My idea of the perfect vacation day would go something like this: Wake up in a Tuscan villa with a mild, Brunello di Montalcino hangover. Go for a wake-up swim, then bike through fields of poppies to the local village for cappuccino. Stock up on wine, salami, cheese, and bread before biking to the villa. Wave back at handsome old Italian men who think I am beautiful, because they are 90 and think anything that moves is beautiful. Play tennis with Antonio on the sun-soaked clay court. (Hey, it's my dream holiday.) Swim and read by the pool all afternoon. Play tennis with Benito, then knock back some icy cold Prosecco with Campari in the shady olive grove. Take a nap with Ricardo before the cook/housekeeper, Agnese rings the dinner bell. Dine under the Tuscan stars. Scampi. Pesto. Anchovies. Take a hot, lavender-scented bath. Go to bed early and alone – tired, sunburned, and very, very happy.
But, oh no. Instead of the above, I am dragging the reluctant Little Bastard to South America where we will camp and schlep up some godforsaken Peruvian hillside – likely with a pack of belligerent Germans, altitude sickness, and diarrhea from eating beans and rice off a filthy tin plate. The goal: to instill in my child a sense of wonder and adventure, and to reach Machu Picchu without having a stroke, or a massive hissy fit because my sherpa dropped the birthday wine.
Again, what was I thinking?
Machu Picchu. An abandoned city. Where did everyone go? Why did they leave? Likely because it's a shithole with no jobs, plumbing, wi-fi, or oxygen.
Maritime Travel have a sweet tour of Italy leaving mid May – around the same time I'll be loading up my backback with antidiarrheal and blister pads for my indoctrination into middle age. Italy's Best is 14 carefree, air-conditioned days traveling to some of the most breathtaking Italian landscapes: the Amalfi coast, the Lake Maggiore, Venice, and, sigh, Tuscany. Screw RRSP's. You should go.
Turn off that bloody Xbox. Make your bed. Stop picking at that. Don't roll your eyes at me. Wipe your feet. Hurry up! Get in the car. Cut your toenails. Because I have no money, that's why. Do your homework. Sit up straight. Excuse me?! Stop eating like an pig. Hurry up.
For a brief moment, I'd like to replace that with: Holy fuck, is that my personal donkey? I'm not eating that. What do you mean there's no toilet. There was no mention of snakes in the brochure. How much further? Go on without me. I thought it was you, but my armpits really smell. How do you say "asshole" in German? It's way too quiet here. Feel my stubble. I really should have hired a personal trainer. Eduardo, pour me some wine, por favor. You play the zampona beautifully. What kind of bird is that? Smell this flower. What a beautiful view. This sleeping bag smells like cat pee. Jack... honey... look at the stars.
Oh. That's what I was thinking.