To say I am a travel geek is an underestimate. This past weekend my family and I went to the 16th Annual Chicago Travel & Adventure Show and I was in my happy place! Every time I go to a travel show I sit for days afterward thinking about how am I going to make it to all these wonderful places before I decide to leave this earth.
I was super excited to see our family friend, Salvatore with Italian Splendor. We met Salvatore at a past travel show and this past June went to Rome where his team showed us all the wonderful things to see and do in Rome. If you are ever in Italy, I highly recommend setting up a private tour with his company as it really is an experience of a lifetime. I will be spotlighting Rome in the next month or two, so please come back to see some pictures of our visit.
Other booths we stopped at included Japan National Tourism Organization, Africa Tourism Association, Tahiti Tourisme, Aruba Tourism Authority, Palau Visitors Authority, and so many more as there were over 200 booths. I had so many side discussions with others planning or thinking about planning their next trips, it was so much fun to jump in and give advice on what to do in Jordan, where to stay in Fort Myers and hot sauce to try in St. Lucia and so on.
As for the kids, they were able to enjoy many things at the show. A free camel ride sponsored by JoDon Farms, which is an animal rescue facility in Wisconsin. Here is their website if you are interested in seeing what they do or how you can help, www.jodonfarms.com. Taiwan had these really cool lights up puppets that they were able to make. Switzerland had chocolate, lots of chocolate, which I am not sure who enjoyed more the kids or Collin (my husband). Greater Miami had a photo booth where we were able to “dress up” and pick some props and take our picture in front of a green screen in which you were able to pick from some fun Miami Locations. We have a pretty cool picture memento, so I have to say it ranks up there with one of my favorites from the show.
With all of that fun, I haven’t even told you about my favorite part of the day!
I was able to connect with Pauline Frommer again, she is always very nice and asks about our next trip and offers tips, which are highly appreciated by someone as knowledgeable and well-traveled as herself.
And if seeing Pauline was not enough, I got to finally meet Rick Steves!!! I know, Rick Steves… he seriously is who I aspire to be. If I could go back 15 years and call for a do-over, I would figure out how to do and be him, but only as family travel guru. It was so cool… he even took time to talk to Jamen, my son, which excited him as well.
Anyway, I have a severe case of Wanderlust at the moment as I have to wait a bit longer before my next trip. I will be writing and posting for now till I board my next flight. 🙂
Take a look at some of the exciting spots and good times we had while visiting…