We've gone and done it again.
We've changed our itinerary.
I realized as we were planning that something was holding us back from our plan - something kept us from getting tickets last year. The themes that kept coming up when we would talk about it were 1) the amount of time we would be gone, and 2) the budget.
So I sat down with BF, and with M and Shorty, who are planning on doing the same itinerary as us, and we came up with a plan that we were all a little more comfortable with.
The old plan was: Italy first for 9 nights, then Ireland for 6 nights, with a proposed budget of close to $4,000.
The new plan is: Ireland first for 5 nights, then Italy for 7 nights, with a proposed budget of around $3,200.
Not SO much of a difference, but different enough to make us feel a little better.
Here's the new plan, or [v4]:
Saturday: Flight into Dublin from LAX
Sunday: Arrive in Dublin, rent car, night on west coast
Monday: Driving day, night on west coast
Tuesday: M and Shorty take train to Dublin, BF and I keep driving, night in Dublin or on the west coast
Wednesday: M and Shorty in Dublin, BF and I return car to Dublin, night in Dublin
Thursday: Dublin, night in Dublin
Friday: Early morning flight to Rome, night in Rome
Saturday: Rome, afternoon bus to Siena, night in Siena
Sunday: Day trip to San Gimignano and Volterra, night in Siena
Monday: WEDDING! Night in Siena
Tuesday: Train to Florence, night in Florence
Wednesday: Uffizi gallery, possible day trip to Pisa, night in Florence
Thursday: Train to Rome, afternoon in Rome
Friday: Fly home, arriving on Friday night
So, it's going to be a lot packed into a short amount of time. And we do lose Venice, which would have been cool to see again. It was one of our favorite spots when BF and I were there in 2003, but it's so much easier to not go that far north this time around. It's also cheaper to fly out of Rome, and Shorty has a laundry list of things she wants to do there, so it'll be nice to have more time there. In addition, this itinerary has a little more balance between Ireland and Italy, since BF is really excited to be back in Ireland.
We're still waiting on a couple of things - mostly on getting PTO approved - before we buy tickets, but I'm crossing my fingers that it happens soon and it can be locked down so that we can start planning the other fun parts of this trip!