Today was a very special day. #1 turns twelve. As you might remember from yesterday, she’s half of my nine year old twins. We all woke up late and wished her a big Happy Birthday. She was very excited of course. We had already told her she would be getting her present in Chicago when we got home. We gave her a card written in Italian. Hopefully it won’t be lost, and can serve two purposes: a reminder of her trip; and her birthday. There was a playground within a park (Villa Borghese) that came highly recommended. We felt the kids had done very well with all the sightseeing of the previous several days, and deserved some down-time. The park was on the same metro line as our apartment, so seemed like a perfect choice. Once we got ready, we headed off. It was three in the afternoon at this stage.
The metro trip was less than fifteen minutes. We arrived at the Spagna stop, and ascended above ground. What the heck? We were in a veritable jungle. It looked like something out of a doomsday movie. There were brambles and weeds everywhere, all overgrown. There was no clear path, so we followed the vague one that was there. Luckily my husband and I were in enough good spirits not to get angry about it. We just accepted it. We walked around for about twenty minutes, following inaccurate Google Maps instructions. Eventually we gave up, ate gelati (which solves everything in Italia), and got the train into a more central area of Roma.
We walked around Roma for a while, and came across The Fountain of Triton, which we were all impressed by, especially the kids, because Triton is Ariel’s dad in The Little Mermaid movie.
We met up with my sister and family again for the birthday dinner. She had managed to pick up a ‘1’ and a ‘2’ candle. We couldn’t find them anywhere. Her having lived in Italy for a couple of years, and being nearly fluent certainly helped when trying to find things! She chose a great restaurant for the dinner. Once again we were reminded just how kid-friendly Italy is. They all seem to love children, and go out of their way to make them feel and us feel welcome. They always have bread or crayons or something to keep them occupied straight away. They chat to the kids on an equal level. Once we had eaten dinner – with the usual pizzas for the kids, the lights went out. Ooooo… ‘The man’ came in with #1’s Tiramisu with the candles on top. Unfortunately the fans made sure the candles kept blowing out, but it was still really lovely. She was delighted to be having her special day in Italy.
Of course we can’t forget #2’s and #3’s purchase of plastic gladiator swords. I gave them permission, and daddy wasn’t exactly please. Oops. There was some mention of not being able to fit them in the luggage, yet here we are, flying across the Atlantic as I type, with the swords in the hold.
We wandered home at around 22:30, let the kids head to bed, and stayed up talking way too late. I think we got to bed at around three, with several beers behind us. Way too late when we had a six hour drive the next day!