OK, so this is going to be a travel blog. That's why I picked the Blogger "Travel Blog" template although I'm not sure a ratty apartment with peeling plaster walls really inspires romantic notions of travel.
Anyhoo, this is the opening act. A stating of intentions. A clarification of the parameters.
Here is the deal. In the summer of 2013, my wife, sister, brother-in-law and I will go forth on a most excellent adventure conceived by our mom. So thanks to her for making this happen. You see we're all married, with kids, jobs, mortgages, and so on. It's pretty easy to shove a little adventure like this into the someday category (be proud of me for resisting the urge to lay down quotation marks around the word someday - they really aren't necessary). But the aforementioned mother felt strongly that a trip to explore our heritage was in order (my father and both of my wife's parents are first generation Canadians).
We're not scaling Everest or anything wild like that. Just a little European vacation. We're not doing 10 countries in 8 days and I don't expect to have to come back and look at my pictures to know where I've been. The details are not yet firm, but the Netherlands and Italy are our primary objectives. My sister, wife and I are the Dutch connection; my brother-in-law's familial roots are to Italy. We may choose to make some stops between those two countries. Or we may fly from Amsterdam to Rome. We're going to start throwing some stuff at the wall to see what sticks.
Even if we keep it to just Holland and Italy, there is so much to choose from. I spent a summer in the Netherlands during university, so I've got some experience on that front, but I could spend another summer there and still not take it all in. I mean really, you can spend a lifetime in a place and still miss out on lots of great stuff all around you. And Italy? I mean, come on. Florence, Venice, Milan, Naples, Rome. Seriously, where do we start? So that's going to be our first challenge - figuring out what the options are and then winnowing the list down to the essential, the manageable, the fulfillable.
Then there are the logistics. Flights. Round trip or two one-ways? From Toronto or Detroit? Lodging. Apartment or hotel? Transportation while there. Citroen or Vespa? I know that these are all happy problems to have. Part of the fun of this will actually be the planning. Truly, how can you not relish the idea of sitting around deciding how many days you want to spend in a villa overlooking the Mediterranean Sea?
Decisions, right? Wish us luck. And feel free to make your suggestions in the comments section.