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Sanity has LEFT the building!

Well, if you’ve talked to me or e-mailed with me in the past month or so, you’ve probably suffered through a good deal of trip talk, i.e. “Should I stay or should I go now.”

More than a month ago, I started contemplating Rome for the New Year. It’s the off-season yes, but it cannot be any colder or wetter than Scotland and I had a blast there. The cold I could deal with, the rain, if I must (but that’s the part I could do with less of – at least a dry afternoon here and there maybe).

At any rate, eventually Paris came into the mix. The rates there were low. For awhile, I dropped Rome and thought about just doing some time in Paris and finally seeing what I could remember all these years later from high school French class. As I started probing the brain on a daily basis for common things I encountered, I was surprised what came back. Granted, I could only probably speak the language on a toddler’s basis.

Then I started looking into overnight trains and realized that I could leave France at night and wake up in Rome! I came incredibly close but kept getting back to thoughts about the money and things I should be doing with it, etc. And just as I was on the edge of committing to it, the low fares evaporated… It was suddenly not much more expensive for a direct flight to Rome versus a CONNECTING flight to Paris… please…

So, still unable to make a decision, I limped along…. Friday I came home to a dead PC monitor. So, there went another unexpected outlay of funds. I did step up to a 19″ LCD, though. So, I’ve gained a ton of desk space from the behemoth 19″ CRT I had. Saturday, I defied logic and kept looking at fares. France dropped again… Of course, there are the riots going on right now… For all involved, let’s hope they are not still ongoing at New Years, but it was a reason to pause and think. More so for my Mom’s sanity than my own. I should have proven to many by now that I don’t always make the sane/safe choices.

I read and read about Italy. Rome, I’d done some already. But I spent the day Sunday looking into where else I could go – south of Rome (and hopefully warmer). Dug up a lot of info. on Sorrento, a resort city south of Naples and near the Isle of Capri. AND close to Pompeii and Herculaneum two cities buried in 79 AD by Mount Vesuvius. The train fare from Sorrento to those places is not much more than a ride on MARTA.

So, I went to bed Sunday (after spending all day cleaning house) with a lot on my mind. The non-sane voice kept saying to go. Granted I could use the $$ for the trip towards the student loans that I find myself whining about… But life is short (we have no idea how short or long) and maybe sometimes delayed gratification isn’t all that great….

This led to a night of tossing and turning. The little pros and cons kept flowing… But the time to make a decision was drawing short. I’d noticed last week that there were precious few good hostels in Paris at New Year’s. I noticed Sunday that my first choice in Rome was already booked those nights and second choice… well… was probably second choice for someone else that is not quite as indecisive as me. So, giving up on a good night’s sleep, I came in and booked my flights…

I fly out on Dec. 29th and land in Rome about 9am the next morning. I fly back to the U.S. on Jan. 10th. I haven’t COMPLETELY decided on my plans there. Did go ahead and book the hostel for the first 5 nights I’m there It was really only those first few days with scarce beds. I had thought about 6 nights in Rome and then three in Sorrento, followed by 2 back in Rome, but I’ve about sold myself on doing 5 in Rome, 4 in Sorrento, and then back for 2 in Rome. Looks like I’ll be in Sorrento for the Epiphany. I wonder how much shuts down for it? I guess I’ll see!

So, again I’ll ring in the New Year in another land!


  1. Good for you!I'm plotting an insane trip myself… two days in London, down through Zambia for near three weeks, then finish with a long weekend in Mexico (for the May 2007 RCPM weekend). I'm such an advocate of travel! Plus, I had a great time in Rome, I spent Spring Break (10 days) traveling through Venice, Florence, Pisa and Rome a couple years ago…Have a great New Years!

  2. What a wonderful experience you're going to have, Mark. You're making our April 2006 week in Disney World with our 4 year old daughter look so well…. incredibly dull, married & old.Italy is my dream vacation. I'm so envious of you. Have a blast, Mark.

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