Fiji or Italy?
Growing up some of my fondest memories are trips where my parents took us so we could SWIM! In two years I'm sure Madeline and James will enjoy the water just as much as I did when I was their age. My parents took us often to Hawaii, we also visited Florida and many places in Mexico. Oh and I can't forget all those summer camping trips where we would swim at campground pools/rivers/lakes. So I think Madeline and James would LOVE Fiji - and Stephen and I would be able to reminisce and enjoy the sites and peacefulness. Fiji is generally considered a poor country, many of the natives there live with very little. So traveling there cost wise is relatively reasonable. We'd be able to stay at a resort with our own private bure (beach bungalow) having our meals and drinks included, along with some excursions like snorkeling boat trips and horseback riding. It definitely would be a more relaxing and mellow vacation holiday. Which always sounds nice especially when you want to get away from the everyday hustle and bustle of work/school/home. We'd probably go for a week stay. The downside is travel air time there would be around 16-18 hours. Boy that's a long time in a plane! But it's such a beautiful place!
Our 2nd choice would be Italy (and a side trip to Holland). Stephen and I have wanted to go to Italy for a long time now. Together Stephen and I have traveled to parts of Europe including Holland, Germany and England. Europe is so rich in history and so different from here in America - we love going there! When I was Madeline and James' ages my parents to us to Europe. Again I have so many fond memories of places we visited there and also am very appreciative that I got to know my relatives who live over there. I'm hoping if we took the kids there that they too would enjoy the places and things we would see as well as get to know their cousins there. Life passes by so fast - I want my family over there to know my children and see them as kids and eventually as adults. So an ideal trip there would be visiting the famous sites in Italy. There's so much historical ruins and art there!
And of course we would have to visit the Vatican. What a spiritual experience that would be! So much of our Church history is there. It would be amazing to see in person. And flying to Italy would take a little less time than going to Fiji. The major downside - Europe in general is expensive! We'd definitely be on a tighter budget for a trip like this. Would have to do lots of research in finding great accommodation and airfare deals. But from what I've heard and seen from others Italy is SO worth visiting at least once in your life. This trip would be an "on the go" sort of trip, trying to visit and see all the sites. Probably not as relaxing as Fiji but definitely more to take in & learn.
If we would go to Italy I would want to plan in a side trip to Holland to visit my relatives and introduce the kids to them. Maybe take a train or short plane ride there. This trip would definitely need to be longer than a week, probably 2 weeks. I think we would be able to get Stephen's Hertz benefits in both Fiji and Italy/Holland. Not sure though that we would want or need a car in those places. So lots of things to weigh out. But if you were given these 2 choices to take a family trip, where would you go and why? Right now I'm pretty indecisive on the choice. I'll have to post Stephen's feedback on this post later.
Can't wait to read your responses!