Friday, April 14, 2017


Yeah, about that.

We had/have plans to visit Italy this June.  The primary reason is that my wife's family (part of it) comes from there, a small town about two hours north of Rome.  The rough idea was that we would go to Rome, spend about a week or so there, head north to that small town, go west to the city where my Italian language partner lives, then back to Rome and home.

I, of course, was trying to figure out if I could sneak a side trip into France along the way.  Turns out, as they say, Yeah..... no.  Although France does abut Italy, the 'top of the boot' flares way out.  If you're in northern Italy, you'd have to go fairly far up and over to get to France.  And that's just to Nice, which is, pretty much, as far east as you can get. To get to where my friends live, its a minimum of another three hours (going north to Burgundy) or four hours (going west to Toulouse), or even ten or twelve hours (going north and west to Paris, La Rochelle, Lille, all of that).  In other words - Bill, if you want to go to France, go to France.  Not Italy. (Though even that idea is shaky, as I remember the rolling strikes that France had last summer. Ugh. I was personally never impacted, but there was always the chance...)

So, Rome.

The thing is, my wife is not all that thrilled about going to Rome. (Me, neither, but I'm just not a city person.  Didn't care for Paris, either.  Or San Francisco.  Or even Seattle, mostly.)  She thinks Rome's very congested, with lots of opportunities to have your money stolen. (She told me, for example, that she had read If you're taking a cab from the airport to a hotel, determine the cost before you go, and hold the money in your hand - but don't give it to the driver until all of your stuff is out of the cab. Ouch.  The fact that this might be an exaggeration, or that it could happen in any major city, didn't matter.  Just the idea of having to fight to get your bag back, in a city where you don't even speak the language....)

So right now, probably, that trip is off.  We still want to do something, though.  We're thinking Pittsburgh. And then Toronto. And then New York's wine country.  And then home. We hear they speak English in all of those places.  Still need foreign currency, but....


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