Friday, August 20, 2010

A Special Birthday Gift

I wish I had a birthday gift like hers when I was her age. I am talking about a 13-year-old whose father finances a trip to any country in the world for each of his children on that special birthday.

I met this father-daughter duo from North Carolina at the Rifugio Città di Fiume on Mount Pelmo last week.

I rarely hear American accents while hiking in the Dolomites, so I usually introduce myself out of curiosity. In this manner, I was told the reason for this American couple's visit to Italy. The father's pact is on condition that there is some sort of "adventure" involved in the trip to the child's country of choice. The young blond teenager chose Italy and I was meeting them on the adventure leg of the journey. They had started in Venice for 3 days, followed by 6 days of continuous hiking in alta quota and would finish with 5 days in Rome, possibly hitting Pompei before returning back to the US.

I was amazed at the magnitude of this amazing birthday present. Of course, the father got some fun out of the deal, too.

I remember that I was thrilled to get to go to the Rockies for a week, compliments of my Girl Scout troop when I was that age. My leader promised her girls a trip to anywhere (in the US) if they stayed in Girl Scouts beyond the age of 13. (At that point in teenage life, it becomes quite unpopular to be a Girl Scout.) Her family's company donated to help pay for the trip. We all thought we were the luckiest East Coast girls to see the mountains out West! But that must have been how things were 20 years ago in the US. Now it's Europe on the youngster's minds!

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