Ciao, Italy! It Feels Good to be Home!

Kristen Marks

by Kristen Marks

Kristen Marks is a travel enthusiast, empty-nest mom to two young adult children, athlete, attorney, author, speaker, proud wife of almost three decades (to the same wonderful man!), and the founder of My Pink Lawyer®, Florida Estate & Legacy Planning attorneys. Kristen has been crafting professional estate plans for Floridians and their families for over 28 years.

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Buongiorno, mio amico!

Our family recently returned from our first trip across the Big Pond to Italy and an Adriatic cruise with stops in Croatia, Montenegro, and Greece.

We love to travel as a family and try to visit a foreign country at least every other year. Lately we’ve been visiting Latin America with visits to Panama, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua.

Our daughter graduated from high school this year (wow, do I feel old!) and we decided to kick things up a notch for our next vacation. Jill wanted to visit Italy and so, eighteen months ago we started planning our next adventure to Europe.

Starting from scratch to plan our trip was daunting but very exciting. Jill wanted to visit Florence and Venice so we knew those had to be on the agenda.  As independent travelers (we are not group tour people), we wanted to plan our entire trip. 

Through many discussions, much research, and a bit of “what have we got to lose” attitude, we settled on the following itinerary:

  • 4 days in Florence, renting an apartment close to the Duomo (A big thank you to my colleague, Jessica Schultheis, who visited Florence in December for that suggestion. You can read her blog post about Italy here.)
  • 7 day cruise round-trip out of Venice in the Adriatic and Ionian Seas
  • 3 days in Venice, renting an apartment on a canal (pretty much any place you stay in Venice will give you a view of a canal)

We never rented a car and instead relied on public transportation to move around the country (oh, why can we not have amazing public transportation in the States?).  

With so many moving parts to our trip, I was amazed that all of the pieces fell so neatly into place. In fact, other than upgrading our airline seats for the long overnight flight overseas, there is not a single thing I would have wanted to change about our trip.


I experience a similar sense of immense satisfaction when a Family Succession Plan (i.e. Estate plan) I have drafted and implemented for a family comes to fruition and actually works the way that it should to save the family time, money, and headaches after the death of a loved one. But I digress …


It was bittersweet returning home again but frankly, I had to do so I would stop spending money, eating, and drinking! Oh, the shopping, the food, and the wine (forgive me, I’m getting a little wistful).  

Although somewhat sad our amazing journey came to an end, I was also excited to return home. I love the life my husband and I have built for ourselves. I’m also excited about My Pink Lawyer® and cool new happenings on the horizon. I love our clients. I love my family.

Remember, we are here for your family at My Pink Lawyer® to help you plan well which in turn, helps your loved ones to live well.

Until next time, ciao! 

Now you can learn more about Family Succession Planning online through our short educational videos. Check out our YouTube channel.

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