After 16 days, 3 countries, 27 hours of flight time with a 14-month-old, 5 hours of total flight time without baby, 12+ hours in a car with baby, 6 bus rides, 2 train rides, innumerable taxis, 2 sleeping pills, 2 all-nighters, countless bottles of wine, 12 gelatos, 4 lbs (a small price to pay), many frustrated screams, many, many nervous laughter outbursts (I tend to laugh at inappropriate times when I am stressed), 1 amazing wedding, 1 week with my husbands lovely family, 0 relaxation and too much laughter to count… I have returned. And along with a small spare tire around my belly and a couple of crappy souvenirs (sorry family!) I have brought many stories to tell. But, as I am still exhausted from everything listed above, I will start you out with the following list.
10 THINGS I DID ON MY SUMMER VACATION
1. Discovered that a baby screaming on a plane while all the other passengers are trying to sleep is NOT the end of the world. As much as I was dying inside at the thought of being “that mom”, I got over it. And I am sure that the other passengers did too. Eventually. And even if they didn’t, I will most likely never see any of them again anyway.
2. Learned the art of the afternoon nap. Italians are very good at this. It took me a couple of days and a couple of bottles of wine at lunch to learn, but I finally got the hang of it… just in time to come back to the real-non-napping world.
3. Walked around in my bikini WITHOUT SUCKING MY STOMACH IN. Hey, if 82-year-old Italian women with breasts that look like beach balls in a trash bag can rock a bikini with confidence, I sure as hell can too.
4. Stayed up all night to confirm that, yes, currently there are nearly 24 hours of daylight in Norway. Twice.
Bonus: No getting up with baby, who was safely with her Grandparents in a different country. Hallelujah!
5. Made sand castles on the beach, paddled around with the entire family on a paddle boat with a slide, rented one of those 6 person bicycle-cars where you strap your kids to the front, and partook in other various cliche familial activities I swore I would never do – and had more fun than I have had in a long time.
6. Gained 4 lbs. This is only notable because I expected it to be much more considering my daily meal schedule in Italy:
Breakfast: Americano coffee with latte frio. Brioche and toast with Nutella.
Lunch: Salad and grilled vegetables, followed by a first course of pasta or risotto, followed by a second course of meat or fish, followed by a dessert of fruit or gelato. All washed down with a few glasses of white wine and sparkling water.
Aperitivo: 1-2 drinks made with Aperol, such as a Negroni (gin, Aperol, and sweet vermouth) or Aperol Spritz (champagne and Aperol) plus nuts, focaccia, chips or whatever the bar brings to the table.
Dinner: Another 4 delicious courses, similar to lunch, ending with fruit and dessert.
Walk around town, ending with 2 scoops of gelato. Yum.
See… only gaining 4 lbs is pretty much a miracle. Maybe I sweat off the rest of the weight on the night the hotel air conditioning broke. Don’t ask.
7. Spent hours and hours walking around the small Italian town of Cesenatico in the middle of the night when my jet-lagged and over-excited daughter didn’t want to go to sleep. AND kicked my flip-flop an impressive distance when a cockroach crawled on my foot during one of these walks.
8. Sang Itsy-Bitsy Spider in every single accent my husband and I could think of (British, Southern, Gangsta, Spanish, Indian, Rastafarian, Alien, the list goes on and on…) in a desperate attempt to entertain my daughter after 5 hours in the car.
9. Saw more peni (is this the plural of penis?) barely concealed in thin spandex speedos in one day than I ever hoped to in an entire lifetime. I’m still recovering.
10. Learned to let it go (kind of), take a breath and just laugh when my daughter didn’t behave as I would like. She was in a new place with new food, new people, new schedule… new everything. Is it any wonder that she doesn’t want to sit in her high chair for a 2-hour 4-course dinner, stay seated and silent after 9 hours on a plane, or sleep when WE wanted her to even though her body was telling her otherwise? When I would get really frustrated, I forced myself to take a step back and just laugh. Usually. If that didn’t work, there was wine and gelato.
Until next time… Ciao!