ItalyWe are going to Venice, Florence, Siena and Rome over Christmas break this year.  We have been a lot of places but at the end of the day Italy is my favorite country.  The food, the culture, the history, the art, the shopping, the people, the beauty.  Take your pick. 

I booked the air and the hotels but just gathered lots of information on what to see, where to eat, what to do, etc. and let the kids help in the decision making.  It was a fantastic project.  I highly recommend it. 

We spent hours on it this weekend.  We read the books, read the magazines, hunted the web.  The key was really cross checking.  If a restaurant popped up a few different times, we’d take it more seriously.  If we only heard of it once, it went on the back burner.  Certain Gelato places were absolutely a must, a mozzarella bar in Rome is right up our alley and popped up more than a few times, etc.  That was the gist. 

We finished the project off Sunday morning.  I emailed all the concierges this evening and we are off to the races.  What is great is that when we get there, the kids were involved in the process.  They will remember what they read and decide if the review was right or wrong.   No surprises, they are serious critics and are interested in checking out the food and design.  Finding the grooviest store and the best gelato.  Going to the Markets and getting a vibe for the city. 

Everyone picked their books this morning.  The girls are reading some of my favorites that we have saved and Josh picked a bunch of new ones out.  They are concerned we won’t get our reading in because we won’t be lounging on a beach but I am not too concerned.  This is going to be a great trip.