Ask First… (Issue 765)

Yet one more time… In which we are reminded to clarify before we pitch

“Hi and happy new year!!”, the email began.  A note from a long time business friend. “ I’m planning a trip to New England next September with a group of friends.  We are wide open at this point on where we go. Probably 10 days with car to tour around. Any not-to-be-missed sites/ towns/states in your opinion?”

I was delighted to be asked. I love New England and I’m eager to share my enthusiasm with folks from other parts of the planet who want to see what we’re about and enjoy our geography.

Ten days with a car. Wonderful! I began my enthusiastic response: “September is a terrific time to come to New England,” and I wrote out one of my favorite itineraries, ‘South to North counterclockwise,” that began with flights to Providence, Rhode Island and worked north from Newport to Cape Cod to Boston, up the coast through Portsmouth to Portland and Bar Harbor then West through the White Mountains to Hanover, New Hampshire and a jaunt into Vermont before driving South to the Berkshires, then East back to Boston to fly out.

Just… at the moment I intended to click “Send,” I thought…. “I wonder with whom she is traveling?”

I saved the email as a draft (snarl) and wrote back: “Before I offer ideas, I’m curious:

  • What sorts of activities or scenery or landmarks have appealed to you and your friends in the past?
  • If you were offered a menu of activities, with what criteria would you set priorities?
  • How much time do you want to commit to driving  to see scenery vs. being in a place and taking it in?”

Seriously. Yes, I wrote that.

To which she responded, “As of now we are thinking we’ll fly to Montreal and spend a few days there. Then we’ll drive to somewhere along the coast of Lake Champlain for a day or two and also see Stowe at some point in this leg.  Next we’ll head over to the Western edge of the White Mountain National Forest by way of a scenic tour through Green Mountain National Forest.  Then we’ll drive through White Mountains and on to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Forest for a couple days and then two more days further south down the coast.  Most of the crowd has been to Boston so they were less interested in spending time there.”

Huh! Seriously? I’d have been WAAAAY off the mark. A great itinerary and significantly different than what I had planned to recommend!!

Good thing I thought to ask!

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