And here we go…..

The itinerary is close to confirmation with some minor tweaking. The airlines tickets have been purchased, hotel reservations made (with the exception of a couple of nights), and I have applied for an International Driving Permit. I received my first Passport in 2009, which I applied for immediately after being laid off my job. There was something liberating about having a Passport, even though I had no employment. Can’t quite explain it, but there it is. Of course, there are expenses with this trip that I did not expect, i.e. iPad, which I had to have as I didn’t want to drag a lap top around Europe, a detachable charger for the iPad and iPod, collapsible hat. I may need a new carry on bag, something lighter in weight than my old luggage. Pretty sure I want carry on and not checking in luggage, but that can always be modified. So many details….

For the first time in my life (at 52 years of age) I am going to Europe. Because of our love of food and wine, Eva and I have talked about traveling to Italy together for years. When she was planning her retirement in June, she informed me that she was going to Italy whether I was able to go or not. Ouch! However, my competitive spirit kicked in and I knew there was no way she was going without me. I have been mulling over the idea of leaving my commercial real estate job, striking out on my own and punching my own time clock. When I couldn’t get excited about real estate deals–Epiphany!–it’s time to move on. Just like that. More about leaving the Rat Race later.

Of course, there was the momentary cold feet–the dollar was weak, maybe I would rather go with Rob, etc. But, we knew that if we didn’t do this now, it may never happen. All those cliches were starting to make sense now. Carpe Diem…Bucket list…Eat, Pray, Love. Yes, I am a 52 year old cliche.

The “girls trip” will be two weeks that will encompass Florence, Cinque Terra, and a farm house in Tuscany. Just as I will be dropping off Eva at the Florence airport, I’ll be picking up Rob for the second leg of OUR trip, aka pre-honeymoon. We’ll be taking a train to Rome, Switzerland and then France. I am in such disbelief that I will be face to face with David, Pieta, Mona Lisa, and many others.