Planning the Trip of a Lifetime

Going to my Fathers Homeland


You need time to plan where and what it is you are going to do on your vacation. It is difficult to plan all that you want if you just pack up and go. There is a place for that type of holiday, but this was not it.


Our trip was planned for three weeks. I including airfare, car rental, accommodation, food, wine and entrances to museums, etc. The cost was significant. We used a savings plan that took $75 per paycheck and automatically put this into a separate savings account before anything else came out. It was small enough that we didn’t notice but large enough to add up quickly.


I took courses in Italian at the university that I worked for. In the beginning, the courses were once a week but I soon found that it was not enough to speak the language. I ended up for two summers before we left taking an all-day, full week of immersion. This really helped. The month before we left, I worked two weeks of afternoon shifts so I could take another two weeks of all-day immersion.


I contacted some relatives in Canada before we left. I had only heard of them and never spoken to them. It took time to contact and develop a relationship. Once that was done. I had the names of people and their relationships with my father with their contact numbers. This helped enormously. We also had them call and talk to the relatives and explain who was coming and who I was related to.


Finding family was incredible. First of all, when my brother found out about our plan he wanted to come with his wife as well.

Food and Wine

The food was unbelievable! Everyplace we went to was another celebration of the specialties of the region. The one constant was the pasta. Never the same but always fresh and homemade. In Italy, the pasta is not just a starch that goes on your plate. It is usually the primi piatti. This means the first plate and is the start of the meal. I really could have pasta every day as some Italians do but then I would need to run every day, not just three times a week.

Recently retired Poison Control Specialist. Now writing a murder mystery and blogging about the fun and freedom for those retired and those about to retire.

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