Carrying Baggage

Alex McCord shares anecdotes from her own trips to Italy.

This week’s episode shows us why it’s best to travel in SMALL groups. We had plenty of drama when the New York girls went to St. John, but I have to say that nobody argued about bags, hotel bills, or hill climbing.

The clan docks in Naples, and Joe is not happy about baggage. Or children, or his wife, or trash cans. Nobody knows exactly why he felt the need to drag all the bags himself. Regardless, he was in a mood, and a 1500 Euro hotel bill the next night didn’t help matters. The thing is, Europe is always expensive no matter where you stay. Loved him screaming at everyone to be civilized, and I have to say I completely felt Caroline’s pain about missing Pompeii –- I’ve only ever spent two days in Naples and it was for work, and I didn’t get to see it either. I hope she and Albert got a chance to escape for a bit.

Teresa blossomed around Joe’s family, and I’ll try to overlook the outfits she put the girls in at the last dinner. Finally in Sala Consilina, we saw sweeping views, people speaking Italian, slaughterhouses, and wine in to-go cups. One big question I had: why didn’t they just ditch the strollers and put the babies in slings? Those little mountain villages give your legs a workout, and a baby on the chest is much easier than a stroller on cobblestones. Our babies went all over the world with us, and we always used slings so we had our hands free. Baby in front, diaper backpack on back. Done. Once Simon and I climbed to the top of Eze, a hilltop village in the south of France, with François strapped into a Baby Bjorn and me in leather pants and high-heeled boots –- Teresa and Jacqueline could absolutely have rocked that look.

Back in New Jersey, Danielle ventured into Franklin Lakes for a panino, or I guess more than one since she kept saying “panini.” The way her voiceover was set up I kept thinking that Ashley was going to jump out from behind a tree and ambush her, but of course that didn’t happen. I was surprised that she seemed so upset about the call from the private investigator regarding her birth mother’s records –- just because the mom was a minor (which they knew already) doesn’t mean it won’t happen ever.

I have to say I could just replay this episode on mute, watching the views of Sala Consilina and everyone in Italy kissing each other. Makes me want to go back - those little villages are fantastic. In my twenties I was fortunate enough to do a national tour of Italy with a bilingual theatre company, and in every city we played, we met the owners of the theatres and their families, ate in private homes, met pretty much the whole town and had such a wonderful time. The scene where Jacqueline and Caroline were eating in someone’s home but didn’t know who their hostess was, reminded me of that experience. How much fun…

Back home, Nicholas nearly crawled away from his mother once she began feeling the weight of Ashley’s looming court case. Looks like this season is going to wrap up with a bang – are you ready?

See you next week, and I’m thrilled to say that Little Kids, Big City is finally available on iBooks, the Nookand the Sony e-Reader.

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