Saturday, January 18, 2014


Posted on January 20, 2014.

Subtitle: The Longest Day Ever

I need to backdate several posts to get us to this point, a year's worth of dreaming and planning, plus some serious thanks to my family and friends for so much help, especially over the past couple of weeks, but I know there are some grandmas anxiously awaiting news of our arrival, so I'll jump right into that.

My mom drove us to the airport at 8:40 a.m. If you had stopped by and seen the state of things at 8:40 p.m. the night before you would have never guessed that we'd be ready to go, and have our house ready for the renters in twelve short hours, but it's amazing what you can get done with a deadline and a lot of nervous energy. :)

I'm trying to work more video in on this are the kids waiting to board our flight to JFK.

Ainsley and Ellie last flew to Florida in January of 2006, so neither of them remembered flying.

Joey got a pair of aviators and has been striking a pose ever since. He's all swagger, asking me how to say "Can I get your number?" in Italian and French. He says his new nickname is "Cool Guy Joey." Funny. This is outside Shake Shack and LaBrea Bakery in the terminal, where we ordered and ate in record time, barely making our connection. If this were a foodie blog, I'd go on about the SmokeShack burger...mmm, peppers.

I can't really be the one to report on either the plane ride from SLC to JFK or from JFK to CDG (Charles de Gaulle, Paris) because I was out most of the time.

On the last leg of our trip, waiting to board an Alitalia flight to Fiumicio airport in Rome.

And...finally there, only to find out that the car we bought couldn't be picked up on Saturday, even though we'd confirmed on Thursday that we could pick it up then. They sent us to Hertz, where they'd arranged for a rental car, but it was a tiny four-seater. The person from the agency we bought our car from suggested that we hire a taxi for our luggage and two people and they'd reimburse us. Umm, no. Luckily they had a nine-seater available and we got out of the airport after only an additional hour or so delay. We had some tired and hungry kids. They were pretty patient in spite of that.

Finally on a road leading to Rome!

When we got to the hotel, Robbie asked me why they had a foot sink in the bathrooms. :)

I found our hotel, Hotel Villa Glori, on priceline, and got a great deal (130 euros/night for two rooms!) for this four-to-five star hotel. We've been very happy here. It's not really in the touristy part of town, so we stand out like crazy, but it's only a few tram stops away from the Piazza del Popolo, then a couple of metro stops to the Vatican.

We dumped our luggage and set out to find some food. We had some delicious pizza by the slice near our hotel.

And then we wandered a little. Can't remember the name of this little footbridge we found, I was still a little incoherent, just trying to stay awake to hopefully lessen the jet lag going forward.

It was about 60 degrees, which felt like summer to us, but we met some friendly Italians who were worried about poor little in Ainsley in her short sleeve shirt. :)

We'd hoped to find gelato, but ran out of steam before we were successful. We were in bed by 8:00 p.m., after going for about 28 hours. Still struggling with the jet lag though, and it's ten p.m., so day two will have to wait.

Buona notte! 


Trisha said...

I am so glad to hear you all got to Italy safely! Please continue to post photos of your international adventures!! Be safe and have a wonderful time!!

Amanda Morgan said...

Love this! Will laughed so hard at Joey's "I'm hungry." And when I told him Joey's new name is "Cool Guy Joey" he said, "I KNEW those sunglasses were cool!" So glad you're having such a fabulous adventure, and really really glad you're posting about it!

CarolLynn said...

Love this!!!

Kimberly said...

This is perfect perfect perfect (well, except for the no gelato part)! Love the video, the sunglasses, the interviews. Only Rob would think the most comfortable outfit for 18 hours of travel is a dress shirt, slacks and sportcoat (?!) Awesome.

Natalie Allen said...

You guys are the coolest! Excited to stalk you for the next few months. :)

Unknown said...

Your house looks just a bit too quiet over there! Glad you're having fun! Rob, happy to see you smilin' on that 13 hour plane ride in coach!!! Whew!!!

The Kyles said...

How fun for you guys!!! =) I can't wait to keep reading about your amazing adventure!!

Unknown said...

I am so jealous!! I am so excited for your family to have this experience of a life time. A flood of memories came as I looked at your pictures. We are excited to tag along with you. Cathy