christmas vacation - airport delays & a little of rome

This year we decided to do Christmas a little different. The kids are still young & have no expectations of Santa Claus & gifts (not to mention one of them still flies for free), & we had the time off with closing Chad's office for the holidays. So we decided to go to Europe!

London &/or Paris appealed to me (cheaper airline tickets & a photographer/girl's dream). Chad fought for Rome. And then I found decent tickets flying into Rome & out of London. So thus a vacation was born!

If only we knew then that all the complications of the trip would turn our "vacation" into something more of an adventure.

And let me put this disclosure in so your don't mistake my sarcasm for a pity party, because let's be honest, I got to go to Europe!  I feel extremely grateful & blessed for the opportunity!  My hope is that you can laugh at the sarcasm, learn from the mishaps... & a little sympathy is always acceptable- you know, like maybe you could play a sad tune on the world's smallest violin or something on our behalf. :)

Hiccup #1 (In list form for easier reading)
Malfunctioned plane
Replacement plane is late
Missed connection with our in-laws on the flight without us (yes, I spent HOURS researching/coordinating these flights)
Rerouted to another flight as stand by
Max has a diaper leak through his only pair of pants
Can't contact my in-laws to let them know about the waiting transportation
Cab driver waits 2 hours at the Rome airport & is upset
Rome apartment owner is upset because cab driver is upset
Max & Liam are long past their bed time & cranky as heck
My in-laws wait in a very primitive baggage claim 8 hours not knowing what else to do to find us
8 hours later we arrive
We pay an additional 60 euros to get transportation to our apartment
Our Luggage doesn't arrive

Here's some pics of our lovely stay in Holland...the Holland airport that is.  I always collect a magnet & a deck of playing cards from the places we visit.  Usually an airport doesn't count...but I bought a magnet in Holland.  I thought our extended stay there merited at least that.
These are some pictures of our apartment in Rome. It was a lovely apartment. It just had one defect-warm showers. It was either scalding hot or ice cold water, usually the latter.  We stayed in the neighborhood of Trastevere (pronounced Tras-teh-ver-ray).
Below is the essentials kit given us by the airline after losing our luggage. But such a neat surprise- my in-laws had packed stockings & candy & a few toys for a little mini Christmas!  A nice treat after all the airport drama.

I had meticulously planned what to bring to Europe.  I know America is generally behind Europe in fashion, but I hoped to minimize some of that disadvantage.  Well, when you lose your luggage, you suddenly become the most frumpy you have ever been in your lifetime.  So much for my planning.

Instead we go tromping around Rome in the following conditions-

I borrow my father-in-laws long johns so I could have something to wear to bed (extremely sexy)
Chad, the only one with a coat, let's me borrow the inner shell to his coat (extremely feminine)
I layer with my father-in-laws long johns & wear wool socks with my flats (because I'm already getting blisters)
Max wears pants that smell of dried urine (did I mention that we only have a few diapers left)
My hygiene kit does not include conditioner & I just have to let my hair air dry each day (my hair is generally straight/wavy in the front, curly in the back- sounds like a play on a mullet)
Max & Liam keep warm wrapped up in a few of my father-in-laws jackets (yes, dad was the most prepared of our group)
I wore my most comfortable flare jeans for travel...NO one in Europe wore flare jeans!  Thus I feel out of place again.  Sigh.
But then we'd get out & most of that was forgotten. Even the simplest things like a bridge & path along the river seemed magical.  It was a beautiful city.
The Colosseum.
Oh my goodness! We fell in LOVE with the food there! The fire baked pizzas, the cannolis, the gnocchi...Olive Garden or the Macaroni Grill will never be the same for us.
And just a few night shots of the Colosseum.

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