PaperCity Magazine

Round Top Winter 2021

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R ound Top local Pam Schoenst is spreading a bug — the travel bug, that is. Since launching Round Top Travel Company in August 2000, she's taken countless Fayette County residents on adventures all over the world, aiding in the completion of bucket lists and making once-in-a-lifetime trips more accessible. Throughout her two decades of partnership with the experts at Collette Travel & Tours, Schoenst has taken travelers to Kenya and Tanzania, Petra, Machu Picchu, and Germany, to name a few destinations. For her first trip, she took a group of farmers and ranchers, who she says would never have left town otherwise, to Alaska. "They raved about the trip. Those that go are never disappointed. What sets me apart is I go with them," she says. "I take care of my travelers along the way. They get on a bus in Round Top, and they don't have to worry about anything." Round Top Travel trips begin by meeting Schoenst at her beauty shop, Pam's Hair Fashions in Round Top (which she has owned and operated since 1976), to catch the bus to the airport in Houston. "I was worried about whether I could juggle the beauty shop, travel, and family, but here we are, 21 years later, and still running around the world," Schoenst says. Since that first trip, Schoenst and her travel club members (including her husband, Red) have visited places as close as Big Bend National Park and as far as Petra in Jordan, and Machu Picchu in Peru. An African adventure to Kenya and Tanzania remains a club favorite. The group delighted in a safari, flew over the Maasai Mara in a hot-air balloon at sunrise, and took in views of Mount Kilimanjaro. Schoenst says her favorite part of this trip was meeting the African villagers and watching the sun set with her travel group and a glass of wine in the evenings. The African adventure has sold out three times, but her group likes to mix things up and plan trips to places they have never been. One of her favorite tour moments happened en route to Germany. "On our Danube River cruise in Germany, we stopped off for lunch at a spot picked at random in Pilsen, in the Czech Republic. A member of our group, Ledel Renck, was stationed there with the Army in World War II as a radio operator and shared his story with the group on the bus. He said when he heard that the war was over, the soldiers went to Pilsner Urquell Brewery, and they could drink all the beer they wanted at no cost. He said that was the best damn beer he ever tasted … We coincidentally picked that brewery to stop for lunch on our way to Prague. He was so excited to see the town for the first time since the end of the war." Round Top Travel Company's trips for 2022 include Costa Rica; Holland and Belgium; Ireland and Edinburgh; and Switzerland, Austria, and Bavaria. Schoenst expects to host 142 rural travelers next year — and booking is still open. The general age range of travelers is 65 to 70, but Schoenst has taken travelers in their 90s and young families with children. For those who may be hesitant about traveling, Schoenst assures us that her trips are fully insured and safe. For more information on the club's trips out of Round Top, visit GLOBAL ENTRY Pam Schoenst's Round Top Travel Company and the Wild Blue Yonder By Candice Cowin The historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Southern Peru. Petra's rock-cut architecture in Jordan Pam Schoenst MYSTERIES IN HISTORY, PARRAGON INC. PETRA REDISCOVERED, HARRY N. ABRAMS INC. 26

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