Italia! 30 days and counting…

It looks like the theme for June will be food and vacation planning. All fun and games, right? Sheesh. I don’t think so! It’s only the 2nd and my tongue’s dragging on the ground. Okay, so not exactly, but still.

On the vacation front…
I finally found Fattoria Settemerli — the perfect farmhouse (lah-tee-damn-dah) about 15 minutes outside of Firenze. Now, being one who will always remember that episode of I Love Lucy when the four friends were headed to California and stopped at that fleabag motel, you know, where Ethel had to tie Fred to the bed with the sagging mattress? And the train. The train…Bwhahahahaha! Cheese sandwich? Not ringing any bells?


Like I said. The perfect farmhouse. There’s a bus stop nearby, and yes, I absolutely Google mapped it to make sure AND checked the bus lines and wasn’t THAT fun. But I did read a few reviews that mentioned something about having to venture up a hill with luggage and wheels bumping over the rocks in the road, so we may be in for quite the adventure. The MoH says that’s the point, so no problem. I booked it.

But my exhilaration lasted about two seconds because the next step in my planning is figuring out how to get from Rome to Naples to Sorrento to Naples to Florence to Rome. We’re taking the train for the most part, but do you have any idea just how many trains there are? It’s amazing. Erm…and so is the cost. But it became a no brainer when I read in one resource after another that road traffic is horrible, gasoline is approaching $10/gallon, and that at least in Naples, no one pays attention to red lights or stop signs. Suggestions mention needing to “Do what the locals do, and make eye-contact with the drivers while you cross.” Now that sounds exciting, yes?

Besides, without the hassle of a rental car large enough to fit the four of us and our luggage, the MoH will actually get to see the countryside with no white-knuckle driving responsibilities this time. Sure, it will be somewhat blurry at about 180mph, but hey!

And for those of you still scratching your heads about why I’m organizing this instead of using a booking agency: A) I’m a glutton for punishment; B) It’s insanely fun; C) I’m a complete control freak about things like this; D) I missed my calling and really wanted to be a Travel Agent instead of a teacher; E) I have absolutely nothing to do with my time and totally miss planning every moment of adolescents’ literate lives 70 hours a week.

If you chose “C” then you are correct, win the Maserati, and can collect your winnings in your dreams. Don’t forget to listen to the engine before you go, because if you’re like me, that’s the closest you’ll ever get to a Maserati, right? But thanks for playing.

On the food front…

I’m the hostess with the mostest for the monthly cyber bake I’ve been participating in for over year now. It’s top secret, so I can’t say what we’ll flood the web with at the end of this month, but part of my responsibilities as co-host are to monitor the forum for the other bakers who may have questions. Um. They have lots?

And you remember that there are nearly 1,000 participants, right?

Thankfully, there are people far more knowlegeable than myself in this group, and they chime in with suggestions and direction, too. It’s quite a bit of fun.

And to get warmed up for our trip, I’m digging into regional Italian. I figured what the heck. I can go to Italy and have a decent source of comparison in my head when I cozy up to a plate of Fritto Misto di Mare or Saltimboca alla Romana. It has to be good, doesn’t it? A die-hard foodie cannot go to Italy and come home disappointed, can she?

On the home front?

My mom is really on the ball. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear her name was Cinderella. She cleans all day. Vacuums, sweeps, waters flowers, does laundry, folds it and puts it away. Cleans cat boxes. Cleans garage refrigerators that should be donated to science, or nuked. I know. You’re wondering if you can get that service. But try and tell her not to. It doesn’t work. She’s downstairs right now finishing dishes I left in the sink last night. This is not a crime in Paradise unless you make it one. Leaving dishes in the sink, not having your mother do them. Or preventing her. We have this problem with never quite being able to fit the dishes into the dishwasher because it fills all day, then only half the dinner dishes go into it. And I suppose I could really wax on about this particular dilemma, but I have trip planning to do.

Museum reservations to make so that we can bypass long lines was numero uno on my list today, but phones ring oddly in Italy. I can’t tell if it’s ringing and ringing, or busy.

Restaurants off the beaten path to find so I can truly say we enjoyed something special while we’re there. This is challenging, but there are some really good Italian blogs with good leads…

Start on our itinerary. I make a small binder for the MoH when we go on vacation so he can speed read through everything while he’s on the plane. It has reservation papers and vouchers, maps, and print outs of possibilities for all kinds of things. He likes it.

Assign homework. The menfolk are getting a subject to bone up on so they can be the expert when we’re standing in front of yet another Renaissance painting, the assigned person can talk about more than our interpretation of it.

That’s enough for a Monday, I think.

Isn’t it?

You’ll be soooooo sick of this whole Italy thing by the time I’m finished.

Ciao, bella. Gracie per la chiamata. Abbia un giorno piacevole.



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9 responses to “Italia! 30 days and counting…”

  1. I will never get sick of your Italy postings…I will be livigg vicariously through you until I can one day find myself in Italy.

  2. so is meleah still talking to you since she found out you are going to italy??? her absolute dream of a life time???

    you guys travel,, and i commend you for that.. i know if i had the means that is something i always wanted to do… of course you know i would have to rv it,, so i could travel without ever leaving the house!!!!!!!!

  3. I love hearing about your trip planning. I’m so jealous and can’t wait to hear all about it when you get back!!
    I love the picture of your mother ‘on the ball’!!

  4. Ritzy

    Sounds like it will be a lifetime of a trip!!
    Is it just you, MoH and RTR? I think I recall you mentioning others.

    Stop cracking the whip on your poor momma!! 🙂

    Hugs from Kzoo ~

  5. lori

    It sounds so exciting!! I remember your England binder that you prepared, and my kids thought I was crazy when I planned the cruise. It was nothing like the detail you go into.

    Glad to see mom’s “on the ball.”

  6. Very jealous of your upcoming globe hop! BTW, I do remember that I Love Lucy episode. Har!

  7. …got any room in that suitcase of yours? 😉

    Just kidding…I’m booked for Canada next month.
    Dang it.

  8. Thanks, meleah, because it’s totally stressing me out, and I can wallow in my ridiculousness and get a good laugh out of it.

    paisley — looks like I passed inspection. I just may have to get her a present, huh?

    Hey chefmom — she said she felt like she was skydiving when she was laying on it…Whattagoof!

    Ritzy — we’re taking the RTR and my middle son. He’s paying for his own airfare…such a deal, I’m thinking. As far as my mom goes, she cracks her own whip routinely. I just have to keep my mouth shut while she’s doing it. ARG.

    Hey lormo — I’ll send you the other photo…

    Chick! Glad to know Lucy is appreciated by the younger crowd. I looked around for it on YouTube but couldn’t find it. Bummer!

    Olga — that would have been so much fun! I’m still game for paradise if you can swing it!

  9. This sounds awesome.

    I have been to most places in the world but not Italy. My
    mother is there often, and I have friends who were living in Rome for the past year and are currently moving to somewhere on the coast of Amali – where they will be for the next year until returning to the U.S.

    I am so envious, it sounds like a trip of a lifetime.

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