We decided the dates and we let Ryanair decide the location… Brian did a search for cheapest tickets in Europe for the dates we had… and for 175 € total, we had four tickets to Lamezia Terme, Italy. Tack on an AirBnB for 225 € and we were ready to pack our bags!
The weather was warm, but not swimming weather. It was supposed to rain, but it didn’t! The house had no internet, so we played games! The restaurant didn’t serve pizza until after the kids’ bedtimes… but the paninis were amazing. But here’s the real thing: We. Went. Away. We left the house, the dusting and vacuuming, the work emails and discussions, the scramble of backpacks to get to the Kita, and even the rainy Hamburg weather behind… And it was glorious. Tonight, Rowan succinctly summed up our trip by saying, “We flew on a plane… to throw rocks in the water!” Yup. It was a simple trip. And her highlight? It was throwing rocks in the water.
This trip felt like a serious shift. I couldn’t help but recall schlepping through airports last summer (FIVE FLIGHTS in FIVE WEEKS!) with two massive car seats on rollers, countless luggage, etc, etc, etc. (See more about that phase of life here.) Sure, we gave in and rode taxis without car seats both to and from the airport in Italy… going 110 km/hr in a 50 km/hr zone… Thanks, Mr. Italy… But we arrived safely with both kids giggling with delight at the feeling of what I would prefer to call a roller coaster ride rather than a taxi ride. These kids, though. Nevermind the whining–we walked to the Terminals. All of us. One child peed in the toilet for the first time (that I’m aware of at least!) and the other is daytime trained. It was amazing. We’re like an entirely different family travel wise than we were last summer. It’s very freeing.
We also were able to pack so lightly. I pulled up a packing list from last summer to double check if I was forgetting anything… Baby monitor. No need. Stroller. No thanks. Ergo Baby Carrier? Nah. Go back even farther and you can leave at home the nursing cover, the baby bottles, spit up blankets, diaper cream… goodness me. The kids wore their own backpacks! I could get used to this.
So, without further ado, here are some highlights of what we saw. So grateful for sunshine, weather in the 70s, speed scrabble, rummy 500, salami, wine, and the good ol’ espresso. Oh, and sleep. And naps. And more sleep. Ok. And a little bourbon.