Lucy & Ethel Go to Italy

My sister Laurie and I are flying to Italy at the end of May. I know, right? Traveling. Now.

Let me see, there are worries of illness in parts of the world, thanks to a nagging you-know-what. War being waged by a madman who didn’t exactly bargain on the tenacity of a certain country (though, God willing, peace talks could be under way soon.) And well, airplanes and oceans and airports and people between Seattle-Frankfurt-Rome.

Are you sure that’s wise, Jody? (I’m Ethel, by the way, she’s Lucy).

Hmmmm. That’s a tricky question.

It all started a year ago before the first anniversary of the lockdown that shall not be named when L. called me out of the blue and said, “Hey, would you like to go to Italy?”

Me, who’s never traveled to Europe, said, Sure! Why not?

Running dialogue in my head, We’ve got a retirement fund, what else is it for?

Also me, What in the world will my husband think of my ‘yes’ without even running it by him first?

Laurie will turn 60ish while we’re there and this is the year I turn 70. If not now, when?

“So why Italy?” I ask my sister.

“Well, D and I promised ourselves we’d always go, but then she went and died so it kind of put the kibosh on that. (Reader, please note that D was a friend of mine for nearly 40 years and dear to my very heart. After I married and moved away, she and my sister became fast friends. Old friends can joke about such things.)


The conversation with said dear husband.

So honey, guess what?! Laurie called and asked if I wanted to go to Italy.

With her?

Um yes, not with you, my dear. (He’s a funny man.)

Well, that sounds like a great idea.

I nearly fell out of my chair, as did most of my relatives when I retold this story.

After his response sank in and I called my sister back to tell her about Dear Husband’s “yes,” the planning and dreaming began in earnest. Also, the shopping. We are both big thrifters and knew we’d need some comfy clothes, but have limited budgets. We’d need items in a limited color palette–I’m going with black and white with an accent color of yellow.

Laurie is the navy and white version with a pop of red. I know you’re dying for such details. Yes, there will be photos.

We needed to give ourselves some parameters because otherwise we’d pack our entire closets.

So how long would we travel for? And when?

Let’s go for two weeks, Jodyo, so it’s worth it, know what I mean? We’ve never been there and I want to make the most of it. 

Me: Sure! Also me, Ka ching, ka ching.

But where would we go? Tuscany, perhaps? We entertained that for awhile but realized that 1) Neither of us can drink wine so what in the world are we gonna do? and 2) Tuscany is like rolling hills for miles in every direction. We grew up by the beach in California–we need an ocean.

So beach side it is, end of May, early June.

We researched and researched and made reservations. (And t h a n k  g o o d n e s s we bought our plane tickets last year!) We Air b n b’d up a storm –that’s a verb, right?–and settled on a week outside Naples in Posillipo with Maximillian as host, then another week in Maiori on the Amalfi Coast at Paolo’s house. (You can Google them both, dear Reader.)

They both look positively dreamy.

There will be day trips to Rome of course, probably Mt. Vesuvius, Naples and so on, but mostly people watching, shopping and cooking. We are not museum and art gallery people and do not want to schlep ourselves to the point of exhaustion.

Plus there’s the shin splints to consider. 

Call us intrepid, adventurous, double-vaccinated, research-savvy travel planners.

Could we get sick? Maybe.

Could there be problems with planes and airports? A European conflict of some kind? Not sure.

Can you stand wearing a mask on the plane for that long. Probably not. Let’s pray for gracious Flight Attendants who let us fudge.

Is it very safe to travel? Thousands of people are doing it every single day around the world. And European countries are longing for visitors.

What if there’s an accident? Well, God will be there if that happens, just like He’s everywhere we need Him to be when we call on him.

So, God willing, at the end of May with our masks and passports and proof that we’ve got our shots, we’ll be on our way.

Will you pray for us?

And if you’re on Instagram, I’ve started a dedicated IG account @lucyandethelgotoitaly.  to share photos and updates. It would be great to have you follow along!