The trigger for my writing mate and I was from Fanny Flagg's Welcome to the World Baby Girl.
Both of us took the same course, two people with different ways of looking at travelling, although I set mine in New York and she placed her characters in Rome.
When they got back to the hotel, Dena was worn out.
Damn Jim. He had her up before dawn cracked and they'd found themselves downstairs waiting for the breakfast room to open.
"Eat, eat," he'd said, shoveling his bacon, eggs and toast into his mouth.
She preferred to eat slowly and watch the people around her, especially the business people as they glanced at papers from their briefcases or looked at messages on their iPhones.
"I'm not climbing to the top," she'd said. Any hopes of browsing at Macy's or picking up toys for the kids at F.A.O. Schwartz vanished.
"We can go to MOMA, grab a sandwich, before the matinee."
Dena had always wanted to visit New York, the Big Apple, the city that never sleeps. She should have known from other trips that Jim would cram several days of sight seeing if not several weeks worth into a single day.
Why she'd agreed to the trip she had no idea.
She kicked off her shoes and lay on the bed.
"Don't get too comfortable. We've dinner and I want to see Bernadette Peters sing."
Dena rolled over. This was going to be the last trip she would ever go on with Jim, she promised herself. From now her trips would be alone or with a girl friend. He could travel on his own too.
No more ticking off famous places saying they'd been there. In the future, she would have time to see, hear, smell and feel where'd she been.