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It’s raining. Strike that. It’s POURING. And it has been for days. Icky-sixty-degrees-and-steady-downpour that makes your windows fog from the inside out and you have to fight the compulsive urge to hide out on the couch under a blanket. You start spouting a variety of excuses as to why you can’t go anywhere or do anything while simultaneously creating the obscenely long and just as impossible list of things you will DEFINITELY accomplish once the weather turns in your favor.

It’s perfect vacation daydreaming weather.

Imagine this: Money is no object. Time is no object. Your bags are magically packed with tres chic, weather-appropriate clothing for all. You and your family are standing in front of the arrival and departures board at the airport. Which plane are you jumping on?

It’s a no brainer for me. We’re headed to Italy. A la Firenze to be specific.

For a little much needed, shall we say, la dolce vita?

If you know our family, our destination wouldn’t come as a surprise to you. Pat and I met while we were both studying in Italy. Seven years later the European travel itch is just begging to be scratched, and we’d love to go back. Yes, we’re crazy or naive enough to bring our 15-month-old Bug along.

Now, remember this is my fantasy vacation. There are no toddler meltdowns or additional baggage fees in my dream vacation. Hopefully there aren’t any in yours, either.

Perfect Italian getaway-movie-like-montage: Grabbing a cappuccino and people watching in a piazza, the Bug swirling around the sculptured water fountains or dozing in a super chic Italian stroller. Taking the train to Cinque Terre and hiking through the mountain towns (maybe just one or two towns – – the child carrier backpack might get a little heavy after that). Sharing freshly made strawberry gelato or Napoli-style pizza. (No there is no suitable substitute for either of these in the States). Watching the Bug dip her toes in the water at Pisa and catching il Palio in Sienna. Laughing with the locals and other tourists at our favorite Florentine trattoria, Il Latini. Playing tag in the vineyards and sunflower fields, a-la-Under-The-Tuscan-Sun. Meeting a former professor’s mother on the street and being invited over for coffee. Of course, she falls in love with the Bug (and vice versa), making us promise that she can sit for an evening. Buying some ridiculously cute and most likely insanely overpriced Italian dress, and heading out to dinner.

Notice I didn’t say who the dress was for?

Let’s be honest. Everyone is probably leaving la bella Italia with some fabulous fashion finds.

Ah, daydreams.

Where would YOU go?

Don’t forget to enter the “Do What You Love” Sweepstakes, for a chance to win your own ultimate family vacation. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.