No curve was too sharp for them and their bicycle. No puddle was deep enough to stop them. -- Friends by Helme Hein

15 January, 2012

Christmas in Rome

A few, unsorted, photos of our trip to Rome this December.  It was a good trip, not a spectacular trip.  I think it was probably 5 days too long.  If it were just James and I, our days might have been a little more relaxed, a little more dolce vita, if you'll accept the cliche. But, with a baby in tow, we had to spend more time seeking out play options instead of the best cappuccino.  Ancient Roman cobblestones aren't kind on strollers and drafty, tile-floored Roman apartments aren't kind on knees and elbows just learning to walk.   Throw in a culture that is literally dying because of it's extremely low birth rate, and you won't find a changing table, playground or high chair in the entire city.   It's all a recipe for parental exhaustion and one of us inevitably muttering: I need a vacation from my vacation.

But lest we lead you to believe we were miserable for 10 days, let me tell you about the great things.
 Like the glorious sunshine! 

Oh sunshine, how we had missed you in our lives and we didn't even know it!  Thanks to Italy, we missed the shortest day of the year in Denmark (a mere 7 hours, 1 minute and 12 seconds of daylight).

Exploring an ancient city with a cute little baby strapped to our backs ain't half bad.
  (Trevi Fountain, washed out)
As we had remembered and anticipated, the food and drink were phenomenal.  Pumpkin and rosemary ravioli, wood oven Roman pizza, un cafe at the bar, carafes of vino della casa, pistachio gelato. There was also a fantastic open food market near our apartment where we could pick up fresh buffalo mozzarella, olives, focaccia bread and handmade ravioli.  We ate in more nights than not because it was tough to eat out with the babe.

 Learning to walk on cobblestones isn't for the faint of heart.

 Nor is climbing the steps to the top of Vittorio d'Emanuele.  Even robo-kid needs a breather.

 Roman Forum

 Roman Forum

 A big highlight of the trip was Christmas Eve mass at the Vatican. Even with tickets in hand, we didn't expect to be seated inside the cathedral.  But, luck (and having a baby who doesn't do well with lines) was on our side and we not only got seats, but also stood 3 feet from the Pope as he was wheeled in during the processional.  Woody played it cool.  James may or may not have asked for an autograph.

 We didn't have our camera at the mass, but took a few photos at a different visit to the basilica.  

 Michelangelo's Pieta

 This guy is pretty well preserved for being a couple hundred years old.  I can't remember his name.  Maybe St. Jerome?

 Woody garnered quite a crowd crawling around the floor in the basilica.  Despite (or maybe due to) the fact that there are no babies in Italy, Italians love babies.  They cooed, giggled, hugged and fed our child.  It was lovely to be in a place where babies are treated as everyone's little love (being a baby is nothing special in Denmark).

Roof view from our apartment

 Christmas morning was somewhat unmemorable, but Woody sure loved his stocking full of clackers, maracas, harmonicas and race cars. Santa brought me some olio piccante for my pizza and an espresso percolator!

 creche scene in St. Peter's square

 The refrigerator in our apartment was way too easy to open and this scene was repeated more times than we would like to admit.

 Italian islands below
Even though it's a budget airline, Norwegian Air was still a nice, smooth and easy flight.  They even had free wi-fi!

Making friends

And there you have it.  Nothing too exciting, but some good family time and a change of pace that ultimately made us miss the comforts of home.  Probably just what we needed.