We are actively monitoring the discussions in Congress over federal funding, and the potential impact on our tours visiting Federal Sites & National Parks across the United States.

Without an agreement between the House, Senate and White House, the government will shut down on Saturday September 30, 2023 at midnight. The impact to our Tours will be limited to those visiting some Federal Sites & National Parks across the country. Some states including Utah, Arizona and Colorado have indicated that they will provide the necessary funding to keep the National Parks operating. Other states are considering similar measures.

If we are unable to operate or your tour is altered due to the government shutdown, we will contact you directly prior to departure.

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Get a Real Taste of Culture on Explorations Tours

Alex Shaked
by Alex Shaked

September 24, 2021

3 minute read

On our small group Explorations tours, you can expect a deep dive into the culture of your destination. These tours are truly for curious travelers who want to see their destination in a different light. Explorations tours often bring our travelers face-to-face with unique experiences they would be hard-pressed to find on their own.

Some of our favorite foodie inclusions on these immersive tours offer a chance to get hands-on in the preparation of your food and drink. Here’s three of our favorite culinary experiences on tour:

Preparing Tagine in Morocco
On our Colors of Morocco tour, travelers head to a training center that empowers disadvantaged women with restaurant training and culinary job placement. The support of this non-profit training center makes this culinary inclusion extra fulfilling, because it’s also an Impact Moment!
Alongside the women at the training center in Marrakech, travelers gather fresh vegetables and herbs to prepare tagine – a traditional Moroccan dish. Tagine is slow cooked in a dish that’s also called a tagine. It has a low circular base and a large cone shaped lid. That lid assures that your food will remain moist, as trapped liquid will trickle back down. The meal is typically a savory stew and a bonus – this meal is prefaced by a traditional Moroccan mint tea ceremony to provide an amazing mixture of flavors.

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Taking Part in a Green Tea Ceremony in Japan
On our brand-new Japan: Past & Present tour, you can learn the art of the Japanese tea ceremony firsthand in Tokyo. Preparing the perfect matcha can be a daunting task, as can all of the steps in the ceremony! The tools like the tea scoop, bowl and whisk are just as important as the etiquette behind each step.
Cleansing one’s hands and the equipment, properly greeting and welcoming guests into the tea room, and even drinking from the bowl a certain way are a part of this culturally-rich ritual. You will leave the ceremony having taken part in something steeped in history; the tea ceremony as we know it now dates back 800 years. Keep an eye out for yummy sweets during the ceremony, too! They’re often shaped like flowers and prepared from a sweetened red bean paste. 

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Making Homemade Pasta with a Chef in Italy
Having fresh pasta in Italy is absolutely a bucket list item and preparing it alongside a chef would only make that experience sweeter. On our Best of Italy tour, travelers get to do just that, in the backdrop of the amazing Romagna Countryside. Two pasta shapes that are typical in this region are garganelli and strozzapreti. Garganelli is a cylindrical pasta with sharp ends like that of a quill. The pasta is made from square shapes of dough set on a board with ridges in a diamond formation. The dough is then wrapped around a dowel while pressed against the board. Strozzapreti is a twisted, long pasta shell that looks like a tube. This pasta is typically prepared without eggs, and one myth behind its name (which translates to “priest strangler”) says it was the hope of some too poor to buy eggs that noble, wealthy priests would choke on the elongated simple flour and water-based pasta. 

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