I am in love with France What a beautiful country. Mom and I had a great time and are blessed to have had the chance to meet such nice people on the tour. I don't think I will ever stop going on Rick Steves tours. I feel so lucky to have found this tour company at a younger age (Yes - 30 is still young). Both trips I have been on have made me realize that it's not always the places you are visiting that make the trip, but the organization and knowledge behind the people who create the tours. Rick Steves attracts such wonderfully open-minded individuals who are eager to meet new people and experience whatever is offered to them. Again, it's the people who go on the Rick Steves tours that truly make them so worthwhile.
Stereo-Type of France I'm kind of an internal person and don't always show my emotions on my sleeve, so I enjoy that the French are somewhat the same. We learned that until they have a relationship with someone they wouldn't smile at you on the street. Completely makes sense to me! Even William was more reserved at the beginning of the trip, but by the end he was singing French songs to us on the bus and teaching us how to 'kiss kiss'.
The French are also proud of their language and a traveler should never assume they speak English. Someone on the street may be more willing to help you if you attempt French first. They will then most likely realize that your French sucks and speak English in response. A little knowledge on a culture will take you a long way when traveling.
I also fully admit that some of our wonderful experiences are due to Rick Steves 30 years of traveling and finding those restaurants and hotels that are more willing to accept tourists. That is why the guide books are so important!