Every summer Adobe (where John works) shuts down for an entire week. Woohoo Adobe! This means John can actually “check-out” of work which forces us to make the most of this valuable time. This year we were super excited to be able to go to Italy, and we started in Rome.
It was our first family vacation with baby Charlotte and, at 3 months old, we weren’t sure what to expect. What we found is that she is not only very well-natured, and a crowd-pleaser, but she is also our ticket to the front of the line – a nice way to tour Europe in high season. Below is our self-indulgent recap of the trip told primarily through pictures. If anyone is planning a trip to Italy, we’d be happy to share specifics on places we stayed and, more importantly, places we ate. Just send us a note. And, one more thing, John asked me to mention that he realizes he’s wearing socks with his sandals in all these pictures and he doesn’t care that he’s breaking fashion rules 😉
Bright eyed and bushy tailed, grabbing a snack at SLC Airport before the journey began.
Charlotte slept 7 of the 8 hours from JFK to Rome. When the pilot saw how young she was, he felt she had earned her first set of wings which we pinned to her seatbelt. Thus began Charlotte’s crowd pleasing.
We arrived in Rome! Now the never ending task of fitting our luggage, five bags and one giant stroller, into a European sized car. It should really be considered an art form. In the West, we like things big, even our strollers – not sure we would do that again.
The trick to getting on Euro-time is to power through the first day. After forcing ourselves to shower and leave the hotel without a nap, we had our first meal in Italy – kind of a sacred event.
Strolling Via Condotti with baby Charlotte (also trying to stay awake the first day). Nothing says “we’re American” like a stroller that takes up 70% of the sidewalk.
Daddy keeping Charlotte happy. Jet lag is setting in on all of us.
We spent the afternoon walking around downtown and seeing some sites. Here I threw a coin into the Trevi Fountain and legend says that means a sure return trip to Rome.
Enjoying our first dinner in Rome. Jet leg was in full effect here. I started nodding off at the table. Charlotte is not sweating it over there in the stroller. After this, it was off to bed around 9:30 and crossing our fingers we could all get on Euro-time.
The view from our hotel room of the Spanish Steps. It really was magical. On the downside, this was the night that Italy beat Germany in the semifinals of the Eurocup which meant cheering and air horns until 2:30 in the morning. Luckily, Charlotte slept through it all and got a great first night’s sleep in Europe.
On to day two – a walking tour of some of the key sites around Rome. We ditched the stroller and Charlotte spent most of the rest of the trip strapped to daddy in the Baby Bjorn. It looks uncomfortable and kind of silly, but she loved it.
One of the hottest days of the year – 90+ degrees and high humidity. Thank goodness for umbrella vendors.
Cooling off with a delicious Granita right across from the Pantheon. You can see our priorities when we take a picture of the food but forget to take a picture of one of the oldest temples in all of Europe. We learned these refreshing treats are packed with caffeine which we think explains why Charlotte had a crying fit instead of taking her afternoon nap that day. Woops!
Lunch break at Piazza Novana with some prosciutto and melon (one of our favorites). Charlotte adjusting well to her new home, the Baby Bjorn. She and daddy were very close this whole trip.
After a much needed afternoon shower, we went out for a family photo op at the Spanish Steps.
For our last dinner in Rome, we asked the concierge for a non-tourist recommendation for dinner. They sent us to Ristorante 59, a place with only 10 tables where you run into the locals and experience fresh-made pasta. I had my favorite meal – tagliatelle bolognese (basically spaghetti with meat sauce, but oh so good). If I only had one meal left in life, it would be this.
Day three – we had a full schedule for today so we had to pack in a couple thousand calories before 8:00 am. If only breakfast were like this everyday.
Our first stop was The Vatican which had been closed the day before for a holiday. The line to get in was 2.5 hours long if you didn’t have a reservation, or a 3-month-old baby 🙂 Are you kidding? We saw the whole thing in about 40 minutes (we’re not big museum people). That said, it was unbelievably beautiful.
The Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel. A lot of culture for baby Charlotte to take in, but as you can see she didn’t even have to move her head to take in the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. I promise she’s not uncomfortable.
St. Peter’s Basilica – another 2.5 hour line that Charlotte helped us navigate.
The Pieta inside of St Peters. This is one of John’s favorite pieces of art. Michelangelo was 24 when he did this.
The Alter inside St. Peter’s.
This is a taxi! You can see the sense of accomplishment on their faces for getting all of our stuff into a taxi for the short car ride to the rental car office. Off to some R&R in Tuscany.
Tuscany post coming soon. Stay tuned …