We Made it to Florence!

It is time for something new.

We packed up and moved our family to Florence for the next three months, and we arrived this weekend. The trip? Smooth. Traveling to our rental apartment by plane, train, bus, and then walking? Easier than expected. Trying to take care of basic needs and adjust to the time change in a foreign country after traveling on little to no sleep with two small kids who don’t understand why three a.m. is not play time? Brutal. Everyone is cross.

We have a lovely apartment that is making us feel very much at home. I can’t wait to show you pictures and tell you about this experience, but we need to be more settled in first.

The window pictured is in my bedroom, and it’s the first thing I see when I wake up.

About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. Wow so exciting! I’m glad that you made it ok and look forward to your updates :)

  2. How wonderful that the adventure has begun! I am sure once you are all settled in you will be posting some fascinating stuff Rachel :) Enjoy, have fun, rejoice!
    angelvalerie´s last post…compassion and mercy…

  3. I’m so excited for you! Get lots of rest now so you can enjoy the rest of your time there. When I went to Italy I was so exhausted from jet-lag that I missed out on a lot of fun, so get some sleep!

  4. Beautiful! I can’t wait to hear all about your time there! We’ve done the jet lag thing more times than I care to count, but never with kids – so you have my sympathy! This too shall pass. Blessings!
    Carrie´s last post…My Favorite Detectives

  5. Looking forward to reading more about your adventures.
    How did you choose an apartment to live in for 3 months not being able to see it firsthand?

  6. How exciting! Hoping you all get adjusted quickly.
    Allyson @ a Heart for Home´s last post…Menu Plan Monday February 7th

  7. Congratulations on jumping out of the box and opening yourselves up to a beautiful new adventure. I look forward to reading about it. Now, go immediately to Grom near the Duomo and get yourself a scoop of the best gelato you will ever have (you’ll no doubt appreciate the pure and simple ingredients as well:)

  8. How exciting! Congrats on surviving the transition thus far.
    Kat@YeOldCollegeTry´s last post…8 Days Down

  9. Remember to breathe deeply and often. Enjoy your nesting.

  10. I have been wondering about this for days now. Are they in Florence yet? When we she start sharing and inspiring us all with this new adventure?

    Take you time friend (but don’t take too long), I can’t wait to see what you’ve got to share.

  11. Oh my word… YOU are there!!! lovely lovely lovely lovely!!!!! have a happy time… Enjoy the feasting, rambling exploring… lovely!!!!

  12. Enjoy your exciting new journey! I traveled through Italy as a college student after studying abroad in Oxford – I was there about the same time of year that you are now!! :)
    heidi @ wonder woman wannabe´s last post…Sending out an SOS

  13. Wow! So jealous and curious. We loved Florence when we visited a few years back. It was our favourite Italian city. I would love to have the guts to do something like that. I will read your adventures instead.

  14. Can’t wait to hear all about it. Fantastic news!! Enjoy every second.
    don_mae´s last post…Making A Green Macrame Plant Hanger

  15. Welcome in Italy… benvenuti in Italia! Firenze is one of the most beautiful city in Italy, good choice!

    (ehm… nice to meet you, I’m Chiara… I never leave comments but I always read your blog… :) I’m a bit lazy when I’ve to write in english!)

  16. Wow! How exciting that you’re actually there. Also, I never even thought about jet lag and small kids not understanding time changes. Glad that we don’t have any time zone changes bigger than 1 hr in our future!
    Jessicah´s last post…Photo

  17. Glad you made it safely!! Hoping the kids adjust quickly. Enjoy your stay.
    I Live in an Antbed´s last post…Conceding Defeat

  18. I can’t wait to see more pictures! Hope you get settled in all right.
    Frances´s last post…ReStore- A Home Improvement Thrift Store

  19. Wonderful to hear that you’re there and safe. And oh! what a pretty window! May the jet lag woes pass quickly. Looking forward to reading more about your adventures.

    p.s. We tried your lentil soup recipe last night and it was delicious. Bacon would have been divine, but the recipe works quite well with vegetarian sausage, too.

  20. YES! I couldn’t be happier for you…except for, you know, the being cross thing. I’m currently procrastinating going outside to shovel so you have no idea how envious of you I’m feeling. Congratulations. Have so much fun! (And then tell us all about it so we can live vicariously through you!)
    Jennie´s last post…The Importance of Being Playful

  21. Very exciting, I wish we were that brave. Can’t wait to see more!

  22. To say I’m envious of that window (and the entire experience) is an understatement!

    Enjoy. every. second.
    Carla´s last post…Korean Chicken

  23. I’m in Milano.
    Just give me a shout if you ever come near my city! :D

  24. I am SO excited for you!!! And that picture makes me want to go back to Florence…definitely the best place to be in Italy!
    Kait Palmer´s last post…Hometown Tourists

  25. How exciting! I can’t wait to hear more about this amazing time. I’m sure your family will experience so much in these next few months.

  26. Glad you made it safely with no major incidents! I hope you adjust quickly. I’m looking forward to the pictures!
    Emily Joyce´s last post…National Marriage Week

  27. Absolutely beautiful! I got goosebumps just thinking about your adventure. Can’t wait to hear and see more!
    Thankful you had good travels, hoping the time changes will set in soon for those little bodies!
    Living the Balanced Life´s last post…Being productive in stressful times

  28. WOW – glad to hear the travel went well & everyone is safe! Everyone will adjust soon enough – have fun!
    Vicki R.´s last post…2011 Menu 6

  29. Literally cannot wait to hear more! Hope little ones body clocks adjust quickly.
    Anna´s last post…Natural Taupe 1

  30. So exciting! So happy traveling with your kids went smooth, I cannot even go for local car rides without something happening. Love the window! :)

  31. Florence is my favorite Italian city, I am looking forward to reading about your experiences!
    Mary @ A Simple Twist of Faith´s last post…Back on Track

  32. Gorgeous; so excited for you…and eager to experience Italy vicariously through you! ;)
    Mrs. J´s last post…Classic Monday- Fishy- take two

  33. Hooray! Can’t wait to hear more:)

  34. Yeay! So happy to hear that you made it safe and sound. (and isn’t jet lag a pain? Yuck.)

    Can’t wait to hear more after you are settled!


  35. Yea!! you have made it! Love the window. Understand the jet lag. And understand it with kids.(we were missionaries) I think I’ve blotted out most of the memories/nightmares. But it will pass and you’ll just bask in the privilege you have. (and share pictures!)

  36. P.S. Thank you for posting about Dropbox. I did it and I love it. It serves me in 2 ways–the security of my files “backed up” and using my daughter’s computer for my second so I can work on everything while at her house and not email documents back and forth–what a help it has been.

  37. I’m so glad to hear you made the trip safely. I’ll have to live vicariously through you for the next 3 months. I’m looking forward to your pictures. Thanks for sharing your adventure with all of us.

  38. I am so excited for you all. What an adventure! I can’t wait for you to show us around your new city.
    Rana´s last post…Crock Pot Swap and Tinkys Room

  39. What a beautiful window–can’t wait to hear more!
    Tracey´s last post…Share Care Love Disciple Mentor

  40. Enjoy Bella Italia! We lived north of Venice for three years and Florence (and Sienna) were two of my favorite places. Make sure you take a trip to Vinci and Cinque Terre!
    I will never forget our first adjustment with our children who were 6 and 5. Just make sure the exterior, metal blinds are not completely closed at night, otherwise you might accidentally sleep until noon.

    • Lily (from Italy) says:

      I can never sleep if darkness is not complete… I don’t understand Americans who have one flimsy curtain at most. Ha ha!

  41. Was wondering how it was going for you all, and delighted all well so far. Looking forward to more tales of your adventuring. That window is enough to lift anyone’s spirits in the morning. :)
    alexa´s last post…RTFM

  42. WONDERFUL! I can’t wait to see photos and hear stories of your many adventures!

  43. Lily (from Italy) says:

    If you really wanna experience “the Italian life”, join the protest for women’s dignity and against the way we are treated by our pm (“Rubygate” etc). It will be held countrywide on Sunday the 13th and in Florence it’s at 2 pm in piazza dei Giudici.
    Something is really happening these days – hopefully.

  44. Lily (from Italy) says:
  45. I’m so excited for you, guys! Can’t wait to hear more of your adventures… Thanks for sharing.

  46. So excited to see your photos. Can’t wait to keep on visiting your blog and following your story. It is so exciting!
    Paige´s last post…Happy Wednesday – WIWW Week 6

  47. Gruetzi from your neighbor to the North :-) We live in Zurich, Switzerland as my husband is working here for a few years. I was at a cafe today that had the same window as yours! They say that it takes one day for every hour your travel – so likely in a week’s time or less your children will be fine! hang in there til then :-) Here’s hoping the sun is shining down there like it is here in Zurich; I think that really helps the jet lag to diminish. Please blog a lot about your experience!

  48. Yay, yay, yay! Can’t wait to hear more!

    steadymom´s last post…The Imperfection of Ethical Spending

  49. Wonderful news! So excited for you, too! I’ll be waiting to read and see all that you are experiencing.
    Amy @ Homestead Revival´s last post…Mark Your Calendars And Tune In!

  50. vermontmommy says:

    Yah! I am delighted to hear that you are there! I cannot wait for all the updates.

  51. grateful you had safe travels. what fun to begin your family’s new adventure!
    nancy´s last post…snow day

  52. Wonderful, so looking forward to your posts :-) You are inspiring me to dream up an adventure of my own–thank you!
    Susan´s last post…Friday Florilegium

  53. Good for you, making it so far without to many problems. Enjoy the next few months, the kids will never forget this experience (neither will you) enjoy.

  54. I’m really happy that your journey was so smooth. Sorry for your kids and jet lag, I hope they (and you, of course) will adjust soon. Wish you great stay and great memories from Florence, I envy you watching the spring there… Waiting impatiently for your first impressions!!!

  55. Awesome! That photo sent chills up my spine! Congrats on following your dreams–hope everyone is happy again soon!
    Wendy´s last post…sanity saver 4- limit laundry

  56. Amazing! It’s going to be so fun to see what your life is like these next few months!

  57. How totally impressive that you began to talk about this it seems like so recently! and the next thing I know you are there! Your courage, fortitude and pure gumption inspires me. Thank you for sharing…

  58. Can’t wait to hear more!

  59. Well that’s just awesome! Can’t wait to hear more about your experience. Thank you for sharing!
    Courtney´s last post…Tuesdays To Do

  60. gorgeous window!! i can’t wait to see more photos and hear more details!! :) and here’s hoping the kids adjust quickly!!

  61. so exciting!
    christy´s last post…Finally

  62. great window!!
    redb´s last post…fun theory

  63. I love love love that you are there and settling in. You are my inspiration for one day doing something like this :)

  64. Yep, envious = understatement.

    Hope you all get caught up on sleep and acclimated to your new home quickly.

    Can barely wait to hear/see more.

    Thanks for sharing.

  65. GORGEOUSNESS!!!!!!!!!!!! Yay oh yay oh yay!
    Megan at SortaCrunchy´s last post…Valentine Link Around!

  66. Nice! So excited for you guys. Can’t wait for more!
    Lisa Medley´s last post…The Calm Before the Storm

  67. I haven’t commented in a while, Rachel, but I still read what’s happening with you. And being that I’ve done some arm chair traveling through TV and the web over there — now, this just adds a whole other dimension to my virtual travels.

    Just wanted to chime in and wish you guys the best time ever on your adventures… virtually and literally. I just have to say I think it’s cool!:)

  68. This must be so exciting! I’ve lived abroad for several months twice, and I loved those first days of getting settled in, finding out where to buy groceries and getting accustomed to the new daily life. And I can’t wait to see the pictures of your new home! This first one is very promising indeed! I wish you all the best :)
    Maaike Quinn @ Life with FlyLady´s last post…Declutter Challenge 2 – How to declutter

  69. Congratulations! So glad you made it. Looking forward to hearing all about it.
    Take care

  70. Loretta S. says:

    Just a word of advice – when we’ve travelled with our duo, 3 and 1 at the time, we found that they need a day of adjustment for every hour in time change. So settle in, it might be a while!

  71. welcome to Europe!! I am looking forward to reading of your adventures! And of seeing some sunshine from down south when we are sitting in the drizzle up here in Ireland. Enjoy!
    Janet´s last post…6 weeks

  72. Rachel, Doug and Kids,

    Congratulations for making a huge move and stretching your comfort zone. Looking forward to reading more about your adventure there.

    zengirl @ Heart and Mind´s last post…Is Both spouses working important in a family

  73. You are living the dream–at least my dream of late. I travel a good bit, but usually not enough time to really settle in and get to know a place. My mind is spinning little webs of ways I can live that reality somehow in the next few years. Good luck with everything. I especially can’t wait to hear how taking care of your food needs goes, being gluten free and dairy free myself. All the best.
    Catherine´s last post…Status Report- and latest favorite snacks

  74. Very exciting! Have been thinking of you guys…looking forward to learning about your journey; thank you for taking the time to share!
    Courtney´s last post…Thoughts for this week- Unplugging

  75. We’ll be there in April in Oltarno. Hope to catch up then!
    Tepary´s last post…What are you going to do now Revisited

  76. Make sure you check out THE FLORENTINE newspaper, great source for English language news and events! http://www.theflorentine.net Enjoy your time in beautiful Florence!

  77. What totally fantastic news!! Congratulations on the move, and give David a wink for me. :)
    Maggie´s last post…Mrs Beeton &amp the E-Reader Revolution

  78. I love Italy! I visited while doing a semester abroad. Can’t wait to read all about your stay.
    Unplanned Cooking´s last post…60 CSN Stores Giveaway

  79. Wow :)

  80. I cannot wait to read about your adventures in Florence! You have inspired me to do more to enjoy my life! Thank you for this blog!
    TJ´s last post…When I whispered fat- Inside I bled…

  81. So excited for all of you and can’t wait to see the photos and hear more about your “new” life!
    Prerna´s last post…A Free eBook to Help You Get Organized- Cut Clutter and Be Productive… Easily!

  82. I hope you’ll post about how you found your apartment. Bill and I are coming to the conclusion that moving from England to the US may not be the best idea (health insurance, you know), but we want to live in a warm climate during the summer. Italy is high on my list, but probably more Genoa than Florence (I love the Med). How did you chose where to live?

    Looking forward to sharing your adventure! Fish is big there, I believe. Tell me all you learn about it, because I’m working on getting more fish in our diet!

  83. Love the window. What an inspiring view to wake up to every morning. Enjoy your time in Florence. It’s on my Bucket List.
    Marie´s last post…Like A Spring of Water