International Travel with a Child: the Big Hurdle Followed by the Reward

I am officially wrapping up the first day of our trip as Jodie, Declan and I all make the sweeping adjustments to the new European sleep schedule. Declan passed out right after nightly prayers and bedtime story since he actually had a bed to sleep on tonight. Last night was a different story.

I had always said I wanted to get Declan traveling the world as early as possible for numerous reasons. First, there’s a lot that can’t be taught in a book or by teachers and going somewhere and doing something is a great way to learn those things. Second, I just think the history and geography of this world is really neat and everyone should go experience it if possible. Of course, after planning this trip and its ever-widening bottom line, I thought the worst was finally over. I was wrong.

I knew we were doomed when we couldn’t keep him from falling asleep on our connecting flight to Boston. We had gotten up very early to get to Indianapolis for our first flight, so I don’t blame him. But I knew we were in for it regardless.

Flying through time zones is hard on anyone, but a child takes these especially rough, especially one that is so used to good bedtime structure. Needless to say, it was rough on all of us. Declan didn’t get more than 2 hours of sleep on our overnight flight, and Jodie and I got even less, mostly because of that reason. Yuck. Then, when we arrived in Rome at our hotel, my sweet talk did no good to get us into our room to shower and nap. We got there around 8ish Rome time, and our check in wasn’t going to be until around 2pm. But there is good news.

Jodie’s friend Kiley and her husband and daughter arrived shortly after us and we wandered off to find pizza at a local restaurant called Alice Pizzeria. Jodie, Declan and I all got different pizzas but they were all really good. Mine was ham, Jodie’s had potato slices on it and technically Declan’s was a focaccia. Pictured below are the pizzas. Best school lunch-shaped pizza I’ve ever had, that’s for sure.

After pizza, we found out that our rooms were actually ready early, so we went upstairs and took showers and napped. That saved us. After several hours of sleeping and wiping out our exhaustion, we woke up refreshed and ready to tackle something.

We ended up going to Trevi Fountain for the photo op, followed by an Italian restaurant and gelato. All a great time, and only 15 minutes walk from our hotel. Declan did great, by the way.

Long story short, the plane ride was exhausting to the full extent of the word, but everything was better with a good long siesta.

Tomorrow we are going on a guided tour of the Colosseum followed by the Roman Forum. I hope we can get the Pantheon in as well. Thursday, barring too much weather, we plan to hit the Vatican and see what we can find there. Then, on Friday it’s boarding time for the cruise ship.

Loving the trip so far, the joy of today has certainly helped us forget about the exhaustion of travel. We’re eager to see what else tomorrow brings. Ciao!

3 thoughts on “International Travel with a Child: the Big Hurdle Followed by the Reward”

  1. Oooh I’ve been waiting for your trip writings! Jon and I were there 25 years ago. We loved the pizza, too. The people were so friendly. Are you going to the Vatican? The Sistine Chapel? It’s all so awe-inspiring. Make sure you ask someone, in Italian, where you can take a bath. πŸ™‚ (I meant to ask where a restroom was and it translated into wanting an actual bath. So embarrassing!)

    Be safe! Love you!

  2. Also, I might note… You speak a whole lot like “world-schoolers”, homeschoolers who travel the world to learn about it. πŸ™‚ I knew a few and their education was amazing!

  3. I can just imagine that plane trip! It’s nearly impossible to keep a sleepy child awake. And you pay for it if he stays awake. Hopefully things will reset easily. Have fun! I love you.

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