Friday, May 22, 2009

Once in a Lifetime Trips

Imagine this: Sunday morning as you're sipping your coffee (or gulping, as the case may be) you open up The Oregonian and check your lottery ticket against the numbers listed for Saturday night's drawing and discover you've won the Powerball!!! I know, I know, everyone says "if I win the lottery I'll keep working." And the same is true for me. I love it here at Broadway Books. But I would take some time off to go on a really great trip or two. And when that happens -- and it will --I'll turn to Chris Santella's new book for inspiration.

Chris Santella, Portland-based author of the Fifty Places to...(golf, bird, dive, fly fish) Before you Die series, has just written Once in Lifetime Trips: The World's 50 Most Extraordinary and Memorable Travel Experiences. In the book, Chris says that he emphasizes travel experiences, "as each trip presents not only a place, but also a special way to come to understand that place, and in understanding that place, perhaps come to better understand ourselves."

The trips range from a wine-tasting tour of the Winelands, South Africa's preeminent wine-growing region, to a cross-country ski trip on the King's Trail of northern Sweden. They include a ranch in Ohio that "grows guitar players": Fur Peace Ranch, whose co-founder and proprietor is the former lead guitarist for the Jefferson Airplane. Or you can check out the annual Golden Eagle Festival in Mongolia near the border of Kazakhstan. I would be tempted by the Buddhist pilgrimage to Bhutan - the "Switzerland of the Himalayas" -- with the tour led by Uma Thurman's dad Dr. Robert Thurman, reknown Buddhist scholar. And hiking the Canadian Rockies sounds great, except for maybe the hiking part. But the scenery is spectacular. After the books I've read recently about the Amazon, there's no way you could get me out on a camping/canoe trip exploring the upper Amazon in Peru. (Do they even know about the candiru fish??? Yikes!)

I think my friend Alice would be keen on Trip #44: a tour of the world's greatest opera houses by private jet. Taking a hot-air-balloon ride over the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia sounds pretty appealing. And I think I could get Melinda to join me on #35, a luxury barge trip on the River Shannon, Ireland's longest inland waterway. (Actually, she'd probably opt for the Canadian Rockies hiking trip with the hiking.) Karen would probably go for the luxury biking tour of Provence, with lavender fields and aromatic bakeries and fresh asparagus and of course there must be wine.

Besides the breath-taking photographs and tantalizing descriptions of each trip, the book also provides some general planning information about each trip. "A special trip can have many dividends," Santella says. "It can arouse anticipation for months in advance of your departure, create long-lasting memories, and perhaps even open hearts and minds along the way."

To learn about these trips and more, come to Broadway Books next Tuesday night (May 26th) at 7 pm as Chris presents a multi-media overview of his book and some of the trips. Don't you think a signed copy of this book would make a perfect Father's Day gift? Or perhaps graduation gift? We do!

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