Andiamo a Italia

This time next week, we’ll be in Italy.  We will have taken our overnight train (for better or for worse — I’m a bit concerned that the kids won’t sleep, and therefore, neither will anyone else), arrived in Rome, dropped of our bags and begun our Italian vacation.  It’s kind of amazing.  I love this part of planning the trip.  Between washing dozens of loads of laundry, mastering the spatial relations of various suitcase options, talking with the kids to give them appropriate expectations of the next few weeks, poring over guide books about the different places we’re going to see, confirming hotel reservations, arranging travel connections, and packing (which feels like it takes weeks), I am suddenly hit with the realization that, in a few short days, we’re actually going to BE on our trip, exploring a new place, experiencing new things.  It’s very easy for me to lose sight of that when I’m wading through the details of trip planning (partly because there are so many details).

So, today, I’m really excited.  It’s finally *real* to me that we’re going to be IN ITALY in a week.  We’re going to be eating pizza, pasta, risotto and gelato, drinking hot chocolate and (I’m certain) enjoying many other delightful things.  We’re going to visit Rome, Vatican City, and Venice.  (We’re going to be in Rome, and Vatican City, during the last week of Pope Benedict’s papacy — which is something we couldn’t have expected or planned for, but it’s kind of amazing.)  We’re going to see the Coliseum, the Forum, Trevi fountain and St. Mark’s Square.  We’re going to be amongst thousands of years of history (although, having lived in Vienna for almost 2 years, that’s less shocking and impressive to me than it once would have been).

And, best of all, we’re going to do it, all together as a family and alongside Jo and Mina!  I’m very excited for this next piece of our adventure!  Molto Bene!  Andiamo!