One of the great joys of spring for me is thinking about and planning my upcoming trip to Italy.It’s not that I have a strict policy of going every year, but it just seems to miraculously work out that way. I have gone often enough that I have already been to all of the must-sees, so I have the luxury of starting with a blank canvas. Should we have the flexibility of renting a car,
or the adventure of taking trains? Will we be tethered to a particular place or event,
or are we starting with a blank canvas?
Should we check out someplace new — Trieste? Abruzzo? Calabria? — or head to the old favorites of which I never tire.
Some people find trip planning anxiety-producing and long for the days when it was all in the able hands of a travel agent. I actually find it so relaxing that if I have a few minutes between appointments at work, I will take a mental vacation and go on Travelocity or Booking.com and check out hotels in a random Italian city, with no plan to actually go there. My first priority is always location; no matter how nice a hotel or reasonable the price, it’s no good to me if I’m stuck out by the convention center or the sports arena complex.
The second, non-negotiable criterion is that it has to include a wonderful Italian buffet breakfast — breads, cheeses, cereal, fruit, little hot dogs for the Germans, and many varieties of cake, none of which I actually eat, but I need to have them there, as a display of wonderfulness. I especially like it when they have a cappuccino machine, so after I have my second freshly-made one from the bar, I can make myself another three without the embarrassment of having to face someone and request it.
Now that the weather is getting warmer, I find my thoughts naturally go in that direction. When I order a new pair of sandals, I unconsciously think “Oh these will hold up on the cobblestones of Rome.” When I’m going through my summer clothes in my closet, I make a mental note of which ones will pack well. But this year, of course, there will be no trip to Italy. Probably not next year either. At best, I think there will be a vaccine by 2022. We are in the tricky “at risk” age category; we need to be sure it is absolutely safe, but also can’t wait so long that we lose our zip.
I know that in light of the public health catastrophe in Italy, not to mention in the U.S,. this disappointment is less than nothing. So I’ve decided to dwell on the positive. So yes, I can’t go to Italy for a while, but here’s what I can do in the meantime:
- Make an all-out effort to get better at the language. As a cousin’s husband once said to me, not entirely kindly, “If you’re going to come here all the time, why don’t you speak better?” Truer words were never said.
- Improve my photography skills. I have a fancy new camera — now I have the time to learn to use it.
- Walk or run five miles a day, so I’ll be in shape to walk all day and all night when I’m there.
- Not gain too much quarantine weight, so I have plenty of leeway to eat anything I want, which is everything in sight.
And in the meantime, I can make make-believe plans and wait for the thumbs-up from Dr. Fauci that it’s safe to go. I’ll be ready, on the first plane out.
4 thoughts on “112. In the meantime”
This was lovely; hopefully we will all be able to travel again soon.
Hope it’s soon that you visit Italy. Your message made me craving pasta and meatballs,which I am making today
Sent from Nancy’s iPad
Love your “in the meantime” resolutions!
all of these and many more; the planning never stops; when one Italy trip ends, I begin planning for the next, which is always a blank book until I get into reviewing all the good articles and items I’ve tucked away over the past year or more