Our Roman Holiday

We’re nearing the end of our stay in Rome, ready – we think – for our drive to Positano on Thursday morning. Our Roman holiday has been great, with lots of memories, some good lessons, and more girlfriends for Henry.

Our first lesson: Italian taxis don’t have a lot of trunk space, which makes it hard when you’re travelling with two months worth of luggage and baby toys. Our ride into Rome from the airport, we’re hoping, was the low point of our vacation.  We were packed in a tiny Fiat with luggage all around us in stop-and-go traffic for hours when Henry got car sick all over himself, Kristine, our luggage, and the taxi.  The driver was great about it and was prepared with towels to clean up the mess. We thought it couldn’t get any worse, but it did. When we finally made it to the general area of our hotel, the driver got lost. The quick turns, bumpy cobblestone streets and starts and stops caused Henry to get sick all over again. Lovely.   But we finally found the hotel, and Henry’s vomit fest turned out to be a blessing in disguise – the Hotel Raphael felt so bad for us that they upgraded us to a suite for free.  Nice work, Henry! By the time he was in his PJs, his face had returned to it’s normal color and the famous Henry smile was back. We even let him play in the bidet. The Hotel Raphael is excellent, by the way, and we’d recommend it to anybody staying in Rome – with or without carsick baby.

henrus maximusstatue bidet fun 3

After that ordeal, we decided to have an easy day getting oriented in Rome by taking a leisurely walking tour on Monday.  We stopped in a few cafes and learned how to eat a quick breakfast (croissant and espresso) standing at the bar.  We strolled up to the Spanish Steps, past the Villa de Medici, to a viewpoint overlooking the Piazza del Popolo.  Kristine had a small pout because the church she wanted to see had just closed.  But we saw some great stuff – including the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon and some amazing views of Rome.

kristine in front of fontana delle Naiadi kristine and henry at roman cafe lunch tim throwing coin into trevi fountain

Tuesday morning we awoke refreshed and ready to tackle the Vatican City.  By 9 we were on our way, stopping for quick shots of espresso at three different cafes and fruit from a vendor along the way.  We crossed the bridge d Saint Angelo, and headed straight to the Vatican Museums, winding our way to the Sistine Chapel. 

fresh roman fruit bridge over tiber tim and henry

After refuelling with wine and pizza at a nearby tratorria, we headed to St. Peter’s Basilica.  Naturally, Henry made many friends.  A few Japanese girls chased us down to take his picture.  After touring the main level, we paid to climb up to the Cupola.  What the hell is a cupola?  We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.  551 stairs later, we had managed to wind our way through the narrow, low ceilinged passageway snaking around the dome of St. Peters to a tiny walkway at the top, where we inched along with our backs to the wall, snapping one quick picture before quickly heading for the stairs back down.  At the bottom we were both shaking, and Henry was strangely quiet.  We needed to take the edge off so we headed home to get drinks on the rooftop terrace of our hotel – with an equally good view at a much more manageable height.

front of st peters henry look at the camera - we're at top of st peters happy to be coming down from the cuppola

kristine buying souvenirs at st peters we went all the way up there - st peters H and T at Fry Family Trio at roof top terrace of hotel raphael

It rained today, Wednesday, our last day in Rome, so our adventures were tempered a bit. We still managed to make it to the coliseum, though. And, what would a day of the Fry Family European vacation be without a cafe for Henry to make more girl friends. Seriously, thank God for Henry. I can’t think of a better way to make up for poor language skills, vomit or general parent cluelessness.

long day rainy colliseum teatro cafe girl friend #1 teatro cafe girl friend #2

Tomorrow Tim will attempt to drive the family to Positano in the rental car. We’re taking lots of towels.


About Tim Fry

Tim is a global communications consultant. He has a background in storytelling, opinion research, brand campaigns and product launches for clients big and small. He has been recognized with several industry awards, including Ad Age’s “40 under 40” and PR News' "15 to Watch." Tim has a bachelor of science degree in foreign service from Georgetown University. When he's not helping people tell their best stories, you're likely to find him riding his bike, kayaking or catching Dungeness Crab on Lopez Island, WA. He can be reached at tim_fry@hotmail.com.
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