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Travelling with a Baby and a Broken Foot

August 27, 2007 Toronto, Canada Diagnosis: Hairline fracture on left foot due to a competetive game of ultimate frisbee. Prognosis: Positive. Will heal is 6 weeks or so.

My well-mannered Orthopaedic doctor suggested I wear one of those air cast boot.

What did I get myself into? I'll be travelling with my husband and 7-month-old baby to Italy and Greece in 3 days!
So, I asked my husband, "Should I bother bringing my air cast?"

He shrugged, "it's up to you."

That was my cue NOT to bring that hideous thing. However, I got to thinking whether I could gain some special favours from sympathetic Europeans once they see my broken foot. I can almost hear them saying, "Let me open that door for you, Signora." Or perhaps,"Would you and your baby like a seat in this crowded bus?" Better yet, "Here's a free room upgrade since you are obviously suffering and in need of some relaxation." In my dreams!
August 30 - 31, 2007 Rome, Italy Alitalia flight AZ651, from Toronto Pearson to Rome Fiumicino, was quite a long one for me and my husband, Johnny. We had our baby, Giada, on our laps during the flight. Yes, the airline provided a baby bassinet, but it was more of a basket with a piece of foam that you lay at the foot of your seat.

It was meant to be an overnight transatlantic crossing, with me arriving fresh the next morning, ready to tackle Imperial Rome. But I must have been delusional to think that! I've had less than half an hour sleep on the plane since baby Giada was determined to keep me awake. She was playing and laughing with fellow passengers, was in an unusually excitable state, and was plagued with baby insomnia. Have we made a mistake taking her travelling? Have we plunged, headfirst, into a brave, new world of parenting misadventures?
When we landed in Rome, the adrenaline that rushed through my body during the 9-hour flight, was now fading into a dark abyss. Sleepiness is catching on really quickly! But I thank the Roman gods that the train to the city was a short walk away from the ariport terminal. We took the Leonardo Express train to Termini station--a reasonably cheap and convenient way to get into the city.

Here's the scenario: try getting a Bugaboo stroller up the train steps, into the train carriage, with a broken foot (I did not bring my air cast), with a bevy of passengers lining up to see you fail. There you find the makings of a mini nervous breakdown. My dreams of arriving fresh and looking fabulous in the Eternal City were squashed! Forget wearing nice clothes and designer shoes; I have a baby and a broken foot to take care of

Our train pulled into Termini at 9 am, and the station was bustling with commuters. Third time in Rome, but the same excitement flooded over me. I took a deep breath and unboarded the train at platform 24. We were staying at the Hotel Ducale on Via Achille Grande, which was supposedly a stone's throw from Termini station--not true at all! We walked the cobblestone pavement towards the hotel, pushing Giada's Bugaboo stroller and my rolling suitcase past graffiti-strewn buildings while dodging crazy Italian motorists. A supposedly 10-minute walk turned into a disastrous 20. The ligament on my sprained foot was burning and "popping", shifting like tectonic plates on fire. But when we finally arrived at Ducale, i let out a sigh of relief.

"Can we check in our room now?" I wondered out loud.

The friendly Congolese man at the desk suggested breakfast first, but accomodated our early arrival by ordering the "chamberman" to prepare the room. By 10:30 am, we were checked-in and in bed. My sprained foot was hurting like there's no tomorrow and Giada was now demanding to be fed. I lied down and dutifully tended to both. Within minutes, I was asleep in the beautiful city of Rome.

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Travelling with a Baby and a Broken Foot + trip