What? You think we just left? We’ve got an adventure coming.

During my 6 month hiatus from writing Shade’s Progress, I think I can count on my left hand the number of days that Aitza has not gotten on my case to “do the blog.” Oh, how I wish doing the blog was just a funky dance move. Truth be told, I ran out of stuff to say. I felt like I was harping on the same news: Shade’s at therapy, Shade’s at YMCA, Shade likes his cat. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s tedium.

But after 6 months, I’ve now got an adventure worth blogging about. Also, it might just get Aitza off my back for a few weeks.

We are going on our first big family vacation since before Shade’s brain exploded. Actually I think it’s been about 3 years since we were able to do a trip this extensive as a family. I’ll be documenting how Shade handles a European vacation, and how we manage to guide him through cobblestone streets, catacombs, and Pompeii rubble.

The plan: Fly tomorrow to London, spend a full day at the pubs and other stuff I hear London has, then fly to Rome for a week and a half. (My toga is all packed.) We’ll return to England for a few days of royal fun and fly back.

There will be 8 of us to start on this venture: Aitza, Shade, Mayan and myself, plus the boys’ older brother, Edwin, his girlfriend and her twin sister, Raizza and Roanna, and Edwin’s best bud Brett. Brett’s sister is going to meet us in Rome for 9 people. Plus, while in Rome, we’re going to meet up with local friends Todd and Melinda Howell and their boys. Back in England, the core 4 will stay at the house of our friends, Andy and Trish, with whom we plan to hobnob with the Queen. Edwin and friends will be homeless and sleeping in the Tube station. I suggest they bring a violin and busker for coins.

Though this sounds like an expensive venture, we’ve mastered the art of budget travel. Aitza has the Virgin perks hook up for flights. We go standby on Virgin, so it probably costs us less to fly to England than it would to Miami. Of course, we risk getting bumped, but what’s an adventure without risk? Then we switch to EasyJet, which is the European airline version of bumming a ride from a bunch of Dead Heads with an old school bus. In Rome, instead of getting a bunch of hotels, we rented an apartment and we’re all splitting the rent, which works out quite affordable. Plus, we’ll have a kitchen for breakfast, drinks and snacks, which cuts down the food expenses. Aitza has been dutifully paying off all of these expenses month by month, so now we just have to worry about food and local travel expenses. And the occasional Peroni.

So, if you’ve missed Shade’s Progress and would like to see our teen miracle tackle the streets down which Julius Caesar once strode, join my daily updates on Shade’s Progress. We’ll be posting plenty of pics and videos, too.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. rbitterling
    Jun 06, 2013 @ 20:01:23

    Great to hear from you – enjoy the chaos Clark!


    Jun 07, 2013 @ 00:59:25

    Date: Thu, 6 Jun 2013 23:55:33 +0000 To: essmithjr@msn.com


  3. Jay Goodrow
    Jun 07, 2013 @ 12:49:49

    So good to have this back. I look forward to these updates.


  4. Nancy golden
    Jun 07, 2013 @ 22:52:11

    Thanks for the update! Hope you have a great trip! Can’t wait to hear all about it! Have fun!


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