Well, folks! Good things are happening in the Durham household. The husband has a new job, and my immediate family will be going to France and Italy next summer. And I am so excited! For the past six months, I’ve been learning Italian and can’t wait to try out what I’ve learned. My Travel To-Do list includes several items in both of these fine nations, and I plan to check off as many of them as possible.

3. See Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower 

5. Attend a masquerade in Venice while wearing an eighteenth century costume of my own design

6. See an opera at La Scala

7. Ride a train from Paris to Venice. Okay, this one is technically my mother’s but it’s a really good one so I’m stealing it. But I would do this one with my parents!

24. Take a cooking class in Tuscany

32. Walk through the remains of Pompeii and Herculaneum 

55. Wear a sundress and large straw hat while on a yacht off the Amalie Coast

68. Buy a French cookbook in Paris

71. Visit the Chateau de Chambord

75. See the Rose Window at Notre Dame

79. Gaze upon the face of Mona Lisa at the Louvre

84. Recreate Audrey Hepburn’s trip through Rome in “Roman Holiday”

87. Spend a night in the Orientale Suite at the Borgo Storico Seghetti Panchini Hotel in Italia

88. Throw a coin into Trevi Fountain

102. Leaning Tower of Pisa

104. Victor Hugo’s house in Paris

110. Ride a Vespa in Italy

114. Take a romantic gondola ride in Venice with my husband

Wish me luck! And money. Lots of money. Or better yet, just head over to Cafepress and buy yourself some French Food Pyramid and Italian Food Pyramid goods.