Half of the fun is in the anticipation and planning of the trip....well maybe not half, but definitely some of the fun.
The Easter Bunny brought each member of my family a guide book but the books got little love over the summer and when school started back up. So...we scheduled a family 'Italy Trip Planning' night about a month and half before our trip. We first enjoyed some basic Italian food (frozen ravioli and jar marinara with Italian bread dipped in olive oil), a nice bottle of Chianti and gelato for dessert. After dinner, we got out the travel books, emailed notes from friends, Pinterest boards, and started to better define what we wanted to do in Rome, Florence, and Venice. We wrote one attraction or restaurant on an index card and had a pile for each city. In general, I can tell that churches and museums are not going to be the big attractions for us. Jason and Jacob are really into the historical sites and Natalie can't wait to experience the culture and shopping. I think we are all excited for the food. I'm excited to experience Italy with them. I have been to each of these cities when I backpacked after college with 2 girlfriends. Jason (and Natalie when she was about 11 months old) has been to England but never to Europe mainland. But, we have been to some great other destinations as a family....Bali (thanks Grandpa!), the Grand Canyon, and Dominican Republic. Not to mention all our family fun trips to Florida, DC, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.