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Ciao, bellissima...

It's been a long time since I started planning my first trip to Italy...at least 3 years. Starting with a thought that it might be something that I would like to do, this trip planning has progressed to the point that I've picked a place to stay and I've just found out that a friend of mine has a son who works for Flight Center, and he'd be delighted to arrange our travel itineraries for us...that's totally cool!

Normally, it doesn't take me 3 years to plan and go on a trip, but with the unexpected illness of two members of my immediate family, combined with a change of career thrown in for fun, I'm only now arriving at a place where I actually can say, out loud, to anyone who will listen..."I'm going to Italy this spring!"

This last few weeks, I bet I've discovered and browsed through 4/5 of all the "apartment rental Florence Italy" Googled items on the web. I've found crammy little dark smelly-looking places...12 square meters....for 1800 Euro/week plus an additional charge for any utilities used, any and all kitchen, bath and bed linen, an obligatory cleaning twice a week, as well as a healthy damage deposit. At the other end of the stick, I also fell in love with a totally stunning villa just outside of Lucca...5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 2 pools, a gardener...(shades of Lady Chatterly!!!)...a live-in chef and a car that is available to take me anywhere in Italy I can afford to go! So, between the two which would you choose? Hmmmm, if I had the money....

After all the to-ing and fro-ing, I've chosen a really cool apartment on the 5th and top floor of an "old Florentine palace". It has a really delightful-looking kitchen, with loads of cabinetry, a HUGE gas range, full-size fridge/freezer, a marble-topped kitchen table with 6 chairs, and a real, honest-to-goodness terrace, that wraps itself around 2 sides of the apartment. Oh, yeah, the bedroom and a second living room are up one small flight of stairs in an attic with gabled skylights over both the queen bed and the "sofa that converts to a second bed for extra guests."

And, just today, I completed the rental agreement on a sweet 1 bedroom apartment in Paris for one whole deliriously perfect week...yesssssssssssssssssssssssssss! It's not in the middle of things, it is in the 18th arrondissement, a little out of the way, but you know what? I think I will like that. The 24/7 traffic wears me out a bit, so this being out in the 'burbs will suit me just fine, I think...

So, now it is down to packing, arranging for plant care, house care, lawn-watering, work coverage...I know it's a bit early to be this juiced about the trip, but hey! This is, after all, my first ever trip to Europe and I'm totally enjoying the planning and the packing as much as I'll enjoy the actual getting there.

My list of things to do:
*Buy a hockey bag on wheels...the best for packing tons of stuff into a smallish bag...
*Ask my favorite doctor-in-the-Universe for a list of my prescriptions written in Italian, a letter written in Italian, explaining my gluten/lactose intolerance to any chef, waiter or doctor that need to know about it...
*Make sure my banks know about my trip, and know about my upcoming withdrawals of money from overseas banking institutions, on a semi-regular basis ...
*Choose which clothes to take and which to ruthlessly leave behind, hoping that they'll be replaced with a few new pieces from Italy or France...
*Leave detailed lists of how-tos and why-tos for my daughter and my grand-daughter, who will be here, holding down the fort while I'm away...
*Say a prayer of thanks for the grace that has led me to this place where I can take advantage of the wonderful world of travel...
*...oh, yeah, and one more thing? I must remember to look in the mirror tonight before I go to bed, smile widely and say to myself, " You go, girlfriend!"

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 24, 2005 6:23 PM.

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