In exactly nine days, we McLaughlins are boarding a plane for a two week vacation in Italy.  We'll spend a few days traveling on our own and then, on August 5th, something amazing is going to happen.  The Murphy cousins are reuniting in Tuscany.  Here's the cast of characters:

We are the eight grandchildren of this fine lady:

We grew up in three different countries, and we're now spread through the US, Italy, Australia, Canada and (sometimes) Costa Rica.  I honestly don't know if we've EVER been all together in one room  (have we?  anyone?), but we came close several times in Breezy Point.  Including this time:

All eight of us and our families add up to 24 people.  All together in the hills of Chianti.   I am excited for this trip for sooooo many reasons and there are soooo many thoughts that have been going through my head about family and travel and geography and genetics ... but there's one thought that keeps settling in my brain as we've planned and anticipated this trip.  My grandmother, Vivian Murphy, will have been gone from us 20 years this September.  Wouldn't it be cool to take and send her a photo of all eight of us together in Italy?  Wouldn't she love that?  And what did she do so right that all eight of us are taking this trip together so many years after she's gone?  And what can I do to ensure that my kids are as lucky as I am?

Anyway, stay tuned for more Murphy cousin photos.  We have an Instagram tag for this trip -- #Canonica17 so if you're not already following me on Instagram at @jayemcl, now would be a great time to start!

Thanks for looking,


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