My sister-in-law, Cathryn calls me a few weeks ago and says she’s thinking of going to Italy for Thanksgiving and would Jeanie and I like to come too. She probably would have called Jeanie, but since she had worked the night before, she was sleeping. I said, it sounded like fun and that we would talk it over. I told her that there might be a problem if Jeanie didn’t have her passport. Later that day, when Jeanie woke up, I told her that her sister had a wild idea for Thanksgiving. She guessed Vegas. When I told her Italy, she was in! I asked her about the passport and she reminded me that she had one. She needed it when we went on our cruise. So, she sent a text message to her sister to let her know that I told her about the plans. It simply said, “I have a passport.” I think Cathryn’s reply was something like “Giddie Up!”
Over the next few days, we checked the logistics of my taking a week off from work and next thing you know, we were making plans… real plans… reservations! It was really happening!
Cathryn has been to Italy several times, and she has a real talent for organizing & arranging things like this. So we basically let her put the whole thing together (& she did an awesome job). The plan was start in Venice, then train to Siena, then another train Rome with a possibility of a day trip to Pompeii. And that’s just what we did.
When we started the planning, we were pretty sure that Danae & Molly would have already moved from Charleston to Washington State and we needed a distraction. Mark was transferred to WA by the Navy and Danae and Molly were waiting for the house to sell before joining him. But the house took longer to close than anticipated and they were still there when we left for Venice. Actually Mark left that same morning to drive across the country with their dogs. Danae and Molly took us to the airport, where we embraced and said our goodbyes. The two of them would be flying across the country to WA a week later, the day before we returned to the states.
At Cathryn’s suggestion, we took sleeping pills on the plane so we could get some rest. The night before us was going to start much too early and be way too short. We were traveling to a magical place where the sun rises six hours before it is supposed to.