An Ode to Rick Steves

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…..

Okay, so I don’t really love Rick Steves. I’ve only met him once, many years ago, in our Ashland, Oregon store, and it’s not possible to love someone you’ve barely (or never) met….except perhaps for Heidi Klum or Johnny Depp, but I digress. I do like Rick Steves a whole lot, and I’ll tell you why. I find the information in his guidebooks absolutely unbeatable. Our family has used Rick Steves’ guides in many countries, including Turkey, Italy, France, Great Britain, Switzerland, and just last month, Spain. When our daughter Sarah was younger, I would pull out our Rick Steves’ guidebook to read about a site or museum we were visiting and she would groan, “not Rick Steves AGAIN”, knowing I was about to read aloud some historical information I was sure she would find scintillating.

While Sarah may not find the information in Rick’s guidebooks scintillating, I do. By the time a trip is over, I have read most every page, and benefitted from many of his recommendations. We’ve hiked his suggested routes in the Swiss Alps, eaten at his favorite ristorantes in Rome, walked his tour of the Pére Lachaise cemetery in Paris, and learned the historical significance of paintings in the National Gallery in London. His attention to detail, particularly in museums, is outstanding. For example, in Paris’ Orsay museum, Steves offers step-by-step instructions: “turn left onto the mezzanine overlooking the main gallery. Enter the first room on the left. Working clockwise, you’ll see…”

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