Born in the US to Portuguese immigrants, I was raised in the old world ways. Fortunate enough to travel there several times with my family, I got to appreciate the lure of Europe and from whence my heritage came. I have always loved it there.
Since marrying an "American" who isn't interested in seeing other countries, the only trip I've made out of the country was back in 99 to Brazil. I took my Mom to visit a brother she had not seen in 36 years. An incredible trip.
Then came the 2010 Family Reunion. I was at my sister in law Mary's, who I love to create and craft with. We were looking through books and she excitedly showed me "French General Home Sewn" by Kaari Meng. I loved it instantly.
About 4 months later, I picked up a book about successful career craftswomen. Kaari was mentioned. It encouraged people to challenge themselves and interact with other creative women when possible. It referenced a fantastic trip: The French General Chateau Getaway.
A week in the south of France with Kaari & twelve friends in a 150 year old Chateau. Within minutes I was Googling. The trip was completely booked, I was too late. I shot out an email asking them if there would be one in 2011. Yes there would.
The next morning I called my sister in law, sharing my excitement and trying to plant the seed. Why not go next year? I know she thought I was crazy. She placated me by telling me she'd think on it. I wasn't going to miss out. I was going. After telling my husband I doubted she'd go but was prepared to go alone, he let me in on a secret about Mary, his baby sister.
He said I should absolutely go regardless but that if I told Mary that I was going without her, she wouldn't be able to stand it. She was never one to miss out on the fun.
I did and she called back the very next day, "I'm IN!". We planned, figured out how we'd save for it and decided we would use this as a chance to see more of Europe. Paris and Rome quickly made the list, then Venice was last to be added. Could we do it? Absolutely. The year flew by!
The girl raised in Russell County, KY, never having been out of the country, and having only dreamed of going to France, was about to trust me to guide us across several countries to a far away place.