When I lived in Chicago, my friend Becky Wittenstrom (who I worked with at Northwestern), suggested out of the blue one day that we take a trip to Italy. I'd only ever been to Germany, and had never taken a trip with a friend, but she was a go-getter and found us tickets for a long weekend to fly to Rome and then take a train to Florence. Or maybe it was the other way around. She was an excellent travel companion, organized without being too bossy, un-fussy, and interested in both seeing the important sites (the Uffizi, the Colosseum) and walking the streets to just see what was happening.
Here is a picture that represents one of the happiest moments in my life, because all of my favorite things converged at one time--a shop dog named Crisso (I wrote his name on the back of the photo), a gelato, and an adventure in a foreign land with a good companion.