Photo journal of our most recent travels

19 Jun

Henry’s parents arrived Wednesday May 15th and stayed with us for 3 weeks.  It was great to have them and we took advantage of it and traveled to France and Italy.

The Friday after they arrived, May 17th, we caught the train from Lausanne to Paris.  It’s about a 3 1/2 hour ride and very scenic.  The boys did great as they were able to walk about the train and explore.  We arrived in Paris around 2:30pm and walked around and enjoyed the beautiful day.  Our hotel was just a block away from the Eiffel Tower and from there we walked to  Champs-Elysees (Paris’ shopping district) to have a nice, outdoor dinner.

Saturday morning we put Henry’s parents in a taxi to the Cathedral Notre Dame and Henry and I walked the 4-5 miles to the church with the boys.  On the way we stopped by a neighborhood patisserie to pick up a few fresh croissants – delicious!!  The Cathedral was packed as usual, but hey we got to see it!  Afterwards, we stopped to grab a quick brunch.

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Perfect day in Paris

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Outside the hotel

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Family photo – complete with Thomas’ sleep sack ( he was exhausted )

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View outside our room

In the afternoon we started our drive to Le Mont St. Michel, an island of the northern part of France,  It’s actually connected, however when high tide hits each night, it becomes an island.  We stayed at the one of the few hotels on the ‘island’ and it was nice being there once all the tourists left for the day – it was so empty compared to the afternoon.

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The original drawbridge at the castle

We spent Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning on the island and then we headed toward the Normandy beaches.  It was such a neat experience being there.  It was a rainy day, but almost fitting for the occasion.  We didn’t stay too long at the beaches due to the weather and our time frame.  We then headed to Honfleur, France for the evening, which is a bay town where I guess all the Germans were hiding during the war.  It was a beautiful and classy town.

On Monday morning we drove back to Paris to catch our train back home.  It was a quick trip, but amazing at that.  The boys did so wonderful with the very late bedtimes, being in the same hotel room and getting off their rigorous schedules that I have them on.  We all had so much fun and Henry and I look forward to going back to Paris without the kiddos 🙂

The following weekend we just drove the 45 minutes to our Chalet in the Alps and it snowed, in late May.  It was a very peaceful weekend where everyone was able to catch up on sleep.

The following Wednesday, May 29, we took the first train out to Milan, Italy.  It’s about a 3 hour train there and it rained the entire way.  Amazingly once we got in the cab on the way to our hotel, the clouds parted and it because a beautiful, warm, sunny day.

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On the train to Italy

Our hotel was just a block away from the Duomo and the very famous shopping center, which worked out great for the boys with their naps.  We first visited the Duomo, took a break for lunch and then returned to go up to the roof of the Duomo.  It’s a spectacular Cathedral, I believe the 2nd largest with St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome being the biggest.

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The boys and I enjoy the sunshine on the rooftop of the Duomo

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Family photo

After a long nap time for everyone, we walked over to the outdoor, yet covered, mall.  From there we walked throughout all the shopping streets and ended up at dinner at a very nice restaurant (probably too nice for children) that a colleague of Henry’s made reservations at for us.

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Window shopping in Milan with T

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Henry absolutely fell in love with the spaghetti…true pasta

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Henry chasing the pigeons after dinner

On Thursday morning, we took a train from Milan to Rome.  Again it rained the entire way, yet clouds parted and the sunshine came out once we arrived.  We had a driver and historian scheduled to come to our hotel at 2pm, which gave us a little time to settle in before we left.  Our babysitter in Lausanne had to cancel on us, however the tour guide knew of an incredible nanny to help us out.  She couldn’t have been more perfect – and the icing on the cake; the boys loved her.  She arrived around 1:30pm and she and Henry played trains while I put T down for his nap.   At 2 o’clock we met Renato downstairs and off we went – without kiddos.  It felt a bit strange, however the nanny kept us updated frequently.  We visited too many places to name ( and some of which I forget their names ), however here are some photos we caught along the way.

 

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The Pantheon

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The Trevi Fountain

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A true Italian dinner…and quiet at that 🙂

Day 2, we had a private tour of Vatican City.  It’s strange how you leave Rome and enter the Vatican, since it’s considered it’s own “state.”  We first toured the Vatican museum, went to the Sicilian Chapel and then St. Peter’s Basilica.  It took us about 2 1/2 hours and we didn’t see close to all of it.

 

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St. Peter’s Basilica with the family

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Outside the Basilica in St. Peter’s Square

After leaving the Vatican City, we met up with our driver again and continued our tour around the city of Rome.  Again here are some of the photos we caught along the way.

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The Roman Forums

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The Colosseum

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The Catacombs

There are many places left out, however I’d be writing this forever if I included all the details. After a nice dinner without the kiddos we headed back to the hotel, anxious to see the boys.

 

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The boys and I with the nanny

On Saturday afternoon we left Rome and traveled via train to Stresa, Italy, one of the many lake towns and a true Italian, small town.  It was so beautiful there, almost hot, but perfect.

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One of the three islands seen from Stresa, complete with a beautiful castle

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The hubby and I

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T trying the spaghetti for dinner

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You can’t visit Italy without having plenty of gelato (in the small village there were at least 15 gelaterias)…and Henry just walked in and ordered his own 🙂

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Splashing at the pool

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The streets of Stresa

We had such an amazing time in Italy.  I really look forward to taking my parents there when they visit in September!!

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