Untours Cafe

Marilee Taussig's Blog (25)

The Best of the Cafe: October 12th

Here is our occasional feature, highlighting some of the Best of the Cafe:

  • Our new Help Section:

    Yours truly (Marilee) struggled mightily to write clear instructions on how to upload photos, post a tripblog/story, search for something and other helpful tasks. I used a lot of pictures of the screen, because I am a visual learner....so if you have been meaning to share your trip, but weren't sure how to do it, check out our Help…

Added by Marilee Taussig on October 12, 2007 at 4:29pm — No Comments

Best of the Cafe: Sept. 28th

Since the last "Best Of" ( more than a week ago) here are just a sampling of the many noteworthy contributions:

Photos to Die for

This is a shot Bill Kover made in Quebec.....(several of our staff stood around and gawked at the monitor displaying this....and someone said, "is that a photo or a painting!?") Here's his blog about…


Added by Marilee Taussig on September 28, 2007 at 12:26pm — 1 Comment

Usually I think "modern" art is sort of flaky but...

I am having a brainstorm that involves Untours, videos and a modern work of art....hang on to your hats - this is going to be a wierd post....

As part of the Untours marketing team, I am doing some research into how people are using video on the web to tell travel stories.

I am doing this because I have a passionate belief in the Untour way of traveling, but I think it is very hard to communicate what an Untour is. I truly believe (and I think I would even if my Dad HADN'T… Continue

Added by Marilee Taussig on September 27, 2007 at 9:40am — 6 Comments

Matterhorn Memories....a wonderful portrait of a trip!

Vance Roy's video narration is 49 minutes, I must admit I felt daunted when I saw that length.

But I was very delightfully surprised.

I HIGHLY recommend braving that long-sounding time; Vance is a great, great narrator. The videos are casual, the humor is good, and he has done a terrific job of informing you about what a trip to Zermatt entails (from the touristy parts, to the neat little backstreets where the tourists don't go, to the pristine… Continue

Added by Marilee Taussig on September 9, 2007 at 5:30pm — 2 Comments

Best of the Cafe lately....

.....along with Bill Kover's excellent series "In My Grandfather's Footsteps" which I lauded earlier, I would highly recommend:

In written word, Mary Lou Grier's praise of student exchange progrmas is a good read, and elicited some responsesl.

In the video department, I recommend the Chilean Patagonian Short and (not so humbly) my video of the harp concert in Paris.

It was a GREAT week for photos; so far I can't figure out how to put other people's photos into a blog,… Continue

Added by Marilee Taussig on August 20, 2007 at 2:07pm — No Comments

When you travel, are there good crowds and bad?

I don't know about you but when I am travelling, there are some crowds that I experience that are just awful....make me almost not like travelling when I end up in a tourist trap and people are crawling all over a place in a frenzy of buying and picture taking. Then there are other times that it is quite different...

Good crowd?

Find more videos like this on Untours… Continue

Added by Marilee Taussig on August 20, 2007 at 1:15pm — No Comments

The Tour Way and the Untour Way….to Versailles; today I took the wrong one

Yesterday, I took my daughter and her friend , Emily, who is

visiting us in Paris to Versailles. This is Emily’s first visit to Paris, so some

of the top ten “sites to see” were necessary. As an Untourist staff person, I hardly ever do the typical tourist sites, but I thought it would be important for a young woman headed off to college to see this site.

So, I was going to accomplish double duty. I was going to videoblog the visit and…


Added by Marilee Taussig on August 13, 2007 at 3:34pm — 4 Comments

A slight adjustment; we are taking the "entry page" down, and getting you to the good stuff faster...

When we started the cafe, we were worried that people would find it confusing, so we created an entry page

But as more and more members join, we have come to the conclusion that most of you dive right in, without much confusion at all. So we are going to eliminate that first entry page.

From now on, when you enter the cafe (by going to www.untourscafe.com ) you will see our Main Page…


Added by Marilee Taussig on August 10, 2007 at 7:16am — No Comments

Video-blogging from Paris

This is our temporary abode; we are trying to bear up under the strain of sacrificing for our friends.

While we are here, my goal is to narrate the experience of "living like a local" by using all the tools in the Untours Cafe. I hope to weave together words, pictures and videos in a way that any Cafe member with a computer, a DSL line and a digital camera can do.

You… Continue

Added by Marilee Taussig on August 5, 2007 at 10:02am — 5 Comments

let's all start tagging and rating stuff so we can see just the slice of the Cafe we want.

Wow, more than 30 new members in 24 hours!

Can I make a suggestion? Now that there is a bunch of us. let's start using the rating system for videos and photos. I hesitated to suggest it, because I think there are so many good things, and I want everyone to feel appreciated. But I think , now that we are a bigger group, if would be a real service if you rated photos you LOVE highly. That way,people who have a limited amount of time for browsing, can view the ones that everybody seems… Continue

Added by Marilee Taussig on July 30, 2007 at 12:49pm — 4 Comments

Pictures of the week.....

What can I say....there is a cornucopia of talent in this group! I just put a bunch of new pictures on our main page (over on the right hand side) because our new members just keep wow-ing me with the quality of photos.

PS; Don't forget to title and tag your photos! (I think that gorgeous one of Pete's is Vienna, but without a title, you can't be sure.

Added by Marilee Taussig on July 26, 2007 at 4:01pm — 2 Comments

Best of the Cafe....and it is only Wednesday!

I just couldn't wait till the end of the week: too many good things going on:

1. Recent members are adding amazing pictures, just to mention a few...(and all the other ace photographers who have joined earlier are continuing to add great ones.)

  • kim's photos
  • johana thornton's photos
  • vicki K's photos
  • ryder doty's photos
PS; all you great photo up-loaders, don't forget to title and TAG your photos. We want people to see these… Continue

Added by Marilee Taussig on July 25, 2007 at 11:52am — No Comments

a week touring colleges in New England

I am not sure whether I approve of this, but I am taking a page out of Vance and Bill' Kover's book and using this page to blog about topics other than Untours.,,in this case, my week of vacation in New England

I will raise the question about the pro's and con's of this in the forums, but,

let's face it, most of us, if we are going to write about the goings on in our

life, are only going to do it one place. And…


Added by Marilee Taussig on July 22, 2007 at 9:51pm — 1 Comment

Monday morning at the Cafe....lots of new members,some great pictures and a NEW STUFF tab

Check out Johanna Thornton's pictures in the left hand column -- I think all the places she goes look like they've just had a bath! Much shinier than my pictures.

Lots of new people joined over the past few days and an astonishing amount of them are talented writers and photographers. You can browse through their pages by going to the Members tab OR you can explore our NEW TAB called NEW STUFF.

Some of you may have seen the video we posted last week about RSS feeds and why… Continue

Added by Marilee Taussig on July 22, 2007 at 9:22pm — No Comments

RSS -- a plain English explanation of a techy tool that even non-techies can love

Question of the Day(from the Forum): (from a Cafe Member)

" On "My Page" in the left column there is a box marked "RSS". In it it says

"Please click Edit to specify the RSS feed for this box"

Can someone explain to me what a RSS feed is and what I can do with this box?

I'm clueless!"

My Answer:

This short , cute video in the link below is the BEST explanation of RSS feeds I ever saw. The RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication --… Continue

Added by Marilee Taussig on July 13, 2007 at 4:04pm — 7 Comments

Can you be addicted to a place?

I don't know if it is possible, and if it IS possible, can my addiction be Provence? All I know is that when I am home I long to be in certain spots -- and that longing for particular places can be pretty hard to ignore. And I am pretty sure I am not alone in this yearning for a particular spot.

It is different than a general wanderlust -- the desire to go somewhere -- anywhere. It is a deep kinship and sense of hunger for one… Continue

Added by Marilee Taussig on July 11, 2007 at 2:29pm — No Comments

best of the Cafe: New this week on our various member pages, forum discussion and blog posts

Wow, we just have a few members (compared to what we will have when we open it to our larger circle) and already there are so many interesting things going on. Here are just a FEW of the things you can go visit new this week:

  • Pete Haggart jumped in feet first to start blogging (Yay Pete! despite some technical goblins at first...check out his trip log from Spain.) Of course, Vance was blogging before we knew what a blog was and he is continuing to give us his inimitable…

Added by Marilee Taussig on July 10, 2007 at 7:56am — No Comments

As if I needed another reason to fantasize about moving to Paris....

I don't know how many of you know this , but I got to sneak off and live in Paris for about four months last year. It had been a plot long in the hatching...nearly 40 years to be exact.

Some of you may know that the original idea for Untours was born in 1967, when Harold and Norma and their 14year old brat, Marilee, went off to live in Europe for Harold's sabbatical year off from teaching high school. Because we had to live on $5200 (half of a teacher's salary those days) we had to… Continue

Added by Marilee Taussig on June 30, 2007 at 9:33pm — 1 Comment

Viewing videos? Do some of them start and stop and some play straight through?

I know that we said we would keep all the feedback about the site on the forum, but I had a question that I was not sure about that I need several heads put together to solve.

We (me and Pete Haggart) are trying to figure out what makes videos play straight through versus stop and start. He and Maggie watched all the videos on the video page. The Fearless cooking one played straight through and so did my new instructional one.

Here is what Pete says:

You all had… Continue

Added by Marilee Taussig on June 28, 2007 at 4:27pm — 1 Comment

Wow...an early crowd this morning at the Untours Cafe.

I was delighted to get to my desk this morning and see we have got fifteen new members in the Cafe! Yay! There are already some interesting discussions over on the the Forum. Check out Bill Kover's observations on the three columns at the bottom of our entry page, www.untourscafe.com. He isn't sure they work as they are -- some picitures are cut off (and we aren't either, so we would love your opinion.) Pete also has something to say on the subject of "friend requests"...always an interesting… Continue

Added by Marilee Taussig on June 22, 2007 at 4:00pm — No Comments


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