It's Time To Travel To Ecuador and Experience The Galapagos Islands
Carol Alegre

Embarking on a journey to Ecuador, South America, offers a transformative experience that touches the soul, immersing you in a captivating blend of stunning landscapes, vibrant cultures, and unmatched biodiversity. I will never forget my first visit to Ecuador and how magical the experience was because it awakened a sense of wonder within me that I hadn't felt in years.

Nestled in the heart of South America, Ecuador unveils a rich tapestry of terrains, from the majestic peaks of the Andes to the verdant expanses of the Amazon rainforest, all easily accessible within a day's reach. However, the true gem of Ecuadorian exploration lies in the mesmerizing Galapagos archipelago, a living testament to evolution where iconic species such as giant tortoises, marine iguanas, and blue-footed boobies freely roam. Delve into Darwin's living laboratory, where snorkeling amidst playful sea lions, trekking across volcanic landscapes, and encountering wildlife found nowhere else on earth await.

Opting for an escorted tour enhances your journey, taking it to new heights as we meticulously handle every detail while you simply relax and revel in the experience. Our expert guides will offer insightful commentary and seamless logistics, ensuring not only a stress-free journey but also providing the ultimate convenience and peace of mind.

We invite you to embark on an unforgettable odyssey to Ecuador and the Galapagos with us, where every detail is expertly handled, allowing you to focus solely on creating special memories that will be cherished for a lifetime.

Group Tours or Independent Travel for Your Next Adventure? Helping you Make the Choice:
Wendy Fracchia

Are you dreaming of your next vacation but unsure whether to embark on a group tour or strike out on your own? It’s a decision that can significantly shape your travel experience. Both options offer unique advantages and considerations, so weighing them carefully is essential. 

Let’s dive into the factors to consider when deciding between a group tour and independent travel for your next adventure.

First, Know Your Travel Style and Preferences.   

Group Tour: If you enjoy the camaraderie of fellow travelers, prefer structured itineraries, and value the expertise of guides, a group tour might be ideal. Group tours often provide a hassle-free experience with accommodations, transportation, and activities arranged for you.  They make sure you get to experience all the highlights without problems.

Independent Travel: On the other hand, if you relish the freedom to set your own pace, explore off-the-beaten-path destinations, and immerse yourself more in local cultures independently and as long as you want, independent travel could be your best bet.

Budget and Financial Considerations:

Group Tour: Group tours can offer cost savings through bulk bookings and shared expenses. Additionally, group discounts may apply to attractions and accommodations.  You have a set amount of money spent and you know exactly what for, so it helps you budget your expenses.

Independent Travel: While independent travel allows you to control your expenses more closely, it may entail higher costs for accommodations, transportation, and activities due to a lack of group discounts.  You may have to pay higher prices for admissions made on the spot versus buying tickets in advance, or worse – not get to do something because you didn’t know about it and all tickets were sold out at the times you were available.

Desired Level of Independence:

Group Tour: Opting for a group tour means relinquishing some independence in exchange for the convenience of having logistics handled for you. Your itinerary and activities will likely be predetermined.  When booking a tour, ask how much free time you’ll have on that specific tour if that is important.  It’s better to know in advance.

Independent Travel: Independent travel empowers you to tailor your itinerary to your preferences, allowing for spontaneous detours and personal discoveries. However, this independence also means shouldering the responsibility for planning and navigating your journey and potentially missing sites or experiences left unplanned.

Safety and Comfort:

Group Tour: Group travel can enhance safety, especially in unfamiliar or potentially risky destinations. Additionally, having a guide can provide peace of mind and assistance in case of emergencies.

Independent Travel: While independent travel offers the opportunity for self-discovery and personal growth, it also comes with potential safety concerns, particularly for solo female travelers who can be targeted by the unscrupulous. Vigilance and thorough research are essential to mitigate risks.  Always be aware of your surroundings.

Cultural Immersion and Authenticity:

Group Tour: Group tours often follow established routes and tourist attractions, which may limit opportunities for authentic cultural immersion. However, reputable tour operators may offer curated experiences that provide insights into local customs and traditions.

Independent Travel: Traveling solo allows for deeper engagement with local communities and a more immersive cultural experience. You have the flexibility to interact with locals, participate in community events, and explore hidden gems off the tourist trail.

Personal Growth and Challenge:

Group Tour: While group tours offer a supportive environment for less experienced travelers and those seeking a more relaxed vacation without concerns and decision-making, they may lack the sense of accomplishment and personal growth that comes from overcoming challenges independently.

Independent Travel: Independent travel can be a transformative experience that fosters self-reliance, adaptability, and resilience. Stepping out of your comfort zone and navigating unfamiliar territories alone can lead to profound personal growth and a greater sense of empowerment.  You have to know yourself and if this is a goal for this particular trip so it doesn’t become too overwhelming and take away from your overall enjoyment.

Ultimately, the decision between a group tour and independent travel depends on your personal preferences, priorities, and comfort level. Whether you choose the camaraderie and convenience of a group tour or the freedom and adventure of solo travel, embracing the journey with an open mind and adventurous spirit will undoubtedly lead to unforgettable experiences and cherished memories. Happy travels!

10 Reasons to Visit Marrakesh and Morocco
Written by: Ignacio Maza, Senior Advisor to Signature Travel Network

INTRO:  Morris Columbus and Morris Murdock Escorted Tours is lucky to be a member of the Signature Travel Network.  It connects us with preferred vendors & destination specialists all over the world.  We are never more than a call away for the most current & accurate information.  Because of our combined purchasing power, we receive preferred vendor status with all major travel providers ensuring that we always beat or match competition rates.

Ignacio Maza is a Senior Advisor to Signature Travel Network and we wanted to share his recent report of his visit to Marrakesh.  

Morocco has been a growing destination and a featured tour for us this year.  Here is why you should consider joining us to visit this capital city!


I recently visited Morocco and the legendary city of Marrakesh.  Due to the September 2023 earthquake in Morocco's Atlas Mountains and the current conflict in the Middle East, many travelers have canceled or postponed their Marrakesh travel plans.  As a result, Marrekaesh is experiencing a wave of cancellations, and tourism in the city is down.  This is very unfortunate, for two reasons; First, the September 2023 earthquake primarily affected villages and communities in the High Atlas Mountains, not Marrakech proper.  Secondly, the Gaza Strip is 2,000 miles east of Morocco!! I am here to tell you that Marrakesh is a wonderful destination and this is a great time to visit!  Here is a list to find out why you should consider coming to Morocco THIS YEAR and experience this amazing tourism hotspot now!

#1. A Beautiful City

Marrakesh sits in a sunny and dry valley surrounded by the snow-capped Atlas Mountains. Cool winters and hot summers make spring, winter, and fall ideal times to visit.

#2. A Legendary History

Marrakesh has a rich history going back over 1,000 years. Trade with sub-Saharan Africa and Europe made the city wealthy beyond measure. Marrakesh is one of Morocco’s 4 Imperial cities, along with Fez, Rabat, and Meknès.

#3. Cultural Treasures

 The city has a wealth of Palaces, beautiful Islamic architecture going back centuries, as well as new additions, like the recently opened Yves St Laurent Museum. The architecture, tilework, carved woodwork, and grand spaces of the historic landmarks will impress, no matter how well-traveled you are. A few highlights:  The Medina, Djemaa el Fna square,  Koutoubia Mosque and Minaret, Ben Youssef Madrassa, Saadian Tombs, Bahia, and Bacha Palaces, and that’s just for starters…

#4. Unique Experiences

Enjoy mountain biking, hiking, soaring through the air in a hot air balloon, riding camels or an ATV in the wilderness, spending the night in the desert, learning how to make a Moroccan meal with an expert chef, and much more. You could easily spend a week in Marrakesh and never run out of things to do. Signature Partner Destination Specialists in Morocco can make all these experiences happen.

#5. Delicious Cuisine

Morocco is justly famous for its tasty dishes – including tagines, pastillas, fish chermoula, couscous, sweets, and many more. Some of the city’s best dining in town is at La Mamounia, The Selman Hotel, The Oberoi Marrakesh, and at the Royal Mansour – all Signature partner hotels. I also loved the restaurant at Villa des Orangers, a Relais & Chateaux small hotel, and La Terrasse des Épices, above the Medina.  

#6. Excellent Shopping

Marrakesh offers North Africa’s most sophisticated shopping, whether haggling in the Medina’s many stalls, shopping in the chic boutiques of the Majorelle district, or buying from artisans in the Sidi Ghanem Industrial sector.

#7. Easy Access

Marrakesh is more accessible than ever. Fly Royal Air Maroc nonstop from New York, Washington, or Miami to Casablanca, then transfer to Marrakesh. Otherwise, fly via Lisbon, Madrid, London, Amsterdam, and Paris for the fastest connections to Marrakesh. Note: Madrid and Lisbon have a free stopover program to/from Morocco, another plus when flying Iberia and Air Portugal TAP.

#8. No Visa Required

US citizens (and citizens of many other countries) can visit Morocco visa-free for up to 90 days. Simple.

#9. Memorable Hotels and Resorts

One of the best things about visiting Marrakesh is staying at exceptional five-star resorts, all very different and special in their own way. Choose from great Signature preferred partner resorts:  The serene Oberoi Marrakech (opened 2019); the palatial Royal Mansour; the newest addition to our preferred portfolio – the stylish Selman Marrakech; and Morocco’s best-known hotel, La Mamounia, celebrating its 100th anniversary.

#10. Wellness

All Signature partner resorts in Marrakesh offer superb wellness and spa facilities. And remember: no visit to Marrakesh is complete without experiencing a traditional Hammam – Morocco’s cleansing and purifying ritual.

Shape Up to Travel: Tips for Getting Fit Before Your Next Adventure
Wendy Fracchia

Embarking on a travel journey is not just about exploring new destinations; it's also about embracing new experiences and immersing yourself fully in the world's wonders.

To make the most out of your travels and ensure you have the stamina to keep up with all the adventures that await, it's essential to prioritize your physical well-being. Here are some tips to help you get in "travel shape" before you set off on your next adventure:

  • Start Early: Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is a fit body. Begin your fitness journey well in advance of your travel date to allow sufficient time for your body to adapt and strengthen. Aim to start at least a few months before your trip to see significant improvements in your fitness level.
  • Set Realistic Goals: Whether it's hiking up a mountain, exploring a bustling city on foot, or simply being able to carry your luggage without feeling exhausted, set specific and achievable fitness goals tailored to your travel activities. Breaking down your goals into smaller milestones can help you stay motivated and track your progress effectively.
  • Mix Up Your Workouts: Keep your workouts dynamic and engaging by incorporating a variety of exercises into your routine. Combine cardiovascular activities like running, cycling, or swimming with strength training exercises such as weightlifting, bodyweight exercises, or yoga. Not only does this prevent boredom, but it also ensures that you're building overall strength and endurance.
  • Focus on Functional Fitness: While it's tempting to prioritize aesthetics, functional fitness should be the primary focus when preparing for travel. Concentrate on exercises that mimic the movements and demands of your intended activities, such as squats for hiking, core exercises for carrying luggage, and flexibility exercises for long hours of sitting during transit.
  • Pay Attention to Nutrition: Exercise alone won't suffice; proper nutrition plays a crucial role in fueling your body for optimal performance. Prioritize a balanced diet rich in lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to thrive. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day, especially when engaging in physical activity. 
  • Listen to Your Body: While pushing yourself is essential for progress, it's equally important to listen to your body's signals and avoid overexertion. Pay attention to any signs of fatigue, pain, or discomfort, and adjust your workouts accordingly. Rest and recovery are just as vital as exercise in achieving your fitness goals.  Don't hurt yourself before you travel trying to get ready!
  • Stay Consistent: Consistency is key to achieving lasting results. Make exercise and healthy eating habits a regular part of your lifestyle, rather than viewing them as temporary measures leading up to your trip. Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine, whether it's through gym sessions, outdoor activities, or simply taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

By investing time and effort into improving your fitness before you travel, you'll not only enhance your overall experience but also open yourself up to a world of new possibilities and adventures. Remember, the journey to getting in shape is a rewarding one, with the ultimate reward being the freedom to explore the world with vigor and vitality. So lace up your sneakers, fuel your body with nourishing foods, and get ready to embark on the adventure of a lifetime!

Do You Enjoy Learning About New Destinations and Available Tours?
Groups User

Sign up here for an EMAIL NOTIFICATION of our upcoming webinar and seminar list.

We will be showcasing many destinations and some of our highly sought-after tour directors who will teach, inspire, and encourage you to expand your world and join us on a future tour.

A Comprehensive Guide to Comparing Travel Products - Apples to Apples
Wendy Fracchia

In a world filled with an abundance of travel options, it is easy to get taken in by a flashy ad and great sticker price but buyer beware!

Comparing products can sometimes feel like the old adage of comparing apples to oranges. However, with a little know-how and attention to detail, you can ensure that you're comparing travel products on a level playing field. Whether you're looking at tour packages, or flights, accommodations, etc., here's a comprehensive guide to help you compare travel products more clearly to ensure you are looking at “apples to apples”.

1. Define Your Needs and Preferences:

Before diving into comparisons, take a moment to define what matters most to you in a travel product. Are you looking for affordability, convenience, comfort, or a combination of these factors? Knowing your priorities will help you narrow down your options and make more accurate comparisons.

Sure, everyone loves a great hotel but what does that mean during a tour?  Some companies will provide you with first-class and luxury hotels, but if you are only there for 10hrs is this the best value and bang for your buck?  Do you need to pay for all those features you’ll never be able to use during your visit?  

2. Consider the Total Cost:

When comparing prices, don't just look at the initial cost. Factor in additional fees, taxes, and any hidden charges that might apply. For example, when comparing flights, consider baggage fees, seat selection costs, and any other extras that could impact the total price.

3. Evaluate the Included Amenities:

Look beyond the base price to see what amenities are included with each travel product. For accommodations, this might include breakfast, Wi-Fi, parking, or access to recreational facilities. For tours, consider what activities, meals, and transportation are provided. Make sure you're comparing products with similar offerings to get a true apples-to-apples comparison.

For #2 and #3, When searching for a tour It is always a good practice to narrow your choices down to your favorite 2 companies and call them to review ALL costs, included and not to be sure you have all the facts for your choice. 

4. Check the Location and Accessibility:

For accommodations and tour packages, consider the location and accessibility of the property or tour sites. A slightly cheaper hotel might not be worth it if it's far from the attractions you want to visit or if transportation costs eat into your savings. Similarly, a tour package might seem like a bargain until you realize it doesn't include transportation or other NEEDED features to complete travel.

5. Read Reviews and Ratings:

Before deciding, take the time to read reviews and ratings from other travelers. Pay attention to both positive and negative feedback to get a well-rounded understanding of the product's strengths and weaknesses. Keep in mind that individual experiences can vary, but patterns in reviews can provide valuable insights into the quality of a travel product.

Ask your friends and family for referrals.  They will have valuable insights to share.

6. Consider Flexibility and Cancellation Policies:

In uncertain times, flexibility is key. When comparing travel products, look at the cancellation and change policies to see how flexible they are in case your plans need to change. A slightly more expensive option with a more lenient cancellation policy might be worth it for the peace of mind it provides.

As a tour company, we are proud to say that we refunded almost 5 million dollars of our client’s money paid to us during the COVID-19 pandemic.  We know for a fact that not all our direct competitors can say they REFUNDED money but did relax their policies to allow clients to move their funds to future tours.  This is a huge question to ask any company you are considering traveling with.

7. Look at the Quality and Longevity of the Company:

In the travel industry, many travel companies did not survive the COVID-19 pandemic when their only source of revenue was closed.  This isn’t their fault BUT, you should always KNOW WHO YOU ARE DOING BUSINESS WITH and how they are going to protect you both physically (are they insured) and financially (bonded).   

Sadly, there are also many companies that due to poor money management have had to close their doors costing clients hundreds of thousands of dollars only to reopen under another name but still operated by the same management team.  Also, in travel, there are “home-based” tour companies that only run a few tours a year and do not have the connections or experience to help their clients when disaster hits.

Morris Murdock Escorted Tours, part of Morris Columbus Travel has been in business for over 65 years and has stood the test of time through many, many trials such as war, weather, pandemic, companies going out of business, and the list can go on.  

The question is, who do you feel the most safe spending your money with as a travel partner? 

8. Look for Special Deals and Discounts:

Finally, don't forget to search for special deals, discounts, and loyalty programs that could help you save money on your travel purchase. Many travel providers offer promotions or exclusive discounts for certain groups, so be sure to take advantage of any savings opportunities available to you.

As the largest independent seller of travel in the West, MCT and MMET get the BEST deals and programs than any of our competitors.  We will ensure you get the best value on every trip you take with us.

By following these tips, you can compare travel products apples to apples and make more informed decisions about your travel purchases. Whether you're booking a flight, hotel, tour, or rental car, taking the time to compare your options will ensure that you get the best value for your money and enjoy a stress-free travel experience.

South America Tourism opens new horizons and unparalleled experiences for adventurous travelers.
Carlos Fida

While Europe, Asia, and Africa remain popular destinations, South America remains relatively unexplored, earning the moniker "Terra Incognita." For years, I've orchestrated tours and shore excursions throughout Latin America. In 2024 and 2025, I'm planning unprecedented trips featuring destinations never before offered. 

Our itineraries boast journeys to breathtaking locales like Patagonia, the Southern lakes spanning Argentina to Chile, Peru encompassing Cuzco and Machu Picchu, and further south to Chile and Easter Island, where Larry Gelwix will host. Additionally, there are thrilling adventures in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. Experience these remarkable tours firsthand at the Morris Columbus Travel Expo later this month. 

In our weekly Travel Show on KNRS radio, Larry Gelwix and I delve into the highlights of Latin American countries, emphasizing their distinctive cuisines—an integral part of our tours. Picture savoring a rodizio-style barbecue in Brazil or indulging in Larry's beloved Moqueca de Camarao, a prawn stew from northern Brazil. Brazil’s vibrant locales include the colonial city of San Salvador de Bahia, the majestic Amazon River in Manaus, and iconic landmarks like Rio de Janeiro's Corcovado Mountain, the Sugarloaf Mountain, and Copacabana Beach. 

Argentina, my birthplace, boasts Buenos Aires, often dubbed the "Paris of South America" and revered as the birthplace of the tango. It's European architecture and vibrant districts like La Boca, adorned with colorful houses and bustling streets, embody the essence of Argentine culture. Travelers revel in Argentine asado, particularly the renowned grilled steaks while marveling at natural wonders like the awe-inspiring Iguazu Falls. 

Peru stands as a pinnacle in the Americas, featuring Cuzco and Machu Picchu on every traveler's bucket list. Yet, Peru's allure extends beyond, embracing Manu National Park’s pristine beauty and Lake Titicaca, the world's highest navigable lake. Chachapoyas, home to the striking fortress of Kuelap, captivates with its historical richness. Lima, Peru’s gourmet capital, offers a culinary haven showcasing Peruvian delicacies like ceviche, Arroz con Mariscos, and Pato a la Chiclayana. 

Chile boasts unrivaled national parks like Paine National Park and the enigmatic Atacama Desert. Easter Island's colossal moai statues stand sentinel, making it a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The diverse Chilean cuisine ranges from ceviche to Curanto, a traditional dish from the Chiloe archipelago. Sea kayaking in Chilean Patagonia and exploring its mesmerizing landscapes is an adventure like no other. 

Lastly, the Galapagos Islands, renowned for their role in Darwin's discoveries, captivate with their raw natural beauty. Here, giant tortoises and endemic birds roam freely. We explore not only the islands but also continental Ecuador, visiting Quito’s preserved colonial city and the vibrant Otavalo market. The journey continues into the rainforest, offering a glimpse of diverse wildlife. Ecuadorian cuisine, featuring the national dish Bolon Verde among other delectable treats, adds a flavorful dimension to our explorations. Join me on a tour to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands from October 11th through the 22nd for an unforgettable experience. 

I extend a warm invitation to explore South America's wonders at our Travel Expo. I'll personally showcase the region's marvels, inviting you to embark on a journey of a lifetime. I invite you to join any of these programs in 2024 and 2025. For detailed information about exotic destinations or adventurous tours, such as the iconic Inca Trail, please contact me at 801-483-5212 or Carol Alegre at 801-483-6165.

Unlocking Your Wanderlust: How to Prioritize Your Travel Dreams
Wendy Fracchia

Have you ever been overwhelmed by the desire to travel but WHERE?  You have so many ideas and destinations in my mind that it's confusing on where to start.

In a world filled with endless possibilities and breathtaking destinations, prioritizing your travel dreams can be both thrilling and challenging. Whether you dream of exploring ancient ruins, lounging on pristine beaches, or immersing yourself in vibrant cultures, crafting a plan to turn these dreams into reality is the first step. This list aims to guide you through the process of prioritizing your travel dreams, helping you embark on a journey that aligns with your passions and aspirations.

1. Reflect on Your Travel Goals: Begin by reflecting on your travel goals and aspirations. Consider the destinations that have always captured your imagination, the experiences you crave, and the activities that bring you joy. Are you drawn to adventure, relaxation, cultural exploration, or a combination of these? Understanding your travel preferences will help you prioritize destinations and experiences that truly resonate with you.

2. Evaluate Your Budget: One of the key factors in prioritizing your travel dreams is understanding your budget constraints. Create a realistic travel budget that includes transportation, accommodation, activities, and miscellaneous expenses. Be mindful of your financial limitations and consider options such as saving money specifically for travel, exploring budget-friendly destinations, or taking advantage of travel deals and promotions.  GROUP TRAVEL is a great way to save money while traveling with their negotiated pricing. 

3. Create a Travel Bucket List: Compile a list of your top travel destinations and experiences, creating your very own travel bucket list. Break down your list into short-term and long-term goals, allowing you to prioritize based on feasibility and timing. Consider factors such as seasonal variations, travel restrictions, and personal milestones that may influence your travel plans.

4. Research and Plan: Contact a travel advisor or search online for travel to your selected destination.  Ask questions such as the best times to visit, local customs, visa requirements, and any special events or festivals that might align with your interests. Prioritize destinations that align with your available time, ensuring you can make the most of your travels without feeling rushed.

5. Be Flexible and Adaptive: Flexibility is key when it comes to prioritizing your travel dreams. Be open to adjusting your plans based on changing circumstances, unexpected opportunities, or new travel inspirations. Being adaptive allows you to make the most of your travel experiences and seize the moment when the opportunity arises.

6. Set Realistic Timelines: Establish realistic timelines for achieving your travel goals. Whether it's taking a short weekend getaway or planning a longer adventure, setting achievable timelines will help you stay focused and motivated. Breaking down your travel dreams into smaller, manageable goals makes the journey more attainable.

Prioritizing your travel dreams is a personal and rewarding process that requires self-reflection, planning, and a touch of wanderlust. By understanding your travel goals, evaluating your budget, creating a bucket list, researching destinations, and staying flexible, you can embark on a journey that fulfills your wanderlust while creating lasting memories. So, dust off your travel bucket list, set your priorities, and get ready to turn your dreams into unforgettable adventures. Safe travels!

Navigating the Skies: Tips for a Smooth Long-Distance Flight
Groups User

Embarking on a long-distance flight can be both thrilling and challenging. Whether you're a seasoned traveler or a first-time flyer, a little preparation goes a long way in ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable journey. In this newsletter, we'll explore some essential tips to make your long-haul flight a breeze.

1. Plan Ahead:

Research your destination's time zone to adjust your internal clock before departure.

Choose flights that align with your natural sleep patterns to minimize jet lag.

2. Dress Comfortably:

Opt for loose, breathable clothing and layers to accommodate varying cabin temperatures.  Wear comfortable shoes and consider compression socks to reduce swelling.

3. Stay Hydrated:

Airplane cabins are notoriously dry, so drink plenty of water before, during, and after the flight.

Limit caffeine and alcohol intake, as they can contribute to dehydration.

4. Move Around:

Combat stiffness and improve circulation by stretching and walking around the cabin.

Perform in-seat exercises like ankle circles and shoulder rolls to keep your body relaxed.

5. Entertainment Essentials:

Load your devices with movies, music, books, or podcasts to keep yourself entertained.

Consider noise-canceling headphones to block out ambient noise and improve sleep quality.

6. Sleep Strategies:

Adjust your watch to the destination time zone and try to sleep according to that schedule.

Bring a neck pillow, eye mask, and earplugs to create a comfortable sleeping environment.

7. Snack Smart:

Pack healthy snacks to avoid relying solely on in-flight meals.

Choose light, nutrient-rich options to keep your energy levels stable.

8. Time Management:

Set your watch or phone to the destination time upon boarding to mentally adjust to the new time zone.

Break the flight into manageable segments, focusing on one part at a time.

9. Connectivity and Gadgets:

Bring a power bank to keep your devices charged during the flight.

Take advantage of in-flight Wi-Fi to stay connected and entertained.

10. Mindful Relaxation:

Practice deep breathing, meditation, or mindfulness exercises to relax your mind and body.

By incorporating these tips into your long-distance travel routine, you can transform a potentially arduous journey into a more pleasant and rejuvenating experience. Bon voyage!

Egypt: More than Pyramids and Camels
Tim Taggart

The tour we just concluded in Egypt was amazing. We had initially planned on Israel before Egypt but the situation as you know is problematic. Egypt on the other hand was safe, secure and fantastic. When you contemplate that when Joseph and Mary took Jesus to Egypt as a boy the Pyramids of Giza were already 2000 years old it just boggles your mind. Our experience included visiting Abu Simbel in the South and a luxury three-day cruise up the Nile. It also included a hot-air balloon ride watching the sun rise over the Nile in Luxor. The Valley of the Kings and the tombs of the pharaohs was just below us. What an experience! We visited ancient sites with breathtaking history and built with incredible craftsmanship.

One of the highlights this year was the opportunity for a special VIP tour of the as-yet-unopened Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM). The architecture was breathtaking. With almost a million square feet of floor space it will be the largest museum of its kind in the world. It will house over 100,000 artifacts. The main area welcoming you to the museum includes an 82-ton, 3,200-year-old statue of Ramses II some 40 feet tall. The building had to be constructed around it. The chance to see this phenomenal museum before it opens was such a thrill. I can’t wait until it opens for all the world to see. Visiting Egypt is one of the great experiences of a lifetime.

Come experience Egypt and Holy Lands with Morris Murdock Escorted Tours!

Splendors of Italy Tour Review Fall 2023
Groups User

There is only one place on the entire planet that you can travel for 10 days and only visit locations that are designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites and that place is Italy! 

We have just returned from a wonderful tour, with a wonderful group of people to that amazing country where we visited Venice, Ravenna, San Gimignano, Siena, Florence, Rome, and Pompeii.   And it is not just the magnificence of these towns and cities but the masterpieces of the greatest artists of the Renaissance that made our trip such a delight.  Experiencing the painting, architecture, and sculpture of Michelangelo, from the David to the Sistine Chapel and the Dome of St. Peter’s, was a true highlight but how can you single out just one artist when we also experienced masterpieces from da Vinci, Brunelleschi, Raphael, Caravaggio and far too many others to name.

Traveling to the marble quarry in Carrara to see where the marble used by Michelangelo came from and then to the workshops where that same marble was used to create the sculptures in the new Rome LDS Temple was a wonderful excursion.  And then we had the chance to actually go to the Rome Temple and Visitor’s Center as well.

We also had our fill of pasta and gelato and came home satisfied in every possible way!  

4 Good Reasons to Invest in Travel Insurance
Morris Murdock Escorted Tours

Traveling can be an exhilarating and enriching experience, but it's not without its uncertainties. Whether you're planning a relaxing beach getaway or embarking on an adventure in a far-flung destination, it's essential to consider travel insurance as an integral part of your travel preparations. Here are four compelling reasons why investing in travel insurance is a wise decision:

  1. Protection against Trip Cancellations and Interruptions: Life is unpredictable, and unforeseen events like illness, family emergencies, or adverse weather conditions can disrupt your travel plans. Travel insurance provides you with financial security by covering the costs of trip cancellations or interruptions. This ensures that you won't be left bearing the burden of non-refundable expenses such as airline tickets, accommodation, or tour bookings.  Be sure to review all coverage options as there are many to choose from.
  2. Medical Coverage at Home and Abroad: One of the most crucial reasons to purchase travel insurance is to safeguard your health while traveling. Medical emergencies can happen at any time, and access to quality healthcare in a foreign country can be expensive. Travel insurance typically includes coverage for medical expenses, ensuring that you receive proper care without worrying about exorbitant bills. It's a reassuring safety net that can make all the difference in a crisis.  Always check if coverage is primary or secondary as well. It does matter. 
  3. Luggage and Personal Belongings Protection: Lost, stolen, or damaged luggage can be a traveler's nightmare. Travel insurance often includes coverage for lost or damaged baggage and personal belongings. This not only provides financial relief but also offers peace of mind, allowing you to enjoy your journey without constant worries about your possessions.
  4. Travel Assistance and Emergency Services: Travel insurance goes beyond financial protection. Many policies offer 24/7 emergency assistance services, such as helping you find local medical facilities, arranging transportation, or assisting with lost documents like passports. Having access to these services can be invaluable when navigating unfamiliar territories and dealing with unforeseen challenges.

In conclusion, travel insurance is a valuable investment for any traveler. It offers peace of mind by safeguarding your finances, health, and belongings, and providing essential support during emergencies. While you hope for the best during your travels, being prepared for the unexpected is a responsible and smart choice, ensuring that your journey remains a memorable and worry-free experience.

Why Europe Reigns as the Ultimate International Destination for US Travelers
Wendy Fracchia

As US travelers contemplate their next international adventure, one continent consistently emerges as the ultimate destination: Europe. This enduring love affair between American globetrotters and Europe is based on numerous compelling reasons that make the Old World an ideal choice. Here are some key factors that underline why Europe reigns as the best international destination for US travelers:

  • Rich Cultural Diversity: Europe is a continent where you can explore diverse cultures, languages, and traditions within a relatively small geographic area. From the romance of Paris to the history of Rome and the innovation of Berlin, Europe offers an unparalleled variety of experiences for culture enthusiasts.
  • Historical Significance: Europe is a living history book. The ancient ruins of Athens, the medieval charm of Prague, and the modern history of Berlin's Wall are just a few examples of the continent's historical richness. US travelers often find Europe's historical sites and stories fascinating and enlightening.
  • Ease of Travel: Europe's compact geography, efficient transportation infrastructure, and open borders under the Schengen Agreement make it exceptionally easy to explore multiple countries in one trip. Whether you're a backpacker, a luxury traveler, or somewhere in between, Europe's accessibility caters to all types of journeys.
  • Culinary Delights: Europe's culinary scene is a gastronomic adventure. Each region offers its own specialties, from the pasta of Italy to the pastries of France and the hearty dishes of Germany. Foodies will find Europe to be a paradise for their taste buds.
  • Scenic Beauty: Europe boasts an array of breathtaking landscapes. Whether you're drawn to the rugged beauty of the Scottish Highlands, the sun-soaked Greek islands, or the picturesque Swiss Alps, Europe's natural wonders provide ample opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts, photographers, and nature lovers.
  • Art and Architecture: Europe is a treasure trove of art and architecture, housing renowned museums, galleries, and architectural marvels. From the Louvre in Paris to the cathedrals of Barcelona, US travelers have the chance to immerse themselves in the world's most significant artistic and architectural achievements.
  • Safety and Stability: Europe is known for its political stability and low crime rates. US travelers often find it a comforting destination due to its well-established legal systems, healthcare facilities, and strong law enforcement.
  • Global Perspective: Traveling in Europe exposes US visitors to different worldviews and international perspectives. Engaging with people from diverse backgrounds and nationalities can broaden one's understanding of global issues, contributing to a more informed and open-minded outlook.
  • Educational Opportunities: Europe offers an unparalleled educational experience. Whether you're studying the Renaissance in Florence or experiencing the Cold War history in Berlin, Europe provides a dynamic classroom for lifelong learners.
  • Adventure and Exploration: Whether you're hiking in the Swiss Alps, sailing the Croatian coast, or cycling through the Netherlands, Europe offers endless opportunities for adventure seekers looking to push their boundaries.

Today, as much as ever, Europe remains the ultimate international destination for US travelers due to all these reasons and possibilities, but also for me, it will always be the land of storybooks and fairytales coming to life.  I think we each find our reason and passion when we add somewhere in Europe to our "short list" every year. 

I can highly recommend for Americans seeking a well-rounded, unforgettable international journey, Europe offers a tapestry of experiences that continue to captivate the imagination and fulfill the wanderlust of travelers from the United States.

We would love to help you plan your next escorted European adventure! Give us a call today at (800) 809-9910

-Wendy Fracchia, Morris Murdock Escorted Tours

Larry Gelwix Reviews Star Clipper Group Cruise 2023
Larry Gelwix

Cathy, my wife, and I just returned from our “Greek Isles and Turkey” group adventure cruise with the Star Clipper cruise line sailing on the Star Flyer ship.  

Star Clippers is perfect for mobile, active lifestyle guests of all ages…those with “adventure in their hearts”, regardless of age. 

Yes, this is a “tall ship” with sails but is also a modern ship with propeller motors and all the amenities for smooth sailing, and don’t get me started on how good the food is.

We visited familiar ports of Athens, Kuşadasi for Ephesus, and Mykonos, then continued to quaint out-of-the-way islands including Amorgos and Spetses…think “Mama Mia” type islands, places the large cruise ships cannot go.  

Our group enjoyed spending time onboard the ship in a true sailing experience, wind in our hair as we watched the blue waters float by.  We played on the front net connected to the bow, climbed to the top of the center mass, and even got to steer the ship!  Does it sound like I'm making a brochure statement?  If so it’s because it really does deliver a true sailors experience.  And in the dining room, Star Clippers does it right. 

I love the relaxed atmosphere of a tall ship experience.  I’m looking forward to traveling with them again and I hope you will join me or one of our other groups on our next Star Clippers adventure!

If we can help you book your next escorted cruise or tour, please call us today at (800) 809-9910!

Happy travels!

-Larry Gelwix

** The next Star Clipper group is May 4-11, 2024 from Rome down the Amalfi Coast, hosted by Group Manager, Wendy Fracchia.  Click here for more details

Best 15 Packing Tips For Your Next Trip by Wendy Fracchia
Wendy Fracchia

Packing clothes for all seasons can be a bit challenging, but with careful planning and some smart packing techniques, you can make it work. Here are some travel tips for packing clothes for all seasons:

1. Check the Weather Forecast: Before you start packing, check the weather forecast for your destination during your travel dates. This will give you a better idea of what to expect and help you plan accordingly.

2. Layering is Key: The key to packing for all seasons is layering. Bring versatile clothing items that can be layered to adapt to different temperatures. For example, a lightweight t-shirt can be worn on its own in summer or layered under a sweater or jacket in colder weather.

3. Neutral Colors: Choose a color palette of neutral colors (black, gray, beige, etc.) for your clothing. Neutral colors are versatile and can be mixed and matched easily.

4. Multi-Use Items: Pack clothing items that can serve multiple purposes. For example, a convertible travel dress can be worn as a dress, a skirt, or even a top. This saves space and gives you more outfit options.

5. Choose the Right Fabrics: Opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics for summer and warmer climates, and pack heavier, insulating materials like wool or fleece for colder seasons. Fabrics like merino wool are great because they are moisture-wicking, odor-resistant, and can be worn in both hot and cold weather.

6. Packing Cubes: Invest in packing cubes or compression bags to maximize space and keep your clothing organized. Roll your clothes to save space and reduce wrinkles.

7. Footwear: Footwear can take up a lot of space, so choose a versatile pair of shoes that can work for different seasons. For example, a comfortable pair of walking shoes or sneakers can be worn year-round.

8. Accessories: Accessories like scarves, hats, and gloves can help adapt your outfits to different weather conditions. They take up very little space but can make a big difference in your comfort.

9. Laundry Options: Consider access to laundry facilities at your destination. If available, you can pack fewer items and plan to do laundry during your trip.

10. Weather-Appropriate Outerwear: Don't forget to pack a weather-appropriate jacket or coat. If you're traveling during a transitional season, choose a versatile jacket that can handle both cool and warm temperatures.

11. Research Local Dress Codes: Some destinations may have specific dress codes or cultural norms. Research these in advance to ensure you pack appropriate clothing.

12. Wear Bulky Items: If you're traveling with bulky items like a winter coat or boots, wear them during your journey to save space in your luggage.

13. Edit Your Wardrobe: Be ruthless when packing. Only bring items that you know you'll wear. Leave behind anything that's not versatile or necessary for the trip.

14. Plan for Special Activities: If you have specific activities planned, such as hiking or swimming, pack the necessary gear separately to avoid overpacking.

15. Check Baggage Restrictions: Be mindful of baggage weight and size restrictions imposed by airlines or other modes of transportation. It's essential to avoid excess baggage fees.

Remember that packing for all seasons may require some trade-offs in terms of space and convenience, but with careful planning, you can have a versatile wardrobe that covers a wide range of weather conditions.

We look forward to hosting you on our next escorted tour! Please call us today at (800) 809-9910 to book your next unforgettable vacation with us.

-Wendy Fracchia, Morris Murdock Escorted Tours

Discovering Peru: A Journey Through History, Culture, and Natural Beauty
Carol Alegre

I recently had the opportunity to take a group to one of my favorite destinations in the world, Peru! It was an unforgettable journey, with stunning scenery, exquisite food and genuine connection to the rich tapestry of Peru's culture and history.

We started in Lima, a lively city where the food scene stole the show. Imagine savoring dishes like ceviche and lomo saltado – a true feast for the senses. The mix of traditional ingredients and international flavors was a delightful surprise, making every meal an adventure.

From there, we ventured into the heart of the Amazon rainforest in Puerto Maldonado. The sights and sounds of nature were awe-inspiring, from monkeys chattering in the trees to brilliantly colored macaws flying overhead. It was a chance to connect with the natural world in a way that's hard to put into words. Our journey continued to Cusco and the Sacred Valley, where ancient ruins and breathtaking landscapes awaited. We had the wonderful opportunity to visit a local elementary school, and take some school supplies and donations. The children showed us some of their local dances and traditional foods. They were adorable! This was truly a highlight of our trip!

We witnessed the celebration of the Inti Raymi festival – a once-in-a-year spectacle that takes place exclusively on June 24th. This is a celebration of the sun, the Inca New Year. The vibrant colors and lively dances gave us a glimpse into the rich culture of the region.

Our Pledge to Keep You Safe
Morris Murdock Esccorted Tours

Group Cruising, the best of both worlds?
Wendy Fracchia

Do you like cruising? Why?

Do you like traveling with a group? Why?

Not to sound like a three year old, but you should ask yourself these questions because some of the best features you enjoy about these two traveling styles can come together, like a great ice cream sundae, and make the perfect choice for your next travel adventure.

Top 5 Reasons to Consider a Groups Cruise:

    1. Unpacking once and having your hotel travel with you: To most people, this is what they like the most about cruising and like the least about a land tour. The benefit here is huge, especially if you are a classic over-packer! You know who you are.
    2. Sea Days: We hear on land tours that it would be great to have a "down day" to let your legs rest and catch up on some sleep. When asked what of the tour they would give up for this down day they can't decide. Since most cruise itineraries require a day at sea to travel to our next port, it's the perfect answer to this question.
    3. The food: All you can eat, any style you want is available now on cruises. The variety is also better than a land tour. And since it is included in the price, there isn't the budget decision of, "Do I want a good meal tonight or a special souvenir tomorrow?" You know what I'm talking about, we've all done it!
    4. The itineraries: WOW, the world is really big and there is a lot of sea out there. Land tours just can't cover the distance of a cruise so with a cruisetour you can include so much more in your trip. More checks off that bucket list - all in one trip!
    5. Great balance of group and personal time: If you've done a land tour you know how close you become with other tour members in a short period of time. You quickly become a "family" and really, it's one of the things I like best about doing a tour. Lifelong friendships are made. You do, however, long for the quiet of your room at the end of a day and personal time to digest and contemplate the amazing sights you've seen that day. If you are traveling with family or friends, sometimes you just want to hang out and laugh together. On a cruise you get a great balance of togetherness and private time.

I am going to add an extra bonus thought here:

  • On-site learning mixed with classroom style. Not all cruises have an educational theme to them. Some are just fun times - in great destinations. If you choose one that does, this is a great way to enjoy both teaching styles. I don't know how you learn the best but, on a cruise tour you have both options so you are covered. You can absorb the onsite teaching as you ponder what you are seeing and then follow up on an onboard meeting.

So, now that I've given you a few things to think about - go back to the beginning and ask yourself those questions again and see if you are ready to experience this type of travel yourself. If you are, please call us today to review our group cruise options.

Summer Travel To Israel and Why You Should Consider It!
Roger Manning

Last summer my wife and I guided a group of 48 people to Israel and guess what, not only did everyone survive but EVERYBODY had a wonderful time!   When considering travel to Israel, the heat sometimes will scare people away from travel in the summer, but I’d like to offer you 3 reasons why you should consider an Israel summer tour and a few more just about Israel in general.

1. The historic and sacred sites are not heavily populated. Often, there are no waiting lines. We can spend more quality time at each site. Imagine trying to feel/learn/experience a sacred site with 500+ others speaking different languages and worshiping in other fashions.  While there is a great energy at these sites during the busier seasons, there is a lot to be said for this more personal opportunity.

2. The average temperature in Israel in June is 82 degrees. The evenings cool off nicely. In Jericho, Masada, and the Dead Sea areas, the dry heat temperatures range between 89-95 degrees. I don’t know about you but to me, it was not TOO hot that it interrupted our activities and no one was near heat exhaustion.

Experiencing the Masters' Art in Europe
Howard & Shari Lyon

We often get asked why we love to travel to Europe so often. Despite the obvious answer of how much we love to travel and experiencing new places, our main reason is that we are so fed and reenergized by surrounding ourselves by inspirational art when we visit! We always return home with new ideas, new visions of how we want to create and new respect and awe for the artists that paved the way for us to create as a profession.

If you love art or desire to better understand the art treasures all over Europe, there is a talk given by President Kimball titled “The Gospel Vision of the Arts.” that you will want to read. Read it in its entirety, before, during and after traveling. It will help you experience the art in a very different way, and bring more appreciation and respect for the masterpieces you will encounter.

2022 Best of Bavaria and Oberammergau Passion Play tour
Howard & Shari Lyon

Bavaria is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful regions in Germany!

Day 1: We started our tour by flying into Munich and then drove to the charming town of Fuessen. Füessen is located on the banks of the Lech River, which flows into the Forggensee lake. This quaint town is surrounded by mountains of the Ammergau Alps and the castles of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau are located nearby.

Day 2: Our next visit was to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. This city played host to the Winter Olympics in 1936 and is known for its charm and beauty. Here we traveled to Germany’s highest peak, the Zugspitze, and took a train ride and gondola ride to the top.

Day 3: The Next day we traveled the scenic drive to Salzburg, one of the most beautiful cities in the world and famous as the setting for the movie “The Sound of Music”. Our day tour starts at the Mirabell Palace and Gardens. (This is where the “Do-Re-Mi” portion of the movie was filmed.)

Next, we visit the birthplace of Mozart. (Insert from Dani: This place really touched my heart. My mom played the piano well enough to be a concert pianist. I grew up playing with my dolls under the baby grand while my mom played. She would have loved this visit.)

For our last stop we go up to the fortress Hohensalzburg for a panoramic view of the city and surrounding countryside.

Day 4: Today day we took a short drive to Innsbruck. This city played host to two Winter Olympics. Our first stop was the Tyrolean Folk Art Museum.

There were over 20 unique Nativity scenes here. Though most often considered during the Christmas seasons, the Tyrolean Nativity Museum invites you to experience the special Nativities all year round. Crib art from the 18th century to the present can be seen here made of different materials like wood, clay, wax, or cardboard are on display.

We then took at walking tour of the city. Did you know Innsbruck has a famous roof? It’s one of Innsbruck’s top attractions – located right in the heart of the Old Town – is the Golden Roof or Goldenes Dachl in German.

The roof on the balcony was originally created at the end of the 15th century by the famous Emperor Maximilian. Its purpose was to impress travelers who were stopping by the medieval city – and did it ever work! In total, there are 2657 gold-plated shingles on the roof and several pained figured on the exterior, too. We also had the opportunity to visit the museum inside, but there were no pictures allowed.

Our last stop of the day is the famous Neuschwanstein Castle, residence of King Ludwig II of Bavaria. Few places on Earth look more like storybook illustrations than Neuschwanstein Castle. With its towers, turrets, frescoes, and throne hall, Neuschwanstein (or Schloss Neuschwanstein, as it is called in German) looks like it was plucked straight from your favorite fairy tale.

Day 5: Today we visited the Linderhof Palace. This was another residence of King Ludwig II of Bavaria. An eccentric recluse, Ludwig depleted the treasury of his country building extravagant castles and died in mysterious circumstances. Linderhof is certainly the most elaborate “hunting lodge” you will ever see!

This afternoon we traveled to the fabulous Rococo Weiskirche. From the outside is looks somewhat plain and simple, but just wait until you see the inside!

Such a surprise! We did not expect this! It was beautiful! The Wieskirche’s ornate style, called Rococo, is like Baroque that got shrunk in the wash — lighter, frillier, and more delicate, with whitewash and pastel colors. Where Baroque uses oval shapes, Rococo twists it even further into curvy cartouches.

After our visit at the Rococo Weiskirche, we drove to our hotel in Oberammergau for the highlight of our tour.

Day 6: This morning we get to explore Oberammergau, a delightful town that has been home to skilled wood carvers since the 12th century. There are many interesting things to see in this quaint town. Scenes from the scriptures and from fairy tales are painted on the walls of the buildings.

This afternoon we attended the first half of the marvelous passion play, which is performed by the town’s inhabitants every ten years since 1634—when the thirty-year war and the deadly bubonic plague killed almost half the population of Germany. The people of Oberammergau vowed to produce this play each decade if they could be spared. They were, and here we are 350 years later.

After the first half of the play, we ate dinner as a group.

Unfortunately, we are not allowed to take pictures during the play, so I had to get some from the internet.

The play is spoken in German, but the program has the exact wording so you can follow along. It was a wonderful experience to witness the Oberammergau Passion play.

Day 7: Today we departed Germany and made our way to Switzerland. It was a beautiful drive! Upon arrival we enjoyed a walking city tour of Zurich. There is no better way to get THE BEST TASTE OF ZURICH!

Day 8: We depart for home today, but plan to come back to Germany again as soon as possible. We loved it there and can’t wait to see more.

We hope you can join us in 2030 on one of our Oberammergau Passion Play tours!

Safe Travels, Dani Edmunds, and Sarah Wangsgard – Morris Murdock Escorted Tour

Check out our full tour catalogue online at

Following the Journey of the Apostles
Tim Taggart

For the next two weeks the entire membership of the Church, in our “Come Follow Me” study, will focus on Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. During that time we will also watch and listen to General Conference. How appropriate it will be to study: “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone”, as latter-day prophets testify of Christ.

Paul’s letter to the Ephesians “contains many teachings and ideas that are familiar to Latter-day Saints, including foreordination, the dispensation of the fulness of times, the Holy Spirit of Promise, the importance of prophets and apostles, the idea of one true and unified Church, and the various callings and functions within the organization of the Church. This letter also contains some of the most sublime teachings on the family that are found anywhere in scripture. (NT Institute Student Manual, p. 421).

Bring Your Studies to Life On Tour & Your Phone
Super User

Take your Bible study to a new level by taking a virtual step back in time to Jerusalem. With the free Virtual New Testament App you can now digitally walk where Jesus walked, whether with us on tour or from the comfort of your couch. The scripture stories that took place in Jerusalem will become more understandable, memorable, and impactful when you can visualize where these events occurred. The app allows you to visit key locations around the ancient city of Jerusalem. It will also allow you to take a ground-level walk-through of the Temple Mount with its expansive Courts (Gentiles, Women, Israelites, and Priests). Walk into the Temple’s Sanctuary with its Holy Place that includes the menorah, altar of incense, and table of shewbread. Walk through the veil and see the Holy of Holies, symbolic of the presence of God. Even better than visiting these sites virtually, is to the Holy Land with the app in hand to compare the ruins and sites in front of you with how they might have looked 2,000 years ago. The stories will become more real. The principles and doctrines they contain will become more relatable and your appreciation for the Savior’s perfect life and infinite atonement can increase.

D-Day: A Look Back on the 74th Anniversary
Super User

Of all the key dates in history, few are as important as June 6, 1944. It was on that day, in terrible weather, that the Allied Forces launched, the long-awaited invasion of Europe, Operation Overlord, to defeat Nazi Germany and the Axis Powers. It was the largest military operation in history, fraught with peril, and with real danger that our troops would be thrust back into the English Channel in defeat. So great was the risk that General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe, wrote two press releases; one expressing appreciation for the sacrifices of American and Allied servicemen who successfully formed a beachhead on the Normandy shores of France, the second expressing the same appreciation, but taking full responsibility for the failure of the operation because of Eisenhower’s bad judgment. He concluded the second “In Case it Fails” letter with these words, “If any fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.” It was late in the day on June 6th before it became clear that he could release the first letter.

Making Sacred Places Sacred - Israel and Jordan
Del and Cherrie Clark

Several years back on our first trip to Israel, we were taking a taxi to the West Bank to study events on sites. Our wonderful driver was very accommodating. We mentioned several times throughout the day that we wanted to go to Shechem (modern Nablus). The day was winding down and he told us that we would not have the time to make that stop. He turned and asked us where we would like to go instead of Shechem. There was a look of disappointment on our faces, and the driver perceived that no other place would do.

He said, "So, you want to go to Nablus, then we will go."

We arrived in the middle of town and the Greek Orthodox church right after closing time. The door was locked, but our driver would not take "No" for an answer. He was persistent in knocking when finally, an old priest came to the door. The Old priest started shaking his head while our driver was explaining or desire to see Jacob's well. Once the old priest looked our way and saw the deep desire on our faces, he motioned to us to come in.