Imagine Going There Travel - March 2023

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Imagine Going There Travel


For Culture-Collecting Clients & Friends of Imagine Going There Travel THE COMPASS

MARCH 2023

Mailbox Magic!


Did You Know ...

• Lyon is home to

Remember when going to the mailbox was fun? My Mom anticipated every mail delivery as a real highlight of the day. She wrote a lot of letters and received them from all over the world, too. With instant communication as common as it is today, it’s a disincentive to send snail mail. Most of the time I come back from a trip to the mailbox feeling like Charlie Brown after Lucy has pulled the football away from him yet again. During the pandemic when there was so little opportunity for personal connection, I realized widows and those struggling with illnesses had even less outside connection than most. Consequently, the mailbox became a fun way to bring a bright spot to their day. At this time of year, flowering bulbs are a welcome sight, but particularly so on a cold and rainy day. At a grocery store, I saw one that was just the perfect size, so I purchased it and put it in a sick neighbor’s mailbox. I thought how much fun it would be for her to go get her mail and find a bright spot of color there. Just the thought of her surprise made my day as much as it did hers. Then I found some perfectly sized containers from the dollar store, used them for cookies or dessert, and slid those into mailboxes as well. I’m usually

approximately 20 officially certified bouchons , traditionally known for their meat-oriented cuisine and convivial atmosphere. • Three ancient cities — Buda, Óbuda, and Pest — were united to form today’s Budapest. • The Iron Gate area of the Danube River is one of the world’s most scenic river gorges. Enormous white chalk cliffs flank the river, which forms part of the boundary between Serbia and Romania. • Because Switzerland has four national languages, there are six different ways to spell Zürich.

baking something, and we didn’t need the extra anyway, so those baked goods did double duty.

• The Rhine River is 764 miles long.

• Eau de Cologne is a perfume originating from Cologne, Germany. Today, the word “cologne” has become a term for perfume marketed toward men.

However, you might notice I’m speaking in the past tense.

Why? Because what’s easy to do is also easy not to do. The good idea didn’t go away but the good habit did, and I was CONTINUED ON PAGE 3 ...

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Great Vacations Matter Because Great Memories Matter Most


When you add Viking air to your reservation, the system will digitally select your schedule for you about four months before departure. If you’d like more control over this process, there’s a service called Air Plus, which allows you to customize your flights about nine months prior to departure. Air Plus does not equal seat upgrades, but it does mean that you can select your preferred airline and it gives you more freedom and flexibility over a computer-generated selection.

And, since the airlines can change equipment or schedules at will, it also means you should be prepared for your chosen schedule to change, too. If you decide to add Air Plus, you can call the Viking air department and make your own air arrangements. But you have two distinct advantages when booking with Imagine Going There Travel: 1. You have an amazing resource in Lauren, our dedicated Air Service Manager working on your flights (who works up to 60 hours a week!); and 2. We have access to the Air VIP hotline so we can get to the highest available level of service to solve flight issues. The main thing to remember is that whatever schedule you get initially — good or bad — it is probably not

going to stay that way. However, if you don’t mind the roller coaster ride, you have the absolute best person in the world monitoring, advocating, and spending hours on the phone on your behalf so you don’t have to. (Note: This is a free service our agency provides for you, but it is a tough job. So, if you have Air Plus, please take a minute to send a note of thanks to ) In summary, the air reservation process is analogous to riding a bucking bronco; adding Air Plus is like a riding bucking bronco with reins.

That’s the way it’s supposed to work at least.

We all know the airlines are not back to pre-COVID-19 efficiency, so getting the best schedule is a work in progress.


We know the Olympics as one of the most popular sporting events in the world, if not the most popular. With competitions like track and field, figure skating, gymnastics, Ping-Pong, and volleyball, there is an athletic event for almost everyone. But once upon a time, Olympians competed in the fine arts. That’s right — in the early 1900s, the Olympics held competitions in painting, sculpture, architecture, literature, and music! Initiated in 1896 by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the modern Olympics we know today struggled to adopt the arts into their competing categories. This worldwide event was stressful for the cities that hosted it, and local organizers had no interest in putting together competitions for writing and music, let alone finding people to compete in such categories.

However, as the 1800s rolled into the 20th century, de Coubertin finally got his wish, and at the 1912 Stockholm Games, arts became an Olympic category. However, there was one caveat. All art submissions had to be about sports. Participants submitted works like a modernized stadium blueprint in the architecture category, a song for Olympic winners in the music category, a painting of the different winter Olympic sports in the painting category, and a poem to celebrate sports in the literature category. Competitions in these art categories thrived until the 1940s when the Olympics was put on hold due to World War II. And when the Olympics returned, the International Olympics Committee had a new president, Avery Brundage.

without the influence of money or power. And to him, the arts could be bought. Brundage said that since artists naturally rely on selling their creations for money, a gold medal from the Olympics could majorly inflate the value of their work, and these competitors could begin to get rich just by competing. This, in turn, would bring money into the games — artists would no longer be competing for the enjoyment of sports or pride in their country but out of a desire to strike it rich. After much debate on the committee, it was agreed that the art categories would be removed to preserve the event’s integrity. However, from this removal, the Cultural Olympiad was created, a noncompetitive version of the Olympic arts. So, next time you tune in to the Olympics, check out the many artists representing their countries at the Cultural Olympiad!

Brundage wanted the Olympics to represent “amateur athletics,” or sports

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“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending. ” —C.S. LEWIS

recently reminded of that when I volunteered with our HOA to be part of the welcome committee for our neighborhood. I was asked to help with neighborhood events and connect with people, even if it’s just “notes in the mailbox.” One had a milestone birthday, and as I wrote her card, I remembered the tulips idea and added some to her mailbox. She called and thanked me with such surprise in her voice, you’d have thought I spent $30 instead of $3! I wrote a note for the HOA secretary, thanking her for her years of service. Walking in the neighborhood a week later, her husband left the house to thank me for the note, saying it “made her day.”

I thought, “Why on earth did I stop doing something that makes such a difference?” As the saying goes, “We don’t plan to fail; we fail to plan.” So, to get back in the groove of a good habit, here are some things I need to do to help make this a regular part of my schedule:

Mushroom Salisbury Steak

A simple, old-fashioned recipe that still seems to “hit the spot” for my husband every time I make it.

Ingredients • 1/4 cup cornstarch • 2 cups beef broth • 4 tsp Worcestershire sauce • 1 tsp dried basil • 1 tbsp butter • 8-oz package sliced mushrooms • 1 egg, beaten

• Good reason — regardless of what you’re trying to improve, a new habit needs to make sense for you to go to the trouble to implement it. My motivation is that these efforts are such a small investment of time, but gives the greatest “return on happiness.” (Think ROH instead of ROI.) • Good schedule — Put it in writing on the calendar: If you don’t plan it, you won’t do it. (Sunday afternoons usually work best for me.) • Good feeling — You have to associate habits you want to keep with positive feelings, or you will naturally stop doing things that just feel like discipline. (This is way more fun than situps!) • Good company — Find someone to help. When a neighbor volunteered to join me, the joy was doubled, and the responsibility halved. Having someone share the load also provides accountability, too.

• 1/2 cup soft

breadcrumbs • 1 medium onion, finely chopped • 1 tsp garlic salt • 1/4 tsp pepper • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef

Directions 1. In a bowl, combine cornstarch, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and basil and stir until smooth. 2. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 tbsp butter, add mushrooms and sauté until browned. 3. While mushrooms are cooking, in a separate bowl, mix egg, breadcrumbs, chopped onion, garlic salt, and pepper. Add ground beef and mix gently until combined. 4. Shape beef mixture into six oval patties and brown in a hot skillet, turning once, until almost cooked through. Remove from pan to plate; cover and keep warm. Pour broth mixture into pan over medium heat. Stir until thickened. Return patties to pan, cover with gravy. Replace lid and cook gently until done. Serve with mashed potatoes or over noodles.

You can be as creative as you want, but don’t complicate a simple process. A kind note with a stamp will do much to increase the joy of someone’s next trip to the mailbox!

—Carol Shaddix

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Great Vacations Matter Because Great Memories Matter Most

A Platinum Circle Agency for:


770.421.9627 | 3600 Dallas Hwy, Suite 230-215, Marietta, GA 30064

Everything you love about Viking, only better! A great destination is just one part of an amazing vacation. Just like having a master chef prepare your meal at your favorite restaurant, as one of Viking’s largest representatives, we’ve booked these vacations countless times. We intuitively know how to enhance the outcome of your experience so it consistently delivers above and beyond your expectations (and know when those special promotions such as extra shipboard credit or free airfare are available that you might not know about). Whether you are interested in an individual reservation or want to travel together as a group, call 770.421.9627 for your free consultation on how to make your next vacation even better than you expected! Tip: If you’ve already booked direct with Viking in the last 60 days, contact us to add some additional bonuses to your reservation!


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CRUISING THROUGH AN ANTARCTIC WONDERLAND Tales From Our Sails They did it — Bob and Irene Stahl just returned from their first Viking Expedition Cruise: Antarctic Explorer. For these experienced travelers, was looking out of the window of our stateroom, there was a whale perpendicular to the ship just 20 Bob and Irene’s Viking Cruise Itineraries River cruise: Rhine Getaway, 5/2018 Ocean cruise: Alaska & The Inside Passage, 6/22 Expedition cruise: Antarctic Explorer, 2/23

feet away! When I turned to grab my camera to document the experience, he was gone!” Along with spectacular views, they were able to see hundreds of whales, tons of penguins, and a bunch of seals. “Although most of the views were water and ice, everything was absolutely beautiful — words don’t do it justice,” Bob tells us. “It was a perfect vacation. It’s overwhelming how beautiful it was. Viking is entirely accommodating and Carol with Imagine Going There does an amazing job accommodating everything. We love her to death.” Bob and Irene, we love living vicariously through your travel memories! Until next time — Bon Voyage!

Future ocean cruises on deck: Italy, the Adriatic & Greece, 4/24; Classic Panama Canal Passage, 10/24 Future river cruise on deck: Grand European Tour, 4/23

this wasn’t their first or last nautical experience with Viking, as they’ve tested the waters on Viking’s river cruise with 190 guests, ocean cruise with 930 guests, and the expedition with 378 guests. Bob and Irene agree that each cruise has its own special experiences to offer. The river cruises are smaller and more intimate while the ocean cruises are a bit larger with more amenities. However, the expedition cruise has won them over! They just recently returned from the Antarctic Explorer and have described it as a once-in-a- lifetime experience. “The other cruises were absolutely awesome, but this one really took our breath away,” Bob tells

us. “It was everything that we could have asked for and more!”

Prior to the Antarctic Explorer, Bob and Irene took a four-day pre-cruise in Buenos Aires and then boarded a plane to travel to the boarding dock for the cruise. When they landed, they were notified that their room was upgraded and they had the opportunity to really be wowed by Viking’s hospitality and the perks of a great room. “We were in room 4001 at the front of the ship and we were right across from the Explorers’ Lounge. One day while I

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