By J.P. Bowie
Reading through Lisabet's post I had to agree that like hers, life has been a fairly rich experience for me. I've had a pretty varied career, working in theatre and television, touring most of Britain in some hilariously bad productions, working aboard a cruise ship as casino manager, a dresser and ultimately head of wardrobe for the Siegfried and Roy show in Las Vegas and in between doing time working in a deli and selling real estate (ugh). And of course, now I have my fabulous writing career!
About two years ago my partner Phil (who is half Italian on his mother's side) and I decided to take a nice long trip through Italy and France ending up in the UK. I did so much research on this trip that I actually wrote a book Trip of a Lifetime about a young American's exploits on practically the same route we were going to take. Venice, Firenze, Pisa, Rome, Paris, the chunnel to London etc. We even went so far as to put the deposit down for the first part of this dream vacation. The tour of Italy was an organized one, but I made the travelling arrangements and booked the hotels in Paris and London - the wonders of the internet!
Then, Phil had to have a triple by-pass on his heart, which in itself wouldn't have really made us cancel our trip - it was still three months away - and in my mind would make up for the pain and long recuperation he had to endure. But the damned surgeons had other ideas and botched part of the surgery. Phil ended up with a paralyzed vocal chord, couldn't eat or drink anything and had to have nourishment through a tube inserted in his stomach. Fun, huh? Well, travelling through Europe without being able to taste the culinary delights of Italy and France and lugging cases of the supplement to keep him alive just didn't appeal, so we cancelled. The resulting high cost of medical bills and our decision to leave Las Vegas took care of our vacation budget.
So here's our bucket list - not this year but hopefully next, we will make that trip. We'll gasp at the beauty of the Amalfi Coat, goggle with wonder at Pisa's leaning tower, throw some coins in the fountains of Rome, climb the Eiffel Tower, cruise down the Seine, travel on the scary train under the English Channel, then another train to Edinburgh, then on to my home town of Aberdeen, Scotland. Phew!
It's really not that much to ask for, is it?