Europe Vacation with a Four Year Old, Day 3 – Stair Climbing and Pasta Making

Last day in Rome and over too quickly. So much left to see and taste and experience, but our time has unfortunately run out. Tomorrow, we will set off on our cruise to begin our lightning speed tour of the Mediterranean ports in southern Europe. If three days isn’t enough time to experience enough of Rome, 12 hours at each other city on our vacation will certainly be a similar story. But we will get a good taste and see some amazing things, anyway.

We began our day today heading to the Vatican, after another delicious breakfast from our hotel. (I will try to remember to discuss our hotel more tomorrow, as well as give links to it and a few of the other places we visited.) We were concerned because we had heard that there was a planned strike of the rail workers that would shut down the metro, but that apparently was not the case. Thank goodness, because the Vatican was over an hour of walking away from our hotel.

The metro was stuffed full of commuters the first time we rode it today. I mean full. We barely managed to get on, but we ended up pulling it off without incident. Five stops later and we were in business. Declan did a great job rolling with the punches.

Our goal was to see St. Peter’s Basilica and then the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, but we made the decision to head back to rest at the hotel after the long haul up to the top of the dome and back. Yes, that’s right. A four year old can and did conquer the wildly tall and claustrophobic climb all the way up. Great job, buddy.

We got there early enough that we avoided a huge line to get in, so it didn’t take all that long to get in. Getting up those 300 some odd steps, however, took a bit of time. But we did it. Even the absurdly small spiral stairs at the end with nothing but a rope to assist you on your way. Really glad I conquered my childhood fear of heights, by the way. The view was worth it.

Declan didn’t inherit that fear of heights, by the way. But, as I said, that was enough of an exertion for our morning, and I had learned my lesson about overdoing it.

We rested in the hotel for several hours. Jodie took a nice nap. I drifted off for maybe ten minutes. Declan was close to napping many times but never did. Instead, he saved that for our thirty minute walk to the destination of tonight. He fell asleep in my arms as we walked, which definitely added an extra element of struggles for us. What a workout.

We met Jodie’s friends at a coffee shop near the restaurant where we were going to do our pasta making class. They had opted to go on a food tour of many of the best places to get food in the morning instead today, and they were definitely satisfied.

When it was time to go in, we had to wake Declan up. He was grumpy for maybe ten minutes but snapped out of it as he saw the cooking stations laid out for us. Then, we got our little boy back.

I have to say, I thought this class would be fun, but it ended up really being a highlight of the trip so far. Our chef instructor was amazing. She was so kind and helpful and let Declan participate in everything. We made tiramisu, fettuccine and ravioli, then got to eat it. It took a long time to make from scratch, but seeing the joy on that boy’s face when he got to take his first bites of that pasta made it all worthwhile.

All in all, another great day in Rome. We got back to our hotel room, however, and had the joy of trying to make a napped four year old go to bed. He just finally got to sleep, after 11 pm here.

I give a lot of credit to my beautiful wife Jodie. She did the majority of the packing for this trip, and had to suffer through re-packing our bags we partially unloaded here. Not fun. She struggled, but took it in stride and did a great job as always.

Here’s hoping the packing after the cruise is less of a hassle.

4 thoughts on “Europe Vacation with a Four Year Old, Day 3 – Stair Climbing and Pasta Making”

  1. Yikes that climb and the view at the top was definitely awesome but that height…help, don’t look down! I can imagine that Declan loved that cooking class. You guys are good at helping him enjoy that type of thing. Will you be on the same ship for the next two weeks?

  2. I’m envious that you got to do the pasta class! You know I would have loved it, too. That’s right up my alley. The food you made looked delicious! Now you can give all of us tips when you get back on how to make all of it. 🙂

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