Italy! // Show and Tell Tuesday, Favorite Vacations (Loooooooong post)

Linking up with Andrea again for Show and Tell Tuesday.

This week: Show and Tell Us about your Favorite Vacation(s)

Pre-kids Rich and I travelled a ton. Almost every penny of my disposable income was spent on airfare and hotels. Bonus: I worked in hotels so I would get rooms discounted up to 70%! 

Gone are my days of $35 hotel rooms though. 

Gone are the days of sporadic trips we used to take. 

I remember one morning Rich walked down the stairs and said: Wanna go to St. Louis? 
Me: Sure when? 
Rich: Today. Right now. 
Me: ....
Rich: we'll go and get tickets and watch the Rams play the Vikings. Pack a bag! 
And off we went! 


We can't do that anymore. Now vacations take months to plan and are hardly vacations for me when I have to pack myself and two kids and try to get them to sleep in a foreign bed. 

My absolute favorite vacation ever was when we went to Italy. We planned this trip for about a year and a half and 2 weeks before we left I found out I was pregnant with Olivia. A trip to Italy and no wine for me. 

Whomp whomp. 

Pompeii 
I think I was most blown away by Pompeii. If you're unfamiliar, Pompeii was once a great Roman city and was completely wiped out when Mt. Vesuvius exploded, killing everyone and many bodies were preserved from the ash naturally.


What I didn't know until I got to Pompeii was how horny everyone was there. Brothels everywhere. 


On the walls there were pictures of various sexual activities and you would point to what you wanted and pay. Just like McDonalds, but sex. 


I'll have a #3 please, with an extra side of fries. 


Here we go, another cock in the road. There were boners everywhere. 


They actually were very helpful because the dongs pointed towards the nearest brothel. 
Like a compass.

A cockpass.

Meat Popsicle Pointer. 

I'll be here all night. 

Alright, enough dicking around. 


Here's us being touristy and posing in front of the mountain. 

Then we got tickets to the Pope Show 


I don't speak much Italian but I assume that's what the ticket says.


The pope came out and blessed the crowd. 

I'm officially #Blessed

Then we were off to Venice. AKA, where I belong. This was truly the most beautiful place in the world. No cars, no bikes, no wheels of any sort. Everywhere you go is on foot or by gondola.



We visited so many churches that were all so beautiful. The architecture, the frescos, all of it. I also love the smell of churches. Is that weird? 



Piazza San Marco behind us. 


We took a gondola ride and what I DIDN'T know, is that not every gondolier sings, you have to pay extra for a singer and there's a huge line for one. We went with the standard gondolier and still had a blast. Though, we did get yelled at when Rich went from one seat to another WALKING around on the gondolier almost tipping us over because he wanted a selfie. 
Tip: Stay seated in your gondolier, or you get yelled at and almost tip over.

Then we were off, and I can't remember what city this is but here's a jail that was used hundreds of years ago. They would hold roughly 10 inmates at a time and get this, they all received a glass of red wine each night at dinner. 

Crazy, right? 


And here's the ceiling. 
Creepy huh? 


Baby name inspiration, no? 

Off to Verona! The land of love. It's said that when Shakespeare wrote Romeo & Juliet he mirrored Juliet's home and balcony off this building at Casa Giulietta. You could go up to the balcony for about $10 Euro.


No, he wasn't being a pervert. It's said that if you touch Juliet's right breast on this statue that you will be blessed with love. See the locks on the gate behind glasses guy? Rich and I now have a lock on that wall. We threw the key in the river. 


Yay! We had Ten Euro!


Here is where we lost and then eventually found Father John. We went with our priest on the trip and while exploring Verona we all misplaced each other because I NEEDED some gelato. None of us had phones with us so for a brief moment we panicked that we lost our Priest and would go to hell forever. Turned out he wanted gelato as well and went to a place not too far from where I went. 

Father John officiated Rich's Father's, Nana's and all his uncles' funerals. He will be the one to baptize my children in the catholic faith and he officiated our wedding. You know how you meet with your priest or officiate before your wedding so the person marrying you can get to know you? This is how we did it. 
I'll never forget his words with us. I won't share everything but I remember him saying: 
You WILL fight. 
You WILL disagree and want nothing to do with the other person FOR THAT MOMENT.
All of that is normal.
You WILL get past it and you WILL remember how much you love each other. 
If you ever have any doubts or issues you can't get past together, I am here for the both of you. 
We will make this marriage work.

Then he said the most adorable thing: 
Rich, when you're old and gray, squeeze her tush still (we were grabbing ass all trip) , keep that romance and spunk alive that the two of you have; even if you gross out the 20-year olds around you. 

Love you Father John. 

You better not be reading here, as I wrote about penises above.....

I believe the following photos are in Florence. 


Like I said, the churches were just breathtaking! I wasn't allowed to take photos inside of most of them but I can assure you that they were absolutely stunning inside. I know a church tour doesn't sound the MOST fun if you go to Italy but you will not be disappointed if you take a church tour. The history, the architecture, the intricate details, I'm in love.

We also did a lot of shopping in Florence. 


Rich's cousins. I love these girls so much. The godmothers of my babies. 

I know, I know, it looks like we're holding Glade Flex Stretch garbage bags but I assure you we had fabulous Italian leathers and furs in our garbage sacks. 
Kidding again, it was probably a bunch of stupid trinkets. 

If this looks familiar to you: 


Then you were a Jersey Shore fan. Or a closet one, like I was. This is the pizzeria the shore crew worked at while living in Florence. 


And yes, Father John was out doing his own thing so I subjected just my family to having to "enjoy" this touristy spot.

We talked to the host who spoke English and was a cute young gal who actually hung out with the cast often. She pointed us in the direction of their home because she said the internet was incorrect if you wanted a photo op because locals listed THEIR address as the Jersey Shore house so they could stand in front selling souvenirs. 
She said it was a lot of fake and scripted and that the crew fed them alcohol constantly to make for better TV. Most of the cast got along with each other great but when they went out they were fed shots constantly and producers would make up fake stories to get each other mad at each other pretending that someone was *talking shit* about them. 


Here was their house. Is anyone else hearing "GI-ONNNNNNNIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!" in Snooky's voice from that night? 

Jwoww wasn't lying when she said "god damn cobblestone" while walking in heels in Florence. It's everywhere, and though I never wore heels in Italy, I could see how awful it would be. Every time I see cobblestone streets I now say "god damn cobblestone"

We had dinner at Giostra, and lemme tell you, we had ah-MAY-zing meals everywhere we went but the food at Giostra was incredible. Sorry for the blurry pic, blame the waiter who didn't speak English and us who couldn't speak Italian. A lot of pointing-to-items-on-the-menu going on our entire trip. 


This is a celeb favorite. Every single famous person you can think of has been here. That's what all the photos on the walls are of. I'm sitting where Dustin Hoffman sat. Or so I'm told.

Sidebar: While in Italy you quickly learn how to order water. That's right, 
"acqua naturale"
or
"acqua frizzante"
Most Italians order water "with gas" meaning, fizzy water. Well I hate farts and burps so if you want bottled water you need to order "acqua naturale" otherwise you get acqua frizzante. Most Italian servers understand "water, no gas" which means--- you guessed it, no gas. 

Next up was Assisi. I was raised very strictly and traditionally, Roman Catholic, so I greatly remember my studies in catechisms of Saint Francis and Saint Claire of Assisi so I was super excited for this portion of the trip. Even though I hated going to school on Sundays when all my friends didn't have to because it was hours of memorizing Catholicism rules and teachings. 
OBVIOUSLY I've clearly stuck with everything with my swearing and penis posts.

Anyhoo, I was super excited even though the rest of the family had never heard of this place so it was a great history lesson for them and great for me to see all the places I'd heard of.


The church of Saint Franics of Assisi 


We actually saw the relics and even tombs and bodies of Saint Claire and Saint Francis. 

No, I will not post the pictures. Dead bodies on the blog is where I draw the line. Obviously dongs are NOT where I draw the line. 

I bought my Grandma a rosary from Assisi and for a short period earned the title of "Favorite Grandchild" which is huge because I'm Mexican and have like 60+ cousins.

We went to Rome and saw the Colosseum. 


Meagan was clearly blown away. 
Or stretching. 


Up next: Trevi Fountain!


Here I am looking reaaaalllll nice about to make my wish at the fountain. 
Right hand over left shoulder! (Crossing your heart) Don't forget.

I wished for a healthy happy baby and that I would really really really like a girl. 
It came true!

Up next we went to see the Sistine Chapel. I think. All my photos are totally out of order so the order that these events happened are a blur in my memory. 

En route to the Sistine Chapel we walked through many sculptures, paintings, frescos, tapestries, etc.


Hey look! They made a statue depicting how my children act with the dog!

Alright, so I don't have any pictures of the Sistine Chapel because they are STRICT! No talking, no photos, no sitting down, you MUST keep walking without stopping to see it. There are guards everywhere and some in disguise so you can't even try to sneak a photo. I saw them immediately confiscate someone's camera and leave the room with it to where I assume they deleted the photo and charged them. 

Unfortunately Rich had a terrible bout of food poisoning this day and didn't get to come with us to the chapel. I told him I'd FaceTime him before I learned all the rules. 

We also saw the statue of David and again, NO PHOTOS! It's huge.
The statue, you perverts. 

Alright, so Italy tips!

+ Bring change with you wherever you go. Most places will charge you to use the bathroom. Seriously.
+ Every hotel we went to you had to insert your room key into this thing in the wall to make the power work, so you couldn't just leave your lights on, tv on, or leave your spare camera batteries to charge while you're out. 

TAKE THIS ONE FROM ME!
We got to our first hotel and after flying for nearly an entire day with a layover in Germany we desperately needed showers, and water. Well we only had one key and Rich said I could shower first while he walked to the local deli to get some food and waters before we went sightseeing. Of course he took the room key with him, because why wouldn't he? 
Well there's a 5 minute delay after you take the key out of it's electric socket thingy. 
Here I am nude covered in soap in the shower and BOOM. Blackness. The water stopped too. I shit you not, I couldn't see my hand in front of my face. Complete blackness. I didn't know the room layout just yet and didn't want to try to find the window to bring in some natural light because I tripped immediately upon wanting to get out of the shower.
I was stuck in total blackness until Rich returned. 
He didn't know I was stranded in soap in darkness so of course he took his time exploring the stores and culture and snapping pics. 

+ Most restaurants and hotels will have staff that speak some English. For the Ma and Pa places we went to I brought my basic English -> Italian touristy book and would point to the words that I was trying to say. 

+ Taking cabs is a BITCH there. After certain hours they can charge whatever they want (in Rome at least). We took a cab to go sightseeing and it was like $14. The drive home, from the same place, was over $50! 

+ Drivers give no fucks there. It's honestly terrifying being in a cab. They speed, they drive wherever, they play chicken with other cars on one ways. Our driver once HIT A TEENAGER on the side of the head with their rear view mirror! And kept going! We were yelling at him to stop (the kid was fine) and he didn't speak English and gave us the "STFU" face. 

+ The fucking pigeons. They're everywhere. So gross.

+ Don't sit down at the statue of David. I had to tie my shoe and sat in a chair to pull myself together but APPARENTLY you can't sit in that chair (then why's it there without a rope????) and a security guard lady started yelling at me in Italian and I told her in English (which she didn't understand) to put a rope there if you can't tie your shoe there. 

+ Take church tours. They're fabulously beautiful with so much history. 

+ Don't be 9 weeks pregnant when you go to Italy and have to miss out on all the fabulous wine. 

Oh! Oh! I almost forgot! One week after getting home from Italy we went to Vegas which we also had planned. Sober in Italy. Sober in Vegas for my bachelorette party. I still went out with my girlfriends but would cab home around 11 each night and order ice cream and watch Magic Mike. 
My friends had a fabulous time ---- and I never had a hangover in Vegas ;) 

My other favorite vacation was New York City for New Year's Eve. 
Things are great but you never ever ever regret the money you spend on making memories and seeing the world. Rich and I love traveling. There's no-one else I would rather see the world with. 
Vail, Denver, Florida, Vegas, New York City, Italy, Chicago, Bahamas, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, etc.
And we're not even close to being done yet.

Ireland in 2017!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

2 comments

  1. I love Italy! It was my favourite vacation too though I didn't visit nearly as many places as you.

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  2. I can't get over how creepy that picture is of the people in Pompeii... you can see them moving while they died. So nuts!!! You and I are kindred spirits... I LOVE CHURCHES. that's my favorite thing to go see!!!! I haven't been to Italy but have been to England and died when we visited Westminster Abbey... no pictures in there either, but I'll never forget it!

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