good morning from italy! we have just a few more days left here in this incredible place, but i have so much to say and share about our trip, i figured i better get started. we flew into milan and spent the first couple of days at lake maggiore. that place was a dream, seriously. i couldn’t get over the views, from the street OR the boat, in any direction you looked, it was photo worthy.
we stayed at a hotel in stresa which had a view of the lake which meant when i’d wake up in the morning and look out our balcony, i was all about pinching myself. especially since isola bella (a smaller island on the lake with a stunning estate and palace on it, that you can see in photos below) was in view. we took a boat out for most of one day, and took it to another smaller older town where we had lunch. actually, we didn’t have a proper lunch because we always forget that a lot of the restaurants here close between lunch and dinner so we had a lunch of gelato, which was all sorts of fine by me. i’ll share more about the boat ride later, because i didn’t include all the photos from that day in this post since it’s already too long and has too many photos as it is.
i had the best homemade gnocchi at la rampolina which was a recommendation left in the comments from one of you, so thank you! it was so good, and the place had such incredible beautiful views of the lake with a little playground for the kids on property, that we ate there twice.
visiting isola bella was probably the biggest highlight for the kids. the gardens are so beautiful and they had peacocks walking around. that was basically the cherry on top. you have to check out the photos of those beautiful creatures below. so fancy.
like we usually do with longer international flights, we took the first day easy and didn’t get out a whole lot to explore. i really think that’s the biggest secret with jet lag and kids, to carve in some extra hours on the front end to just adjust to the new time before your adventure time begins. our flight to milan was a red eye, which the kids did great with and slept on, but the timing was crazy because once we got the rental car at the airport and were driving to lake maggiore, it was only about 3am in new york, so we were all a little messed with. i think it’s best to just stay up at that point though to get onto the new time zone, so we made the hotel room incredibly dark (blacked out with curtains, covered any little lights) and we went to bed very early that next night, to try to get the kids some extra hours of sleep. it worked pretty well for the most part! maybe that means coming back to new york time will not be as easy adjusting wise. i sometimes still have flashbacks to coming back from australia and being messed up with our sleep for a solid week once we were home in new york, which felt ironic because we honestly adjusted to their time the minute we arrived there, for some reason.
anyway, i’ll share more about the logistics of things we are learning on this trip travel-wise with the kids later (i have so much to say about the stroller situation!) this is already getting long and i haven’t even gotten to the photos yet….
a beautiful view from the gardens at isola bella of the lake and mountains behind it…
when samson saw watermelon being sold on the street, he got so excited! we all sat down on some steps for a little while so he could eat it at his own pace (walking and eating is hard to do, i get it.) the sweetest was when he so gently and kindly shared his slice with his little brother, who decided he also wanted some watermelon. ps. eleanor is holding some broken tiles she found on the ground for what she calls her rock collection.
i love this family photo someone so nicely took for us (we swapped and josh took a photo for their family as well.) we got lucky no one was behind us or next to us for this photo, because the gardens felt so crowded at times.
i shared this photo on my instagram, but this is probably my favorite. and eleanor snapped it!
this is the peacock i mentioned earlier!
conrad yelling “HHIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!” in its direction, over and over again. he wanted it to turn and say hi back so badly!
the kids have been snapping some darling photos this trip on their little cameras.
he talked me into buying him one of these. haha! he actually talked me into buying two, one for him and one for his sleeping brother who was napping on me in the carrier. when he said that bit about making sure conrad had one too, i just caved. so thoughtful, lol.
gelato, all day every day and they still can’t get enough (ok, maybe eleanor can. she usually requests a nutella crepe if the gelato place makes them. she’s more of a france over italy kinda girl i guess. never too many crepes for that one!)
our kids love castles and palaces so much right now (which is why we wanted to make castles a big theme on this trip for them, and i can’t wait to show you more of how we did that soon!) but they definitely had fun touring this place.
their faces here!!!!
floor, ceiling and walls made entirely of tiny rocks and shells!!!! amazing.
the view from la rampolina restaurant where we ate twice because it was so good.
lake maggiore was such a good start to our time here. what an incredible place that i still can’t believe we were able to visit. i love you so much, italy. you always impress me.
ps. wearing this jumpsuit which was a gift from shop doen. wearing these sandals (which are beyond comfortable for loads of walking! in color black here, brown here and this white color here.) and a similar hat here and here. also wearing this lipstick in the shade mauve matte.