Tour guide and founder of European Focus James Derheim first met Mariana C. from Sarasota in about 2004 when he and his wife, Jenean, operated a small retail store selling European imports (a sideline of ours for ten years) in the historic Burns Court area of downtown Sarasota. Mariana was a steady customer of our store, purchasing many things there for her 1920s bungalow around the corner as well as for her beloved granddaughter. Mariana always spoke of her dream to someday visit the alpine village of Appenzell, Switzerland.
Forward ten years and Mariana is picked up by James at her hotel in Lucerne on a bright and balmy October 20. She had just ended a river cruise from Amsterdam to Basel and the last two nights were in Lucerne. James had just finished a tour in nearby Munich. All the pieces came together, and Mariana got to not only see and experience Appenzell on her terms, and at her pace, but she also got a terrific cheese fondue lunch just as she had requested.
Sunshine, cows, green grass, alpine majesty and cute houses. What more can one ask for? More fondue, perhaps. A report the following day from Mariana showed her enjoying round two with a friend in Lucerne that evening.
Feels great to help make a dream come true.