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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Talking About Travel is a Trip in Itself

italyJust because Benedetto and I have traveled the world, our three youngest kids suddenly think they know everything about international travel. My husband was laughing about travel e-mails he receives for low-cost trips to various foreign destinations and how he couldn’t believe some of the affordable prices.

“Possible…” I suggested. “The Dollar is higher than the Euro right now…. What does the price include?” I wondered, the idea of a trip, particularly for the two of us, increasing my interest.

“Aifare, hotels, some breakfasts….”th

“Continental breakfasts, I would think…. Any touring? Transfers? Travel between cities? Taxes? Foot massages after all of that walking…?”

“It’s the hotels…” he chuckled, pinpointing what might account for the low cost.

rome“Don’t tell me—Mestre!” I mentioned the city outside of Venice, Italy.

A typical case of close, but no cigar. The average person would not know about these hotels located on the outskirts of Venice, Florence, Rome, wherever. Stuck in the middle of nowhere. No wonder these were “affordable” tours. It would cost double the trip price to travel to a reputable part of town simply to eat or to sightsee.

I turned my attention to the teens.Italy2

“What do you think?”

They were taking it all in amidst their own steaming bowls of pasta.

“It’s expensive to take a tour,” Sashenka shook her head.

“It’s more expensive not to take a tour,” I laughed, outlining how, to an inexperienced person, making your own airline, hotel, and meal plans could add up.

thThey were spoiled being our their father and me. You could drop us behind enemy lines most anywhere and we would blend in, someway or somehow.

“How would you know where to go or what to do?” their father asked, understanding their reluctance to read anything useful and their tendency toward gullibility.

Ah, you were only young once….

“I would go and visit my friends,” declared Mashenka, excited to have an angle of her own.

“And which friends would those be?” I asked.italy3

“Friends that I meet there–!” she harumphed.

“You’re going to stay with strangers that you meet?”

She shrugged, “Besides, on a tour you can’t do what YOU want to do-!”

I agreed and asked what she might want to do.

No idea.

“How would you decide what to see or what to do in a foreign place?” inquired Benedetto, the king of the dinner table.

??????????????????Details, details. They were so used to being scheduled, prodded and provided for, the teens never had to think independently.

“Eat,” one said, not realizing that the Dollar Menu and the Dollar Store were American institutions.

“Always good to eat,” I acknowledged. “How would you determine if it’s a decent restaurant or not?”

“By its appearance,” another offered.

The interpretation of it all: they didn’t have a clue. And it didn’t much matter. The kids had a lifetime to explore airline boarding etiquette, foreign train schedules, hotel amenities and the dreaded “menu turistico”.

Best just to glide through on our coattails for now… and enjoy the view.

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