My family goes on some kind of wild adventure every couple years – our next adventure is running with the bulls in July.

At the end of each trip, we always have a few good stories, usually revolving around my mom.

One of the funniest trips had to be going to Italy a few years ago. It was my sister and her (ex) boyfriend, mom and her boyfriend and me and my (ex) girlfriend.

Eventually, we arrive in Venice and load up on a water ferry – since transportation in Venice is all by boat – with a bunch of other tourists.

We had to separate and fill in gaps on the boat. My girlfriend and I squeezed between an Asian family on the stern of the boat. The rest of our group was near the bow.

All the sudden I start hearing someone yell “Junior, Junior,” which is what my mom’s boyfriend, Rich, calls me.

I look over and from across the boat he yells that my mom got off at the last stop. He tells me to get off at the next.

Now my mom is not a light traveler, but thankfully she had her boyfriend and I to be her mules. Ends up she got off with her purse and left a 50 pound bag, a backpack that felt like it was full of bricks and a duffle bag for everyone else to carry.

I’m already carrying my bag and my girlfriend’s two bags, but I agree to take the duffle bag.

We start walking in the direction of the last stop, which was about a mile but had three bridges to cross along the way.

These bridges have about 100 steps going up and another 100 going down each side. Hundreds of people, mainly tourists, are funneling over these bridges each minute at this point of the day.

By the second bridge, Rich had enough. After he got to the top, he began kicking the 50 pound bag down the other side.

Maybe the jet lag contributed. But, this guy was fed up.

He’s mumbling obscenities as he kicks the bag roughly three steps at a time.

I’ll never forget people parting like the Red Sea around this crazy, bald headed guy kicking this bag. People are looking at him like a madman. And I am cracking up.

The good thing from all this, when we finally found my mom, was an enforcement of you bring it, you carry it. She bought a new bag with wheels before our next trip.

Next week, I’ll pick up where we left off.

Until then,

Michael Anthony Stavola

— Micheal Stavola is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at