We all finally dragged our behinds out of bed by 10:00. I was first out again, but we’re all later than before. Let’s just blame the jet lag again, whether it’s at fault at not. We hadn’t made any specific plans for today. We’d vaguely mentioned The Spanish Steps. We had hoped to meet my sister yesterday, which had fallen apart with the hectic day that was in it, the day before. We ordered an Uber XL from our place to near a restaurant where we arranged to meet my sister. We purposely ordered the larger car, which costs more, to fit the five of us. The driver got good reviews. Along he comes. Guilio. Well where do I start with oul Guilio, the fucker. His car\van had three rows. I went to put a kid or two in the back. Nope. I went to get in the back. Nope. He started going on about bambini and cuatro, pointing at me. Eh no. I pointed at the belt, and pointed at the three kids and me. He kept nodding no, and saying cuatro pointing at the middle seat. Eventually for some stupid reason, I capitulated and put the older two kids in one belt together. My husband got in the front. As he went to put his belt Guilio told him not to. My husband went to do it up again, and Guilio stopped him. It was bizarre. So two lessons learned: I’m a shallow, weak idiot; Guilio is a prick. When we got to our destination Guilio showed me he was giving me 5 stars on the Uber app. I smiled and acted like I had no idea what he was talking about. Two minutes later, I gave him 1 star and tore him a new one on his review.

We did a bit of navigating and found the restaurant we were due to meet in. We were in the Trastevere neighborhood of Roma. They were already there. She, her fiancé, his son, and daughter were all there. I hadn’t seen her for two years, and the kids for four. It was great to see them. The five kids all sat at one end, and the adults at the other end. The kids were fast friends within a few minutes. #3 hadn’t seen her cousins since she was two. We all thoroughly enjoyed lunch, and arranged to most likely meet tomorrow again. The reason we’re over in Italy is for their wedding.

After lunch we walked a little bit together and then parted ways, them to the Forum, and us towards the Spanish Steps. #3 and I had glossed through a guide book before we came over, and it was one thing we both agreed we should see. So I guess we’re probably really mean parents, but we told the kids they could earn one Euro each time they scaled all the stairs, and back down again. They did it. Twice! I was so impressed. I think we both thought they’d pass out first time up. I guess it wasn’t hot enough today.

There’s a fountain at the bottom of the steps, called The Fontana della Barcaccia that is popular, both to rest, and for people to drink from.

We had intended to go home after this, but I had also wanted to go to The Trevi Fountain at some point, and it is close by. Google Maps put it as an eight minute walk, and who I am to argue with it? We walked over to the fountain, and I was blown away. I was so happy we had decided to check it out. I think it was the best thing I had seen. It was amazing. I didn’t make a wish, but I can survive that. We’ve no specific plans tomorrow, so maybe I can survive that!

We had heard from our Colosseum tour guide that The Pantheon was one of the best sights to see. It is pristinely preserved, admission is free, and there were no lines when we showed up. We had stored it in the back of our minds, but had no plans to go. We stumbled upon it and went in. It had been spitting rain that afternoon. My son asked me about what would happen when it rained, due to there being a large hole in the roof. We could see the few raindrops on the floor, and a drain in the middle. It was great to see what would have been in action if need be.

My sister had told me the deal with the train system, so we took public transport home. About bloody time I hear you say. I managed to ask for two tickets home. Children under ten are free, so my nine and eleven (twelve tomorrow) year olds became nine years old twins. We bought two tickets at €1,50 each. €3,00 instead of €25+. Also – I feel less like a dumb foreigner. From now on there will be no Ubers, no taxis, just trains and buses, unless we are seventeen miles from the nearest metro stop. Oh. And when we got off the train, out hosts had said it was a four minute walk from the train. Their thirty minutes to The Vatican was more than forty. The four seas nothing. We went a back way through the mall opposite our house. We grabbed gym shoes for the three girls in the mall, and got home. It was eight o’clock. We let the kids play on their tablets. Their first screen time since they’d come to Rome. Finally we could pretend we were good parents!

Who knows what we’ll do tomorrow. It’s #1’s twelfth birthday. We will eat dinner out somewhere for sure. And have something with candles on it. I’m hoping to do kid-friendly stuff. Take in a playground. Take it easy in terms of walking. I would like to do some last little bits of sight-seeing. It’s our last day in Rome. Who knows if we’ll ever be back?

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