Where To Go Next

Luke and I are in the habit of discussing our next big trip while still on our current big trip. Usually it happens after a few cocktails, when we’re siting in a particularly gorgeous spot and the idea of going back to real life without even an idea of what our next adventure will be seems unbearable. When we were in Sydney, this was while sitting at the picturesque Opera Bar in between the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, on the cruise it was on our balcony looking out at a beautiful sunset.

This time, we reached the decision that our next vacation would be to Italy. We’ve both been wanting to go to Italy for some time, Luke is 1/4 Italian and we haven’t visited Europe together. So we ended our cruise vacation and time in Florida happy to have our next destination picked out.

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Then we got home, and, true to form, I started researching the logistics. And it became more and more evident that this trip, while it might be feasible, wouldn’t be as we imagined it. For one thing, flights are exorbidantly expensive. For another, there are no decent routes from Denver to Italy, and finally, I realized that we wouldn’t be able to fit everything we want to do into a 10 day trip, and we’d have to choose between two very different itineraries. One, the one we imagined we would go on, would take us to one major Italian city, likely Rome, and then to Lake Como and Switzerland. Of course, everyone we’ve spoken with says that a first time Italy trip should be to the major Italian cities, viewing the sites we’ve learned about in history class, and that such a specialized trip like the one to Como, should be reserved for a second or third return trip.

So, I was feeling a bit apprehensive about the trip, and gave Luke a few of the details about how we would need to chose just two or three places to visit, that the flights were expensive, etc., but didn’t really know how he felt about it. And then, St. Patrick’s Day rolls around and he says that if the Italy trip will be so pricey, so short with all of the extra travel time, and we will leave knowing we missed a lot of things we want to see, maybe we should go somewhere else when vacation time is so limited, maybe Ireland. My first thought was, ‘wow, so he does listen to me when I’m going on and on about details,’ and my second was, ‘yes, Ireland would be awesome too.’

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We still haven’t made a decision about where we will go, but to me, Ireland is looking better and better. It is slightly closer, so travel time won’t be as long, and we don’t have as many “must-see’s” for Ireland, which would make planning the trip easier and less stressful. In addition, I still have family there, and it would be lots of fun to see them. So we will be discussing the pluses and minuses of each place and making a decision in the next few weeks.

Oh, I suppose I should have mentioned that this trip will be taken place sometime during summer 2013. So I guess we have some time to decide. 🙂

(maps via Lonely Planet)

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What St. Patrick’s Day Means to Me

My grandfather was born on March 17, 1920. With those close to me who have passed away, it seems that a day always emerges where they are on my mind the most and where my family celebrates them. My Aunt Jo, for example, who was so full of love, died on Valentine’s Day, which is so fitting because of the kind of woman she was, so we celebrate her on that day.

For my grandfather, this day is his birthday, St. Patrick’s Day. Though his ancestry is German, a little Scotch and a little English, and it was his wife (my grandmother) who was Irish, he one day became convinced he was Irish and lived the lifestyle more fully than I’ve ever seen. A friend of his visited Ireland, and on a walk through a cemetery found a number of headstones with the name “Bury,” his last name, on them. After hearing this and seeing the pictures, my grandfather became the most patriotic Irishmen you’ve ever met. He read countless books by Irish authors and about Irish history, drank Tullamore Dew and even visited Ireland on a two-week trip, despite needing his cane and his declining health.

My grandfather was the sweetest man I’ve ever met, and I miss him every day, but especially today.