This trip had so many hitches, that several times Tom and I looked at each other with a "why did we bother?!" look. But we didn't voice our frustrations (at least, not too loudly), and despite all the odds, we made it happen. Sure, it took some effort, and our plans had to endlessly be adjusted to work around one unexpected problem after another - the snowfall that blocked our roads on the night before departure, the rain that made tourism a soggy, chilly affair, the forgotten GPS device, a sick child that had to be tended. But all 5 of us worked together, each giving up something in order to make our trip as enjoyable for everyone as possible: walking slower and taking more rest breaks, skipping some of the fun, and doing a few more merry-go-round rides in Piazza Navona to buck up and recharge a brave little traveler, while her brothers ate yet another nutella doughnut and shot targets with airguns (and won a toy gun, oh, joy!).
Yes, it meant a lot of compromises for all of us, but this is what makes family life sweeter: working together, while learning something about each other and about life, as well as a lot about the Eternal City, which is now a very special place in all of our hearts.