An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

In Their Own Words

International travel takes a lot of planning.

There are so many details to arrange.

So many decisions to make.

So very many things to think of: rain jackets or umbrellas? One rental van or two rental cars? Pompeii or Herculaneum? Capri or no Capri?

But most of all, we knew we wanted our boys to appreciate and fully grasp what a big deal this trip was by having them chronicle their adventures.

Right away, however, we knew travel journals were out. There was no way my boys would agree to journal daily, so we decided on an idea that worked well for us four years ago on their first trip to Italy: we had them write and send postcards to themselves.

It's really a very simple idea. After a day spent sightseeing, they each select a postcard and record the highlights of the day. A postcard is perfect because it not only is a photo of what they saw, but the limited space keeps the torture -- I mean journaling -- to a minimum.

Now that we've returned home, postcards have been arriving daily in the mail. Rome, Naples, Capri, Sorrento, Verona . . . in short, our Italian vacation in their own words.

Dear Me,
Today we visited the Royal Palace in Caserta. It was beautiful, and it was where they filmed Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Walking the halls, I get shivers every time I think that Jar-Jar Binks was there.


Dear Me,
St. Peter's is a beautiful church. There is a spot outside that if you stand on it, all the columns behind the front one disappear so you only see the front one. We saw where most of the popes were buried.


Dear Me,
I love Verona. I went frog hunting with Martha.


Dear Me,
Now we are in Verona, where my Nonna's family lives. This has been my favorite part of the trip. I also bought FIFA '09 for my DS.


Dear Me,
Rome was rad! The Colosseum was cool, but the Forum was a bunch of old ruins. St. Peter's was the highlight, but the Vatican Museum was excruciatingly painful.

P.S. To my blogging friend Ellie from IL, who is always so kind to check in with me when I haven't blogged in a while, here . . . a virtual cappuccino for you. Grazie!


Tiziana said...

Idea meravigliosa che resterà per tutta la vita. Timothy, sei fantastico, viva le rane, viva il gelato, altro che monumenti.

Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El) said...

This is an excellent idea! I'm going to file it away...

How fun it must be to go to the mailbox!

My son had a special relationship with his grampa Al (my dad). Dad died when Mac was a freshman. Three years ago when we moved here, Mac found a bunch of his writing including cards he had sent to his grampa. We didn't remember Grampa returning them to us--but at some point they did. Mac got such a kick out of reading his "little kid" writing.

He kept the cards with all his school writing.

At the end of each school year, I tell my kids to keep only two things, their art and their writing so they can watch themselves grow through what they're created and documented.

Thanks for the shout out. I have missed you.

j.a.varela said...


Excelente idea! Imaginación, creatividad, cultura, familia, recuerdos...

Para imitar.

Desde Montevideo,


PS: intentaré una traducción al español

Laura said...