Linking up with Hallie at moxiewife.com!
I know it’s been about a month since we returned from Rome, buuuut I wanted to share my top five for living/traveling in Rome. I figured I’d know what to pack, having previously lived in Europe for four months of my life. However, that stint happened to be in the mountains of Austria. In the dead of winter. So, I had to rethink my suitcase contents for this trip. Oh, and pack for a 2 going on 3 month old baby. Here are a few things I thought were essential to making the trip as comfortable as we could, without a Target in sight.
1. Good Shoes.
This is a no-brainer for anyone who has done any amount of traveling in Europe! The streets are old, cobbled, and NOT kind on the feet. And, when you enter a world where walking is the main mode of transportation, it’s worthwhile to invest in quality footwear. It’s always such a chore to find those for me, since I have midget feet. We struck it lucky at the Clarks outlet in Leesburg a few days before we left, and I wore these almost daily, everywhere. They were light as a feather, fit well, supportive, and none of the straps rubbed. Also, I seriously despise comfort shoes that look like comfort shoes, so these were great in that they actually looked pretty cute.
The Roman sun is no joke. I have always thought that somehow, the sky in Rome looks bigger. It’s also bluer and just seems to stretch on in infinite, cloudless glory, which means that you get pretty hammered with the UV rays during the day. A cute hat, which also covers the face is such a relief. I also used mine to shade Lucy sometimes when she was in the sling and her own little sunhat didn’t do the trick. This one is from Tarjhay.
In a tragic turn of events, we discovered upon our return that both precious hats were missing. Just gone. We knew we hadn’t left a single scrap of our personal belongings in the apartment, so we can only surmise that we dropped them out of the stroller after our last outing. 😦
3. Badger products!
I’d known for a while that commercial sunscreens are pretty icky, chemical-laden products, but this article helped me understand why and gave suggestions on alternatives, especially for the baby. We bought the Badger Baby Daily sunscreen as well as the bug spray, and both were wonderful. As a bonus, they both actually smelled nice, not chemical-ly.
4. Baby Carrier
While my super-generous parents gifted us with a sweet, brand-new travel stroller, we still found ourselves wearing Lucy quite a bit. She really prefers being held/smothered against a human, regardless of the heat and humidity, and in some cases it was easier (e.g. tons of stairs all over the city, bus, metro, etc). She bummed around in her sling a lot, and my oh my, did that give the Italians something to stare at. Babies are a rare sight in Italy, but babies worn by their young fathers are even rarer. We got hilarious looks from passersby and plenty of unsolicited child-rearing advice in rapid, unintelligible Italian, sometimes roughly translated into gems like, “Head! Up!” (upon seeing sleeping Lucy’s head slanting to one side in the sling).
5. Peanut Butter
…or whatever form your comfort/necessary-to-survival food takes. I learned this the hard way, and ended up paying the equivalent of $6 for a mini jar of Skippy’s at Castroni’s. Dumb. Tom also had to eat some interesting and equally expensive breakfast cereals. Basically, if you can’t live without it and it’s thoroughly American, you better bring it with you.