Monday, May 1, 2017

Spring Break in Rome

   Ciao! We have been back from Rome for a week, and as I look through pictures, I smile at the thought that we are having such adventures when we thought we would never leave Southeast Texas. God has a great sense of humor. 

Our neighborhood churches

Looking down from our apartment
   Traveling with children is always a trip, but adding a giant toddler to the mix is bound to be exciting. The big kids are seriously rockstar travelers, and Titus fell into the groove pretty well. We stayed in our first AirBnB, which was a good experience, and we walked everywhere, at least 5 kilometers a day. We were about a four minute walk to the Pantheon or Plazza Novona, depending on which way you turned out of our neighborhood. Our favorite coffee shop was just around the corner from our apartment, and each night the children were lulled to sleep with accordion music from the restaurants below.

The view from our apartment's rooftop terrace

My favorite macchiato

    Rome is quite family friendly, but we were surprised that, despite the numerous plazas, fountains, and pedestrian friendly areas, there were no playgrounds or parks. Budapest has spoiled us in that regard. The children loved going into the beautiful churches which were everywhere, and their first thought after breakfast was where we would go for gelato. We tried many different gelato stores and many different flavors, but the grown-ups' favorite was one near our apartment that had chocolate tartufo, chocolate truffle ice cream with a light dusting of cocoa powder. Emma liked the gelato store that offered 150 flavors, and after trying quite a few, her favorite was KitKat. Ransom and Titus were both happy with any gelato you offered them from anywhere at any time. 

     The children's favorite part of our trip was Gladiator School. Emma and Ransom were led through a museum of the history of Roman weaponry and gladiators, and then their gladiator guide put them through gladiator basic training. They learned basic gladius and shield moves, and then the "fought" against other trainees in the "arena". They loved every minute, and it helped them have a better understanding of what went on in the Colosseum. 

The Pantheon Oculus
Clark and Titus at Titus's Arch
    Clark and I very much enjoyed the Roman Forum and Palatino, and I loved the Pantheon. Walking around a city with standing architecture pre-dating Christ is pretty surreal. We enjoyed walking around Vatican City, and the Sistine Chapel was amazing, but it was so incredibly crowded, that we felt we didn't get to appreciate it as we would have liked (*For me, this would have been lying on the floor staring up at ceilings.). Also, Titus was done after about two hours, so we went to find more gelato. 
Trevi Fountain
    We left Rome with sunny skies and 70 degree temps to return to a freezing, snowy Budapest (in April!). The weather here has decided to become more spring-like in the last few days which makes me a little less antsy to hop on a plane and get back to Italy. We are happy to be home, but we are looking forward to our next adventure, wherever that may be!
        Hugs from Budapest!