John took a few months off this summer and we got to plan a dreamy trip to Europe. It started with Rome; three days and possibly a lifetime of history for Charlotte and Johnny. The Colosseum and the Vatican blew our minds and helped us cure our jet lag. The Trevi Fountain accepted our wishes with a coin toss, especially Johnny’s as he snuck a coin to take home. The Spanish Steps made us feel like we were in the hub of all things Europe – alive and vibrant with street performers and vendors. Charlotte and I loved window shopping and chatting about the fancy displays. By the the end of every day, we were ready to wind down at a quiet restaurant and enjoy a long Italian meal. We celebrated our ninth anniversary here where we walked to a lovely restaurant and spent the evening with Charlotte and Johnny enjoying life, love, and culture. Our cup runneth over with gratitude, especially to have these moments together as a family.
We then headed south to Sorrento – a place we had only ever seen in pictures. It’s hard to put it into words, but it’s like the perfect “Mexico meets Europe”. The ocean, the culture, the food, the doing nothing. Our hotel, Grand Hotel Ambasciatori, was magical. The day started with an amazing breakfast overlooking the ocean and Mount Vesuvius, then a quick change into our swimsuits and down the elevator to the ocean. Instantly the kids disappeared into their own world exploring the rocks and swimming in the calm water. John and I could actually relax on a lounge chair observing them from afar. When it got hot, we took dips in the ocean and swam around in what felt like a giant swimming pool. The evenings were filled with amazing meals and sunsets that took our breath away. It was bliss.
We did a day at Capri and the sites were amazing. There was also a day at Pompeii. The kids soaked in the history in kid-doses and Charlotte impressed us with the depth of her questions. Johnny (still only 4) was mostly into his Italian Fanta and finding rocks.
And then there was Paris…
It was a short stop but the best way to end. We spent half a day at the Louvre for Charlotte. Johnny maxed out after two hours. Mama and Johnny played in the fountains while daddy and Charlotte took in more. What an experience to see our sweet 7-year-old Charlotte wanting more art and history. Afterward, we stumbled upon a fair at the Tuileries with rides and lollipops and all the things. Paris never disappoints. Our last dinner in Europe was spent at a perfect Parisian bistro where we commemorated this incredible journey as a family, and the kids ate snails 😉