the few guide books and travel blogs i'd managed to read before leaving on this trip definitely didn't exaggerate about rome. it's truly not the greatest place to take younger kids. there just isn't enough for them to do, and i was really proud of the bean for how she just rolled with it during the four days we were there.
because we just don't have enough disney in our lives:
so on our last day, we took it easy. we all managed to get downstairs for breakfast together, got a head start on packing our stuff, and had the cab driver take us to the last tourist attraction on our list: the spanish steps.
it was so stinking crowded - and stupid hot - that we settled for simply looking at the steps from the bottom rather than attempt to climb them. i mean, they're stairs. and it was in the high 80s. need i say more?
the bean was drawn to the fontana della barcaccia like a moth to a flame, though. i guess i couldn't blame her - the thought of splashing around in the cool water was pretty damn appealing. she was happy to toss a coin in and move on.
just beyond that fountain at the foot of the spanish steps was quite the lineup of high-end designer shops.
after our bank-busting stint at the louis vuitton shop in paris just days before, we didn't dare set foot inside any of these shops. instead, we did a lot of pointing and "ooh"ing and "aah"ing as we strolled along in the shade. and then we turned a corner and found this:
macaron trifecta, people. we managed to find the coveted laduree in all three cities. pretty freaking awesome, if i do say so myself.
all that sugar worked up quite a thirst. the bean and i were the only ones who dared to drink from one of the public water fountains that were on every corner.
while the hub checked out the only cigar shop to be found in all of roma, the girls and i sat at a cafe and indulged in a little peoplewatching. intrigued by the "coffee shake" on the menu, the teen was pretty stinking disappointed to be served this instead of the cold, creamy concoction she'd envisioned:
it didn't look like her thing at all (mine either, to be honest). that sucker looked strong and thick. but as i took a tentative sip, i found that it was actually really tasty. although she finally sampled a tiny bit of it, the teen slid the glass my way and let me finish it off. i was pretty wired afterwards.
we found geppetto's workshop for real.
not too far away, we stumbled upon the pantheon. built in 126AD, the pantheon still boasts the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome. crazy, right?
because we just don't have enough disney in our lives:
just like laduree, we'd managed to find disney in every city we stayed in. heh.
here's another costume i'm totally kicking myself for not picking up, because it's nowhere to be found here in the states:
for lunch, we decided to head back towards the piazza di trevi to try one of the restaurants that my friend delovely details recommended so highly.
it definitely lived up to her high praise. the service was awesome and the food was super delicious. the hub tried something different - an orange-flavored fettuccine. sounds weird, but it was really good.
the bean cuddled her newest prize, roman donald.
she was super stoked to finally find something resembling mac & cheese.
i already forgot what mine was called, but it was my favorite dish of the trip. these giant pasta tubes were tossed in a fabulous sauce along with chunks of pancetta and fresh mozzarella.
while we all drank lots and lots of water, the server brought us a round of limoncello to toast the end of our trip.
and because the hub had run out of coins before he was able to toss one of his own into the fountain, i dug this out of my wallet before we headed back out into the heat.
this time, the bean didn't pass up the chance to cool off. she damn near dunked her whole head in the water and would've probably jumped right in if we'd let her.
by then, we were done. it was too hot and sticky out there, and we knew the hotel room was nice and cold. so we decided to head back to freshen up and get a little rest before heading back out one last time for dinner. we hung out and relaxed for a few hours, and then hopped into a cab with the craziest driver behind the wheel. don't get me wrong - it seems like the romans are all pretty damn insane when they drive, but this guy really took us for the ride of our lives. he squeezed through really narrow roads, took hairpin turns at top speed, and dropped us off literally at the front door of the restaurant the hub had found via yelp.
it had lots of rave reviews, and yay for a menu we could understand!
despite the heaps of praise their pizzas got in those yelp reviews, either i said the wrong thing or both the hub and the teen misheard what came out of my mouth. they all avoided ordering any kind of pizza, thinking i'd said "these reviews all say to stay away from the pizza" when i could swear i'd said "these reviews all say the pizza is the best." i know those two phrases don't really sound alike, so since it's two against one i'm going to go with "i said the wrong thing." but i swear i didn't.
no worries. the plate o'prosciutto and the buffalo mozzarella that looked like boobs were delectable.
as were the various pastas we ordered.
the bean's very last chocolate gelato.
and one more tiramisu, too.
the bean thought the guy working the pizza oven was handsome. the teen and i giggled, having heard her say this about other random people we'd come across in the past, but the hub decided to take it to the next level. she was mortified at first, but in the end there was this:
i don't think i have much else to say at this point.