Saturday, September 25, 2010

Crawfords In Cairo

Chris and I left the three cuties for the first time to go to Cairo this week. I had a really really really hard time leaving them. When we got to the airport the lines were super long for everything but Chris totally found short cuts aka. going through the EU immigration check point and the First Class Security Check point, and yes we went through both just fine. I kept thinking ohhh maybe we won't make the flight, but we did and crying I boarded the plane. I know you think I am lame but Abby is only 1 and I have not spent a night away from the kids ever, so oh well I am a baby. When we landed I literally went into culture shock. We had saved up our Marriott points so we could stay HERE and had arranged for a airport pick up. Not surprisingly since we arrived at 3:30am, no one met us. As soon as we stepped foot out the airport door Chris was MOBBED by taxi drivers. A tourist Authority guy inside had told us to go to the taxi at the front of the line and that it should be ten bucks. Line? What line? Mass chaos is exactly what it was. I loved that since I am a women I was completely ignored. Until I got ticked and shouted "Just go with that guy he is saying ten bucks" well my guy then tried to have us share a taxi, um no thank you, then put us in a van. If nothing else movies have taught me that van= kidnapped so I sat exhausted and extremely uneasy. Then the guy proceeded to pitch us all his various services until I finally said "I just want to go to our hotel, I am to tired to think about any of this" Then he proceeded to charge us 15 bucks instead of ten (he meant ten per person, silly me). On our way out of the airport security stopped the van, took down the license plate number and had us write our names legibly next to the number. Oh good, so when they find our dead body's they will know the van that took us to our doom, ha! Actually it made me feel better. I felt even better when we made it to our AMAZING hotel. While checking in the brought us glasses of super yummy strawberry juice. Bear in mind it is now 4am and we started traveling at 9:30 pm. Chris reach's for something (we still have no idea what) and knocks the goblet shattering the glass and splattering strawberry juice all over their computer and nice Armani suits. They of course hush our apologizes and bring Chris another glass to which I hiss "Don't spill anything!" We head to our room and ZONK. Chris finally drags me out of bed at 9:30 so we can make breakfast and set up our tour for the day. We first headed out to the Pyramids at Giza. I am not going to lie they are amazing and totally worth heart sick missing kids feeling, lack of sleep etc.
The hotel had set up our own personal tour guide and she was awesome. Although people kept making us do the lamb "look I am holding a pyramid between my fingers pose". She literally place us in this position. I was snorting at how very unlike us it was
You aren't allowed climb to the top-- anymore. Apparently they used to have races and everything. You can climb up a few for a picture. I could not believe how huge these blocks were. All I kept thinking was why in the world didn't people revolt against a leader who would waste lives and money on something like this, our guide informed me that you don't rebel against someone you think is a earthly embodiment of your God, valid point I suppose.

After the pyramids we headed to a place to learn how to make papyrus and got a few pieces for Sam to show to his class. Then on to their famous "essence" shops where we could smell all the different essences and make your own mix. I kept going back and forth between Lotus (which smells exactly like Tommy Girl but way less overwhelming) and Nefrititti which we ended up going with because it was so cool. The next day we headed to the Egyptian Antiquities museum. You are not allowed take pictures so I have none, at first I thought it was to preserve all the artifacts but after going I think it was to keep it a secret how AWFULLY done the museum is. There are artifacts just lying around everywhere and hardly anything is labeled, what is labeled looks like it was typed on a type writer in the late 70's. One of the items was labeled with a hand written scrap of paper! We had planned on spending 4 hours there (as the guide book suggests is the minimal amount ughhh) So we wandered around for a bit, stoping to have a snack at the Hard Rock. For once it was totally in our favor that it takes FOREVER to eat at restaurants abroad. Then we met up with our friend Morgan and her hubby. It was so fun. They took us to this amazing local place that was incredible! She ordered everything in her fluent Arabic and it was amazing. It really made the trip.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Explora: Children's Museum in Rome

We wanted to do some fun things just for the kids while in Rome and Megan suggested Explora. It is hilarious because they have pretty strict policies where they only allow people in every 2 hours and limited numbers each time. We arrived a little after the time limit and they stressed to us that we would only have an hour and a half and then had to leave ha! First we headed to the fire truck.

Then the boys found the outfits you could dress up in.
Then we found the water cannons
Then the super cool solar powered cars (which were really tricky)
The boys had a blast playing in the toy gardens. Sammy planted the food
Then Liam would water them
This is him making a shhhhhhshhhhh noise that comes with watering plants
Then Sam would harvest what they had grown
Then it was over to the kitchen to cook it!
Liam really liked his turkey
All the while Abby was playing with the adorable pull toy puppy
Then we headed over to the store to buy ingredients we were missing.
Sammy checked us out and like any good Italian boy bought a piece of meat the size of him
We all took turns chillin and playing with Abby
Sammy had a blast on the zipline.
I was impressed with how brave he was doing it.
Sammy LOVED the fake bank part of the museum he kept going back there and pretending to work on the computer.
We talked the kiddos into posing in the hilarious cut outs
After our hour and a half was up we walked down to Piazza de Popeolo, the home of the twin church's
Abby was so happy to run around and I just died at how cute the skinny jeans Grandma bought her were.
This girl LOVES the wide open spaces in all the Piazzas in Rome.
It is cute to watch she and Liam become such good friends. They CRACK each other up I love it!
We then asked a tourist person on a segway how far it was to the Spanish steps, she said a five minute walk so we thought we would do it. It was NOT a five minute walk and the steps were PACKED.
The steps were beautiful though and the Bernini fountain in the piazza was gorgeous
On the way back all the kids zonked and poor Chris and Grandma took turns carrying a limp Liam all the way back to the car.
But it was great to see it and well worth the sore muscles :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I want to be this cool when I am old

Chris and I saw this music video while we were in Egypt and I LOVED it. I have no idea what the song is about because I believe it is in German but the video is ADORABLE! Although I won't shop lift when I am old... I hope.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Raining in Rome-- but still gorgeous!

We have been keeping busy busy busy here. I thought I would give a super quick update about what we have been up to. I tried to do family pics this last Sunday

(Chris is not a fan of the skinny khakis I got him at Zara but I think they are so cute)
Liam was a DOLL and there are to many that I love:
Although this one is hilarious because it is totally his personality
Abby was so excited to be wandering around and taking it all in.
I really wanted a good one of her smiling so Daddy gave her some tickels
I love the look of anticipation on her face:
I have THE worst luck when it comes to our own family pictures. Nothing ever seems to go smoothly. As soon as we got in the car it started lashing rain. We drove all the way into downtown Rome and sat in the car saying we would give it ten minutes to stop. Thank heavens it lightened up enough to run out to the bridge. The boys LOVED playing with umbrellas
We were quiet the spectacle and had a bit of a crowd watching the boys spin around (and I was probably pretty entertaining trying to run around in my dress trying to get pictures of all of them)
This was the only family picture that really turned out okay. It was just to busy (totally thought the rain would drive people away) and the kiddos had been cooped up for too long in the car, but it looks cute

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Afternoon in Borghese

My friend Megan who's husband is from Italy HIGHLY recommend we take the kids to Villa Borghese. It was so fun we will be returning this weekend. It is a HUGE park (it reminded me a ton of Park Retiro in Spain) with lots of trails, fountains, ponds, statues etc. After wandering a bit we rented a Suri to bike around the park. The kids thought it was awesome to pile in on the front
I loved that we could ALL fit in one
and was so happy that it had a little built in motor ha! We would stop and take in some of the amazing views.
The boys would run around and Abby would pick up rocks,
Put them on the suri,
and then decided which ones to eat ha! It was hilarious getting up speed and zooming down hills. The kids had a great view of the park.
We had lunch and let the cuties play at this funny little wooden farm. Then headed home. Oddly enough both Abby and Liam fell asleep in the car :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Trevi fountian, the Pantheon, Neuvono and of course Gelato

We did a big 'ole tourist day on Tuesday. We got a super early start and headed first to the Pantheon.
It is funny because what I had seen so far of Italy was 100% not what I expected it to be, but today, well, most streets we walked down looked like this:
narrow, cobble stoned and gorgeous. EXACTLY what I thought Italy would look like. When we came to the Pantheon I was bummed that half of it was covered in scaffolding. When Sam saw it he promptly remarked "Look! They are almost done!" It made me laugh so hard. Thankfully it was not packed and the kids got to enjoy running around
Sam had Grandma hold him up to see all the fountains
He has LOVED being around Grandma and Grandpa and getting nice and spoiled ha!
Liam as always just does whatever he thinks is fun and wandered around jumping up and down the steps
Abby has gotten into a funny yelling stage where she sounds like she is barking out orders to everyone so she stood at the top of the stairs yelling randomly.
We had to get a few family shots, so here are the boys
and the whole fam
There was a really talented guitarist playing on the steps in front of the Pantheon. Grandma and Grandpa like to support musicians so they had Sam run over and give him some money. It was the cutest thing to watch. First he cautiosly walked up
then stood next tot eh guy for a second trying to figure out what to do, and the guitarist kept doing a nodding motion with his head trying to show him what to do with the money
Finally he figured it out and ran back so proud of himself
Abby particularly like the horses that were standing in front of the Pantheon. I think she thought their hats were cute
We then headed down to Piazza Navona. It is gorgeous but the boys had the most fun in one of the ridiculously expensive toy stores. They had really cool hand puppets that I would have totally bought the boys except the only one they wanted was Spiderman, not any of the cool Italian looking ones, Spiderman, so we walked out of the store empty handed. Then we walked over to Trevi fountian. It was CRAZY packed, to the point of making me nervous that we were going to loose a child. Abby was zonked in the stroller so we took the boys up to throw some money in the fountain. They thought that was fun but really loved getting a drink from the fountain that spits water right out onto the rock
Liam was a bit apprehensive and just wanted to watch Daddy take a drink.
On the way home we stopped and had yummy pizza and followed the guide book to supposedly the best Gelato in Rome.
It was amazing, so good in fact that when Chris and I do our night tour on Friday we will make a special trip just to go there :)