Meet the authors of Tuscany by Car and Ireland by Car
Your satisfaction is very important to us!
If you have any comments and/or constructive criticism, please let me know. I will respond as promptly as I can.
Robert E. Woods
I am an entrepreneur and avid, lifelong traveler. I have photographed professionally on and off since high school.
My first business was Communic-Art Services, and my advertising photography appeared in Billboard magazine at the age of 17. I paid my way through college working in camera sales, and paid my way through graduate school selling (with my math professor) collectible Leica cameras to Japanese enthusiasts. (I love photography!)
I am also the co-author of a flagship on-line product by a leading international publisher covering all aspects of business formation, planning and termination, with a special emphasis on mergers and acquisitions.
As someone who worked full-time to pay my own way through college and two graduate schools, I place great stead in value for the dollar and believe that travel is one of the very best ways to enrich one’s life and understanding of our increasingly interconnected world. I am profiled in both Who’s Who in the World and Who’s Who in America.
Laura is a dedicated foodie who worked for several years in acclaimed New York City restaurants while attending NYU and after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Today Laura lives in Amarillo, Texas with her husband, Josh and young son Julian.
Laura enjoys spending her free time cooking, reading, bicycling and practicing yoga.
“Necessity is the Mother of Invention”
Tuscany by Car was born out of necessity. We are a father-daughter team who have traveled the world together and love sharing adventures. In the spring of 2006, we took our first dream trip to Tuscany and found ourselves hopelessly lost as we navigated the small scenic roads throughout Tuscany. We spent far too much time frustrated, searching conventional guidebooks and maps instead of enjoying the pure pleasure of experiencing Tuscany. We knew there had to be a better way — so we created Tuscany by Car, an innovative, in-depth, eBook travel guide accompanied (at no additional charge) by a comprehensive set of exclusive GPS coordinates for all locations in the book.
Tuscany by Car turned out so well that we wrote Ireland by Car (another huge undertaking!), and now travelers to Ireland can enjoy the same trouble-free experience while enjoying the trip of a lifetime to the Emerald Isle. Over the past several years we have driven thousands of miles throughout Tuscany and all of Ireland, researching hundreds of restaurants, hotels, shops, activities and other destinations. Our intention was to provide all the information one needs to plan the perfect trip — without getting frustrated or lost. In addition to researching a wide variety of fabulous hotels, restaurants, shops and sites, we personally identified and confirmed GPS coordinates, using advanced GPS equipment, for every location discussed in our books. Our books are written for the intrepid traveler who yearns to travel to Tuscany or Ireland but does not have the time or inclination to spend years learning the real Tuscany or the hidden gems of Ireland.
With so much to see and do, why be stuck in a bus with strangers on a schedule out of your control, when you can truly customize your itinerary to suit your own plans without fear of getting lost and without wasting precious time and money? That’s why our guides include extensive insider information — rarely found in other travel guides — on attractions, lodging, restaurants, wineries (in Tuscany), breweries and distilleries (in Ireland), hiking, bicycling, golfing and shopping. Ireland and Tuscany are truly magical places that deserve to be enjoyed to the fullest.
Our intention in writing these guides was to share the best of both Ireland and Tuscany with other travelers, while sparing them the headaches and wasted time we have experienced while driving in Tuscany and Ireland. It is our sincere hope that, through the use of Ireland by Car and Tuscany by Car, you too will fall under the spell of Ireland or Tuscany and experience the vacation of a lifetime, filled with irreplaceable memories that do not include the frustration of being lost while driving in a foreign land. We want to make these wonderful destinations widely accessible to anyone who wants to visit — young people, retirees, families or anyone on a budget (and most of us are) — so you too can experience the wonder of Ireland or Tuscany without going broke in the process.
Our Commitment to the Community
As travelers and human beings, we understand the need to give back to our communities. My first real job (after my paper route) was as a camera salesman at Finn’s Cameras in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota. I worked there part-time while in high school and then full-time through college. Finn’s had a full inventory of high-end cameras, and it was great place to work and learn about photography.
About the time Jerry Finn contracted lymphoma (around 10 years after I left the store), he lost the family cabin his father had built near Lake Superior, as a result of a dispute over the sale of the store. I was a lawyer at the time and joined the case on a pro bono basis, appealing the adverse judgment against him and securing the return of his family’s property, shortly before he passed. I was proud to help him as he had helped me.
In this life, it’s true that “what goes around, comes around.” A portion of the proceeds from every book we sell goes back to the community through donations to charities that include the St. Paul Union Gospel Mission and PhotoVoice.