The Birthday Holiday
Henry is a fantastic traveller. We left our house at around 3pm Thursday and got to our hotel 9pm Friday; with a time difference of something like 7 hours. No fussing, crying, or acting out. Thanks to Alison, who leant us her Ergo carrier (an absolute must for new parents, now that I have been able to borrow one and test it out) napping on the go was a cinch. Im sure it added to Henry's 9 month separation anxiety, but we just had to live with that for the time being. He slept about 7 of the 8 hour flight to Amsterdam, played in the airport, slept on the small flight to Rome, played in the train station, ate dinner on the high-speed train and then crashed in the Ergo on the (far too long) walk to the hotel.
Florence is nice... a little too touristy, but nice. We hopped on a little bus (adding to Henry's transportation experience), walked around a little and ended up in the major museum that is the place to go. We walked in and I looked around; looked at Danny and said "what are we doing here?". We dont like art work. Danny informed me that Florence was all about artwork. We decided after that, to save the money and just look at the architecture from the outside of the building; much more our thing, and free! We never ventured into any supermarkets and Henry wont eat jarred baby food anyways, it just makes meal times a battle (which we arent used to) so he ate like an Italian! Fresh Buffalo Mozzarella, diced tomatoes, Pesto Gnocchi, Ragu meat sauce with Parpadelle pasta, freshly baked bread, pizza and lots and lots of Gelato! The Italians LOVED him! Everywhere we went people went crazy for our little Bambino! I was nursing him on a train once and this woman kept turning round to look at me. I hoped that public nursing wasnt taboo in Italy (as that was going to make the trip hard) and just kept smiling at her. When he was finished nursing and he sat up, she started smiling at him and making faces. So she just kept looking at us to see when he was done so that she could interact with him! As it turned out, nursing wasnt a big deal in Italy at all, waiters even came over to take our order while I was feeding him.
That was really all we did in Florence... eat a lot, walk around even more and look at the lovely architecture. What I enjoyed most about the trip, was getting to spend lots of time with my very handsome, very wonderful men, with no house work or yard work to think about, or even work work for that matter!
Getting to Pisa could have been a mission, but it worked out ok. We got to the train station in Florence in just enough time to buy a ticket, run across the station to collect our baggage, run back across the station, along the platform and pile onto a train. Then the train got several stops away and stopped. We just sat there. A group of women got on the train blaring loud obnoxious music from their phones and I was about to loose it when someone came and announced to the carriage that there were no trains going to Pisa tonight. It was a Sunday. So everyone disembarks and makes their way outside of the train station. Where are we? What are we going to do? After some time of just standing around with everyone else we approached some folks to see if they wanted to share a taxi to Pisa. It didnt really matter how much it cost (probably around 100 Euros), we had a baby and he needed to sleep in a bed that night. After organising this with a British couple, everyone starts flooding back into the train station. It seems that the trains were running again. So Henry asleep in the Ergo, and Danny loaded like a pack donkey with our gear, we run through the train station, under the platform, up the stairs, along the platform to find a carriage where we could actually fit in and we make it onto the very first carriage. But Danny slipped in the confusion and all I saw was his leg disappearing between the train and the platform. Instantly I started processing where the hospital might be, but he was fine, thank goodness! When we got to Pisa and called our hotel for the pick up, they were on their way to pick up another couple, turns out the people we were going to share a taxi with were also staying at the same hotel!
In Pisa we walked to the Leaning Tower, of course! Henry was having a fantastic time at the railing, so we let him play their for about 30 minutes. We walked around (outside, of course!), he slept in the Ergo, we bought him some Italian clothes (that were made in France - duh!). Played at a children's park and found a fantastic hole in the wall, totally out of the way place for lunch with communal tables and benches, self serve wine and water and great food!
That night Henry and I flew to England. He slept in the Ergo from 30 minutes before the flight began until we landed. I think this is where we got our stinker of a cold because no one else that we were living with had it or got it.
I will have to write about England another day! I still have ironing to do before H wakes up! Never mind, he is awake!