Ramblings from an Overnight Flight to Italy
The first time I visited Europe I was a junior in high school. Being that I have a summer birthday, that made me 16. My Spanish class offered a trip to Spain on spring break. “why not?” I wanted to go, I wanted to see more of the world than Massachusetts and Westfield. you know?
I asked my parents, for a thousand dollars. They said “get a job.” And so began a six year career working at McDonalds for me (in addition to my already in place paper route.) And then there was that wonderful woman that I babysat for, who consistently over paid me. “it’s for Spain.” she always said with a smile. Love you Maryjo!
Off we went, Cherie and I on yet another adventure. Close friends (and neighbors) since elementary school, Cherie and I had been through a lot. this would be just another check mark on our list of adventures. (We are still close friends to this day. For any of you who are new to this blog, please learn more about Cherie’s Progress here.)
After my high school trip to Spain, I started thinking about studying abroad in college. Truth be told, I was madly in love with a German boy. He went back to Germany and I looked at study abroad, so that we could be reunited.
Oh, and my kid sister was an exchange student in Belgium that year. Those days I wasn’t madly in love with her, but I did think it would be fun to meet her in Europe.
And then everyone died (Suzanne and Shannon included). Libya bombed Pan Am Flight 103 and the curtain closed on my childhood.
So, I had to return. Go back and face my demons. Heal. In 1990 I returned to London and visited Lockerbie. I stayed for six months, working on a student visa. Cleaning hotel rooms shouldn’t’ have been so much fun. I worked with three Irish sisters who kept me laughing the entire time. They told me to slow down my work pace, changed my name to Lizzie, and sometimes referred to me as “Yank.”
Since then I’ve taken a couple of trips back to Europe. Once when my daughter was nine months old for a week, rediscovering London and making yet another journey to Lockerbie, Scotland where the ill fated PA103 ultimately crashed.
And those of you who follow this blog may remember my Mediterranean cruise. A cruise is a great way to have a pu pu platter like experience, but immersion is the only way to learn a little bit more about a culture. This town in Italy where we will stay, in the villa, is not a tourist area. Most people here do not speak English, they are not accustomed to many visitors from America. Pamela has been bringing her tour groups to the villa for some years now, thankfully Irma and her husband Andrea speak what they refer to as pretty good English. Their English is way better than my non existent Italian anyway.
Stay tuned for an amazing adventure.
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Meet Me in Italy in June, 2016
June 9-16 we will be returning, you haven’t missed out!
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For an all inclusive 8-day Rainforest to Reef Adventure!