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

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Travel Show: Day One

Day One of the Travel Show was even better than I expected. We spent eight hours there today, and don't feel the slightest bit burned out—just a wee bit tired, considering how late we stayed up last night hosting a wine and cheese fondue party. The show kept our interest all day long, though, with just the right mix of seminars, exhibitor booths and food tastings.

I enjoyed the first seminar the best. Rick Steves talked about his latest Europe travel tips, such as noting that ruined castles are hard to find because they're free, and therefore not promoted; that Dublin is a great destination for families with teenagers; and that there's a great system of trails in the Swiss Alps with mountaineering huts spaced at intervals of a day's hike. Most enjoyable were the many excellent travel photos that accompanied his comments.

Old-timer Arthur Frommer and his daughter Pauline named the latest bargain destinations, which include China, Vietnam, Panama, Nicaragua and Honduras. They also named some bargain places in countries that are otherwise not bargains: Molokai in Hawaii, and Apulia in Italy, for example. And while it's often impractical to use for getting a cheap air fare, they recommended trying it for getting really cheap 5-star hotel rooms.

Cassie's favorite part of the day (and my second-favorite, after Rick Steves' seminar) was a presentation by celebrity chef Rick Bayless. He talked about his specialty (Mexico and its cuisine) and prepared an amazing green mole shrimp dish (camarones en pipián, recipe here), which we all got to sample. Yum!

More travel fun tomorrow, including more from Rick Steves, and food tasting from Puerto Rico!

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