One of my favorite trips was taken without Greg and I have regretted it ever since.
Back in 1984, all my other artist buddies were plotting trips to Italy, the grand mecca of Renaissance art. I had no such funds so I could only dream with green-eyed envy.
Then out of nowhere, one of my sisters announced that she wanted to take a trip to Italy and would I be interested in joining her.
It was a dream come true. With her and I splitting the bills it wouldn't be as expensive as if Greg and I went together. He gave me his blessing and I didn't wait for him to change his mind.
Trouble was...this is the one sibling who grates on my last nerve. LOL. But this was a chance of a lifetime so I sucked it up.
We were (and are) galaxies apart in our likes, our attitudes and our goals. Little sister wanted to shop. She was single and she also wanted to...you know.
Me, of loftier aspirations, only wanted to commune with Caravaggio, Michelangelo, Raphael and Masaccio. Those were the only men I wanted to explore.
So although we traveled together, we hardly ever saw each other for more than a few hours. Once we even split up. She went to Pompeii and I went back to Firenze (Florence).
I had quite a few mini adventures along the way. There was that Irishman who didn't want to take no for an answer, and a whole carload of Italian hunks who kept following me and my sister and insisted they give us a ride to the top of one of the seven hills.
I could really WALK back then, and while my sister was anxious to take them up on their offer, I was content to keep hoofing it. Besides, I didn't think Greg would approve.
They were persistent though and their car crawled all the way up the hill with them asking questions about the US. I told them I was from Texas and their eyes lit up with that deer in the headlights look.
My sister ended up with her own hunk, some guy by the name Gigolo, or something like that. I can't remember what his name was, but to the family, he was Gigolo from thereafter.
What was really funny was when he came to pick her up on a date and I was lying in bed braless and in my old sweats. She screamed at me. "Get dressed. He can't see you like this."
I looked at her like she was insane. "He's not taking me out. He came here for you." Though gentleman that he was, he did offer to take us both out to the movies. I declined, much to my sister's relief.
The good thing about Italy is that I had very little trouble communicating with the locals. Spanish is very similar to Italian, and many of the natives spoke Spanish as a second language.
I've always wanted to go back to Italy with Greg, but he's never had much interest in seeing the old country, the birthplace of his grandparents.
But when I was in Florence I rubbed the snout of Il Porcellino, the bronze cast of a giant boar. Legend has it that if you rub its snout, you'll return to Florence.
I'm still waiting.
What place have you always remembered fondly?
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