Well, we survived. And of course, just like everyone told me, it wasn’t as bad as I thought and parts of it were really, really good. I’m just giving the highlights here. So much happened in the last 2 weeks it’s a little tough to process it all. So here’s the important stuff.
– Brady was seriously, unbelievably, amazingly well-behaved and angelic on the whole. He was great on both of the long flights – no crying, no trying to escape into the aisles, very little complaining even. He barely slept on either flight and still it wasn’t a bad experience. The tricks were to run him around the airport so that he was exhausted when we boarded, let him watch whatever the heck he wanted on the little tv, and bring cool new toys to interest him when he got fussy. Thank you to all those parents out there who gave us those little gems.
He also adapted to being away from home and 6 hours different really well. He put up with 2 4-hour, 6-course meals in a row that kept him up past 11pm and was really nice about it. He was amazed by everything we saw – especially all of the forms of transportation which included just about all of them (plane, boat, train, car, incline). I cannot say enough about how wonderful my little boy was on this long, long, very full trip.
Two of my favorite Brady things from the trip were: “I drew that” which he said about everything – graffiti on buildings, signs, posters, store displays – Brady claimed that he drew them all. When we asked him if he really drew them and how he was able to do it all he would say “I draw lots of things.” The other was the Robot Tower, that is Eiffel the Robert Tower. Brady was obsessed with it. We could see it from outside our hotel and he always waved to it and said “Bye Robot Tower, see ya later.” We got him 3 mini Eiffel towers and he carried them everywhere. He still asks me to go see it every morning. Too cute!
– Spending time with my Italian in-laws is wonderful. My mother-in-law has a great, gracious, and loving family. They are the best – and they can cook!!!! We had a bunch of meals filled with yummy food and good people. It’s amazing what a great conversation you can have, even when everyone doesn’t speak the same language.
– I’m happy I didn’t have a destination wedding because it is STRESSFULL!!! It was a gorgeous wedding on a gorgeous day with a gorgeous bride in a gorgeous dress. Overall a wonderful event. But holy moly all the planning and stress that went into making it. Wow!
– Paris is NOT kid friendly. We managed and actually had a good time, but I feel like Parisians just don’t take their kids out. We rarely saw kids. Brady was less than welcome at almost all of the places we went to eat. Nothing is stroller accessible. It’s just tough with a kid to say the least. I also learned a few things about Parisians – they love smoking, motorcycles, and making out in public places. There was more than I could take of all three. It’s a gorgeous city, but I think it’s much better for couples than for families.
– The coolest thing was that we randomly got to meet up with some friends of ours in Paris! This is a couple that we love spending time with and we hadn’t seen them since we visited them in Bermuda last September. Thanks to facebook for letting everyone know what everyone is up to! We had a wonderful dinner with them and got all caught up. Best night in Paris by far!
– Being sick in another country ba-lows!!! I got a cold our last day in Italy that kind of knocked me on my ass in Paris. My in-laws were wonderful about taking Brady and letting me relax, but it was rough. It was hard to find medications and when I found some I had to look up all of the ingredients online to find out what I was taking. And since I was still a stuffy mess on the flight home I ended up with a sinus infection which I thankfully got antibiotics for yesterday. Yay for antibiotics! I’m feeling close to human again today.
So all-in-all the trip was good. Nearly all of the things I was worried about did happen, but they weren’t as bad as I had imagined them to be. Brady was forced to stay up way, way later than I wanted him to. He ended up in bed with us a lot. No one got enough sleep. We didn’t get to do much leisurely sight-seeing. Brady did not sit still during the wedding ceremony. But, he was well-behaved and he timed his naps nicely so that we got to actually do things like go to the Louvre.
Now we’re one of those families who can honestly say “I take my kid everywhere and he’s fine with it.” So yay for us!