Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Travel Day Wed/Thur August 15/16th arrival to Cefalu

It’s a long way to travel over an ocean. After driving 11.5 hours to grandmas to drop the three big kids off. We headed 1.5 hours to the airport for our mid-Wednesday flight. We arrived with plenty of time but the airport was so tiny we didn’t really have much to do. But after two trips to the bathroom, diaper change, and luggage reorganization we boarded the plane early and got settled.

Little man quickly dozed off to sleep.

We had a two hour layover in Atlanta which really is only an hour of free time after you make it to your gate. We ate dinner at a sit down restaurant and then boarded our long flight to Rome.

Kyle had picked seats a little further back from the bathrooms because his last flight overseas landed him near the restrooms and he didn't get a wink of sleep. Well when we checked in they moved our seats. Probably because we had an infant in arms and they put us up by where a baby bassinet could be put into the wall. I enjoyed the leg room and Thomas enjoyed exploring and playing on the floor in front of us.

Waiting for the flight to board:

The flight was pretty uneventful. We didn’t sleep much. Thomas slept on and off. Only made it an hour in this bassinet. Kyle and I watched a movie and Thomas slept best while being wrapped on my chest. Somehow I bruised my tailbone given the position I spent most of the time in.

We did get lots of meals on the flight and I'll say they were pretty good. Well balanced and healthy. Enough to share with Thomas. We even got to watch a movie. The seats we were in had a little screen that pulled up from the arm rest which made it easy for sharing because it was inbetween us (we each had a screen but we shared headphones and watched one movie: War Dogs). You can see the bassinet in this photo above the screen. Thomas was a little too big for it. 

Once we landed (a little late) we had to BOOK it and I mean run. I was sweating while wearing Thomas. Because of the delay, Delta gave us an escort and thank goodness because she took us straight there other wise we wound have been so lost. Went through immigration quickly and boarded a bus to be taken to our plane.

Oh and by this point it was THURSDAY! My birthday, but sure didn't feel like a new day, just a really long continuation of Wednesday.

Good bye Rome!

This was the tightest plane ever. Like no space between seats. We were in a three seat row and luckily no one else was with us so we spread out and gave Thomas a seat. We buckled him and he realized he couldn’t get up so he relaxed and enjoyed the down time. I changed his diaper right there but apparently that was frowned upon as the stuardist gave me the most disapproving look.

An ISLAND! Not sure which one this was.

For landing they gave us a little attachment buckle and had us buckle Thomas into our seat belt. It was rather odd but we just went with it. They also gave us an infant life vest... we were hopeful we wouldn't need it.

Hello Sicily!

We arrived to the Palermo airport and headed to baggage claim. Given the rush were in through the Rome airport Kyle was sure our bag didn’t make it. But it did and then we went through the most lax customs line ever. Our checked bag did a quick cray run through a conveyor belt while the customs guard barely glanced at the screen.

First noticeable international difference: their toilets, the tanks are way up high. 

We found the bus ticket booth and bought our ticket for the shuttle bus into Palermo. Our stop was the last so it was a nice driving tour of the area. About an hour bus ride.

Thomas fell asleep again, poor guy his sleep was so messed up.

We had thought about spending some time in Palermo for sightseeing but after the bus ride we saw quite a bit of it. Although exhausted it fit our need. Here were a few statues we snapped photos of and looked up info about them later.

This one is Statua della Liberta located in Piazza Vittoiro Veneto. Translated to Statue of Liberty, but not like the one in New York. It's a monument to the fallen after the world war and the statue and square were built in 1910.

This one is the Teatro Politeama Garibaldi is a theater and the second most important theater in the city. You can read about it on wikipedia here. 

Sleeping baby shoes on mine. 

Horse drawn carriage:

Ceramic Store:

This is Piazza San Domenico and a Catholic Church: Convento San Domenico

Here is the train station and horse sculpture in front of it in Piazza Giulio Cesare (Julius Ceasar Square) you can read about it here

Once we arrived at the train station we got our ticket and had an hour and a half to spare so we went for lunch. Our phones didn’t work without WiFi but we were able to log into a weak signal at the train station to check emails which I’m glad because we got better info on check in to our Cefalu AirBnB.

Walked a block to this little pizzeria, (called Enzo) they were concerned with us eating quickly because they closed soon. We assured them we would be fast, we were hungry! This was the most amazing pizza!!! Love the fresh greens and succulent tomatoes on top.

And after the entire trip I will say this was THE best pizza we had. And we had pizza everyday. Mine was called the Fantasy but I can't seem to find it on their website menu... basically just arugula, tomatoes, and a couple kinds of cheese.

Walked back over to the station and needed to find a restroom or WC as it was labeled. It cost 1 Euro to go in and they didn’t even have a changing table. I gave Thomas back to Kyle outside of the gate so I could at least go pee since I paid. Kyle changed Thomas on the floor outside the toilets.

We got on our train and headed to Cefalù. Amazing views by we were TIRED! Thomas slept on the bus but was wide awake on the train. I kept dozing off on the train for chunks of time. A minute here and there.

Once arrived in Cefalù we were so ready to load off our bags. We walked the 1km distance to our AirBnB. The sidewalk was tiny to start but then we noticed people walking the streets. Cefalu is a very touristy area. Once at our place which was very easy to locate, we showered and instantly felt better.

Statue at the center of Cefalu called: Monumento ai Caduti = Monument to the Fallen of Cefalu
On each stone are engraved the names of the Fallen of the First World War. Next to the pile of stones, a bronze statue of a soldier with a rifle in one hand and a winged Victory in the other, with a crown in his hand.

First view of Piazza Duomo with La Rocca up behind it to the right. 

Our AirBnB has a community roof stop space so we went up for a quick look

We left to figure out our meeting place for the next mornings excursion. Since we had to meet the shuttle at 7:15am we wanted to get it all figured out ahead of time. I was a little nervous about having something so early the next morning after an exhausting 'two days' of traveling. Once we figured out where we were to meet (back at the center of cefalu - the statue above) we walked the city a bit taking in the beauty.

Cefalu Cathedral built in 1131!
Thursday Day 1-2

This was our street Via Porto Salvo
Thursday Day 1-7

Thursday Day 1-8

There wasn't much traffic since it was mainly pedestrians walking, but a few cars snuck in here and there. Look how tight the fit is. 
Thursday Day 1-9

Thursday Day 1-10

Tiny alley way
Thursday Day 1-14

Thursday Day 1-15

Busy busy streets, so many people. It's like times square in NY!
Thursday Day 1-18

Then we met up with my cousin patty and her kiddos (my second cousins) in the piazza duomo which is just that plaza area in front of the cathedral, just a tiny block away from the street we're staying. Patty is my mother’s first cousin and I grew close with them when I lived in New York. Patty’s daughter Katie is who’s wedding we are here to attend. Her husband is from this area. It was a lovely time to sit and visit and enjoy an amazing brioche con gelato and decafe cappuccino. We were so tired though and our brains were fussy from exhaustion. Thomas fell asleep on the walk there (very short like 200m haha.) He was a fan of the cobble stone roads, bumpy ride put him right to sleep. 

Brioche con gelato. Yummy! I think this was the nutella flavored gelato.

So exhausted at this point. Realized it was my birthday, haha. Great way to celebrate! 

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