Thursday, September 22, 2005

more Wondering/Webbing

I want to revisit Wondering in a little more detail. Here is a list of some questions I have been asking myself that are implied in my larger questions, but not stated specifically:

1) I wonder what Liam would list as his top 10 "must see" sites or "must do" activities in Italy.

2) For that matter, what is my top 10? I should prioritize in case the trip length has to be shortened (I'm hoping for three weeks, but that may be overly optimistic...)

3) Can I get my husband, Bill, to make a top 10 list at all? He's usually a pretty easy-going "whatever you want" kind of person.

4) I wonder what I can do to get Liam more interested in art museums. I think he would really like the connection between art and history/mythology if I could get him over the "art bores me" stage.

So, the focus of this project is going to be balancing. Getting enough information, both from outside sources and from my family, to plan a trip that will be wonderful for all of us. Since it's pretty easy for me to plan a trip that is pleasing to myself, I guess in a way the balancing will consist of adding a kid-friendly, Liam-specific tilt to everything.

After doing some initial reading (skim and scan, skim and scan!), I am already getting some good bits of information. Here are the guidebooks I am looking at (all from the Monroe County Public Library).

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From Rick Steves (my favorite):

Italy 2002
Florence 2002
Rome 2002
Europe 101: History and Art for the Traveler
Mona Winks: Self-Guided Tours of Europe's Top Art Museums
Best European City Walks & Museums 2005

From Lonely Planet: Walking in Italy

From the Henry Holt Walks series:

FlorenceWalks by Anne Holler
RomeWalks by Anya Shetterly

From the Sierra Club Natural Traveler: Wild Italy by Tim Jepson

From Rough Guide: The Rough Guide to Italy

Karen Brown's Italy: Charming Bed & Breakfasts

Lodging in Italy's Monastaries by Eileen Barish

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First, I browsed the table of contents and indexes of these books to see if they featured sections on travel with children. All of the books seem to agree that Italians love children and will show it; smoke-filled rooms are unavoidable; the heat in summer makes napping at mid-day and staying up late almost mandatory. Liam is going to love the up late part.

I'm making a list of the suggestions found in the "travel with kids" sections of these guides. I'm definitely sorting through the information based on age; some ideas for little kids won't interest him at all. I'm also filtering based on what I know he likes. For example, if there is armor or weaponry on display, we're there! I'm going to make a website with a list or chart of the places that sound promising and post the link here soon.

I'm running all the good prospects by Liam and he is getting very excited about the planning. He came to pick me up from a class the other night carrying Steve's Italy 2002. He read it all through our stop for ice cream, starting from page one, and got really fascinated by the concept of exchange rates. *laugh*

More soon...web resources and leads to chase down.

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