I have decided that I will be going to Italy in September or October. I don't have a plane ticket yet, but the idea is cemented in my mind. I asked Scott if he wanted to come, like I did when I went to Greece last year and, like last year, he declined. So, I will fly solo, which I'm actually excited about.

Scott simply does not find a whole lot of value in exploring foreign countries. It doesn't interest him. That's fine. His sister Caitlin, also known as "The Spoiled One" will be attending Gonzaga's infamous study abroad program in Florence, and Scott's parents invited him to join them when they visit her. His reply and travel manifesto (edited for grammar and spelling):

Well, I want to first start off by saying that I 110 percent appreciate the significant offer of accompanying you guys to Europe. I really liked going to Austria, but only for the skiing, and I wasn't that fond of Ireland or England. I am not saying I wouldn't go back to Europe, but I would only for the skiing and definitely not for any cultural experiences.

For many people out there get a huge satisfaction to see things like the Coliseum or Vatican. Unfortunately, I am not one of them. I am much, much happier at Camp Muir on Rainer or on the top of St. Helens, or in Yellowstone then I will ever be in Europe. I am not, nor will I ever be, a person overly impressed with cultural types of things (In fact, it is safe to say I hate anything culturally associated. I am the anti-tourist). On that same note, I have to say that I can guarantee you that it would be a waste of your money and my time for me to go on this trip.

I know you guys are seeing this as a once-in-a-lifetime experience but I can't see it that way because I wouldn't be happy or enjoy it in the least. Paolo asked me to go with him when he went to Europe last summer and I had to decline; now he is going back this coming up fall and I once again declined. Europe for me simply holds absolutely no, zero appeal…

There is nothing closer to hell for me than being in an overcrowded European street surrounded by people that don't speak English and trapped in a concrete and brick jungle. I know I should try to expand my horizons and embrace new things but I have done the Europe thing twice now and I know what makes me happy in this life and what does not, and going to Europe in the summer is exactly what I despise most in this world. For people like Caitlin this will be a great opportunity and she will love every second of it.

I do want to thank you for the incredible opportunity I am sorry I am just not a person who can embrace or appreciate it to the full extent possible. I know you guys will be angry at me for having this decision, but, if at all possible, just try to completely flip your perspective to mine for a second and see how your outlook on Europe changes. Caitlin and you guys would be in hell living in Montana just as I would be in hell in Europe. My personal experience already tells me this.

Sincere thanks,