We’ve made it to Italy! Honestly though, there were a few moments along the two day drive that I wasn’t so sure I’d be writing another blog post. Okay, so maybe I didn’t question my chances at survival but I did question if my underoos would be in pristine condition at the end of the butt clinching drive. If you look on the passenger side of my car, I’m fairly certain there are permanent indentations from my white-knuckled hands on the “oh shit” handle. Whoever invented the “oh shit” handle, must be related to my husband because after posting on Facebook “Sean’s driving has the ability to cause damage in one’s underoos”, my mother-in-law promptly commented about how Sean’s dad’s driving could “strike terror in anyone’s heart”, thus leading me to conclude that ‘scary as flying spiders driving skills’ (admit it, if you saw Charlotte fly away from her web, you’d be running away from her no matter what wonderful things she wrote about you!) is a hereditary trait, that I can only pray that our boys do not inherit.
The drive up to Lichtenstein Castle was rather peaceful and the weather conditions, although bitter cold and snowing, were actually a perfect setting for this castle. The castle sits high in the mountains perched on the very edge of a cliff overlooking a tiny little mountain valley town. The overall setting looked like a scene from a movie. Once it gets warmer out, I wouldn’t mind going back to better appreciate the surroundings, because although I had Liam strapped to me like a baby kangaroo, even he was visibly cold in his pouch. Abram on the other hand, liked being strapped to Sean and thought it was fun to bend over backwards as far as he possibly could to get a better view of the tour guide. Ahhh, baby crushes…
It was leaving the castle, heading to our hotel for the night, that the single cheek lean, and invisible break pumping occurred. Somehow, the minis managed to sleep through the entire experience, although I am sure they were dreaming about being racecar drivers with how their heads were bobbing from side to side as we wove our way down the mountain. But alas, we made it with only minor trouble from a screaming hungry Abram thirty minutes from the hotel. Not even puffs, or an iPhone kept this kid happy. I’d try to hand him puffs but he found this action rather infuriating apparently, because he would grab the puffs with great disdain and then throw them to the side like “puffs…you want to feed me puffs?!?! How dare you insult my palate with such an inadequate food!”, actually it was probably more like “I WANT MILK!” but whatever… Oh and a sippy cup didn’t work either, but it did add a moment of excitement when I released the opening exposing the straw portion. Silly me forgot about the wonderful science of air pressure and how going up and down a mountain can cause a sippy cup to turn into a geyser of water. It was one of those moments where the only thing going through my head was “shitshitshitshitshit”. After plugging ‘Old Faithful’ there was a moment of ‘now what?’ but then my middle school science skills kicked in and I untwisted the lid, releasing the pressure.
The next morning we made our way through the rest of Germany, Austria, and then into Italy. Driving through reminded me a lot of good ol’ Nebraska…minus the mountains, castles, chalets, furry cows, waterfalls…okay, the weather was the only thing that reminded me of Nebraska. When we set out it was a sunny, 36 degrees. Then we drove through a tunnel (holy molly were there a lot of tunnels!!!) and when we popped out, bam…snow and 18 degrees. At one point we saw a sign for a pull off to put on chains and I had to reassure Sean that if we can still see pavement, chains are not necessary. Then, just as Sean said it would happen, we pop out of the last tunnel and it’s rainy and closer to 40’s…just nuts.
Once we make it to the hotel, we go inside to check in to discover a very distraught woman working behind the counter. We were told that the computers had been down all day so she had a “long day”. Before leaving I asked her if there were already two cribs in the room waiting for us (as we had requested, and had been told would be prior to making a reservation) to which she responded “If you’re lucky there might be two”. Do you remember the angry spitting camel from the flight over to Germany? Well it came back with vengeance! The calm part of me bit my tongue, while the other half was screaming “if I’m lucky….oh no you didn’t just say that to me! You want to come watch my kid sleep in the middle of a bed to make sure he doesn’t roll off in the middle of the night! You nincompoop!”.
You’d think the lack of a crib would be the least of our problems, but get this…we unlock our room to find…(…dramatic pause…)…people in our room! It was a one of those moments where everyone stops talking and just stares because words just don’t explain the embarrassment of walking in on people in YOUR hotel room. Turns out they were very nice people and we went with the husband to sort out the situation. Thankfully though, before leaving the lovely family, I asked if they had a crib, which they did, score! We were given a new key and sent back on our way. Once in the room I begin to make up the cribs in the second bedroom and notice that the bedding on one of the twin beds is disheveled and not made up as expected. I didn’t think too much of this considering none of us were sleeping there. Then I make my way to our bedroom and our bedding was disheveled too. Upon closer investigation the bedding hadn’t been changed at all. There were black marks all over the misplaced pillow and then Sean found…it. It being a giant blood stain! I’m talking like, the person who slept there last had the worst bloody nose known to mankind! Sean marches back to the front desk where we were given back our original room (the lovely family had just arrived a few minutes before us and hadn’t moved anything in the room), and the other family was moved elsewhere. UGH! What a nightmare! I just hope the rest of the trip goes a little smoother, but I guess you can’t complain much when Venice is our next stop.