Alright, the BIG REVEAL behind the silence on the blog of late. I have one of those b-i-g birthdays coming up this May. My husband and I had been talking about what kind of trip to take to celebrate when one night over dinner I said, “Why don’t we live in Italy for the summer?”
How I came up with that idea and why we both thought it was not only a good one but a doable one is such a long story it would probably dry out your eyeballs to read it all. So here’s the abridged version:
- We both used to live in Europe at different stages in our lives, and lately I’ve been missing it desperately.
- We agree that taking young children on a two-week vacation anywhere in Europe would be miserable, but perhaps not so much if you are going there to live as locals and immerse yourself in the culture (which is the way we like to travel anyway).
- Two years ago, we met a lovely Italian couple on a Colorado dude ranch. They had two children the same age and gender as ours. We met on the first night and all of us (kids included) became fast friends. That experience made me think differently about traveling abroad with kids. I thought, “If they can do it, why can’t we?”
- There is another still top-secret reason why it makes sense for us to go this summer, which I’ll reveal soon enough.
What does this have to do with the silence on the blog? Well, in order to make this trip affordable, we had to buy the airline tickets using miles/points, and find a reasonably priced apartment in the Riviera that was within walking distance to everything we’d need (so as not to rent a car). It takes a great deal of sorcery to squeeze all the stray airline miles and credit card points into a big ball in order to use them to purchase six round-trip tickets from the U.S. to Italy. We needed six so Phil can go back and forth a couple of extra times for work. I am an extraordinarily good travel planner, but I had to use all my best travel jiu jitsu moves to make this happen. Very time-consuming. But now that it’s all planned and booked, I am back, inspired and ready to get back into the conversation!
As you might have guessed, my writing time has also suffered, but I know this experience is going to bring a tsunami of inspiration. Seeing a foreign country through a child’s eyes – I’m sure I’ll be filling notebooks with PB ideas.
I’ve also always had an interest in travel writing, so I am going to pursue that angle as well. More on that later too. In the meantime, this is what our itinerary looks like.
- Phil and I land in Rome, just the two of us, and spend 3 days there before going to a small village in the Riviera called Camogli.
- We check into our apartment in Camogli and spend a few days relaxing and exploring.
- Phil flies back to the States and I get a week in Camogli on my own!
- Phil comes back with the kids and we spend two more weeks in Camogli. Our Italian friends will join us for beach time.
- We then go with our Italian friends to spend a week at their home in Milan.
- Leaving Milan, we spend 2 nights in Venice.
- Next we spend 4 nights in Naples so we can visit Pompeii and Vesuvius for our volcano-obsessed son. Then we do a boat tour around Capri for mom and dad.
- We end with three days in Rome with the kids, at the same hotel where we started – like book covers. Seems an apt analogy.
Our apartment in Camogli is little more than a shoebox. One bedroom with a sofa-bed for the kids. But it’s right on the beach and has this view:
Remember my New Year’s Resolution to lost 15 pounds? The real reason is so I have room to gain it back this summer, because I can promise you I will not be metering my consumption of pasta, pizza, gelato and red wine! Luckily the apartment is on the 4th floor and has 85 steep steps. That should help.
I am equal parts ecstatic and terrifed about this trip.
Have you ever done anything that seemed crazy to everyone around you? Was it worth it?Categories: Family, Summer, Travel, Writing · Tags: Camogli, Italian Riviera, Italy, Naples, Picture Books, Pompeii, Rome, Summer, Travel, Writing