Arriving in Rome
After a long, crazy, difficult month, we have arrived in Italy at last. We took the overnight airplane trip on Luftansa from Boston to Munich, then Munich to Rome. The flight was uneventful, except the first hour was definitely rough. Bodhi struggled to fall asleep and the few rows of people around us heard about it. I stood up and bounced him to sleep again and again, trying to focus only on him, and not everyone else around us, to calm him. Hoping to let go of the recent embarrassment I feel at having my life on display, having all eyes staring at me as I sing him nursery rhymes, while I stand and rock him to sleep. Chris was able to sleep a little on the flight, while I was Bodhi's sleeping pillow. We planned ahead, we ordered the bassinet (available on international flights in bulkhead seats if you call ahead to reserve = amazing!). Yet, he would no longer sleep in the bassinet - it is too loud with the attendants bustling about, and the noises dinging and lights coming on and off. Now that he is an alert little guy, he isn't having any of this chaos while he sleeps. I miss those early baby times of good sleep in the midst of a hurricane. He slept on me most of the flight, so I did not sleep a wink, but I have trouble on planes anyway - at least he was resting, so I count it as a victory - we made it!
After weeks of dreading this flight, it was soon over, and we are groggily making our way through the Munich airport to await our next flight to Roma, train from Rome airport to Trastevere, and then a taxi from the train station to our apartment rental near Vatican City.
The rest of the afternoon, we are fighting to stay awake. I had my first taste of Italian espresso for this trip, Chris has his first glass of prosecco as we walked through our little neighborhood bleary-eyed. Our bill came to 3,70 euro. I love the cost of wine here, cheaper than water, almost as cheap as the coffee. You don't have to drop half the price of dinner for two decent glasses of wine.
We made our first venture to the local grocery store. I found the baby food section and think: This IS baby food, right? not dog food? I think I am able to read enough Italian, but the labels all have animals on them. Vitello = veal. Calda = lamb. Tacchino = turkey. They have goat, calf, pig, horse, rabbit, chicken... These are not cute animal caricatures like on Sesame street foods either - they are real animal photos. That can't be right, horse???! It can't be horse meat, can it? I look on the back and with what little Italian I can understand, I read the labels. Yep, it's meat alright. Meat and water. And prosciutto, Italian ham, is available in pureed baby food, as is parmigiano reggiano and mozzarella, pureed and ready to mix. I don't see pastas, which I imagined were all I would see. Shells with olive oil, shells with bolognese or marinara...but maybe that is too easy, something households can make on their own. I soon do find the baby pastas, smaller shaped dried pastas that you do boil and make yourself at home. But no 'ready made' pasta meals. Just straight meats, straight vegetables, straight cheeses all meant for mixing with rice cereal, pastas, etc. Actually a very inventive way to create baby food combinations. I grab a prosciutto baby food jar and a blend of mixed veggies to start our culinary baby food adventure. I also notice a baby olive oil supplement, like you would find baby vitamins here, a special olive oil to add to baby food. Love it. More after some sleep.