Rome Before Home

Aaron loaded Ada and our bags into the car and I took one last tour of our apartment. We made wonderful memories in this little place and I left feeling slightly sad.   We didn’t see half of what I expected while planning this trip, and a lot of those hours spent lost were frustrating;  time we lost because of my inability to read a map. But I also shut the door on the apartment with a smile. Although our experience was limited, I knew it was the beginning of my love affair with Italy. I wanted more of this country and I knew I’d be back, one day.

Alas, Rome called our name. We were to drive to the Hilton Airport Hotel for our early flight home the following morning. Panicker did not panic once and we navigated Rome’s ring road with ease. We arrived at our hotel within two hours.

After spending almost three weeks in apartments, it was strange to be stuck together in one room. There was no privacy, no space to stretch, no space for Ada to freely play. After Aaron returned our car at the rental office in the airport, we all explored the hotel grounds, ate dinner in the hotel restaurant and prepared for our flight the next morning.

Moving sidewalks connect the Hilton Hotel to the airport and we joined the herd of people rushing off for their morning flight. We watched the sunrise over the tarmac surrounded by sleep-walking travelers. Ada gleefully ran and squealed, much to horror of everyone about to board our plane. I figured they’d secretly thank me once she passed out. Which she did.

Ada wasn’t the unruly passenger on our flight. It was a young American woman who was the last person to board our plane and immediately complained she didn’t have space for her bags. The flight attendant made some room in the overhead compartment but then refused to put her bag in for her because it was against the policy of British Airways . This woman had a fit and loudly complained about how difficult it was to travel as a single woman (oh please, try traveling with a toddler). After a brief struggle with her bags she yelled out an exasperated YOU BASTARD!

The plane went quiet. The head flight attendant gave her a speech about politeness in a beautiful British accent. When we finally exited the plane in Heathrow, two security guards took her aside and we never saw her again. She was the only excitement on an otherwise uneventful trip back to San Francisco.

On the plane, heading home....

My Advice for Other Restless Parents:

  • Research, research, research.
  • Be realistic. Plan your trip around your child’s schedule.
  • Learn from other parents mistakes and understand that you’ll make plenty of your own.
  • Keep your options and minds open. Plans will change and that’s okay.
  • Share child responsibilities with your partner and sneak in some alone time.
  • See your destination through the eyes of your child.
  • Laugh

Happy Ada and I in San Gimingano