Two years and two months ago I took the vacation I’d been dreaming about for ten years. My wonderful husband and I saved and scrimped and saved some more and funded a 10-day trip to Italy, which ended up being less expensive than a week in the Caribbean for our honeymoon, but that’s neither here nor there.
We did Venice-Florence-Rome and it was beautiful and fantastic and I loved it and it just wasn’t long enough and now will we ever be back? We got pregnant in Italy, this we know for sure. Which city is a constant argument between us. In Venice, our hotel room was about the size of my cubicle here at work and we had to shove our luggage under the bed in order to walk around. (Dad, you probably want to skip to the next paragraph). Besides CNN Europe, the only other channel on our (flat-screen, wall-mounted) television was pornography. And that was only in English part of the time. My husband chooses to believe we conceived in Venice to the dulcet tones of free porn. I choose to tell him to never mention that again and give him my patented look of death. It’s a never-ending cycle with us.
I choose to believe we conceived in Florence, after we spent a rainy few hours on the spacious balcony of our suite drinking a bottle each of Valpolicella and Muscato, eating dreadfully unsafe but delicious unpasteurized cheese and smoking Italian cigars. Because if we conceived before that, I did all that while pregnant and that is SO NOT COOL. Also, I finally got my luggage and all my cute purchased-just-for-vacation outfits on our second day in Florence after the airline opted not to send it with me on the plane and then decided not to send it on the next FIVE flights after that. But, my luggage got to see Pisa even if I didn’t. Or perhaps it was in Rome. I did get a nasty case of … ahem… Mussolini’s Revenge after sitting through Pope Benedict XVI’s first Mass at the
Vatican (man those crazy Italians love their popes) and discovering that my lunch had actual anchovy HEADS (with EYES that stared up at me accusatorily) in it.
But wherever it was, my little girl is already a world-traveller. She is also an in-utero coast-to-coast traveler as well: Work took me to Champaign, Illinois; Savannah, Georgia; San Francisco; Baltimore; Kansas City; and Dallas while I was pregnant. Since she was born, we’ve traveled hardly at all. She hasn’t been on a plane yet – I’m terrified of it, especially since I’d most likely have to do it alone. Colleagues have taken their same-age children on planes and lived to tell about it. But THEIR children aren’t MY child, and I’m still struggling with the over-protectiveness and coddling and avoidance of anything that causes me more trouble than a simple (yet not simple, because nothing with a toddler is simple) trip to the grocery store.
But I think I’m going to try to get her on a plane before the year is out. I think she’d like to see the ocean. And I did get her some new sand toys, and if we aren’t going to get her a sandbox, she’ll need to play with them SOMEWHERE.