Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Rick Steves, the unwelcome guest in our household

Rick Steves, the international travel pro, has been living in our household for the past few weeks disguised as a guidebook to Italy.

We love him and our kids hate him.  We love him because he tells us what we need to know, suggests great hotels and restaurants, gives us handy phrases, negotiates discounts on our behalf, gives us tips on how to get the best, the cheapest, the easiest.

Our 17 and 19 year olds hate him because he's in a book, not the web.  We've pointed out that actually he exists in many media, web, tv, radio, thinking that make make him more appealing.  They roll their eyes and say, "he's named Rick Steves.  Come on, the guy should get a last name if he wants us to take him seriously."

They are leaving for Italy Saturday (their high school graduation gift).  They haven't researched the trip the way I would.  They haven't consulted Rick.  They don't even want to meet him.  As a result, they might go into a cathedral in shorts, pay 5 euros for a cup of coffee or stand in the wrong line.  And there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that I can do about it.

Rick, if you're reading this, I'm sorry.  I know you've tried your best.  I invited you into our home for a reason.  But, if there's one thing I've learned over the years, you can lead a horse to Rick Steves, but you can't make it know the difference between primo and secondi plati.

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