“Was this a huge mistake? We had been up for 20 hours, but it wasn’t then that the question was asked. The flight was fine, and in an effort to be cautious of our budget we had opted to take the bus into town instead of a taxi, which would save us $80CAD. The bus ran every 15 minutes so we thought, like morons, that we would just hop on the bus at the airport and transfer into the city centre. We did not for some reason, consider that the majority of passengers on every other flight would all also want to just hop on the bus, leading to utter chaos at the bus stop. I loves me a line up and that just isn’t a thing in most parts of the world. The deal was this — I would put three large suitcases onto the bus and Tyler would put his elbows up and get a seat. An hour later we were on, and just about to be stuck in traffic with a baby screaming at the top of his lungs the entire time. It wasn’t then that the question was asked, either.
After arriving at the Termini in Rome — with a new plan of I will hold Baby by the wall, and Tyler will get the luggage — I suggested we get a taxi from there. Enough was enough, surely, and “I am soooo tired, Tyler.” The reply would be regretted and apologized for well into the evening, a reply that sounded an awful lot like “It will be good for us to walk.”
I’m not sure if like my dad, Tyler opted to pack literal weights in his carry on (side note: my dad packs them for scuba, I still am not sure what was in Tyler’s?), but I had my 40lb backpack on my back, his 50lb carry on on my front, and two sweaters, and Tyler had a baby on the front, his 40lb backpack on his back, a rolling 55lb suitcase filled entirely of diapers/wipes/bottles/formula, and the diaper bag. It was about 1.2 kms into that walk, you know, the one that was dead quiet the whole time, that the question was asked. Tyler replied a somber “I don’t know” and we continued to walk in silence past beautiful parks, stunning architecture, and more pizza restaurants than even we could take on.
Ok, the bright side. Our apartment is fabulous. We are down the street from Trevi Fountain (and not “oh ya, down the street” but turn-right-out-the-front-door-walk-about-20-seconds-past-three-gelato-shops down the street). It’s a clean and sunny corner unit, and is in a charming building that has one of those 20 foot high front doors that are so prevalent in Europe.
We’re in Rome. Have you been to Rome? If so, there’s not much more that needs to be said. If you haven’t, I can’t fully describe its magic. Every meal you eat is delicious, and every coffee you drink is perfect; it is acceptable to eat ice cream anytime of day, and Nutella is always a flavour that is available; around each corner is a surprise — a beautiful building, an open square, ANOTHER GELATO SHOP — and each is as good or better than the last, and all of this is happening somehow with the faint sound of accordion in the background, from a busker. It’s perfect, and that’s just day time. When the twinkly lights start, and the streets are filled with diners, overflowing from restaurants, it’s arguably the most romantic city in the world.
Two more bright-sides, and then I’ll stop rambling, I promise.
First, good news women of my family! Every woman over 65 in Rome is also telling us how to raise our baby. We were told that Rome loves babies and they weren’t kidding. We had noticed in the day time that it was actually Roman men that love babies. The gentleman who checked us into our apartment replied “they are pure, they are saints” as a part of his answer that yes, you could change their diaper anywhere in the street (since bathrooms and change stations aren’t readily an option…he had only seen one change station and it was at the Vatican). As the day went on, it kept getting more and more funny — police at the airport had fawned over Baby, and a 20-something year old busker actually stopped his performance to come and smile saying “I love you baby!” But in the evening, the women came out. Oh my gosh. One lady came over when he was eating,and scolded us for not having socks on him, then took our receiving blanket and wrapped him up appropriately. Another physically took him out of Tyler hands to demonstrate how we should be holding a baby, and a frail 80-ish year old women mimed “can I kiss him?” before planting a big kiss on the top of his head. Ha. Such a hoot.
The last great part about our first full day here? After pushing through and being awake for 32 hours to try to avoid jet lag (and worrying every time Baby slept at his usual sleep-times), Baby slept for nine hours straight through the night, and we all woke up at 9 am local time. Did we just beat jet lag with an infant?
So, in answer to the question: definitely not. As my grandma Joanie always says “everything is better on day two of travel.”
J, T, and the Good King