* My sister and her fiancé are getting married in Italy on June 1 this year. All five of us are heading over. I will keep this blog as a diary of our adventures there.

The location of the wedding, is in between Milano and Genoa. We got flights several months ago. The cheapest option to Milan from O’Hare was via Istanbul. It was $5,000, but would have added ten more hours onto the trip. Let’s look at direct flights.
Holy crap. $16,000 for the cheapest. Eh not happening. We found one through Dublin with Aer Lingus the provider for both legs. We wouldn’t have time to see anyone at home, but at least it was more or less on the way, and I was familiar with Dublin airport, and they spoke English. No need to try and ask Turkish officials where terminal 736 was! We discussed it over the next couple of hours. Boom. All seats sold in front of our eyes.

My sister had mentioned the she, her fiancé, and his two kids would be in Rome before they headed North for the wedding. Well maybe Rome would be an option. Yay. Tickets direct from ORD to FCO were $5,548.30. Could have been worse.

My parents kindly booked us into a hotel near the wedding in Salice Termo. It looks like a beautiful town. A few days ago, I lost my Airbnb virginity. I booked four nights in an apartment in Rome for the five of us. It gets amazing reviews, and the owners have already contacted twice, once to welcome us, and once to answer some simple questions we had. Apparently we are a mile and a half from the Vatican, and three metro stops from my sister’s and family’s place.

All we have left to book is our final night in Rome. We fly out at 07:00, so I plan to get us a hotel room right by the airport. As cheap as possible. And then there’s the car. We’re going to go carless in Rome. Cities are so much better on public transport. I know about three words of Italian, no four. My husband is a native Spanish speaker though. I’m sure we’ll survive! The journey from Rome to Milan, is a total of six hours in the car. Pizza is roughly half way between the two. We’re planning to stop there for our lunch, have pizza in piza, see the tower, take the obligatory pics, and be on our way.

We have been to Europe as a family – to Ireland. That’s different though. For one, it’s my home soil. I have no problem driving a stick, driving on the left, driving on the crappy tiny winding roads. We usually stay with my parents, so no need for car hire, or hotels etc. Italy is our first major excursion. Obviously we’ll have no trouble driving coming from The States, but the language should be fun. I love languages though, so I honestly don’t mind. I’ll take it all in my stride.

Those who have read other blog posts by we, will know of my long battle with depression, anxiety, phobias, and alcoholism. I am very worried about those issues being a problem while I’m there, or just before I go, making it impossible for me to go. It is up to me to constantly be vigilant, report any issues to my treatment team, and ask for help when needed. I am both extremely excited about this trip, and equally petrified…

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