Traveling with my family is one of my greatest joys. I have two little boys of my own and my husband and I bring them with us whenever we travel. Of course, traveling with little children is not easy at all. However, these challenges can be overcome with preparation and lots of patience. Whenever we travel, safety is our top priority.
Click here for safe family travel tips.
Defining The Sweet Life
How do you define the ‘sweet life’? For me, la dolce vita is best spent with family. My husband and two kids are based in Siena, Italy. Part of living the expat life is being away from our family and closest friends. Sometimes I feel lonely to be so far away from “home”. Imagine my excitement when my dad, mom, sister, and brother visited us from the Philippines! I am writing this post just a day after we said our goodbyes. Together, we traveled to different places in Italy and France. I would love to share the highlights of our sweet trip. (A special thanks to Hershey of heyhersheyblog for the beautiful photos!)
Wining and Dining “Tuscan-Style” at All’Orto de’ Pecci Siena:
All’Orto de’ Pecci is a restaurant and pizzeria located in Siena, Italy. This Italian ristorante serves typical Tuscan meals in an outdoor setting. We had lunch and wine in an area surrounded by farmland and hills. It is a kid-friendly environment because the children can enjoy running around the field. Here you can find a mini zoo with goats, peacocks, ducks, and geese.
Click here to read about 5 Kid-Friendly Places in Siena, Italy.
Strolling Down the Cobble-stone Streets of Florence, Italy
It was a perfect day in Florence. There were only a few tourists and plenty of fun. The weather in April was amazing and so was the view.
Click here to read about Florence Travel Tips with Small Children.
Experiencing Venice and Its Wonders
Venice will always be magical! My sons Leon and Lucas enjoyed exploring this ancient city with their grandparents, aunt, and uncle.
Click here for Venice Travel Tips with Small Children
Watching the Palio Horse Race in Siena, Italy
I am so happy to share my first Palio horse race with my sister. We left the kids with the grandparents because we know that thousands of people all around the world will be coming over to Siena Centro to witness this sports event. This world-famous medieval horse race (no saddles!) is celebrated twice a year in July and August. Congratulations to the Dragon Contrada for winning the first race in 2018. Please watch this short video to see the details of our Palio experience.
Click here to read Reasons To Visit Siena, Italy.
Going To Disneyland, Paris
Nothing beats the feeling of seeing your parents and siblings together with your children in the “happiest place on Earth”! During my son’s post-birthday lunch in a sandwich shop on Main Street, my mother said that for her, this was a dream come true. My favorite memories as a kid were in Disneyland with my daddy and mommy. Imagine my parents’ joy as they spend a day at Disneyland with their grandchildren!
Click here to read Disney Tips For First-Timers.
Going To My Cousin’s Wedding in Chateau de Bouthonvilliers in France
My cousin Tim got married to the love of his life in a chateau in Dangeau, France! Tim lives in Los Angeles, California. I am happy for him and his wife Stephanie because their friends and family from all over the world were able to witness their beautiful wedding. Felice matrimonio!
(c) Hershey Neri
Riding an Electric Boat in Bonneval, France
Do you know that Bonneval has a mini-Venice? Instead of a gondola, we rode an electric boat (which I also got to steered). It was a fantastic experience. The best part was ducking our heads under the low bridges! It was so funny.
Eating a Macaron in front of the Louvre in Paris, France
It was my first time to taste a real French macaron. I was pleasantly surprised because I did not expect it to taste “that good”! Délicieux!
Taking A Family Photo at the Eiffel Tower
We were lucky enough to run into Tim, his wife Steph, and their friends on our way to the Eiffel Tower! I love that we were all together in this photo. (Missing my other sister Yas who did not get to go on this trip. I hope that she will get to visit us in Europe soon.)
Loving the Good and the Imperfect
We so blessed that we got to spend time with the people we love the most. Aside from the “big moments” touring key places in Italy and France, I will never forget our not-so-sweet experiences. Those imperfect moments (getting a speeding ticket, family drama ‘mini-explosions’, toddler and baby tantrums, etc.) are still part of “the sweet life”. I wish for my parents to live long enough to see their grandchildren get married. We already miss them so much now that we have said our goodbyes. I am so looking forward to being reunited again next year for my brother-in-law’s wedding in Manila!