North America, Europe · 14 Days · 105 Moments · December 2016

The Waggoner's Italian Adventure!

28 December 2016

We made it home! And as soon as the limo dropped us off, guess what the kids wanted???
So sad to see our trip end, but we're starting our 23 hour journey home.

27 December 2016

My handsome boy at dinner and his 12 days of no shaving. Love this boy
Colonne de San Lorenzo on Via Torino. Pretty cool to see these ruins around the city. Mike and I ran into this gem while taking our last stroll around the city before packing and dinner
Laney and Mike have noticed the ugliest most crazy shoes all over Italy. Now they hunt them out and show them to each other
Challenge accepted! 1 liter
Piazza San Fedele where the Galleria is
Some other cool sights as we walked around Milan
Via Monte Napoleone. The shopping Mecca of the country
La Scalla Opera House and the Statue of Leonardo Da Vinci in Piazza La Scalla
The Milan Cathedral, The Duomo and Galleria de Emmanuel II

26 December 2016

The view from our bedroom balcony. Gorgeous!
Our walk home tonight was fun with Delaney doing cartwheels in the streets and posing in front of the buildings. Of course it gorgeous and she found the worst backgrounds with graffiti... but she thought it looked cool
And more pics of our walk. We ran into the Duomo and it's quite a spectacle at night during Xmas. The whole place reminds me of NYC
We went out for a stroll to grab a drink and shampoo and ran into all this. Gorgeous!
More of the entrance to our apartment in Milan. Mike is like Gandolf leaving Bilbao's house in The Hobbit
Our apartment in Milan. Very central by the Duomo and shopping. Perfect location. I would stay in this area again. Via San Maurilio 18 off of Via Torino. It's only a 5 minute walk to The Duomo and all the major sites in Milan. Perfect location
Delaney had "a thing" for these Kinder Surprise eggs. They are apparently illegal in US because of "choking hazards." She loved them and got them at every opportunity in all our stops
On our way from Venice to Milan. This train made a lot of stops and mom had too many proseccos

25 December 2016

When the only tv station in English is playing "The Sound of Music", desperation sets in!
Seriously.... our last two apartments said we were on the second floor. Apparently they either can't count in Italy or "second floor" means "top floor". Leg workout!
Our apartment in Venice. Kinda small and the beds aren't that comfy. Not very central but affordable. Otherwise very nice and amazingly over the canal!
A funny little place of worship by our apartment. A little 6 x10 building. Very cool
The kids were obsessed with getting quills to write with at school. "Pleeeeeeeeease Mommmmmmmm?"
My Aperol Spritz!
Buon Natale
More Rialto Bridge after we went back to get Delaney
The Charlie Brown Christmas Tree
A Christmas stroll through the streets of Venice with Delaney and her awesome photo skills!
Buon Natale from our balcony in Venice!
Photo shoot on our balcony in Venice!
Buon Natale from the Rialto Bridge!
We want to take one home!
Me and my baby in Campo San Bortolomio. Buon Natale!
Buon Natale. We are in a stroll getting lost in the streets of Venice and found this beauty. Basilica Santissimo Giovanni e Paola

24 December 2016

Another lovely dinner I would recommend. The owner of our Airbnb said it's one of his favorites in Venice. Osteria Ae Spezi
Beautiful gondola ride through the Grand Canal. These drivers are super impressive with their steering. A gorgeous ride
My new favorite Murano glass Santa from San Marco Square. Got one for mom too! Sooo beautiful! Paid way too much.... shhhh. There were so many Murano glass stores but he was my favorite
Saint Moises Church, which is on a beautiful high end street to shop on that connects to San Marco Square. This is where we caught our gondola ride.
Winner meal so far! Rossopomodoro off of San Marcos Square. Sooooo Delish!
Piazza San Marco and Basilica Di San Marco. Actually the most entertaining thing was watching the pigeons hors at people's feet. Kinda freaky. And the stores were beautiful on the perimeter
A view of the Bridge of Sighs
We had a beautiful stroll along the very small alleys and canals on our way to grab some lunch and do some sightseeing. Not one car around and the alley ways are barely 2 people wide. The kids found a place for hot dogs and grabbed a long needed American snack (although it was wrapped in pizza dough, but close enough)
Firefighters mode of transportation in Venice. Love it!
We have arrived in Venice. Our vaparetto (water bus) ride was a little confusing to catch but was pretty
It's Christmas Eve and we are moving to Venice to spend the holiday. A brisk trip to the termini to can the train, then the kids and Mike were dying for McDonalds and now on to Venice 1st class.

23 December 2016

Another AMAZING meal. This one is top of our list too. Fuoco Matto. I had the octopus over pesto and Mike had a fillet. The kids had their normal pizza and spaghetti. So delicious!
Yep... nativity scene made out of pasta. Only in Italy!
Mercado Centrale. We went there each day and got lots of leather goods. There are leather shops and other tourist tents outside and the inside is a food paradise, although quite stinky. We noticed in the grocery stores there is very little fresh food and it seems to be because people come here to shop for produce and meats. Laney and Dawson didn't like it inside. Way too many pig heads and other animals and fish staring back at them from the cases
Finally walked over to Vivoli for gelato. Completely overrated. We should have stopped at one of the other dozen gelateria's we passed
More Ponte Vecchio goodness!!! Such an amazing meal. Il Santo Bevitore is TO DIE FOR!! Thank you to Tracy Tyoran for another great recommendation
We shopped where all the fun high end shops were. The boys wouldn't even step a foot in the stores so Laney and I didn't get the full experience but it was fun. Via de' Tornabuoni
Hot chocolate here is literally a cup of molten chocolate here. Laney says is like drinking a melted Hershey bar

22 December 2016

Thanks to Kimo for putting up with all of the nonsense to make this happen. She's awesome!
I absolutely love the alleys! The setup of the city is fascinating. Literally every business is a family business and it is demonstrated in every detail. It is incredibly beautiful!
Loved our restaurant tonight at the recommendation of Tracy Tyoran and Jane Flack, and upon further review many travel blogs. I would definitely recommend Il Latini! Mike had the bistecca florentine which weighed more than his head! Laney had a roast pork that was beautiful and yummy and of course Dawson stuck to ravioli as usual. I had the stewed beef in a chianti tomato sauce and was not disappointed. The house wine was also recommended and was perfect with the meal! The waiter was amazing and brought us lots of yummy treats to try.
The elevator from hell. Our apartment was on the 2nd floor, which is like 4 American floors and I refused to get in that tiny thing. Inside it had a warning about people getting stuck. Oh no!
1 point for America. The "bars" here are coffee shops. It's virtually impossible unless you can find an elusive Irish Pub to sit at a bar and have a cocktail. Boo!!!
There was a Museum of Music in the Academia. Small but interesting
We went to the Accademia. The original statue of David is here and is very impressive. It used to be in the Palazzo Vecchio but they moved it here and put a copy there. The kids were not loving it but we promised them gelato and beer after! Oh... and we had a huge laugh because we had a hard time (more than normal) getting Laney to take the picture in front of the statue of David because she didn't want to be in a picture with "a guy that has his penis out for everyone to see... HANGING over her head." Bahahahaha
I am so entertained by the taxi drivers! The pictures don't do the narrowness of these alleys justice, but the taxi drivers will be flying through at 35 kph. It is so fun. 😀
Today we visited the Ponte Vecchio. It's the only bridge the Germans didn't destroy in WWII and one of the rulers only allowed jewelers to open shops on the bridge to keep it classy. I wanted to shop. They all could care less. I'm sneaking out and going back. Beautiful . Edit: after lunch we went back and they bought be a beautiful gold necklace for my birthday. Yay me!

21 December 2016

Kim has already posted a number of pictures and if you hadn't noticed, there are Churches on nearly every corner. And, they are all amazing!
Well, we have successfully arrived in our next stop in Florence. We took a train from Rome this morning and it was really impressive. The train was new and moving g along at about 110 mph. So cool.
Piazza Santa Maria Novella
Piazza San Marcos. Rather unimpressive but pretty
We found another market on our walk back to the apartment and Dawson bought a wallet. Piazza Sella SS Annunziata
I was so excited to go to the famous German Christmas Market at Piazza Santa Croce. We had sausages and beer ... and our new favorite mulled wine. The kids enjoyed buying pastries to bring home.
Duoma in Florence - Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower
Parking is a bit of an issue as well. And LOOK OUT when the hordes of scooters show up! It's like the Hell's Angels! Only women in heels and puffy jackets driving like people possessed.
We have arrived in Florence and love our apartment. Great location. Close to train station, Mercado Centrale and San Marcos Square. Via 27 Aprile 18. We might not leave our place. Laney loved posing in all my pics Edit: we absolutely love our apartment but we noticed the Duomo is a bit more central, if we had to pick a central location to stay (and lots of high end stores near there). Would probably find a place closer to there next time although we love our apartment.
On the high speed train to Florence. We had our own compartment in first class and enjoyed watching the Countryside in the 1.5 hour trip which seemed even shorter. We think the train was going about 110+ mph so it made a long journey much shorter. #spoiled
Leaving our home on the way to Florence. Goodbye to our little "bar" next door which got us "American coffee," breakfast sandwiches and donuts each morning
This was one of the personal cars in Rome. Mike would never do well in Rome

20 December 2016

Campo Fiori. Second time is a charm. I've been waiting to go here and they were closing when we arrived yesterday. Yummy cheese, meats and produce. Also went to this highly recommended restaurant and we were not disappointed. Grappolo d'Oro
Roman Aqueduct. Was 40 miles long. In ruins now
After the Catacombs, which we could not take pics in but was very impressive, we went through the Roman countryside on the Appian Way where the only original road is. Mike had to stop for his 8th espresso of the day too and Delaney counted confirm wrappers... smh

19 December 2016

Palatine Hill- Where the emperors and rich lived. It overlooks the city and the forum
Arch of Titus
More Forum
The Forum. Crazy busy and full of ruins. It's been rebuilt many times
Ruins of the Temple of Venus and Rome
The Arch of Constantine
The Coliseum... with the tour guide who wouldn't stop talking... and couldn't walk and talk

18 December 2016

The Trevi Fountain. The gang was pooped by the time we reached it but I still threw a coin in. I will be coming back!
The Valentino building. Look at all those lights
The Spanish Steps. Built by Spanish and French and recently refurbished by Fendi.
We're back in Piazza Navona.
The Pantheon was closed but we will go back later. Kids were bummed
One of the original temples and an interesting view showing how Rome was built on top of another city and the ruins all lay underneath us
St Ignacio's church. Ceiling paintings amazing. Amazing that the artist made it look like domes in the ceiling but it's an illusion
Going on Segway tour to see a tour of city. Wish us luck!
He's legal here! His first beer he could order legally! Enjoyed our first restaurant by the house. Laney had margarita pizza and everyone loved it. Dawson and I had ravioli pesto which didn't taste or look like we expected but best ever! Would definitely go back
Piazza Navona- our first stop. We got lost on the way to Vatican City. The architecture is stunning
Vatican City- St . Peter's Basilica- Sistine Chapel- amazing! We finally got our bearings and found it! Laney was excited to go take a recreation photo from one of her teachers. They had a beautiful nativity scene and they were setting up for Christmas mass. So pretty- and no one burnt into ashes as they set foot in such a holy place. Phew!
Our awesome place in Rome. Perfect location. I highly recommend this area Bianchi Nuovi 39, or the Travastere area
We're off on our final leg from Philly to Rome. So excited. We got awesome seats and the kids said they would be cool if the flight lasted longer in their mini suites. By the end, we were all very ready to get off regardless of our nice accommodations. #Spoiled #ItalyHereWeCome
Made it to Philadelphia. Laneys friend from Philly said she HAS TO stop and get the best donuts ever! Imagine our surprise when we realized it was Dunkin Donuts. Of course we had to tell her there was one less than a mile from her school.
On our flight to Philadelphia. Surprised the kids with first class. They slept the whole way. #spoiled
And we're off! The kids didn't even go to sleep last night to make sure they could sleep on the flights. Car service came at 3:30am! Coffee please!

16 December 2016

T minus 12 hours and this is happening! I sure hope the house makes it to some semblance of normalcy before we take off.

15 December 2016

Better late than never! Trying to learn a little Italian with 30 hours until departure!