After 20 years of dreaming, I’m finally going to Italy

I must have been about 12 years old the first time I saw “Roman Holiday.” At the time I thought it was kind of boring. Minus how lovely I thought Audrey Hepburn was, it was in black and white, and there was so much dialogue, and for 12-year-old me… zzzzzzzzzzzz…

Of course now I know the error of my ways. And regardless of how dull I thought it upon first viewing, “Roman Holiday” left an impression on me. I’ve wanted to go to Italy ever since.

Gelato at the Spanish Steps? Yes, please.

Guess what? I’m going in TWO DAYS!

I’m like a kid at Christmas, you guys. For the past two weeks I’ve been all emotional: excitement, anxiety, impatience, crazy dreams, some weeping, a near-tantrum. It’s ridiculous. I figure I’m going to eventually wear myself out and go to sleep.

Maybe this is how people act when something they’ve wanted for ages is finally happening.

After “Roman Holiday,” I remember latching on to a very bad movie called “Only You” starring Robert Downey Jr. and Marisa Tomei. It’s quite terrible, but it was set in the most beautiful places I’d seen on screen.

Hey Robert and Marisa, you’re blocking the view.

When I was in middle school, my friends and I played a game where we’d go to the teacher’s desk before class started, spin the globe, close our eyes and stop the spin with our finger. Wherever we were pointing was where we would go one day; I ended up in Italy more than once. (If you’re thinking I was definitely not cool in middle school, you are right.)

My sister, for whatever reason, was obsessed for a while with those Gidget movies from the ’60s. Gidget went to Rome, and I thought much more about wishing I was on that trip than I did about whether or not Gidget and Moondoggie would get back together to surf off into the sunset.

More recently there was “Under the Tuscan Sun,” a so-so movie that had about 14 endings, but it made me want to work on an olive farm in Tuscany. Then there was “Letters to Juliet,” which I actually liked and if I had time to get to Verona on this trip, I would be there in a heartbeat, leaving my letter on the wall and waiting for “Juliet” to reply.

Y’all are looking the wrong way.

“Dear Juliet, …”

Movies kicked off my Italian fantasy, but there’s also this idea:

“Everyone who travels knows that one of the biggest emotions one experiences is an intoxication: eating new foods, seeing signs in a new language, seeing different styles of architecture, and new people. That kind of intoxication has a lot to do with the intoxication a person feels when he or she is writing poetry. For me, travel and writing have always gone together.” ~ Richard Tillinghast

Who knows what kind of cool stuff I’m going to write during and after my trip? I cannot wait to find out!

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