Bambino Fedeli has gotten around the world (whether he/she liked it or not). Our first couple of trips were in my first trimester down to Naples, Florida. These trips were spent mostly in the fetal position with saltines and ginger ale sitting in bed with me. Around four months pregnant though we took Ari to Orlando to celebrate her 7th birthday at Disney World with some of Nick’s family and some of mine. I was fortunately finally coming out of that first trimester haze and feeling well enough to navigate Epcot and The Magic Kingdom. We all had a wonderful time and the walking was good for me and baby. The only difference traveling to Disney World pregnant made was that I of course could not go on some of the really cool roller coasters that I normally would have loved to ride and I had to constantly apply bug spray just to give myself some peace of mind concerning Zika.
The next trip we took was another big European adventure or pilgrimage I should say. We hopped on a plane and after three movies landed in Lisbon, Portugal.
Now on this trip I’m about 6 months pregnant and I’ve got a little beach ball attached to me. Portugal is very hilly so the pregnancy waddle was in full swing along with some minor complaints about how my feet hurt and some times when I just flat out stopped in the middle of the sidewalk to catch my breathe and pop my back. The food in Portugal was pretty good in my opinion. I don’t think my husband was over the moon about it, but he can’t see very far past Italian food. It was a lot of cod cooked with onions and boiled potatoes. I’m all for fish and potatoes so I had no problem with this.
Ari ate a lot of their grilled and pressed cheese sandwiches. All of us without question fell in love with a little pastry called Pastel de Nata. They taste like a hybrid of a croissant and a yellow colored creme brûlée. Delicious. We ate about 7 a day, or at least I did. Were they pregnancy safe? I doubt it, the custard is made mostly of egg yolks and they are definitely not all the way cooked but for goodness sake if I followed every little thing I would be eating packaged food all of the dang time and that really goes against my eating philosophy of fresh whole food. “Don’t eat sprouts, be careful if the veggies are bad or if the spinach has e coli, don’t eat this cheese, this fish, the sandwich, the salad with that dressing, the sushi, kombucha etc…” I understand some suggestions but others geesh.
Lisbon reminded Nick and I of Barcelona. Both are pretty tropical and warm. Lisbon is just much more like I said earlier, hilly. Portugal is a hidden treasure. They have beautiful beaches, great surfing (not that I went surfing or to a beach on this trip) and beautiful music called Fado. We went to a restaurant where we were able to hear live fado and it was so lovely. Brazil has their Bossa Nova, Portugal has their Fado and they are both so melliflous with their language filled with shh like words. The music is filled with passion.
We took a day trip by bus to Fatima. Before I met Nick I had no idea about the story of Fatima. I did not grow up Catholic. I was 100% open to the idea of becoming Catholic because I spent my childhood exploring Catholic churches and admiring their beauty. I wanted to one day be able to get the Eucharist and even looked into taking classes to convert when I was in high school but never got around to it. I didn’t think Christianity was any different than Catholicism so I didn’t see it as a big deal to convert. After being Catholic for a year and half now I do see the differences and they are pretty big. Converting has taught me a lot. I didn’t even really know the history of how Christian denominations broke off from the Catholic Church originally to pursue divorce. I didn’t know much about martyrdom and holy wars, sacraments, the saints, Mary or the rosary. I’m of course glad to know about them now. My ideas and morals are pretty set in stone now instead of being all over the place and up to interpretation like they were when I was some sort of strange self created hybrid between Christian and Pagan. Anyway, Fatima, there were three children who saw Mary in their home town of Fatima, Portugal. She kept appearing to them until finally a great miracle in the sky happened. There were also some secrets revealed. The story is pretty incredible and anyone should read into it for themselves, believers or not.
The next venture was to Lourdes, France. We of course collected our water from the Grotto. Lourdes is very commercialized, beautiful of course but I’m going to be honest there are a lot of little gift shops everywhere which make it a bit hectic and less peaceful. I was not at peace while I was there. I was cold and a little bugged because I couldn’t sleep at night there. On our last day I went into the confessional in Lourdes and just cried to the priest. There was so much in my heart that I was not at peace with. There was a lot of anger and unforgiveness in me and I desperately needed to bleed it out. I came out very puffy eyed and knew that I was going to have to begin a healing process and eventually write everyting off so I could free myself. I needed to move forward and retrain my neurons to fire only to positive thoughts. I needed to look around and see everything I had to be grateful for. There were people in wheel chairs all around me, people fighting battles and demons I was unaware of and here I was with just some mental scars. I had it easy. I had to let go and let the light back in. This did not take one day. I was not completely healed after I walked out of the confessional or drank the holy water. It took a couple more months for my mind to finally feel free and truly happy and content again. I just finally spoke out loud what had been lingering and building up in the back of my mind to someone and was able to have someone pray over me and give me a little guidance.
Alright, so that was my experience in Lourdes.
On to Paris and feeling a little lighter. The one thing I made sure to do in Paris was research all maternity stores. I was getting rounder and the pounds were doubling what the Dr. suggested, so I decided if I was going to look like I had a beach ball attached to my ever growing body I was going to dress this beach ball cute. One brand that I have fallen in love with is Seraphine for all pregnant mommas out there, you’re welcome!
Just make sure you are on the United States website and not the British website or else you will think those pounds are dollars and consequently think that the clothes are half of what they really are… not like I did that or anything…
We had a wonderful time in Paris again. We visited Le Souffle everyday as a result of my husband’s souffle affinity. We had chocolate souffles, pistachio souffles, creme brûlée souffles and my husband had Grand Marnier souffles. Baby Fedeli and I opted out of those. We also stayed in a different area this time. Last time we were right by the Eiffel Tower in the beautiful Hotel Plaza Athenee. This time we were at Hotel Bel Ami in Saint Germaine. This is truly an adorable area. It felt more like we were living in a little neighborhood. There are cute shops around and the Louvre is not far. We could also easily walk to our favorite shopping areas right across The Seine and to Ari’s park in The Luxembourg gardens. I think because the Parisian children had school and it was a popular spring break time for American children there were a plethora of English speaking children for Ari to play with this time around. She had so much fun it was difficult getting her to leave and it was difficult for me to get her to leave because I loved seeing her so happy and making friends in a foreign country. It made me very proud of her. She is so adaptable and open to new experiences. I think I said, “Okay just ten more minutes” ten times.
I have to mention, every hotel we stayed at on this trip made Ari feel like a VIP guest. We went during Easter time so every single day there were Easter candies left for her. We collected so many chocolate eggs from our hotels. Also Hotel Bel Ami did not only leave her chocolates daily but a big bottle of Non-Alcoholic Apple flavored champagne, tangerines and assorted gummy candies. Ari seems to make friends wherever she goes.
As for the Baby and me my only complaint was again sore feet. I have come to the point in my pregnancy now at 34 weeks where I just wake up with sore feet. It takes them about ten minutes to walk around and wake up. Other than that traveling with a baby attached to me has been a lot easier than I thought. I assumed I would have been much more uncomfortable. My last trip with baby was last week. We took a short trip to Chicago to celebrate a little family member’s communion. My mom lives in Chicago so we stayed with her, my sister, step dad and grand father. It was a short but wonderful reunion. The flight was only thirty minutes long and though I’m eight months pregnant no one from United bothered me. I’ve heard some stories where women have had to bring Dr.’s notes to get on flights. That will most definitely be my last trip though because even though the flight was short each time my back hurt so badly sitting stationary in those chairs. It’s definitely time to hang up my wings and nest for my little baby. ❤