TLDR – More exploring Rome. Trevi a few more times, long walks, kebabs, and a cemetery.
The full Batch of trip reports
Off to a park in the cold
It’s four degrees out today so far. We were going to hang out at home and wait a bit for it warm up but the kids longest stretch between us yelling at them to be quite was about 2 minutes. Eventually we said f it, got dressed, put on our winter wear and set out for the large park, Villa Borghese Gardens, we walked in a few days ago. The internet says the park has playgrounds in it. The park map says it his play grounds and, bonus, it depicts the park as heart-shaped.
We took a route to the park down the shopping street north of our flat, Viale Gioulio Cesare, and crossed over a bridge shared with the metro line. Ended up in front of the Explora kids activity place with a cliff behind it and no simple looking path to ascend the cliff. We walked back to where we know we can enter the park, near the Piassa Popolo. On the way we stop at a Carrefour Express for some snacks then head into the park. At the entrance we notice George Washington’s name in a stone slab. Turns out daughters of the Revolution donated to the park, and now the main road of the park is named Georgio Washington.
We followed the main road to some massive looking building with the words “Time is out of Joint” painted on the steps with odd spacing. Maddex tried to work out what it means but was unsuccessful. Looking later while writing at home it appears to be an art project hosted at the museum described as follows
The exhibition, whose title quotes a verse from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet—“The time is out of joint”—investigates the notion of time in its fluidity, non-linearity, and stratification; a fragmented time which seems to embody art historian Hans Belting’s dilemma “the end of the history of art, or art’s freedom.”
To the right of the art building we found a small play ground next to a wall in the shade. Shade would have brilliant in the summer, but it’s only about 5 out with some wind. We did not stay too long. On the other side of the wall we found a large duck pond with some sunlight a temple and a fountain in the middle we walked around. Next we found a large horse track with grass field in the middle. The kids jumped a fence and ran around in the grass playing in the sun for a bit. Warms ya up a bit seeing all of your kids playing so well together making up games. They even played some ball with another small kid who jumped the fence.
We found another meh play area, followed by a great play area. Too bad the kids all need to pee, and have red faces from being so cold. We played there for a bit and snuck into a restaurant across the road and used their toilets. Khaleesi was almost ready to wet herself at one point. Michelle picked her up and ran her to the washroom. On the way back we walked through the Piazza again and let the kids run in the bubbles from Bubble man.
Island walk and penis talk
We had a few hour siesta relaxation and fooding break after getting back to our flat then we set off the other direction from our flat along the river untill we made it to the island we crossed over a few days ago. As we were approaching the island we could see people walking around it. Figured there must be a way down there we missed last time so we walked back onto the island and found the door to the stairs down to the travertine beach around the island.
We slowly walked all the way around the island. The kids enjoyed running up and down the steep banks or hanging from things. On the walk back we took some no car streets we’d never been on. In one large square we were assaulted by the selling people some new night-time toys we’d not seen before. Lazers to light up the ground and spiny things that tossed up in the air that slowly fell making lights. The guy offered one of 3, one for 2, 3 for 5 as we kept on walking past.
We took the no car roads back in front of the Vatican square and stopped at Mcdonalds to get the kids nuggets and fries. Back at home we ate food cleaned up a bit, then watched some chipmunks on Netflix before putting the kids to bed. Didn’t have to yell at them once tonight to go to bed. Roxi did wake up a few hours after bed time but Michelle went back and put her sleep quick enough it was hardly a bother.
33,852 steps, 25.5 kilometers walked for the day.
Kids Quotes from the day
On the walk in the no car streets we again saw the David statue penis fridge magnets Mila wants. Mila yells out every we pass one “The penis Magnet!” then she laughs. I asked her “If we bought you the magnet would you keep it on the fridge” Mila says “No I would keep it in my room so I can giggle at it. I might giggle to death” Guess we better pick her up magnet tomorrow. She is going to be excited when we visit Florence and can see some statues with penises.
After Mila and the penis magnet, out of no where, Maddex says “If I was home less and I had enough money to get a house and get a job do you think I would get a house or do you think I would spend it all on toys and stuff?” I said “well what would you do?” Maddex replied “probably get a house and a job because I would not have to be homeless anymore and then eventually I can save up and buy toys”
Slow thursday morning
It’s 1020 already and the kids have not driven us nuts yet. We’ve had a nice slow morning in the warm flat. It was 1 flet like -1 out this morning when we woke up at 6am. I’m working at the Ironing board office adding pictures to a blog post, Michelle is over on the couch working on her Elve story. Roxi is coloring on the floor, and the other kids are making doll houses out of things they’ve found in the house. It’s been a busy week with loads of walking, some down time at home is a nice change of pace.
Metro ride to the Train station and a cemetery
We walked towards the vatican for what we thought was the closest metro station. Turned out to a be single car LUAS like street train, and not be what we were after. Michelle took over navigating and looked at a real metro map and found the stop we needed about five minutes away. When we arrived at the stop we stood at the top of the stairs for a good 30 seconds waiting for the stream of people to stop then Michelle said ” we better just go” and we pushed out way into the flood of people and made lane down into the metro station and bought some tickets.
We only needed 2, everyone under 10 is free so the kids just have to run through the turn styles with us. The platform was packed. We walked to the end where it was slightly less packed and board the train. We got off at the Train station and managed to get lost trying to find the exit vs a connection to another line. When we came out we had to cross the street to enter the train station. Maybe tomorrow when we catch our train we’ll do better exiting the train.
From the train station we walked to a park the internet said had a playground. When we made it to the park in the ghetto looking area of town the park was pad locked shut. Another hunt for a playground in Rome, another let down. Our destination was a short walk from the failed park. The Cimitero Monumentale Verano – a large cemetery to the east of the train station. Monument cemetery is an understandment. Some of the tomb stones, and Mausoleums are massive and adored with family lines going back hundreds of years.
While the kids and I were using a toilet Michelle found a Spidoni monument we had to take a picture of for some in-laws. We walked the cemetery for half an hour or so taking in maybe a 10th of it. It’s massive and it looks like no space has not been used. Some people have moments on the curbs next to the road, Some older monuments are totally blocked by others. What is most impressive is the number of fresh flowers on the graves. Maybe it’s because of Xmas either way the place is well cared for and the dead are well attended to when we visit.
It’s about an hour and half walk back according to the GPS, and it’s only slightly after noon. We figure we can walk it. Along the way we had intended to visit some Roman bath ruins but we missed a turn or something and skipped it. We ended up walking by Trevi Fountain again. Maddex says “Oh no, not Trevi again. we walk by it every day” We stopped on the way home at some street vendors to picked up some Penis magnets for Mila and Khaleesi which made them Squeel
Bought Maddex a colored glass block with 3d monuments in it, and Roxi ended up with a spoon. About 20 minutes after making it home Maddex dropped and broke his glass then cried in his room. I told him if he would come out with me shopping that we could walk back by and get him a new one and I would split the price with him. That cheered him up. He told me “Dad it’s not your fault that it broke. I will pay for it if you take me” WOW this kid is growing up.
Michelle passed out on the couch and the kids were a bit nuts so I took them all out for some more walking. I asked a local for directions to a Kebab shop and he pointed me to a place three streets down from where we are that we went to for some dinner. On the walk an older gal stopped us and was amazed by the blue eyes and blonde hairs of our kids and wanted a picture. Ok. we can all look cute.
After picking up Kebabs and a calzone we walked back to the street venders and picked up anther colored glass thing for Maddex. He paid for it using his own money. Proud of that kid. On the walk back Michelle texted saying she was awake so we headed back home vs going out to explore more. Back at home we cleaned up. packed up, ate some food, took in a Lindsey Lohan movie then went to bed. Maddex passed out on the couch. I somehow managed to pick him up, carry him to his bedroom and throw him onto the top bunk.
The rest of the pictures