My mom and dad keep asking what plans we've made for our Europe trip, have we figured out what things we want to do in Italy, and I keep saying DEAR GOD, Parents, I am only SLIGHTLY aware of what I have to do NEXT WEEK!
Which isn't very nice, since my parents are fronting a large portion of our Europe trip (HELLO, LODGING!) and "we'll tag along with whatever you're doing!" is not anyone's favorite response to "What do you want to do?" Right? I hate those people.
AND YET. I want to block out a day or two for Airplane Ride Recovery and then a week-ish later when Phillip and I go to Paris my parents are taking all three of my kids on a road trip to Austria and Bavaria (I KNOW, THEY ARE THE BEST) so it's not like I'm going to immediately pack them in a rental car and zoom off to Florence or Pisa or something. I figure the local surroundings plus plentiful train rides to Venice plus a beach trip will be more than enough. They will get museumed within an inch of their lives in London, might as well spend our small town Italy days hitting the markets and eating gelato.
When we moved to Sicily when I was 10 years old, we flew from (and I remember this OH SO CLEARLY) Seattle to Detroit. Detroit to Philadelphia. Philadelphia to the Azores (where I spent grades 7-9). Azores to The Base Where I Eventually Graduated From High School in northern Italy. That base to a naval base in Sicily. (This was on military flights which were 1) free, but 2) shrouded in cigarette smoke and 3) stopped absolutely everywhere). AND THEN when we finally landed in Sicily, someone picked us up in a rental van and drove us either 2 or 4 hours, this part I DON'T remember) to the base where we would actually LIVE and 25 years later (omg 25 years) I can STILL smell the sickly sweet smell of SOMETHING (this is what rural Italy smells like - gas? sewage? rotten SOMETHING) and feel the nigh unbearable heat and experience the intense car sickness intensified by the smell, the heat, and the windy wackadoodle rural roads HELLO CULTURE SHOCK.
I have no idea what my kids are going to think or feel and I'm VERY CURIOUS! Maybe it will be no big deal! We will have a MUCH easier flight and northern Italy in May is no Sicily in August. But that first time flying to Europe (age 10) and the time I flew to Asia (age 25), those were the most mind bending moments of my life. The time is not what the time is supposed to be! The air is different! The sun is different! (Or, in the case of Beijing, non-existent!) EVERYTHING IS STRANGE AND FREAKY AND WHAT IS GOING ON.
Ooooh, I am so excited. At some point I will even start planning.