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 his and Eleanor's trip to Quebec.
We have had people wax rhapsodic about our trips before, but Liss Poulson Small is the first person to get this poetic about the catalog! (It IS true, though, Kim Paschen is an artist at putting together the Untours Catalog.)
Incidentally, Liss and Gabe just left for a Spanish Untour that they are super excited about...and two of our new Cafe members this week are family members of theirs....who want to follow their travels as they go, so they joined the Cafe. We will look forward to onsite reports from Gabe and Liss....hopefully their pictures there will be as mouth-watering as this gorgeous shot.
Speaking of mouth-watering Spain, Lotta has another mouth-watering food photo here, this time tapas in Madrid. She tells us what they are, too, which is enough to make me get on the next plane. This and all the other insanely good photos that are recent I have featured on the Main page. Kudos to
Joan and Bruce, (not sure where...can you tell me?)
Jim Peterson, killer good Eiffel tower shot
Tom Keyes (Alsatian children in costume)
Doris M. (Garden in LaAlhambra, Spain)
Finally, they aren't photos and there are only a few, but if some of us bug her, I think Mary Anne Miller might tell us more about the wonderful watercolor trip journals she creates....I found her combination of words and images on the same page to be especially good at capturing the feel of a trip. It is like a tripblog as only the miraculously dexterous can do one...great painting and legible handwriting.
Cafe Tech Improvements
This week several important improvements to the Ning platform were introduced and we here at the Cafe are busily putting them into use....
An almost-ready Help section: We finally got the ability to add pages to the Cafe, so Marilee is as busy as a bee putting together a Help section. You can see the ONE topic she (me) has finished here....Feel free to use the comment feature below to ask questions when the instructions aren't clear --- each one of these topics will be a work in progress. Next one I am working on is how to sign up...and as soon as that is done, we will be inviting a bunch more recently returned Untourists.
WAY better 'search' function: behind the scenes, we have been imploring the tech support people at Ning to help us fix our search function on the Cafe. It has been ---ahem --- less than thrilling in its results, as you know if you have tried it. Just yesterday, they fixed a bug and now, for the first time, a search for, let's say, Rome, will result in pictures, blogs, videos, comments, forums posts and more as long as they have the tag, 'Rome'. Try it! I tried the word food......a very dangerous thing to do if you are on a diet.
The Latest Activity: See this Forum Discussion, or just check out the top of the Main Page for a quick view of this new feature and how it works. It helps you see what is going on all over the Cafe...without having to hop from page to page.(If you don't want it to include your latest activity, you can opt out on your My Page privacy options). One Cafe member said of finding good conversations on other members' pages, " It's like eavesdropping on a great conversation at the local Pub...." and speaking of which, a good example of great conversations, buried deep down in the cafe are all the comments below Vance's great picture of Hal
The picture is amazing (Vance titles it, "Is this man sane?") but the conversation about the picture (13 comments)is worth it on it's own. Wouldn't I like to be in a pub with the people chatting here.
You can find another good conversation here:
What kind of TripBlog is your favorite?
I have found a good technique for starting good conversations. Post a question on the Forum, and then use the "Share" button to send it to 3 or 4 of the people on the Cafe that you think might be interested. They usually respond...and then other people pile on. The more the merrier in those conversations.
Well, that's all I can think of, but I am sure I missed something. Won't you post a comment on this, if you found something delightful lately that I didn't mention. Also, let us know if someone asked a question which no one helped out on.