges of being a guide (at least, a Rick Steves guide) is giving our tour members that "public transit experience"...and not losing anyone. We all made it, and the dinner was one of the best of the tour.
Thanks, Trish and Ben, for the great trip (and for carrying all that beer up to the top of that ruined castle to surprise our group)!
(This post originally appeared at blog.ricksteves.com/blog/guides-trish-ben.)