The Great Italian Roadtrip

Surviving the flight to Rome with twins.

Thursday October 11 Santa Fe to ABQ/DFW/heathrow/FCO 

Wow. Delayed in ABQ. Arrived at DFW gate in time to board. Took 1.5hrs to get to gate in Heathrow (stroller, walking, waiting in line at transfer area, shuttle to terminal 5, walking to gate, changing girls) and arrived with flight starting to board. While we weren’t THAT close to missing the flight, it was the first time in their many flights that we didn’t have a chance to get a bite to eat before any of the connections. It’s a good thing these were international flights that served food.

Despite our repeated concerns before every long haul flight, our girls were great once again. We were lucky to get an open seat between us which made life much easier for all. They both woke up during the flight for an extended period. We are clearly spoiled as this change from our great little sleepers caught us a bit by surprise. They still slept for 6-7 hrs of the 9 hr long haul flight.

Tired twins!

Tired twins!

 

In the past few weeks our twins have developed an attention span. This might not sound like a huge breakthrough, but we are now able to distract them with videos and iPads. While this isn’t the best or only way to keep them occupied, it is certainly a great arrow to finally have in the quiver. It is an easy, low intensity way (on the parents’ part) to occupy them when they get a bit antsy. I don’t want it to turn into a daily, non-travel crutch, but I’m ecstatic that we can finally use this to keep them busy for part of the trip. We make the 32 hour door to door marathon trek to Malaysia every year. That’s a long time to keep a toddler occupied 1 on 1 – even after they sleep for 8-9 hours on the long haul.

As our girls demonstrated great resilience while sitting in the car for long periods during our trip to Malaysia a couple of months ago, we decided to do a bit of a road trip through some of Italy ‘less-traveled.’  Recently turning their car seats around to face forward has been a boon for their tolerance to road trips. It has not, however, made things easier for my wife and I as google maps and driving after dark got my wife and I off track. We were saved by our GPS which proved much more adept at finding our apartment rental lickety split. Of course, it might have been smarter to turn it on sooner.  We spent an hour filled with roundabouts, wrong turns, and frustrations and were still 3 turns and 1km away from our destination (which was only 10 min from the airport). 

We decided to ease into our first night back in Italy.  After taking the long road, we checked into Amelindo rental at 20:30. We brought in our pre-packed gear for the 1 night stay before walking across the street to a local pizzeria. The porcini (mushroom) and gamberi (shrimp) pizza was good- Lynne’s self-proclaimed lifetime favorite.  There was a bit of a letdown as we had to ‘settle for’ gelato as they were out of tiramisu. Somehow the problems in Italy are easier to swallow than those at home. Truly it is ‘la dolce vita.’

Jet lag. It is the arch-enemy of all parents who travel with young children. Duration and severity are as unpredictable as the little monkeys themselves. Speaking of monkeys, our little ones spent an hour getting in and out of the cribs. Big girl beds will come soon, but the middle of the trip isn’t the time. Quick shower, PJs, and a dose of Benadryl for each in the hope of easing their transition to a new schedule. 

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