Since 2017, WestCMR has been rewarding their tenured employees with “Trip of a Lifetime” (TOAL). Team members reaching 5, 10 and 15 years of service are sent on an all-expense paid trip of their choice; this month, Rob Law, our Director of Information Systems, tells the tale of his TOAL to Italy.
While trying to decide where my wife Janice and I would go for our Trip of a Lifetime – generously given by WestCMR, we both realized how blessed we were for the number of places we already had the chance to travel to. As family is extremely important to both of us, we decided to truly make it the Trip of a Lifetime by including our ENTIRE family (three daughters, two son-in-laws and four grandchildren) and by connecting them to part of their heritage in Italy.
So off all 11 of us went, landing in Venice and making our way to the five-bedroom villa we had rented for the occasion. Janice has family there – as it is where her grandfather and many aunts and uncles were born in the late 1800s and early 1900s, before immigrating to America.
Day two of our trip was probably the most special: that’s when our entire family got together with the local relatives in the village on Chiampo. It was all a surprise; we made our way up a mountain that is part of the little Dolomites and arrived at a restaurant. There, the local relatives were waiting with balloons, gifts, songs, and – of course – food!
After eating, we made our way down the mountain together and visited a small family home used for weekend getaways. There, we were able to relax and enjoyed watching our children and grandchildren interact with their Italian cousins.
From there, it was one city after another as we toured Venice’s Grand Canal on a private boat; Verona’s magnificent Colosseum, ancient buildings, cathedrals, and the balcony that inspired Shakespeare’s Romeo and Giulietta; Florence by way of the famous high-speed train; and ended the week with another large family night.
Janice and I spent another week touring parts of the country we had never seen: the Aosta Valley (in the Alps by the French border) and beautiful Lake Como.
To say this was the Trip of a Lifetime is really an understatement, as we all – on both sides of the Atlantic – still talk about it to this day. Thank you Randy, from the bottom of our hearts, for giving us family memories to last us a lifetime.
Read more Trip of a Lifetime posts by clicking here.