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Italy and Greece – Parents Hall Pass!

After a little time off from writing and being a parent…I’m back!  Summer has now wrapped and my husband and I topped it off with a trip for two.  Parents Only!  Before we left I was a little weary about leaving our 16 month old for almost two weeks, but the moment the wheels went up on the airplane and I had my first cocktail in my hand all those parent guilty feelings flew out the cabin!  All I could think about was, what sites to see and cocktails to have when we arrived.  We had two weeks to live it up and stay out past eight.  What happens when time doesn’t matter and there are no curfews?  What if there were no nap schedules, no eating schedules, no bedtime routine schedules…well let me show you!

Here’s a little look into our travels to Venice, Florence, Athens and Santorini.  We packed a lot in and ended the vacation on the beach!  Oh the things you can do when time has no restraints…

First stop Venice!  Straight from the plan to a boat, headed to the city center.  Yep, there’s the gondolas…we are definitely in Venice.  Could we have done this with a stroller.  Maybe, but I sure feel relaxed right about now, no thoughts of how to get the baby gear in and out of the boat.  A strange feeling I need to get use to, and let me assure you, I’m getting use to it quite quickly!!

One of the most unique cities in the world.  A city made up of 120 islands, almost 500 small bridges, lagoons and 100 churches.  A picture perfect scene around every corner.  I could get use to this lifestyle!

A city that has never modernized architecturally and has been around since the 10th century BC.  I think I could live a car free lifestyle and travel by boat.  Like they say…if you can make it in NYC then you can make it anywhere :)

The symbol of Venezia!

A local Venetian neighborhood…

A classical performance in Venice, a must!  Listening to the orchestra perform Vivaldi’s Four Seasons at an ancient church along the Grand Canal in a city with so much art history was a highlight of our trip.

Looks like it’s time to part with Venezia and our beloved afternoon drink, the Spritz!

Bye-bye canals, lagoons, gondolas and gondoliers, San Marco, Cathedral, Doge Palace, vaporettos, delicious fresh pasta, little bridges, narrow streets, ancient venetian artwork, churches around every corner, long Venetian dining experiences, carnival masks, and of course, the evening bright orange Spritz and aperitivio.  Ciao Venezia!

Buongiorno Florence!  I’ve seen this view in magazines and on t.v. and now here we are!

The Duomo.  The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Our Lady of the Flower).  The third largest church in the world, which took 140 years to build.  Spectacular!

Quick trip to the Chianti countryside.  Had a fair dose of wine on my Adults Only trip.  Loved Tuscany wine, but still faithful to my Napa.

When in Italy, expect to eat and eat a lot!!  I tried every type pf pasta dish and Italian pastry I could get my hands on!  Needless to say, I’m back on my bike, but so worth it.

Here we are at a traditional Florentine restaurant enjoying an amazing homemade pasta dish (2 pics above) and a biscuit pastry with sweet liquor.  One dip and I was already feeling it!!  Tuscany wine followed by a sweet shot of liquor…uh oh!  I might be in bed by the 8:00pm curfew.

Now time for a pit-stop in Athens and then to Santorini!  Ciao Firenze, Uffizi museum, David’s on every corner, amazing Tuscany wines, Renaissance buildings, Chianti vineyards, Michaelangelo’s artwork-home-tomb-road, Salvatore Ferragamo and Arno River.  Arrivederci Italy!

 

Hello Greece!!!  I tried to learn a few words in Greek, but it was all Greek to me :)

The Acropolis in Athens…a UNESCO site that must be visited!  Wow, the ancient history under our feet and before our eyes.

Hello Santorini – now pool time and relaxation!  A destination I’ve only seen in pictures and now a place I can call one of my favorite islands ever visited.  Look at that picture…have you ever seen an area like it?!  Gorgeous everywhere you turn.

A signature of the island…blue doors.  One of the three blues that represent the island..the blue sea, the blue roofs and the blue sky.

One of the many stairway illusions on the island that leads a person straight to the clear blue ocean.  I’m on my way!!

Amongst the white buildings and deep blue roofs and doors were other vibrant colors of red and green, and the beautiful fuchsia flowers that popped up everywhere.

Everywhere we turned there was a picturesque view!

Open a door and it felt like it led you straight to heaven!

Lets not forget the sunsets and the yummy Greek food and amazing restaurant views.  Dining was an experience in itself…felt like nothing was between you and the ocean.   Do we look like refreshed parents?  Taking in our last sunset!!!

To the last night of a memorable trip with my sweet husband.  What a great experience and relaxing vacation.  Tomorrow back to being parents, with curfews, schedules and less couple’s time, but I can’t wait!  In 24 hours I’ll be giving Maddie a huge hug and hearing all about her experiences with grandpa and nana…a time together that is just as important.

Do you have a trip you took somewhere near or far that is unforgettable?  Would love to hear about it.

Until next ride,

Amy

Amy’s Whine

 

It’s been one of those days.  My husband is away this week for work and my 15 month old is teething, fussy, and hanging on my leg every second and has decided to start taking only one nap.  I’m ready for the one nap, truly, but does it have to be this week?  Lunch was tossed on the floor, followed by dinner.  Do I need a cooking class?  Are my meals not even baby worthy?  The time had come, Maddie was in bed - time for mommy juice.  I grabbed the first bottle of wine I found in the kitchen, shoved in the corner behind the tupperware, then called another mommy friend, Lourdes (who has 4 little girls!) and vented.  It felt so good to swap stories and turn the frustration and tiredness into laughter.  Turned out we both needed it!

I’ve been getting things ready for our guests coming this weekend – aka, grandparents coming to babysit for a couple weeks.  I know it’s not going to be easy for them and I’ve been baking, cleaning, getting things organized, and making lists after lists – I’m calling it “The Survival Guide.”  Trying to make things extra special hoping it relieves some of my guilt.  Guilt, for leaving my 65 year old father and Katheryn with a 16 month old for almost two weeks and hoping Maddie doesn’t think mommy abandoned her!

Gondolas, beaches, no curfews – gondolas, beaches, no curfews – gondolas, beaches, no curfews.  Okay I’m back in packing mode!

But first, where’s my mommy juice?  Did you know women purchase 64% of the wine sold in the U.S., but most labels are marketed for men.  Mommy Juice was started by a mom and the title was derived from her kids always referring to a bottle of wine as their mommy’s juice!  Just knowing that I have got to try it.  Ordering my $10 bottle tonight!!

Ah, feeling better already.  Nothing like girl talk with a glass of wine and a little writing to cure any whiner’s whine.

Do you have something you whine about and it’s really not that bad?  Please tell!

Until next ride,

Amy

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