To all of you who have been reading my blog, thank you. I appreciate all of you and enjoy reading any comments you take the time to write as well. Between reading my blog and my book, you know that I have traveled to Italy with my brother Rick and my sister-in-law Monica on several occasions. In fact they were the ones with me on my very first trip to Italy in 2007.
I had not planned on returning to Italy so soon but last fall Rick decided that he wanted to go to Sicily and asked if I would like to join him and Monica. Naturally it didn’t take long for me to say yes and we started planning a trip which would include ten days in Sicily, four on the Amalfi Coast, and two in Rome. The plan was to explore the parts of Sicily that we haven’t seen and also return to the parts that we really enjoyed. On the Amalfi Coast we were going to be able to experience Stage 3 of the Giro d’Italia, Italy’s three week long cycling race, and Rick in particular was very excited about that since he is an avid cyclist.
You have read many times of my descriptions of him kicking my butt in Italy with his insistence on walking everywhere, simply with the goal of getting a lot of exercise. He really is obsessed with being fit. Too bad it hasn’t worn off on me. Anyway, seven weeks ago he suffered a cycling accident himself and broke a few bones and has been lamenting the fact that he just has to wait till they heal. He may even need surgery and although it is not a certainty, it was clear that he would not be in shape to leave for Italy in a few weeks as originally planned, although he was in denial about that for awhile.
So we cancelled our nonrefundable tickets from Delta, kicking ourselves that we had not bought travel insurance. Without it the penalty to change an international flight is $250 per person. On top of that we had made reservations at one of the hotels in Sicily for five nights and these rooms were also nonrefundable. What can you do? It is what it is. After a week or two of checking things, making phone calls, and securing another vacation at work for September, we were lucky enough to have Delta waive the penalty for all three of us after explaining the situation. We also lucked out with the hotel which we booked through Booking.com. The customer service people there were able to communicate with the hotel, through phone calls and emails, and they allowed us to change the dates without losing any money. Today I had a phone call from Dehan who gave me the good news that both rooms were changed successfully till September.
I was able to change the other reservations myself since they were not prepaid, and we have not yet booked the rental car. I learned two things from this situation. One is to always buy travel insurance. I even wrote an article about why it’s a good idea to purchase travel insurance and then did not take my own advice. The second thing I learned is that I will not purchase nonrefundable hotel reservations even if they are cheaper.
So everything is going well. Hopefully Rick won’t need surgery but if he does he is prepared to do what he needs to do. He has attracted a little fan club actually from readers who have grown fond of him, so I told him that you are counting on him to be good to go.