Thursday, June 16, 2016


On the right you will find links on how we are a normal budgeted family that saved up for this trip and why we took the kids. Following the video are some pictures.  We used the tripadvisor app to find family friendly affordable restaurants. We used airbnb verses hotels as we have a large family that would require two hotel rooms. We wanted to all be inside the same space, so airbnb helped us stay together, was cheaper AND had kitchens. In Italy we became fans of the PAM supermarket. Carrefour and G20 were good grocery spots in France. We used the lonelyplanet app to read off descriptions of attractions. We ate a lot of gelato, petted lots of dogs and stopped at parks. Who knew that Notre Dame had a playground and sand pit for kids?  Totally missed that my first two trips that I didn't have a kid dragging me over to it.  :)  Paris is for kids. Who knew?!?!  Rome, I knew was for kids with all the fountains and ice cream, but we found Paris had more fun stuff specific for kids.  In Rome renting the bike cart at Villa Borghese was full of laughter and adventure.  AND similarly Luxembourg Gardens had fantastic playground, ponies and a pond to race mini sailboats.  Important Paris tip, great clean bathrooms can be found at the free museum, PetitPalace, which is half way between the Eiffel tower and Notre Dame. We only took the metro when getting to and from the airports.  Otherwise we walked taking plenty of breaks. Walking we saw so much more and things that we hadn't plan to see. We didn't intend to see the statue of Thomas Jefferson in Paris, the American Church in Paris, PetitPalace, and the many unique streets in between. We saw so much more because we walked. We are an active family but were surprised that we didn't have more complaints about walking.  We stayed off Borgo Pio in Rome and every day we traveled two blocks north of our flat to get HUGE $2 scoops of gelato from Portifino Caffe. We stayed north of the river between the Vatican and Castel Sant'Angelo. Great eats that the kids loved were EGG (near vatican)and Pastificio Guerra (near spanish steps). Riley said, "I can die happy now after eating the pasta from EGG." Andy and I liked the sandwiches and salads at PanDivino (south of Piazza Navona). If you are planning a trip and have questions about transit or particular locations, let me know.  Start by finding good deals on airfare and work from there. We flew Wowair out of Baltimore.  Our trip was for 9 days and seemed to be a good time period. Our last day, we were excited about getting back home and seeing our dog.  Ciao!

In the video, the first clip is at the children's art room at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, which had a craft for kids to make a Colosseum. I included that because I thought it was such a huge coincidence that we were leaving in a few hours for Europe and planned to visit the Colosseum. It was perfect and we LOVED the Walters Art museum across the board, probably my favorite stateside. 

The full on Italian Kitchen