Italy Trip (Day 1 and 2)

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Sophie turned one yesterday and like most of us she celebrated her first birthday by waking up at 12:30am in Nairobi, taking a flight to Cairo, taking another flight to Italy, and then going out for gelato and pizza.  It sounds nice…..unfortunately a good part of the day we felt horrible for putting our little girl through all of that.  Let’s just say that we are very excited to be in Italy, but the trip here was hectic at times.  For starters our flight out of Nairobi was delayed an hour.   This wouldn’t have been problem if our layover in Cairo had been longer than 50 minutes.  Upon landing we had to literally hit the ground running.  Amazingly Egypt Air personally escorted us (at a very brisk pace…okay a run) through the terminal to our next flight which was waiting.  We arrived in Rome and were amazed that all of our luggage had also made it.  We were positive that we would be without luggage, but alas Egypt Air comes through again.  We breezed through customs and within 30 minutes were on our way to pick up our rental car.  The problem was that our rental car wasn’t located in the car rental zone.  Every car rental company you can imagine were represented, but Advantage car rental, not so much.  We will spare you the details of the feverish searching and hiking back and forth across the Fiumicino International Airport.  Suffice it to say that 2 hours later, thanks to a generous guy with a cell phone, we and three other confused travelers were on a shuttle bus heading 3km outside of the airport to pick up our car (in case you are wondering they are located at “Fiumicino International Airport”).  When we arrived at the carpark we saw dozens of sleek black and silver vehicles….and one tiny yellow Fiat Panda….and it had our name on it.  We are riding around Italy in style.  But through it all…getting up in the middle of the night, all the running, searching, napping on planes, constantly being carried, waiting in the direct sunlight…Sophie was amazing!  We are blessed to have an awesome and incredible little girl.  So we rewarded her by going out for gelato…and she slept right through it.  So she had to settle for pizza a while later.

This morning we woke up early and headed towards Monterosso Al Mare with a stop off in Pisa.  The drive was gorgeous.  We arrived in Pisa around lunch time and spent some time in Piazza Dei Miracoli…the location of the Leaning Tower, Pisa’s Duomo, Baptistry and Camposanto.  The tower is of course an impressive sight.  It truly looks like it could topple over at any minute…however we learned that extreme measures have been taken to ensure that the tower continues to lean, but doesn’t lean too much that it would ever fall, after all it brings in a lot of Euro!  We were also impressed with the lesser known sights in the Piazza.  Buildings that date back as much as nearly a thousand years and some that have a slight lean of their own.  After that we spent some time exploring the winding alleys and streets of Pisa and loved the low key laid back nature of the town.  We then completed our drive to Monterosso Al Mare on the coast.  Here we will be for the next few days hiking and exploring the villages and beaches of the Cinque Terre.  Oh, and by the way, Sophie did get some gelato tonight….”Did she like it?” you may ask….see for yourself.

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