After nearly 40 years as a broadcast journalist — the last 11 as coanchor of the “EyeOpener” newscast on WCVB Channel 5 — Randy Price is calling it quits. But don’t expect the award-winning anchor to spend retirement twiddling his thumbs. An avid gardener, Price, 70, said he and his husband, Mark Steffen, retired CEO of a medical malpractice insurance company, are looking forward to putting their green thumbs to work year-round at their home in Palmetto Bluff, in Bluffton, S.C. They are also looking forward to biking, swimming, and traveling once it’s safe to do so. “We’ve always enjoyed traveling the world, and while I know we’ll revisit a few places we’ve already been, we’re looking forward to exploring new places,” said Price, who is well known in New England’s civic and philanthropic communities for raising awareness (and money) for causes that are important to him, including autism, animal welfare, alcohol and substance abuse, veterans rights, scouting, and LGBTQ issues. We caught up with the Baton Rouge, La., native, who, with Steffen, shares two dogs, Kobe and Sophie, to talk about all things travel.
Favorite vacation destination?
Amsterdam has always been a favorite for us. It’s a smaller big city: very walkable, public transportation is great, and it is so orderly and neat — and then you have great museums, parks, and public spaces and lots of smaller restaurants with very affordable international food. Indonesian food is everywhere there. The Dutch people are very inviting, and Amsterdam is not far from a lot of other wonderful destinations. Bruges, Belgium, is one of them.
Favorite food or drink while vacationing?
Our favorite cuisine of all is Thai food. We’ve had the best you can have, at the Blue Elephant in Bangkok . . . but we have also found wonderful [Thai] offerings all over the world. We’ve been regulars at a small family-owned Thai Restaurant in Amsterdam. We’re always on the lookout for great Thai food.
Where would you like to travel to but haven’t?
Scandinavia. We’ve been putting it off for years because ideally it is a summer vacation and being obsessed gardeners in New England, we never leave in the summer. Now that we are going to be doing year-round gardening in South Carolina … Scandinavia here we come!
One item you can’t leave home without when traveling?
It probably goes without saying, but a good phone and phone service. Our connections to everything … almost anywhere in the world [including] translations, GPS, food reviews, highlights, and, most importantly, for its great and convenient camera.
Aisle or window?
I’m not that fussy as long as I’m onboard and we’re about to take off. But, an aisle seat is more appealing. All of them are great for sleeping for me.
Favorite childhood travel memory?
We didn’t have much and certainly wouldn’t be leaving the country, but every summer we did take long family car vacations. My mother saved for it and made sure it happened every year. As a result, we covered much of the country and there is a lot of beauty to see in the United States. It was just four of us ― my parents and my younger brother — so it was such a fun experience. I’ve always felt fortunate that I had that in my life.
Guilty pleasure when traveling?
Well, we make it a point to not feel guilty at the time, but enjoying good food whenever we want it is a vacation treat. A hearty breakfast is always different for us . . . and for me, a second or third helping of dessert — ice cream, sorbet, lemon or carrot cake, and on and on.
Best travel tip?
We always look for a great value. You don’t have to spend an over-the-top amount of money unless you can and that appeals to you. You can stay in great places, have great food, see amazing things, and meet wonderful people without breaking the bank. Also, travel light. We struggled with that concept for years, but it can make a huge difference.