moving to italy: unexpected adventures

{awesome photo of Cary Grant found here}

When we move to Italy next week (OMG, did I just say next week?!) we are flying into Rome. We did this in an effort to minimize the number of transfers Winston would have to endur. We considered hopping on the train from Rome to Florence -- which is normally quite easy -- but decided that with 3 checked bags, two carry-ons and Winston, that could be really difficult and frustrating. So, we decided to rent a car.

Imagine my surprise when I'm happily clicking around American Express Travel and couldn't find an automatic transmission car for rent. My aunt (who lives in England and frequently travels all around Europe) was visiting at the time so I decided to ask her why this might be. "They don't really have automatic transmission cars in Italy." Ah, there's the rub.

For many people this wouldn't be a big deal, but neither Rob nor I know how to drive a stick shift. I eventually found automatics for rent, but at $650 for two days we quickly ruled it out as an option. So, I'll give you three guesses what Rob has been doing the past two weeks.

If you guessed learning to drive a stick, ding ding ding, you're right! Unsurprisingly, he's already gotten pretty darn good at it. We're renting a manual transmission for him to test out on Thursday when he drives to Harrisburg to get Winston's paperwork certified.

All in all, not a game-changing thing, but fitting driving lessons into an already busy schedule was a bit tough. We're thankful though, because I'm sure his newfound driving skills will come in handy if we ever want to take a driving trip around Europe!

Countdown to Italy: 9 Days