First of all, if you haven’t already seen Jeremiah and Aspen’s wedding that took place in Italy, go there first. Because not only was it jaw-droppingly beautiful, it was also the MAIN reason we took this trip. I’m telling you right now, if it wasn’t for my brother getting married, there’d be no way you could get me on a 10 hour flight with my two young boys, a belly the size of a watermelon, and ankles swollen to cantaloupes. But, alas, now that it’s all said and done – we really did have an amazing time!
This trip was so different for me in SO many ways. It was my first time traveling foreign with Adam and with kids, and it was Adam’s first time in Europe. Normally, I would have researched and planned and booked this trip down to the SECOND. But we had a LOT going on in our lives leading up to this trip. Not just being pregnant, but finishing our house/construction zone, packing, holidays, living with in-laws for a month, shooting weddings, etc etc. So when I realized the trip was only 2 weeks away and I still hadn’t rented a car….I started to freak out. Not that I hadn’t already been freaking out about this trip, but now I was in hyperventilating freak out mode.
I finally had to throw my hands in the air and say To heck with the plans! We’ll make it. Actually, it wasn’t me that came up with that. It was Adam. He was WAY more chill about this whole thing than I was (granted, he wasn’t pregnant…but still).
Our first flight was an overnight one, landing in Rome. We spent our first day in Rome…..in a hotel. Sleeping. Can you believe it??? Who was this Meghan?? Under any other circumstances I would have shoved everyone into strollers and said “We’re only here for 10 days we gotta make the most of it get a move on it people!!” Instead, we ate at the restaurant in the lobby, rested my aching ankles, and let the kids watch Italian TV.
The next day, we only had one tour planned: The Vatican. Again, under my normal vacation mode, I would have tried to pack in way more activities, but I am SO grateful I just took things easy and did one activity per day. It made it so much easier on my body and on my boys!
We totally lucked out with our kids on this trip. Trust me, they are not angels and I knew things could go very, very bad….but somehow, they just didn’t! During our long tour of the Vatican, Rhenner fell asleep in the carrier and Axton was completely patient and non-whiney. We kept food/eating out as simple as we could and ordered gelato as often as we could!
Before I get started on showing anymore of my photos, I need to share my big confession. A confession that gives me an absolute hole in my gut! This trip, I was so excited to challenge myself to ONLY shoot film for my personal photos (the wedding I shot with both). I was so intent on this that…I completely forgot/just didn’t take pictures of my people! I was so focused on getting cool, “artsy” “Filmy” photos that, while I did come home with gorgeous scenery photos, I have so few photos of my kids and my husband – or even me! – that it just makes me sick with guilt and regret. I would have much rather just taken my digital camera with a giant memory card and gotten TONS of photos of my kids and family that I wasn’t “afraid” to mess up on, than gotten all film images. So while I am glad I have these images of Rome, I wish I had pictures of Rhenner asleep on his dad in a carrier, and Axton wearing the tour guide’s headphones.
The next day we toured the Coliseum. Once again, we somehow got really lucky with our boys’ behavior. Rhenner fell asleep in our stroller (that I am so glad we decided to bring!) and Axton was once again a “big kid” and patient. Here is the ONLY photo I took of the boys while in Rome.
Our next day we spent traveling to Torrita di Siena, where we were sharing a Villa with my brother, his wife and her family, and my parents. The time we spent at the Villa was really quite magical. We were all relaxed, we enjoyed their beautiful wedding day, and we spent time together. I had to say “no” to activities I would have really enjoyed, such as the cooking class I sent Adam to without me and the boys, but I needed to listen to my body. Instead, I spent that day going on walks around the villa with the boys. Here is the ONLY photo I took of the boys in Siena (besides while they were precious ring bearers).
Adam had told me that the one place he would want to go in Italy was Venice. And so, while we only had a full 24 hours to enjoy it, off to Venice we went. I am SO glad we did. We both absolutely fell in love with it. How could you not?? It is so completely charming. We (and the boys) loved walking down the little markets at night with their Christmas lights still up, taking a boat taxi to everywhere we needed to go, marveling at their life with only waterways. It was our favorite part of the whole trip.
and again, here is the only photo I took of the boys in Venice, still on the train ride there
One more quick story….if you’re going to travel at 34 weeks pregnant, make sure you bring a doctor’s note/clearance with you! On our way out of Rome, the airline attendant asked me for mine. I told her I didn’t have one, and that I hadn’t been asked to provide one at all my whole trip. She told me, “Well I don’t know how you got this far then! You need one.” She then proceeded to call her supervisor, who called the next airline – in Spain! – and ask and/or warn them of my arrival. Throughout this whole process she asked me if I wanted to sit down and I told her no way! I didn’t want them to think I wasn’t going to make it through my flights! I was getting agitated – I’m not having this baby here! – but Adam told me I had to be nice….. If you couldn’t tell, not only did we survive, but we thrived! We made it home. And we really loved our trip to Italy! It’s given me more courage to take the boys on foreign trips in the future!