Brick & Mortar Every (great) trip has a balanced ratio of bricks and mortar. Bricks are the hard stops. The firm plans. Places to be, things to see at specific times. Mortar plays a supporting role. It’s the flexible space betwixt the bricks that binds and turns them into a cohesive, useful, beautiful, original structure. As a master mason, Butch knows how to design and oversee construction and ensure the right ratio of bricks (exciting, clear plans with goals and timelines) and mortar (time off to just “wander, explore & play”). We experienced an artful blend of the two PLUS we had a Great Team. ALL our travel companions were delightful to be with. Over many years Butch has carefully curated an “enthusiastic away team”, on the other side of the pond, that joyfully shares their culture and traditions with us Yanks who can have an unfortunate (cultural) tendency to think “we got it all going on”. When we are open to new cultures, traditions, and ideas we quickly learn that isn’t the case and, in fact, they’re the ones who got it all going on. Butch’s away team is a critical component to the success of the entire experience. The last component of the trip is the man himself. With his name and likeness on the sign, he is fully immersed in his role as a cultural, culinary mountain guide who maintains his natural affection and enthusiasm for the places he has already visited. His eyes still sparkle at each stop and he takes great satisfaction seeing the same in the eyes of his clients who, by the end of the week, become his friends. I would recommend Butch and one of his trips to anyone with an open mind and true passion to experience and understand new cultures and cuisines. Go thirsty, go hungry, go wholeheartedly, courageously, be fully engaged, be humble and curious and be prepared to learn about others, their culture, and yourself.