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This is a first attempt for me at writing for all to see. Pretty scary and I'm sure it will sound like a 4th grade composition! Have to write though as I'm tired of seeing on the screen "you haven't written your blog yet"

Of course it's all about travel which has been a passion for me since I was little girl and was allowed to take the train alone several times from Bridgeport, CT to Stamford, CT. And I was only 8 years old! Years later there would be the Greyhound bus trip from MA to CA to begin life on the west coast. The trip wasn't that much fun but a good way to see the USA. I probably didn't appreciate it enough at age fourteen. Years later in 1985, with many trips around the USA in between, came the best trip of my life. Three weeks (the good old days of three week Untours) in Sarnen, Switzerland. Every night for those weeks I'd be sitting at the kitchen table planning the next days' outing. No computers then so there was a lot of time spent at that table. Made an unexpected trip those first few days - always seemed to be going the wrong way from what I thought I had planned. In 1990 two years after my husband passed away I felt brave enough for another Untour going solo - and the rest is history! Too many Untours to count.

I ventured off track what I really wanted to relate was the best thing I've gotten out of this wonderful company! The chance to build so many friendships. Untourists are the best!!!!Willing to try something a bit different and just going with the flow. Hardly a complaint to be heard. I never feel alone from the minute I hit the bahnoff (train station) every morning. Usually someone there with maybe a question for me or vice versa. Where are you headed? Want to join us? And on and on. I've visited homes on the east and west coast to see my NBFs. Here in California I can meet other new best friends for lunch several times a year. And then there are the e-mails. And it's fun to meet on Idyllchat. Can't believe that I spent time with Joan and Bruce Herriges in CH this past June. Isn't she a wonderful asset on Idyllchat! And someday I'll get lucky and meet the Haggarts and the many other wonderful contributors.

If you've made it this far, thanks!! Shirley in Paradise, CA but she'd rather be in Switzerland.

Views: 10

Comment by Pete and Maggie Haggart on August 6, 2007 at 4:04pm
What a wonderful blog Shirley. Nice thoughts about a wonderful company that has meant so much to you. Nicely expressed. We do hope we meet up with you someday - especially in our favorite country Switzerland. You brought back memories. Our first Untour was a three week one to Switzerland - two weeks is Lungern and a week in Locarno. Thanks for writing.
Comment by Marlene Hench on August 6, 2007 at 4:34pm
Shirley,
Now I'm looking forward to your next blog. You did such a good job on this one. Frank and I have always loved to travel too. In years while the children were growing up, we couldn't afford more than camping but we always made that travel and exploration too. Now we are able to expand our travels together and thank Untours for helping us. Met so many nice friends on our trips and now on the Cafe!
Keep us posted from Paradise!
Comment by Jean and Fred Agneta on August 6, 2007 at 6:23pm
Great story Shirley, how Untours bonds people to people-- as you write "new best friends"!! Hopefully you will continue with another blog, or a continuation of this one. As you know we can't wait to get back to Switzerland.
Jean and Fred
Comment by Bill Kover on August 6, 2007 at 7:32pm
Shirley:
You did a great job with your first blog. I give you an A+
Comment by Vance Roy on August 7, 2007 at 10:05am
Don't let Shirley fool all of you. She is notorious around the Sachseln Bahnhof for picking up stray Idyllers on the spur of the moment. She is a dear lady who has become one of our favorite friends here and in Newport.
Comment by Jean and Fred Agneta on August 28, 2007 at 3:37pm
We agree with Vance, she sure is a special person!!
When you meet her once, you never forget her.
Comment by Shirley Thornton on November 7, 2007 at 12:22pm
Hello to all of you.........I am not Shirley's NBF because I am her old former brother-in-law (married to her favorite ex sister-in-law). We adore and love Shirley and she visits us frequently. We really loved meeting her friends the Greuterts (being a Swede I was willing to spend time in a Norwegian's home) and joining with them and Shirley at a farewell party several years ago at the Sachseln banhoff.

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