So if you go parasailing — run. Well actually I am getting rather scared. It's annoying how people keep asking over and over again where in Europe we are going. That's why my mom is trying to teach me to cook. After growing up traveling with his guidebook-writing father, Rick Steves, Andy had already led tours and updated guidebooks by … I'm writing on a French keyboard so I apologize for any typos. We didn't want to go to the bars because a rum and coke was 5 euros! We first went to a fresh market where we bought the day's food, apples, bananas, and peppers. It was a beautiful 40 minute ride with 360-degree-big-as-you-can-get views. We hope to get quality pictures as well of extraordinary experiences to relate to all of you reading. Wow, wow, wow, wow — is all I can say! At other times, we would just relax with our friends and learn more about French culture they never taught me in French class in school. Today I walked past a young French girl — her T-shirt said "kiss me." Ah well, regardless, Fritz is a warm guy, with so much energy it has earned him a reputation region wide. It's such a relief to finally have the necessary money for the trip in the bank. So we would circle around the same area and gain up to 20 feet per second. And within 15 seconds they were gone. The funny part though was drinks are really expensive in main restaurants (rum and cokes for €5.70!) Andy is a recent graduate of Notre Dame. So we started in the Netherlands and finished in Italy. They can't stop smiling or laughing. 97 posts. What's up? Then we caught the train to Monaco! Andy hates the taste of wine with a passion so he didn't really have any. He says "Yes, today, we do one thousand meters, up the sdjokedeberdenhilkly and around the somethingorothermountain." At the top of a mountain, we just sat there...looking at groups of these animals grazing and listening to the beautiful sound of silence. This lead to discussing the private farming roads that the state paid for. As in all of Europe, the menus of restaurants are posted outside. Tagging along to Dad's office was a little different for Andy Steves, whose father Rick Steves is known worldwide for his guidebooks and TV show. When we got to Balmer's, there were 3 bouncers on the way in, all pointing us in the direction of muffled bass beats. We piled back into the tiny car and headed farther up the mountain, into the final kilometers passing the 10, and 5 Km balloons. Anyway — yesterday Alex and I went into Amsterdam. Hello everybody! You have no idea how refreshing that is. Travel tips, product recommendations & more. Ha ha! We went to a bar and got some drinks and listened to the music. They were blasting some Beethoven symphony while the two brothers sang along. I thought his book was just another guidebook. Just walking out of the train to the train station is amazing, all marble with views of the harbor and ocean everywhere. Then a guy came in and wanted to put a surfboard — of all things — on the floor. Monday: Military Museum and Napolean's Tomb (cool WWII section), Arc de Triomphe (Wish I was here during the Tour de France), Champs Elysees (nice shopping, in other words boring 'cuz we don't have any money to spend!). Andy and I agreed that we would never bring our wives here if we didn't have money because we would feel like failures compared to some of these guys. We had a great meal! Andrew Richard "Andy" McDonald is the twin brother of Steve and son of Jim and Liz. Anyways, I learned from Fritz that you can tell where the thermals are by looking at the clouds forming above a point of a mountain. But there were about 4 girls and 30 or so guys that all had the same mission as Andy and I, so we didn't really stay long. He was a solo artist and asked his friends to help him record some songs out of his bedroom in Philadelphia in 2012. I got an unbelievable view of these riders' sweat-salty faces. Out of instincts and reflexes I may have gained from football or attending a public school, I swung my right fist and connected with this young man's forehead — similar to Barry Bonds' bat with a baseball destined to be driven out of a ball park. They gave us addresses and information for free. Indie pop singer and guitarist for the band CRUISR. We are in Nice right now because it has the cheapest Internet connection; Monaco wanted €9 euro for half an hour! First we saw a little boy with his mother who was carrying a small rainbow flag, then turned the corner and there it was: well over 150,000 people in the streets of Madrid. While my dad has covered all the basics with his Europe Through the Back Door, my guidebook, Andy Steves Europe: City-Hopping on a Budget picks up where his book leaves off. That may not sound impressive, but for someone who doesn't bike at all it was intense. We hiked back down and Andy and I went to a neighboring town, Gimmelwald where we are staying in a really cool hostel. Collectively, our staff has traveled on the road for dozens of years and this is what we recommend to stock up on before your next adventure. (much cheaper to buy your own stuff at a store and mix it). Andy and I took the Heineken Experience tour at the Heineken factory. Sign in. After we had sucked our glasses dry, Ben and I bought a bottle of wine and shared it. Part 2; Hi from Andy. While my dad has covered all the basics with his Europe Through the Back Door, my guidebook, Andy Steves Europe: City-Hopping on a Budget picks up where his book leaves off. That's kind of sappy, but it was awesome. But Ryan acted as our translator. The two-month rail pass we have will be perfect for any last-minute decisions like that. Then, after the college search and application process slowed down,  we realized our dream of a European trip was feasible. There was a couple from South Africa sitting next to us and we got into a discussion about Christmas trees and snow of all things. Andy Steves. We arrived in Barcelona at about 8 that morning and made it to our hotel but of course it wasn't ready because it was too early. Hello from Andy. Next we headed over to Interlaken, Switzerland where we stayed for only one night. Neither Alex nor I had any idea how hard could be. It all worked out and I ended up taking shots next to what looked like an 8-year-old kid sitting at the bar wearing Harry Potter glasses. They don't really start until midnight but go until 6 a.m. To top it all off, I woke up in the middle of the night to the smell of old rotten goat cheese, which was actually the man above me. seemed to be chasing him towards us. I'm an 18 year-old kid that's grown up in suburbia with probably about 80% of my friends who have smoked at least once. Life is good. There were disco balls turning and a live DJ as well as TVs and a full bar. He … That is probably a good reason that men for the most part have the accidents all thanks to that most dangerous phrase, "Watch this!". He reeled back, dropped a hunk of folded leather and crumpled to the ground. Now the problem was how to finance it. It drove me crazy, so we both decided to go to sleep because we were getting headaches due to the fact that no one spoke English and we couldn't understand anything. Short bio: Andy Steves has spent the better part of his adult life in Europe helping young Americans travel more intentionally and efficiently. Then came his gun tour. Hey everybody! Here I am, in the center of the marijuana universe, the Mecca of hippies, and one of the best places in the world to party. Andy and I caught the train back to our hotel, read a little and went to bed because we had an early train to catch to Nice in the morning. And I can always tell people who are American when they wear a shirt that reads "je t'aime" (I love you). Why, you may ask? Fritz told me to run when we touch down, so I tried but was tugged back and into my seat. Author Interview with Andy Steves. Standing on the street we saw around 50 party floats parading by. Andy's guidebook for budget and first time travelers in Europe hit shelves in June of 2016. © - use subject to the information collection practices disclosed in our Privacy Policy. So in this slight daze, we made our way through the underground system. The funny thing was, on the train ride over, by complete luck, we ran into one of the tour guides we met up with back in Amsterdam and we got invited to dinner for free! After around 40 minutes of hitchhiking, we were picked up. Andy breaks down his favorite travel tips to help you make the most of your time and money abroad. Rick Steves – Girlfriend, Wife, Children, Divorce. Whatever. The book was picked up by local news stations and national publications like Conde Nast Traveler, Alaska in Flight Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle the Seattle Times and more. I swear this is the spot where I will propose. We bought a bus ticket and went to the royal palace. Travel author, WSA Europe founder/CEO, coffee snob & aspiring skipper. We were just chilling in a park when we heard drums, and walked down to the sound. We have budgeted somewhere beween $3000 and $4000 for this 45-day trip. But that's on a road with a nice-fitting bike. At first it was impressive because he had a small case with old pistols from pirates and from the 1600's. I was close enough to see the color of Lance's eyes. My name is Andrew Steves. As we had limited time before college, we needed to be selective. They decided to form a band instead. The tour finished with an hour-long cruise of the Seine. Then came what we were waiting for, I could see the bikers passing where we first stopped, earlier that day on the satellite TV, and I heard the TV helicopters in the distance, slowly making their way towards us. That's one of the most profound questions I've had in my head since the minute we arrived in this place reclaimed from the sea. Suddenly, I see this kid of around 16 running at me. I think it's the bulls — maybe it's the trip. In this clip, Andy is leading his gang from the Spanish Steps to … (We stopped for maybe eight minutes in the bottom floor of a supermarket.) You might think that after a ride like that you could stop for something to eat or a shower, but no, that wouldn't be the Swiss way. When we arrived in Paris, we took the metro to our hotel and walked right to the Eiffel Tower where we paid 3 euro to walk up 490 stairs to the second observation deck. They are crazy! We saddled up and started making our way out of town. I admire him for many things, but at the same time, I believe he has some characteristic quirks that make me want to deliberately do just the opposite. His advice to be open to new experiences, to go out of your way to connect with locals, is reminiscent of … For all of you interested or wondering, here's a sample list of our expenses over these last couple days. They get pretty forceful over here! Exhausted and hungry, we arrived at our hostel, grabbed our sheets and dove into them. The only thing not beautiful about our flight was our landing. We had a great dinner (one of the best beef fajitas I've ever had) and then started our crawl to Hooters (very American I know), and to Balmer's Bomb shelter. I was prepared to spend near 150 euros a night, but Matteo landed us a place for only 50. Therefore, we had to make around $2,500 in about 4 months while juggling classes, college stuff, girlfriends, and most importantly, senioritis. I just called all my friends and made them save a message from me so they could listen to my voice if I die running with the bulls or something, ha-ha. Today, we rented bikes at the train station in Haarlem and biked to the beach with the tips from Hans, a local B&B owner. Andy Steves graduated from Notre Dame in May 2010 and has since capitalized on his semester abroad in Rome, (Spring ’08) to start a student tour business in Europe called Weekend Student Adventures.Andy combined his experience of studying abroad and a lifetime of traveling with his father, Rick Steves, to make WSA the leading student tour provider in Europe. Andy and I were each strapped onto a pilot and started running down a grassy meadow and right before the meadow hit a cliff you sat back and let the air just lift you up. NEW YORK (AP) - Andy Steves grew up traveling with his dad, Rick Steves, the well-known guidebook writer, tour operator and PBS show host. 2 talking about this. Both Alex and I were quite intimidated by Spain because neither of us had ever taken a bit of Spanish in school, and also, coming from Seattle, the heat around here could be quite intense for us. Jump to top. Rick made a good point that we should start in a country that was more 'travel friendly' for first time travelers and then work our way to the "harder" countries to travel in. We talked about it a little bit, but not seriously. I don't know for sure, but there are several possibilities that come to mind; jet lag, being in a strange land, dad. There were huge firecracker blasts in random places in crowd, the loudest music I've heard ever — techno with American words. He toured with the rock band The 1975, led by frontman Matthew Healy. Ok, well Andy and I ended up taking 6 hours of train rides to get from the French Riviera to the Cinque Terre, even though it looked like half an inch on the map. This three-hour tour of the City of Lights was quite enjoyable. This leads us to his explanation of his new gun license. The coolest place we went to was a little Celtic restaurant that was tucked back down a narrow alley that only locals know about. I've never experienced anything like it. Last night, Alex and I went on an evening bike tour. I hate that, but I'll let you know what it was when I think of it. It was just a huge party all around. The other annoying thing is girls getting all worked up and worried when I tell them I am running with the bulls in Pamplona. We finally were able to get into our room at about 9:40 and showered, changed and made our rendez-vous with Ryan. Let me tell you, it is amazing! Sensing tonight is not the night for heterosexuals, we're heading to Barcelona on a night train. Except we soon realized Tuesday night is not the night to find a bumpin' party. So, let's get our seat backs in the upright and locked position, and rock and roll! I did not know that! I can't even begin to explain how much I am looking forward to a hot shower in my own bathroom and a haircut. We are about half a days travel from the southeastern part of France. We plan to stay in hostels, and sleep on trains to save on hotel costs. View Andy Steves’ profile on LinkedIn, the world's largest professional community. In the end, however, we survived. and very, very, hairy arm pits! I, on the other hand never have; this is something that confuses me a little. They have two children together- son Andy Steves and daughter Jackie Steves, who are both adults now. And when I can finally do it legally, I just don't feel the need to. All over there were campers with crowds around them watching the fast-approaching race on satellite TVs. I was woken up this morning to the sound of cow bells and goat cries and looked out my window and had a perfect view of the icy mountains all around us all while listening to Bob Marley's greatest hits playing in the background. I'm a little confused about the issue, but I guess you're supposed to have a license for driving on these back roads. Their first, self-titled EP was released to much critical acclaim from music blogs. Since 2010, WSA has hosted student-friendly weekend excursions all over Europe for travelers both young and young-at-heart. As I was typing this email in the cyber café, I got a bad headache because it smelled so much of pot. P.S. And they get to use them.". ©2020 Rick Steves' Europe, Inc. | It was cool stuff but we had seen all that in museums before. Celebrating and promoting his new book, Andy Steves is scheduled to speak at a number of bookstores this Fall season. This was the first sign that this may not just be a "little ride" like he said. The president here just legalized gay marriage and adoption and you can feel the enthusiasm here. While they were saying goodbye, I checked my pockets, for my watch and anything else I had on me. All the while we two Americans added significant weight to the already over-loaded car and the older brother was much better at speaking English than using a clutch. My name is Andrew Steves. Aww man, I hope to never forget this either. We gained about 3,000 feet of elevation. I quickly fell over, turned over, was stepped on by Fritz, and then dragged by a re-inflated parachute. The excitement levels of the crowd were directly correlated with the volume of the helicopter blades. We finally found a bar and as soon as we gave the non-English speaking bartender our order everyone stopped talking and just stared at us — I swear! I do, so I had a blast. That was fun, especially since they handed out wine to all their guests. Finally, the publicity caravan started making its way past our positions, letting us know the race was about an hour away. Once we got settled, everybody broke out their food and shared it all around. We got off the plane, validated our train tickets at the train info booth and purchased phone cards. By the end I personally had 4 noise makers, 3 hats, 4 water bottles, cheese and crackers, 2 pieces of dark chocolate, and several key chains. I didn't get much sleep in the middle bed of that triple bunk. The tension grew as well as my excitement as I looked forward to a scene my dad has raved about for years. So (with a Eurail pass and groceries rather than restaurants all the time) it can be done! It was the best 10 euros I've spent so far. I guess. We met at the base of the Eiffel Tower. We walked back to Fritz's place and "now we go on a hike." And we made the decision. A highlight in Amsterdam was the brewery tour. He likes orange juice, I hate it. They were sitting next to us and we started talking. A non-stop line of flamboyant gays, black leather and chains gays, pretty-boy gays, big gays, big drag queens, freaks dancing on stilts, pretty ladies in cars (or so I think), sailor-boy gays, girly gays, and so on. The next day, Alex and I got ready for this once in a lifetime chance — to see Lance Armstrong in a mountain stage in probably the last Tour de France of his career. , ate some peanut butter for dinner, I learned that Fritz is an interesting of. Grind park for skaters and bought enough fixings for breakfast, lunch and dinner €7.24., it was an experience I 'll write more when I think it 's the trip wo n't sink until! Be coming together the long journey from the top of a European was. Returns to the top of a supermarket. some drinks and listened to the ground those words connected with,. Maybe 4 or 5 girls Fritz promised us `` a little Italian help! Scary to a fresh market where we stayed for only one night that night both young and impressionable, needed... 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