Monday, November 20, 2017

Venice and Slovenia

We were flying out on a Wednesday so Joe got home from work around 12 or so and we started the process of getting ready.  We had to finish up packing and get the house set to leave.  My dad got to our house around 12 as well so that we could all go to the airport together.  We were ready to go around 2:30 or so and we headed out.  We parked at the international terminal (FAST park) which was super easy and quick and then got checked in.  We got through the line quick and went through the precheck line with nobody in it.  Once we got to the gate, Joe’s parents were already there and then Matt showed up shortly after.  As soon as the gate opened Joe got in line to ask for the bassinet and they told him they already gave the one they had away, but then I got called up shortly after and we got the bassinet seat!  Joe must have done some great negotiation, or it may have been my delta status.  This was the first time we got to board early which was nice since there were no lines to wait in with Kaia.  She had been so good at the airport, playing and wiggling around on her blanket getting her energy out.  She also hadn’t slept much during the day since I tried to keep her up so she would sleep on the plane.  We were all seated in the same area, so once we got boarded we were off around 5:30. 
 For dinner I ordered some egg plant lasagna and Joe got chicken which he said was really good.  Kaia was still up for the most part through dinner, playing in the bassinet and enjoying spending time with grandparents snuggling her.  After dinner we put her down and she was fast asleep.  She woke up once  and after getting fed she was back down for the night and didn’t wake up until it was time to land.  She got a good 6-7 hours of sleep which isn’t bad for her first plane ride!  We did have a blowout poop (we had been warned this may happen on the flight) but we managed!  Before we knew it we were in Venice.  The customs lines were crazy long, but thanks to Kaia we got to skip the line and go to the family line.  This helped my dad out as he had to catch a bus, and we headed to the rental car place to pick up a car. 
The way pricing went, it was significantly cheaper for us to rent when we landed on Thursday morning as opposed to when we needed it Saturday so we picked it up, then went to park it.  The rental car was a hot mess and took about an hour before we even got called, then the car we got was too small so we needed to change it.  Needless to say, it took a REALLY long time (over another hour) and we didn’t get to the water taxi dock until 11:45 which is a short walk from the rental car place.  Unfortunately, the 11:45 taxi was full so we hopped on the 12:15 one and headed to Venice.

Day 1
The taxi took about an hour or so to get to our stop, the last one, San Maria de Giglio.  Once we got there we were a bit stressed since our Air B&B guy was supposed to pick us up but wasn’t there and the wifi wasn’t working.  We had ordered a wifi thing before we left and received it in the mail to allow for easy communication and mapping!  After about 15 or so minutes, he showed up which was a relief, and took su to our place for the next two nights.  It was a bit of a walk with the luggage and the bridges but we made it.  Once we got settled in and changed we headed out to explore. 

First up was food,  we were starving so we wondered our way around San Marco Square and beyond to grab lunch at Bierra Forst which was a place Jim had looked up.  We got a board as well as about 8 sandwiches and a bottle of prosecco.  Everything was amazing and the cute little restaurant seemed like it was more of a locals place since it was  a couple blocks off the square.  Everything was reasonably priced with sandwiches only being a couple euros and the board stacked high with meats and cheeses was $25.  We were stuffed so we wondered the streets for a while and made our way back to the air b&b around 4:30.  

I was exhausted since I only slept about an hour on the flight so I fedd Kaia and handed her off so I could nap.  2 hours later, I woke up feeling a little better.  Kaia was definitely ready for bed time at 6:30 but were were talked into going out to dinner since Kaia had been so well behaved the whole trip!  We walked for about 1 km or so in hopes to grab dinner at a local restaurant but unfortunately they were full.  We asked where they would recommend and they said The Cantina, just down the street, so we headed so we there.  It was more of a drink place but we weren’t starving so we sat down.  After a glass of wine we decided to get a board again since we wouldn’t need that much food.  On the board was bufolatta as well as about 8 or so different meats on two separate boards.  We ordered the serving for 3 and it was PLENTY of food for the 5 of us.  Kaia slept most of dinner and opened her eyes on occasions but was definitely getting quite tired.  The service wasn’t quick so we didn’t get home until about 9:30, where Kaia immediately had her first meltdown.  She was so tired that nothing could calm her down. We quickly bathed her in the sink (which she screamed through) and swaddled her up to get her to sleep.   It wasn’t quite that easy.  Since we were still milling around the place she had trouble really falling asleep and would wake up every 10 minutes and we would have to put her back down.  By 10 or so everyone was in bed and she got fed for the last time and was FAST asleep.  We didn’t hear another peep from her until I woke her up at 9:30 the next morning!  Needless to say it was much needed sleep for not just Kaia, but she woke up with a smile, ready for day 2!

Day 2
We were a lot slower moving in the morning than expected, especially since we didn’t wake up until 9:30 or so.  Luckily we didn’t have a set agenda so we were not in a huge rush.  We had bought some pastries on the afternoon out the day before and Jim went and got coffee for the coffee drinkers so we didn’t have to take time to eat breakfast.  After everyone was ready and fed we headed out for the day.  The first stop was the Jewish Ghetto.  We decided we would just wonder down that direction since our legs were fresh.  This was the area in Venice where all of the Jews were forced to live and a less touristy part of town.  On the way there we wondered some streets, found some yummy smoothies to enjoy along the way, and enjoy being away from the crowds a little bit.  Kaia was excited to take her morning nap during this walk!  We wondered around until about 12:30 when we decided it was time for lunch.
Lunch was at Pontini which was right in the area.  It was a small little place that was quite popular so we had to wait a little bit to get seated.  We didn’t have to wait too long compared to what the line was when we left so it seems we showed up the perfect time.  We got a liter of house wine to share and a lot of different plates to share.  We started with a large salad that had tuna on it and anchovies which were a lot less salty than the ones you get in the states and very tasty.  For our entrees to share we ordered black pasta (black from the squid ink that makes your lips black too) with cuttle fish, tagliatelle with mushrooms and scallops, and gnocchi with shrimp.  Everyone voted that the tagliatelli was the best thing we have had so far but everything was very tasty.  After that we all got a tiramisu to share which was the best I have ever had! 
From there, we bought tickets for Vaporetto (water taxi) to Murano, the island that is known for their glass blowing.  This is such a cute little island and worth the trip.  We wondered the streets there for quite some time, stopping in some stores along the way.  Once we got to the main bridge we took Kaia out so she could move around a bit, and then grabbed gelato at Gelatoria Murano.  After enjoying the ice cream we started the trip back to the Vaporetto and made some purchases along the way.  It was getting a little overcast and we were worried about the rain so we decided we would make our way to where dinner reservations were so that we wouldn’t get stuck in the rain.  We grabbed some drinks at a random restaurant and then headed to dinner at 6:45.
Dinner was at Ai Pronessi Sposi.  Reservations are a must as they are full every night.  We got seated right away and ordered the house prosecco.  We decided we would share everything again so we started with beef carpaccio, tuna tartar, and assorted shell fish in a broth.  The beef carpaccio is the largest serving that I have seen in my life!  Then we had orchettia pasta with tomatoes and basil, liver and onions, and a whole seabass with potatoes, and the fried seafood and vegetables.  Everything was cooked perfectly and a ton of food.  We also had some house red wine with dinner.  For desert we ordered the molten chocolate cake as well as tiramisu.  Both were good but the molten chocolate cake was amazing!  Then we ventured back to the air b&b for bed time.  Again, Kaia did such a good job throughout the day and we made sure to give her plenty of time to wiggle around outside of the carrier!

Day 3
This was our last morning in Venice so we decided to get moving a little quicker.  We were up and out the door somewhat early.  We met Jim and Barb at the coffee shop down the street from the Air B&B to get out before all of the tourists.  We walked to the Rialto Bridge and got a family photo since it was a bit more quiet and less crowded than it normally is in the middle of the day.  Then we wondered through the market just past the Rialto Bridge before finding a little pastry shop for breakfast.  We enjoyed breakfast then headed back to the hotel to pack up our things. 

We got all packed then headed to the water taxi back to the airport.  They run every half hour but we wanted to make sure the hit the road early enough so we made our reservations.  We got through the airport and to the rental car place fairly quick and hit the road for Slovenia.  We got there pretty quick and Joe was a great driver.  We realized that we would get there early, since we had 4:00 reservations, so we decided to detour and swing by my grandmother’s house in Sencur.  Joe passed the test and made it back to my grandmother’s house all on his own.  We met my grandma, aunt, uncle, and cousins for about 30 minutes and enjoyed drinks and snacks.  Before we knew it, it was time to head to lunch.  We were meeting my family and my parents for a meal at a nice restaurant in Atlanta. 
Danilo is a nice restaurant outside of Skofja Loka.  We got there right at 4 for our reservation. I don't remember all of the details of the food but everything they brought out was amazing.  We had an assortment of wines and here are some examples of what we ate:

  • Deer file with mushed potateo, made of roasted carrot and kohlrabi
  • Duck breast with baked apples and beet root
  • Loška mešta – polenta with potato and black truffles
  • Trout with herbs on garden salad
  • Sea Bass
We also had some salads, green salad and bean salad, other main courses, and an assortment of traditional Slovenian deserts. We wrapped up around 6 or so and headed to Davca where we would be staying for our time in Slovenia.  Once we got there they went on a tour of the church as well as my grandmother’s house so that they could see where all of the meats hang to dry as well as the smoke room.  They also went up to the bells at the church which is cool to see.  While they were out I played with Kaia a bit since she had been sitting in the car for so long that she needed to wiggle a little. Then it was about time to get to bed as we were all fairly early and it seemed like nobody got a good night of sleep the night before.  Kaia went down fairly quick and slept for the night which was nice, since the next day was a big day for her.

Day 4
We were all up around 5:30 or so since the sun came up then, but fell back asleep.  At 7:30 we were up and running and enjoyed breakfast.  My aunt went above and beyond for breakfast and we had potica, bobe, bread, cheeses, coffee, and anything else we wanted.  After breakfast we got dressed and headed to church in Susa which is a small church on top of a hill.  It is a hike and you can’t drive up to it so we had to have plenty of time to get to church.  Church was all in Slovenian so it was a bit hard to understand for the DiDias but it was a great experience.  Kaia stayed with my Aunt while we went to church so I was glad to hear she behaved herself when we go back.  Once we got back Kaia took a nap and then we got her dressed for her baptism.  She had the cutest dress and shoes and bloomers from a consignment sale.  Then she wore my mom’s hat that she wore at her baptism.
We had planned the baptism a while out and we were grateful that the priest said that he would do it for us.  We were also excited to see my grandma and other family was able to attend.  Jana got Kaia the prettiest baptism candle and baptism garment.  It started by us walking in with Kaia’s godparents, Matt and Jana.  Once we got there there were readings but since we had already been to church we didn’t have mass or a homily.  After that we went through the baptism with Kaia.  My dad did a great job translating to Slovenian so the DiDia family could understand and Matt could understand what he was promising.  Kaia was awake and watching for a long time and quite as a mouse.  She didn’t even cry when they poured water over her head!  There was a blessing where the priest touched her ears as a blessing, and instantly Kaia closed her eyes and fell asleep, which was so funny!  After we wrapped up the baptism it was time for a picnic.
It was so nice of my aunt and uncle to host a picnic since we had family from all over Slovenia visiting.  We socialized a bit and then it was time to eat.  They prepared a salad (cucumber, feta, tomato, peppers), potatoes, grilled zucchini, mushrooms, and chivapi, chicken legs, turkey kabobs, and pork neck.  Everything was so good.  For desert my aunt got all of my family to bring different things.   There was so many deserts, two different types of potica, roglicki, and bajadera, and coconut cate. A lot of this stuff was homemade since they have a farm so it was absolutely amazing.  There were a lot of kids around and some of the younger kids were loving on Kaia.  Kaia got a lot of snuggles and fell asleep with my aunt and my grandma.  Some of my family speaks English so they also got to have some conversations with the DiDias.  Around 4 or so we decided to go on a walk to walk off all of the food we ate while some others took a nap.
Once we got back it was time for the families to head out and hit the road as it was past nap time for most of the kids.  We relaxed for a bit before heading to Urban and Tina’s apartment to visit.  They had plenty of snacks, borovnicke, and wine.  Eva held Kaia and was so gentle with her that it was the first time Kaia really got a good look at someone that wasn’t an adult.  It was bed time for Kaia around 7:30 as she was getting cranky so I went an put her to bed.  We had to have one more meal before bed time, which was just bread, some homemade salami, homemade pickles, an Rafosk.  Everyone enjoyed chatting about how they make pickles and salami, Slovenian traditions, and what we would be up to the next day.  We wanted an early start so we went to bed fairly early.

Day 5
This was our first day of site seeing throughout Slovenia.  We had to hit the road around 8 since we wanted to be back in time for dinner time.   The first stop was Bohinj.  I think this is one of the prettiest and definitely most photogenic places in Slovenia.  It is also not a huge tourist attraction so it isn’t super crowded.  It can get filled with locals but we were there pretty early in the morning.  The sun was shining so the lake looked beautiful.  We walked around a bit and took in the view before hitting the road to our next stop. 
The next stop was Bled.  This is the one place that everyone wants to go when they visit Slovenia as it is the picture that comes up on google.  It is a beautiful lake with an island in the middle with a church on it.  We found parking and walked down to the lake where we strolled around for a bit.  We then walked up to Slascicarna Zima and grabbed deserts.  We got a couple kremsnit which are cream filled pastries and Blejska Grmada which is a cake like dough with raisins and rum and whipped cream.  After we finished eating desert half of the group walked up to tour the castle while Jana, Barb and I stayed down by the lake and let Kaia wiggle around a bit since she had been sitting in the car seat a while.  The weather was perfect and we loved just sitting by the lake.  They enjoyed the tour of the castle and said they wished they had a lot more time since Kaia was getting a bit tired.  They loved learning about the printing press and touring some of the rooms.  They didn’t get to go down to the wine seller and said they would definitely be back to finish up the tour one day.  After they got back we headed out to the next stop.
The last stop was to the Soca River Valley.  This is a beautiful river that has the brightest blue water due to the mineral content in the water and the white rocks that line the river.  To get there you go over a couple mountains and a lot of winding roads which make for great stops to stop and take some pictures.  We stopped at the pass through in Triglavski National Park where we walked a bit and enjoyed seeing all the sheep run around.  It was getting pretty late and we underestimated the time that we needed to get to all of these places so we needed to find a place to grab some lunch.
Lunch was at Gostilna Jazbec.  Here we decided to grab a light lunch since we would be eating dinner in 2 ½ hours.  The mushroom soup was fantastic and my mom ordered yota which is a traditional Slovenian soup that has vegetables in it.  We also got two large meat platters to share which had sausage, pork, fried turkey, potatoes, fries, and salad.  We were all full and the food was great. 

We would our way back in the misting raining but were lucky as we seemed to have missed all of the heavy rain.  We took one last quick stop at Most Na Soci which is on the Soca River but the water is a bit deeper so the water is incredibly blue.  We made it home just in time as Kaia had had enough and was ready to get out of the car seat about 15 minutes before we got home.  We got home and already had dinner on the table waiting us.  My aunt made knedelne which is a traditional fruit dumpling made of a potatoes dough and topped with a red wine sauce.  Everything was amazing and we were sufficiently stuffed for the day.  Some of the group headed out for a walk to walk off some of the food and I put Kaia down for bed since the next day would be another long day.

Day 6
We thought we were going to get a later start for the day but it filled up quick.  We got up and saw my family was already working in the fields.  When we hit the road it was a little less driving for Kaia’s sake which was nice, since she had enough the night before.  The first stop for the day was Skofja Loka, one of the largest towns near Davca.  We walked around a bit and walked into one of the souvenir shops to look at some of the local crafts.  We were hoping to go up to the castle but they were doing work on the main path so we decided it was time to head back to the car. 
The next stop was a dairy farm that my cousin lives on.  They have over 100 cows which means that a lot of the farm is automated.  It is really cool to see with the machines that automatically milk the cows, test the milk, and provide them food that is ideal to produce more milk.  They also had a 2 hour old calf which was still wet and cute as could be!  We socialized with my cousin for a bit and enjoyed some homemade apple juice before hitting the road for the next stop. 
Lunch today was at Arvaj which was down the street from the farm and in the general area.  The DiDia boys all ordered sausages from Kranj, my dad ordered ‘lesicke’ which were mushrooms, sausages, some vegetables, and in a parmesan bowl, I had goulash, and my mom had buckwheat dumplings filled with cheese.  We had huge servings and were incredibly full!  After that we visited my dad’s cousin and only living aunt in a town nearby.  They had some meats and cheeses and drinks to offer and my dad loved catching up with family that he hadn’t seen in quite a while.  She is 92 years old and still looking fabulous and living on her own with her husband whom she had been married to for 70 years!

From there we headed to our last stop, my grandmas house.  It would be her 82 birthday the next day so we had a birthday celebration for her.  My uncle put up some decoration in the yard and had so many deserts for everyone to snack on as well as beer and wine.  It was so good getting to spend some time with my cousins and grandmother since we didn’t get to see them much this trip!  My cousin also came home with her week old baby that was born a month early so it was so cute seeing a fresh new baby!  She was such a trouper swinging by for a bit and I know my grandmother loved having everyone around to celebrate with her.
After that it was already 6 so we headed back to Davca for more food (yes we ate a lot today).  We had homemade brats, blood sausage, sauerkraut, and potatoes.  It was amazing having everything homemade and I love the blood sausage and something that I look forward to eating every time I come here.  After that the DiDia’s took a tour of the museum of Davca and then we all headed to bed since we have another 8 AM start the next morning.

Day 7
I wasn’t sure if Kaia and I would be up to going on the trip but she had such a good night of sleep the night before that we decided it was worth a shot.  After breakfast we hit the road for the day (around 8).  The day was going to be spent in Maribor which is about a 2 ½ hour drive.  This was a bit long of a trip for Kaia so we decided to make a stop on the way there.  The first stop was in Zalec which was about a 2 hour drive. Kaia slept the whole time but was happy to be out of the car seat!  Zalec is known for its beer fountains.  You buy a cup that has a chip on the bottom for 8 Euro and you get 6 drinks.  They were all local beers and everyone thought it was such a great idea to have beer fountains. 
Once we wrapped up it was 45 minutes and luckily was time to hit the road again.  The drive to Marbor was another 45 minutes and luckily Kaia fell asleep pretty quick.  Once we got to Maribor we met up with Ana, who was my cousins roommate who went to high school in Maribor.  We got there around 12:30 and we headed to lunch because we had plans at 1:00.  We grabbed a Kabob, because we couldn’t leave the country without trying some fast food.  Then headed to the Maribor Wine Celler for our tour at 1:00.  We took a private tour in the wine celler and it was amazing.  They have 6 million liters of wine there which means that every Slovenian could get drunk twice!  There are so many pathways that they have historically had some people get lost.
We also saw the archive section that they have bottles as old as 1946. He said that really old aged wine taste like mushrooms but it takes a lot of work to keep them up.  They must be rotated  the wines every 5-10 years, and test them to make sure the acidity was good, then rework the cork.  They also add a bit of newer wine to keep up with evaporation.  
After we finished the tour we went to the tasting room where all of us had 2 samples of wine.  Once we wrapped up there we went and gabbed ice cream at Iunch which was a very hardy serving for just over 1 euro.  After that we went exploring.  We walked to where Sv. Anton Slomcek  is buried and walked through the church.  Then we walked past the post office to the main square where they just wrapped up a fair.  They had a statue there for the black plague.  Then we walked past city hall down to the river.  Along the river they have the oldest vine in the world where they make 100 liters/year.  It is incredibly hard to get wine from there, and the pope, queen, and other’s own a bottle. After that we walked back up to Luft which has a great view of all of Maribor and the drinks looked amazing.  We were all pretty worn out by then so we decided it was time to start the trip back.

My parents were heading back to Atlanta the following day so we split up and headed back to Davca.  Kaia did a very good job on the drive back and we only stopped once to feed her and grab some wine for dinner.  Once we got to Davca it was time for pizza in their wood burning oven.  This is always a meal I look forward to here because it is amazing!  We sipped wine, ate pizza, and then enjoyed a raspberry cake that my cousin made for Kaia’s baptism.  The plan was to have it earlier but there were so many deserts at the picnic and then my grandmother’s birthday celebration that they saved it for today and it was amazing!  People really know how to bake cakes in Slovenia!  After more socializing it was time to head to bed as we were all pretty worn out from the day.
Day  8
Unlike the other days, we didn’t have to hit the road too early in the morning.  We planned on leaving around 9 or so but then we realized it was going to be a pretty hot day so we hit the road around 8:30.  In the morning my aunt made crepes for us which were a nice change of pace and very tasty.  Since my parents had left the evening before, we were all able to fit in the van and hit the road for Ljubljana.  Jana was our tour guide for the day.  Last time Joe and I went it was freezing so we were glad to have some different weather.
After we parked the car near the city center we started the tour, starting at one of the main squares, then down the river bank.  Jana had plenty of facts and pointed out all of the different university buildings.  We made our way to the three bridges and the Preseren statue where we grabbed some ice cream and sat down for a bit and fed Kaia.  It was starting to warm up so we were glad to have an ice cream break.  Then we headed to the dragon bridge, and then made the decision to take the gondola to the castle since we were already there.
I had not gone up to the castle in a really long time so it was fun to see.  We did not do the official tour or anything like that but we walked the grounds and took in the beautiful views of Ljubljana.  After that we headed down to grab a quick bite to eat.  We would our way down the streets and grabbed some food at Sokol which has a lot of traditional Slovenian options.  We got the meat and cheese platter for two, the venison pate, and the caprese salad.  They also have a homebrewed beer that the guys enjoyed.  It was nice getting out of the heat for a bit and allowing Kaia to cool off as I know she was quite warm.  The food was great and I especially liked the pate.  Once we finished up we found our way back to the car to head home.
On the way home most of us napped since it seemed like the heat had gotten the best of us.  We finished up the tour by showing the DiDia’s the ski slopes that look onto Davca as well as the best view from across the mountain.  It is very neat looking at the property and Davca from afar.  We got home right in time to eat again.  This time we had fried turkey and potatoes.  The potatoes are the best thing in Davca, even for someone who doesn’t love potatoes because they are so crispy.  We sipped on wine and enjoyed our last big meal in Davca, and topped it off with some ice cream. 
After relaxing for a bit we headed to Sorica to visit my cousin and his family.  They are not far from Davca and have a whole bunch of sheep as well as two goats.  They are always so cute to see!  We stayed and visited for quite some time before we realized Kaia was quite tired and hungry and ready for bed.  Once we got home Kaia went down for bed time and we had some bread with meats and cheeses so we wouldn’t get hungry at night.  Then I spent some time talking with my aunt and uncle before heading to bed.  We wanted to hit the road pretty early since we had a lot of driving to do the following day and we still needed to pack so we called it an early bed time.

Day 9
We got up and moving around 7 since Kaia woke up at 6:30.  It was actually sleeping in a bit since I had been waking up around 5:30 with the sun.  We got up and got everything packed before heading downstairs for our last breakfast.  Like always, there was potica, meats and cheeses, and hard boiled eggs.  Once we finished up breakfast it was time for goodbyes before hitting the road.  I was so sad to go as I always love spending time with my family that I don’t get to see very often.  We had about a 2 ½ hour drive ahead of us to go to Piran.  Joe and I had visited Piran last time we were in Slovenia but it was dark and rainy so we wanted to go back. Kaia did great on the drive and slept on and off the whole way.

You park your car at the parking deck and take the bus into the city since most of the streets are too narrow for cars.  It’s almost like Venice but with streets instead of water.  It was already hot when we got there so we quickly started the walk from the square.  We made our way to the point of the city then started wandering back to find some food.  It was quite warm out but since the streets are narrow and the buildings are taller, there is a lot of shade. We wondered the streets a bit more before deciding to grab lunch at Fritolin Pri Cantini.  This is a seafood place since we had eaten so much meat while we were in Slovenia.  We ordered the mixed fish plate that came with a local fish, grilled and fried calamari, stuffed squid, polenta.  We also got the grilled calamari plate and the grilled tuna plate and they also brought bread that you could dip in the olive oil from the grilled calamari plate.  Everything was quite good.  The service wasn’t great as the girl taking the orders was fairly rude but the food made up for it.  You order food at the counter than drinks are brought by the table, which can be confusing for first time visitors.  Kaia was very hot by this point so I took this as an opportunity to lay her out a bit and fan her so she would cool off.
Once we finished we decided to make one last stop at St. Georges which has a bell tower you can go up.  The walk isn’t too far and it gives a stunning view of Piran. Behind the church there was a lot of shade and a great breeze so it was nice to cool off a bit.  To go up the bell tower it is 1 euro so we took the 146 steps up to take in the views.  Just be mindful of when the bells ring, I was lucky to be down a flight of stairs with Kaia when they rung but I know it had to be terribly loud!  They are amazing views and quite worth it!  We relaxed for a bit after going up the church tower then headed back to the square to take the bus back.
Piran is such a beautiful city and a must.  Since we had spent more time in Piran than expected, we decided to quickly buy some Slovenian chocolate at the store and just hit the road to our Bed and Breakfast in Italy.
We stayed at San Giorgio di Livenza  with is in the outskirts of Venice.  It is a beautiful house where we rented 3 rooms.  The owner is such a sweet lady and was waiting for us at the door with a huge smile on her face.  Although her English isn’t great, she gets the point across and she really is so sweet.  We all got settled in then headed Caorle where we grabbed dinner at Pizzaria Venus.  We ordered the Caorle Pizza which had sun dried tomatoes, shrimp, and scallops on it, as well as a margarita and a mushroom prosciutto pizza. It was quite warm out so Kaia wasn’t quite as content as normal but after taking her clothes off and having the breeze pick up she cooled off a bit.  After enjoying pizza and wine we headed back to the bed and breakfast where we enjoyed a bottle of sparkling wine outside before heading to bed.  This was the last night of the trip so we were sad to see vacation come to an end and have to go to the airport the next morning.
Travel Home
We woke up and knew we needed to hit the road by 8 for our 11:00 flight.  We had breakfast provided which was really nice.  The owner made us eggs and we had a meat and cheese platter, croissants, fruits, juices, toast, and cereals.  There was way too much food to go around! Once we wrapped up breakfast we packed the car and hit the road.  It was about a 40 minute drive to the airport so it wasn’t too far away. The drop off for the rental car was much quicker than the pick up which we were grateful for. We needed to be checked an hour before our flight so we didn’t leave too much time to spare.  We hurried to the airport from the rental car terminal and found our way to the check in counter (which isn’t the easiest thing to find).  Luckily, I had Delta status so we got to hop into a shorter line and were through the check in process before we knew it.  The ladies at the desk were so kind and without us even asking, put us in the bassinet row as well as moved Matt to sit in the 3rd seat in our row.  They also took care of all of our gate check stuff like the stroller and car seat. 

For security, the VCE to ATL flight has its own security terminal which was amazing!  There was nobody in line at that security checkpoint while the line at the other check point was incredibly long.  Again, traveling with an infant has its perks and I got to bring water through and I got to walk through a different line where the security people helped me with Kaia and get my stuff through.  Really I cannot speak more highly about everyone at the airport.  Once we got to the gate and through passport control (which again we skipped the line) we didn’t have long to wait before we boarded and were off.

The flight was 11 hours and during the day so we weren’t quite sure how Kaia would do.  Luckily, she was well behaved again.  We got the bassinet set up pretty quick as she was tired.  It was warm in the B&B so I don’t think she slept as well as she normally does. It was also been a long day and she was awake through security and the car ride so she was ready for a nap.  She napped on and off and before we knew it we were back in Atlanta.  We got through customs quick since we had global entry and were on the road home.  As life is with a newborn, by that time Kaia had had enough of her carseat so she had a minor melt down as we drove home and the uber driver was so patient with us and even offered to pull over to calm her down.  We pressed on since I knew she was just totally worn out, and she ended up falling asleep towards the end of the drive.  We were so glad to be home but missing Slovenia already! 

We were so grateful for perfect weather the whole trip and an amazing time with my family.  They went above and beyond to make sure that we were taken care of, had a tour guide when we needed one, and tasted the most amazing Slovenian food that you just can’t get in America!  I am so blessed that Slovenia is more than just a place that I was born, but a place that helped me grow into who I am today.

  • Visit Boninj,  it isn’t far from Bled which is a huge tourist attraction and it is STUNNING
  • The wine cellar in Maribor is a MUST
  • Piran is a city where you can lay on the beach and explore a quieter city that has so much charm and character
  • If you get car sick, make sure you mentally prepare for VERY curvy roads but scenery that makes it all worth it
  • Newborns are adaptable, so don’t be scared to travel with a 2 month old…they don’t know what a time change is so if they sleep through the night before the trip, they will do so after (or at least that was our experience)
  • Trips on mountain roads always take longer than you expect
  • The Bled Castle is worth it (I didn’t go but everyone else loved it)
  • Do your research and you can find a lot of really amazing authentic food for not that much money!