We leave two weeks from today. YIKES! I'm stressing! I need more time to prepare.
For those of you that missed the post, here's how it came about. Many years ago, I mentioned to my Sister, or she mentioned to me, one way or t'other, that we'd like to go to Italy. What? We didn't know that about each other. A few years ago our parents were planning on going, but then changed their mind. So, my Sister asked me a couple of months ago if I'd go, if they wanted to go. I said sure. I really didn't think they'd really go through with it. I really didn't think we'd be going so soon! Apparently I just wasn't thinking.
But, a few weeks ago my Sister sent me a text and asked if I could get together this weekend to "discuss this trip." What? I thought? What trip? Oh, that trip. The one we will talk about, but surely won't actually go on. Sure I said. When?
So we met at our parents house that Sunday, and as she was entering the information in the computer for plane tickets, I said, "Are we going to discuss this a bit more?" Because I figured they'd (the parents) would back out. Well, my sister looked right at me and clicked "Purchase Tickets." WTH? I thought! And the next thing I knew, plane tickets were bought.
Truth be told, I was more nervous than excited. Truth be told, I still am. Truth be told, I'm claustrophobic, and get anxiety attacks every time I step foot in an airport. Truth be told I don't even know why I have a passport. I've never had a stamp put in my passport. Ever.
But friends have helped. The boys that I used to watch...well their Mom gave me this as a gift! Thank you Anh.
It's got gorgeous pictures in it. And nice shiny pages.
Then another friend, Peggy, sent me these journals and a map. Thank you Peggy.
I bought these stickers to put on these journals, which I haven't done yet.
And Monday, I got this scrapbook because I thought it was kinda cool. I'm going to actually print some pictures to put in it, along with the smaller journal Peggy sent me. It has a pocket in the back.
Here are some of the pages inside.
This is what makes me nervous. Besides flying, and going to a foreign country whose language I don't speak, and missing my Shug and my dogs. We aren't going on a tour. My sister has planned it all! (Thank you Theresa) She was very organized with the paperwork, giving us a folder with the hotel information and itinerary and such.
We've been told by many people....You HAVE to go 'here', you HAVE to go 'there', you HAVE to see this and that. We've done a lot of reading and one thing we read a lot is to take your time and realize that you aren't going to see it all in one trip. So, we've shortened the amount of places we were going to visit, and just kept it to Rome and Tuscany. There are some tours planned and some free time planned. We had to cut Venice out because it just wasn't working out. We'll be there 9 days, take two days off for flying. But our parents REALLY wanted to go to Rome. After that, they didn't care. And being the nature person that I am, I wanted to see the Tuscan vineyards and olive groves and such. The one thing our parents were concerned about was dragging their luggage off and on trains all the time. And we gave them the choice on what they wanted to do.
Sister Theresa (I think I'm going to start calling her that! Or maybe Tessy. I love the name Tess. That's what we called her as a kid. OK Tess it is.) Tess also gave us some paperwork to read. I don't think Mom & Dad read it. I did. I even highlighted some stuff. Stuff like, wear your shoes for a month in advance and walk in them for miles and miles in all kinds of weather! What? And pack light. What?
So, as I was wondering what to do about getting a medium sized piece of luggage, my friend Mandy kept telling me to go to TJ Maxx. OKKKAAAAYYY. (there's another story behind why I don't shop there, but I did.) And she was right. They have TONS of luggage. So I called Mom & Dad and told them they need to go there for luggage. I looked up and there they were! They came right over (lol)
So as we are perusing all the luggage, Dad tries on this backpack.
He couldn't even get his arm in the sling and Mom was standing there saying...."Oh TOM you are not hauling that on your back all over Italy. Put it down." So he did.
Then they found their luggage and said they were coming back the next day to buy it. "Why?" I asked. They want to use cash. They do not charge. So, I said, "I happened to have cashed a check that day and have some cash on me, do you want to borrow money before the trip even starts?!?!!" They did and posed for these pics!
It's gonna be fun. We're all gonna have to have patience!
Then....last week I went to get some shoes. I walked in the store and no one was there so I said to the sales lady, "I want the most comfortable pair of shoes you have and I don't care what they look like." She showed them to me and I said, "ummm, maybe I do care what they look like!"
So, she just started bringing out shoes.....
and more shoes. I love these (above)
I ended up buying three pair.
The biggest decision was red or blue.
And after three hours, I finally got the brown sandals (above), the black fun shoes, and these blue shoes. Only....