[So uhh…Disclaimer. This post is long. Like makes previous posts that I’ve had a disclaimer on look short. It’s just shy of 20,000 words. A professional typist typing at 80 wpm would take 4 hours just to retype this post. I don’t blame anyone if you don’t want to read through it entirely. You can search the area/town you might be interested in or skip down to the concluding thoughts where I give more opinions/advice based on our experience. The day by day portion is more of a travel journal. Also, Alyce has a talent for saying more than I do in much fewer words, so you can read her posts too. Good luck.]
Italy…Finally. This one had been on both of our wish lists for a while.
Me – I’ve always been fascinated with Roman history. The Romans were an incredible society and were more advanced than any other that would show up for quite some time. My engineering side has always been impressed by what they were able to accomplish 2000 years ago. My law side is similarly impressed with Rome. The Louisiana Civil Code that we use today is a direct descendant from Roman law – one of the few things I took from the Legal Traditions class we had to take at LSU. It equally influenced just about all of the Western legal systems.
Alyce – She has a strong Italian heritage on her mom’s side. Her Nonna (the Italian word for grandmother) cooked all sorts of delicious Italian meals, many of which I was fortunate enough to get eat too. Pasta, Pizza, Italian meats and cheeses are many of her favorite foods. She loves the history too, just as I enjoy the food, markets, etc. as well.
As is usually the case, Alyce had to rein me in on the planning/scope of the trip. I wanted 3 weeks. Alyce shut that down being as we had never even traveled with James when she was submitting her vacation request. Also, she had only been at her new job a couple weeks when vacation requests were due. Going right for a 3 weeker would have been a little bold. In fact, she just submitted her vacation requests for 2016, and the same situation played out. I wanted three weeks; she settled at two. I’ll get the three weeker in 2017… [Editors note: Since writing this, we have changed our 2016 fall vacation to 3 weeks. Persistence pays off.]
Two weeks sounds like a lot – and it is for US vacations – but it really isn’t that long to see a country. You lose one night to travel, so you’re down to 13 nights before you even get started. Plus, we had a 15 month old with us. We don’t quite see/do as much as we used to…
Speaking of which, I planned about half of what I usually would (in terms of meals/activities/wine/etc.), and we still ended up skipping half of what we had planned. And that is fine and somewhat expected. No one wins if we wake up a baby and have him scream through a lunch because we wanted to go to a particular place. That’s not enjoyable for us or the others around us.
Similarly, I probably planned our stops a little differently in the past. I definitely would have stopped a lot more along the way during our transits. We drove right through the heart of the Chianti wine region and didn’t stop at a single place. As it was, we stayed at 5 different spots over the 13 days…That’s moving when travelling with a one year old.