Thursday, July 19, 2012

European Vacation- Part III

Like I said earlier, once Elliot took her bottle everything was pretty much smooth sailing for the remainder of the trip The staff on the train came around at 10:30pm to help us pull down the beds for the night. Elliot and I slept on the bottom while Grant took the top. And she slept pretty well on me. Which meant scarce sleep for me, but luckily Grant got a good nights rest. (My rule in our house has always been that only one of us is allowed to be sleep deprived. So, as long as one of us has a full tank of gas, we'll be okay!) And it proved helpful for this trip.

 Mama, if you put me in this ONE more time...

We arrived in Milan at 5am where we had to stop and change trains for Florence. We finally arrived in Florence around 9am and were so relieved. For me, it is a very familiar place and I knew that I would be fine if I needed to veer off from the group. Good thing, because we literally stepped off the train, loaded our things onto a charter bus outside the station and the group headed straight for the Uffizi Gallery for a tour. Elliot and I packed all the things we'd need for the day and left everything else on the bus. We made our way to the Boboli Gardens where I knew Elliot would be able to get down and be free for awhile.

Unfortunately, we were in Florence on a Sunday and fairly early in the morning so some of the shops we had hoped to visit were not open at all this day. We stopped for a picture on the Arno, drooled over some jewelry on the Ponte Vecchio and spent a lot of time in the gardens. We met back up with the boys in the early afternoon and had lunch together. Elliot and I found the gelato place our friends took us to the year before and it was everything I remembered. It's one of the best in Florence, for sure! (Thanks Stephens!).

Despite our presence for less than 8 hours in Florence, we managed to do a lot and capture some of our favorite things in this great city.

 In the late afternoon, we hopped on the charter bus and headed for Montecatini Termi where we stayed a few days. This town is known for its spas and is a place where many tourists come to serve as base for the remainder of their travels throughout Italy. The hotel was so nice and had a gorgeous pool. Unfortunately, it rained the majority of the time we were there but Elliot and I had a great time together, despite the weather.

Well, there were a few moments of blue sky :)

The day after we arrived in Montecatini, Grant and I celebrated our 7th anniversary. Well, he celebrated in Cinque Terre with the boys while Elliot and I celebrated in Monetcatini :). After all the train travel the day before and the knowledge that we'd be back on a bus again several hours to the coast, we opted to stay in town.

concentrating on their sketches in Cinque Terre
while we stroll the streets. I might be the only one having fun in this scenario.

And after a late night of festivities in Montecatini we packed up (again!) and headed to Siena in the morning. We stopped in Vinci on the way to tour the Leonardo da Vinci museum and the town that he was born.


Just a short bus ride away and then we were off again for more adventures. I was in Siena briefly as a college student but didn't stay the night. After a little group touring, we were able to spend some family time together in the city and found several treasures here for our home.

 And then we hit our second breaking point around 1am that night in Siena. After dinner, I headed back to the hotel to put Elliot down for the night as she was especially fussy while Grant and the guys stayed out late. I fell asleep at some point but was sitting on the edge of the bed when Grant walked into the room. Because I found this guy in our bed, along with a few of his friends (cringe).

Long story short, we were pretty sure we killed them all and due to the fact that we were packing up and leaving Siena in less than 6 hours + a sleeping baby, we decided to sleep on the bed without any covers and I covered every inch of my body in as much clothing as possible. We didn't sleep very well but were glad to see morning so we could get out of that place! We were clear of bites and thought everything was okay (we didn't get comped for the room, of course. all fault was denied by the hotel). And things were fine until 2 days after getting back to our house. Grant woke up covered in bites. I mean, covered. All over. I know what you're thinking- we brought them home... but we had an expert come out and he ruled that out. According to a little google research, bites can show up, up to a week after received. We hated to see Grant go through that, but Elliot and I were thankful we were spared!

Okay, back to our last leg of the trip. From Siena, we headed to Rome. We had a great time showing Elliot some of our very favorite places and she was so well-behaved. We kept her out pretty late here, too and she did wonderful.


The Borgehese Gallery

She learned to nap just about anywhere, thank goodness!

Our favorite place to enjoy gelato, the Trevi Fountain
We enjoyed our last dinner in Europe, just the three of us. And it was perfect. We were the only ones eating inside, Elliot slept in the stroller for awhile while Grant and I enjoyed a nice quiet meal together. And it was the best meal of the trip, too. Perfect end to our time in Europe!

We've been home over one month now and we truly miss being there. We are so thankful to have had this opportunity and blessed to have had 16 young men with us to help keep Elliot entertained :). She sure did enjoy their company and I think they enjoyed her, too. (Of course, I never got a picture of them-awful!).

I've loved our trip Momma, but get me home!!

1 comment:

  1. So proud of you for rocking the traveling mama gig! What a trip! And my heart goes out to Grant on the bed bug thing...I caught them while chaperoning a trip during my time at the U of M and those bites were miserable!!! So glad you didn't get them in your home!