Guess what? The Mibus Family is heading to Italy to do some bike touring!!! Now don't get TOO excited, we're not going any time soon. But it's good to dream so that's what we're doing. But we're not only dreaming we're doing something about our dream - we're saving money in our Italy Box.
Traveling to Italy has been on the back burner of my "to do" list for a couple of years. Art. History. Architecture. Food. Gelato. Wine. Italy is full of stuff to see and do and I love to travel. Once I started bicycling I learned that various companies coordinate bike tours in Italy which made me want to go there even more. I found a brochure on bike tours, several of which went through the Italian countryside, and looked at it with Owen and the kids. Everyone was interested but Rose got especially excited.
One of Cassi's pictures. Thanks, Cassi, for giving me permission to use your picture for my blog!
"rooftops of Caldana and the patchwork landscape of Tuscany" www.shebicycles.com
"Italy! I want to bike through Italy," she said, more excited than I'd seen her in a long time.
So she and I dreamed. But I think both of us knew that a trip to Italy was a dream that wasn't going to happen soon. Or ever. Still, it's good to dream - so we did.
A few months later I discovered my friend, Cassi (www.shebicycles.com & @morebikes) was going to bike around Italy with her husband. And even though I knew Italy was still out of reach, it seemed a little more possible just knowing that someone I knew was going there.
One afternoon I noticed that Cassi posted a blog entry about her Italy trip. I was busy with work but Rose, looking over my shoulder, took interest in Cassi's blog. Rose read the blog entries and marveled aloud at Cassi’s pictures. From that point on Rose was hooked and wouldn't stop talking about going to Italy. And I couldn't get Italy out of my head, either.
So Rose and I thought things trough step by step and devised a plan.
Here's what we came up with:
Our family will go to Italy once Ryan is old enough to ride a big bike all day.
Ryan will probably be ready when he's about 12. He's 9 now.
When Ryan is 12, Rose will be 15.
At that point Ryan will be in 6th grade and Rose in 9th.
Traveling to Italy with a 6th grader and a 9th grader seems pretty reasonable.
The kids will be at an age where the can keep up and really appreciate stuff.
So, at the earliest, we can go to Italy in three years.
It could be four.
And it's going to cost a lot of money.
So we're going to start saving our money now.
Rose and I talked about saving money. We needed a good place to put it, we figured. Something that said "Italy" when we looked at it.
We searched the house and looked in stores but couldn't find anything that was just right.
But then we found the box - a plain, white box that’s kind of tall and big enough to put tons of money inside. But it was just a plain white box and didn't say "Italy" when you looked at it.
So Rose and I came up with another plan. We'd decorate the box to make it just right.
And decorate we did. We spent an evening cutting, glueing, cutting, arranging, and gluing some more until the box was covered with images that said “Italy” to us. We cut a hole in the top to shove our money through.
Our Italy Box
And we put our first coins and a few dollar bills in it Sunday night.
Ryan and Rose putting money in our Italy Box
We'll be saving for our trip for a long, long, time.
But that's okay.
We've got time.
And a dream to keep us going.