Our miracle RAINBOW BABY BOY arrived 8/2018

1st IVF = BFN
2nd IVF = Baby A, born May 2015
3rd IVF = Miscarriage at 14 weeks
4th IVF = BFN
After we paid for 5th IVF, positive pregnancy without IVF!

Because the important moments in life just don’t fit in a status update! I started this blog when I was training for my first ½ Ironman, (70.3 miles) to record what I hoped would be growth and progress but ended up being a huge learning experience. Although fitness is one of the key ingredients to a happy life, it certainly isn't the only ingredient. My blog has evolved to document growth, progress and setbacks in other areas too. From my surprise proposal in Rome and wedding in the fall of 2013, to Mom's devastating stage IV cancer diagnosis and death 2 weeks after I found out I was pregnant. Who knows what shape it will take, but thanks for being along for the ride.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Babymoon Booked!

This "relaxing or romantic vacation taken by parents-to-be before their baby is born" was likely invented by a group of smart, scheming women who liked to vacation. It didn't really exist 10 years ago, yet is something husbands can end up feeling guilty for not giving their wife, much like the newly invented "push present."

Planning to take full advantage, I started planting ideas for a babymoon in my husband's head early, before we were even pregnant. I knew it would be an easy sell since he loves to travel, and we try to take an international trip every February anyway.

Venice is known for being one of the most romantic cities in the world. It is also know for being one of the most expensive. That's why its best to travel off season, like we did when we visited Rome. Our district has a week off every February, which is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of places like this. We fly out on Valentine's Day. Sure, it will be a little chilly, but we won't be fighting the crowds, and what other place could look as beautiful in the gloomy mists of a winter fog? With all of the walking we'll be doing, I actually prefer cooler weather, and Venice has a high of 50 right now.

I'm just starting to explore things to do, but already have a few things on our must-do list. We will be catching the tail end of the Venice Carnival, which started back in the 11th century and was very popular until outlawed by the King of Austria in 1797, and picked back up after a long absence in 1979. During the Carnival (Carnevale) f
rom January 31 - February 17, 2015, Venice will slough off the winter gloom and burst into life. This most magical of cities fills with a mass of masked party-goers - posing and preening, dancing and philandering, in a slightly surreal re-invention of a great tradition of the city. (Think Eyes Wide Shut.)

What's any historic city without a good Murder and Mystery Tour? Those of you who know me well, know I only watch one channel: Investigation Discovery so this is right up my (dark) alley. Discover an entirely different Venice as we make our way through a labyrinth of narrow alleyways, where shadows linger and footsteps echo. Imagine a dark silent Venice with no lighting, eerie and spooky.

Learn about the public executions in St. Marks square, the inhumane mental asylums situated on the lagoon islands. Anecdotes of the courtesans, casinos and brothels and of course Casanova and 'the last kissing spot'.

There's a story of the mysterious footprints, headless body and the head seen floating in a canal, the assassins alleyway and the murdered women dressed in white! Secret courtyards and architectural gems hidden in the silent alleys, such as the impressive spiral staircase. Finally the story of the ill-fated Theatre, La Fenice and mystery of the last fire...

I'm also excited about where we're staying: the Hilton Molino Stucky on Giudecca Island, facing the Grand Canal. Once a flourishing flourmill, it is now internationally recognized as one of Italy’s iconic pieces of industrial architecture. 

Hilton Molino Stucky Venice - Exterior
Our hotel
But forget about the architecture, I'm more interested in the spa! The 6,500 square foot spa is billed as the largest wellness center in Venice, and I can't wait to get a treatment or two there. It also has 7 restaurants and bars, including a panoramic rooftop bar that promises sweeping of the skyline. The hotel also offers a complimentary shuttle boat over to the 9th century St. Mark's Square and nearby Doge's Palace

Other than that, the rest of our itinerary will be open. Nathan made all of the (first class!) travel arrangements, and said it's up to me to plan what we do while we're there. I like to have things on my must see list, but not in any particular order or day. Having too full of an itinerary is stressful.

I definitely want to see the Peggy Guggenheim collection, attend Mass at St. Mark's Basilica, and explore two of the famous islands of the Venetian Lagoon - Murano and Burano. Burano has all the colorful buildings and is known for its intricate lace (I can't wait to find something for Autumn there) and Murano is known for their precious glass. Lastly, I hope we can catch a show at the Teatro San Gallo close to our hotel.

But mostly, I want to walk down narrow alley-ways holding hands, not knowing where we're going, while getting about as lost as you can on an island.