I'm almost halfway to my destination, spending a night in Chicago in preparation for another travel day to Rome. Yes, the Rome in Italy.
Italy! Pilgrimage site for Catholics, foodies, wine lovers, historians & cyclists. I qualify for at least a few of these. I just need to make sure I can ask where to find a bike shop and the best caffe latte.
I've wanted to go to Italy since at least my early college years - when I fumbled through a semester of Italian. Now, it's just two more flights away.
A little background:
When Jon & I were visiting my parents this time last year, my aunt joined us for dinner. In conversation while doing the dishes she told me she was going on a church trip to Rome and would like a traveling companion. What could I say but "I'd love to go with you!" Aunt Anna Mae and her husband, Hugh, had a dairy farm just up the road from us when I was a kid. Their kitchen table was always open. Many times my mom would phone to tell me it was time to come home for dinner.
But living in Alaska since 1994 doesn't give me much time to visit with my aunt who's now widowed. So a few weeks later I called and told her I'd like to go if the offer was still open. Emails and letters were exchanged and here I am in the Windy City. I'll meet her and the rest of the group at O'Hare tomorrow morning for a long travel day & night.