Unlike many people, my mother never indulged in long beach vacations or other leisurely trips when I was a child. Primarily, this is because my mother has never enjoyed long periods of silence or the solitude one finds in a deserted stretch of land. Instead, my mother's vacations were strictly scheduled and frequently required a datebook in order to manage all the museums and historical sites. My father and I assumed this was how all families vacationed and therefore never questioned her.
Fast forward to my adulthood: while I don't strictly schedule as my mother always did, I am still someone who feels a driving need to accomplish things during a vacation. I can ride -- and frequently have ridden -- every single ride in Disneyland in a single day. Vacations, as my mother would say, are not for sissies.
My husband has repeatedly thwarted my natural instincts by scheduling cruise vacations, thereby protecting himself from my concept of vacation. The few trips we have made to Chicago have been mostly on his schedule, because Chicago is his hometown. However, I succeeded in cajoling him into scheduling our first European vacation earlier this year, and, despite many attempts on his part to cancel said trip, we actually went.
We settled on Italy for two reasons: first, I had been there before and have been studying the language off and on for over a year; and second, it was much cheaper than his first choice, England. I went to Italy in 2002 with two good friends. I admit that I relied heavily on them -- and large quantities of wine -- during that trip. Unfortunately, neither of them were of the same bent when it came to museums and eating. I always wanted to have the audio tour; they were more of the mind to see things and move along. I always wanted to sit down and have a nice meal; they always wanted fast and cheap food. Therefore, though the memory of the trip will always be a good one, I was certain I could do better with a more amenable partner (i.e., my devoted and loving husband).
The last two weeks have convinced me that Dan truly is devoted and loving. The same two weeks have convinced him that my ultimate goal was to make use of that travel insurance clause referring to the repatriation of dead bodies -- his, specifically.
Over the next two days, I will share an abreviated version of my travel journal. I hope that you enjoy it.