For the last three years, I have been traveling with the escorted tours sponsored by the Museum of Postal History. Although I have enjoyed the numerous vacations I have taken with family and friends, it has occurred to me that having someone else plan the trip and be “in charge” has added something delightful to the experience of traveling.
Some people have asked me if I miss the independence of just going wherever I want, whenever I want. But the truth of the matter is we are given choices throughout the trip. Just last week, my husband and I went on the MPH tour of Nashville, Tennessee. We relaxed on the bus watching movies and chatting with several old and new friends. We stopped frequently to stretch and for meals- forgetting about the chore of driving. The miles just seemed to fly by.
In Nashville, we were taken to several places off the beaten path – as our tour guide, Gary Levitt would say, “We go where only the natives go”. The Monell Manor, the Pied Piper, and the Parthenon were places I would have never thought to visit. Each of our meals provided great food and several choices. I had never heard the expression of a “meat-and-three”, but I know now what southern hospitality is all about. Part of the fun was to be able to pick on our tour guide when the GPS took us to someone’s private home rather than the breakfast restaurant where we were supposed to be. But the real fun was when we finally got there. This small restaurant buried in the middle of a residential section of Nashville was like stepping back in time. The menus were on vinyl records tucked inside old jacket covers. The atmosphere took on a new meaning for us as we all had our picture taken with a stand up of Liberace dressed in a red-white-and blue cheerleader’s outfit complete with baton and boots. Besides the great restaurants and cafes, we enjoyed the entertainment at the Grand Old Opry watching Randy Travis perform and the show on the General Jackson Riverboat. There was plenty of free time both at our hotel – the magnificent Gaylord Opryland Hotel and in the heart of downtown Nashville with all the honky tonks and clubs.
The old saying leave the driving to us – has taken on a bigger meaning now that I have enjoyed the escorted tours. We are really looking forward to our next trips with MPH Tours to New York City in October and Chicago in December.