big trip

20120721-141451.jpg I mentioned in May that there was a big trip in the works? Well, yes indeed and the time is drawing near. 6-days-8-hours-and-somethin’ and we’re on our way. Next Thursday!

I’m traveling with my daughter and meeting my sister and her son, so that’s the best part. I’ll spend my birthday night in flight and the weekend in Roma. Sweet. The Hubs and I enjoyed a Mediterranean extravaganza a few years ago that included Rome. And Paris! Monaco! Nice! Barcelona! and more. It was fantabulous. Absolutely superb. I wish he were coming, too. The farm schedule did not cooperate. I know I will miss him.

But this is my girl’s first trip to Europe! We anticipate a grand adventure.

History is so touchable in Rome; it seems unlike anywhere else on earth. There are ruins and reminders everywhere, even as the excavations continue, literally underfoot. Winding, narrow streets are as quaintly cobbled as they are disorienting. Passing scooters and overflowing public transit contribute to a continual hum. The city is ancient and vibrantly alive all at once. Even for non-Catholics such as I, the presence of the Holy See issues a powerful charge through the old city. Nuns in habits and storefront displays of clerical garb are as common as coffee shops elsewhere. It’s really quite something. I knew I would go back.

We’ve purchased tickets for a tour of St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican museums, and Sistine Chapel — likely to be my highlight of the trip. The Colosseum and Roman Forum are givens; must do. Campo de Fiori is just around the corner from our hotel and the Pantheon not far in the other direction. There’s Via Appia, the Catacombs, Fontana di Trevi, and oh, so very much more. We’ll run out of time long before we run out of interest.

On Sunday, we’ll take the train from Rome to Civitivecchia to meet up with the others. We’re cruising for a week, ports of call in Italy, Greece and Turkey. We’ve lots of adventures planned — to the medieval town of Taormina, Sicily, and the old seaport of Chania, Crete. We’ll take a private tour in Ephesus, eager to capture as much as possible in one day. We’ll tour the Acropolis and Parthenon in Athens and explore ancient agoras and local markets. It will be hot, crowded, and we may feel we’ve been caught up in a whirlwind … but I’ve no doubt we’ll love it anyway.

That’s the plan, anyway. We’ll see how it all plays out. Now I have six days to wrap up big projects and a million tiny details at work and to pack and prep for ten days away. I love to travel but I’m also a bit nervous about the trip — certain elements need to go just right. Praying they do. Here’s to the adventure!

~René Morley

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