We did not get a Skipper photo until our last day in Rome. I love that we also got the nice little couple to the right in the photo. Our last week in Italy brought Colin a fever, a cold for me, some very crappy weather but thankfully, the last day was beautiful.
We found this park near the Colosseum and there were some amazing ruins right behind. Seriously, one month in Rome was not enough time to enjoy this amazing ancient city. I feel so bad for the American tourists who think they can see everything in 2 days. (I was one of them once, can't be too critical. But that is such the wrong way to travel!)
We ended up exploring lots of Rome's many, many churches. Our kids liked the churches and were fairly well behaved. (In a church in Jerusalem with 1 year old Colin, he once started meowing very loudly. It was funny and embarrassing.) It was not a trip for museums this time with a 4 and 2 year old, but we have the rest of our lives for museums. I have many future posts coming of all the churches were we wandered. We took a walking tour through Rome's Jewish Ghetto (on a very rainy day) and sadly, we did not get to go in the Synagogue. We would have loved to see it as it is a very different style than all the baroque gold we saw in most of the other churches. And we walked through in the wrong time too as we saw a falafel place that looked awesome!
This was the last photo I took in Italy, Jane running toward a very busy road. She totally bolted. I still kind of cannot believe we just spent the month in Rome. We have been home 3 days now and the kids slept most of the night, so why was I up at 5am? Jet lag gets worse as I get older. The kids were so great on our very long trip home (about 15 hours of flying and 5 hours in airports). We will be very happy to be in one place for the next little while. And I need to get some Mexican food today! I am craving fish tacos from Lone Star!

Our time in Italy is winding down. We have so many things to post that may have to wait until we are home. We burned through our allotted internet minutes and have to pay as we go now. We will be a little excited to return to our fast, reliable, unlimited and cheap access at home! Here are just a couple of recent photos. Brian had a little errand to check in on at the opera so we let the kids get happy meals (and sadly they got the same toy they had gotten this summer at home but they were still happy!) Then the kids had fun running the red carpet outside Opera di Roma while we waited for Brian.
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The opera opened on Tuesday night. As Brian is covering the tenor role, the other tenor was unwell for the final dress and Brian got to go on. It was a good experience for him as he learned he is able to jump in (since covers do not get as much rehearsal) and he would very much love another shot at it with a performance. Of course we wish the other tenor well, but one show would be amazing!

We like views like this.
Colin found a place to be a statue.
In other good new, we found THE place to get gelato!!!! It is just far enough off the tourist road that is is not overpriced and totally amazing gelato! We have had a couple better eating out experiences too, but Brian has mainly made us food at home as the ingredients are so great here. We live near the best fresh food market in Rome, which has been lovely.

The Spanish steps, from the bottom and the top, just if you are wondering.
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We met Brian for lunch yesterday and had some good Chinese. He did not have much of a break so we went into just one church and enjoyed a little time.
The kids are currently (like right now as I post this) being such bedtime stinkers that I thought I should post cute photos of them to replace the frustrated mommy thoughts which were also in my head.

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We also took turns looking into this darling little chapel. There was a noisy group of kids outside playing futbol which amazes me. This is just their play space.

A couple views of the neighborhood.
Then, as you can see from the following photos, the sun went down.

View down the road from the Castle where we play.
And it was a lovely night to photograph St. Peters. Brian has done most of the night photography. He is pretty great with a low shutter speed!
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Very near the Campo di Flori is this lovely church. Since the kids were both asleep, Brian and I took turns going in. It was completed in 1625 says my guidebook, and has some of the best natural light of all of Rome's churches.

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It has been sunny and close to 60 degrees all week, perfect for gelato! Sadly, this gelato was very over priced as were were closer to the Colosseum than we realized. You very much get taken as a tourist, and it is crappy to know it!
Our stopping was to try and keep Jane away but we stopped too soon and she was asleep not long after this. It is hard because if she naps now, she stays awake until about 11:30 pm. We are in a hard pattern and very much have a night owl.

Wonder how long the funny smile phase will last, 15 years?
Brian near the Wedding Cake building.
And actually both kids fell asleep this day. Colin fell asleep with a lollipop in his mouth but when I tried to take it out, he woke up and popped it back in his mouth and kept sleeping. I felt like a great parent.
Wandered over to the Campo di Flori. There are some very great neighborhoods over here. They had some grape hyacinths that would have been fun to take back to our little apartment. Instead we were lured into our favorite fancy soap store Lush which was just up the block from here. I love their shampoo soaps for travel and I was nearly out of the sea salt scrub. As they do not have a Lush in SLC, it is something we love and a souvenir. We have now followed Lush through 5 countries. About 10 or so years ago when I was returning from England with a Lush bath bomb in my carry-one luggage, the security could not tell what it was in the x-ray and had to check it out. Thankfully it was not taken from me, although it was a very, very messy bath bomb full of flower petals.

One of our local parks is behind the castle. Not too bad. Most afternoons we head out to a park. It is nice, the kids and I take it pretty easy in the morning just because we can mostly. After lunch we head outside to burn some energy. Then we come home to art and music time, eat some dinner, and try to wind down to bed. Today not going so well, it is 10:15 and Brian is down stairs roughhousing the kids. We went out for a Roman meal tonight and ate at about 8:30 pm and the kids do not sound anywhere near being ready for bed. Very great meal though just in our neighborhood. We will never eat in a tourist place again!

Our friends helped us find this park too, it is our kid's favorite within walking distance. Colin was having a picnic on the toys.

Jane routinely does things two year olds should not do. I have seen kids Colin's age and older be afraid of climbing this rope ladder, but not Jane. No limitations for her.

The kids' favorite park has a nice view.

At yet another park, Colin found a comic that he wanted to recycle.

The kids love playing post office. We mail all sorts of things all over the world.

We watched a show about ninjas this morning, which prompted the wearing of Colin's ninja shirt today.

After walking through St. Peters and playing at the Castel Sant' Angelo, we walked to the Piazza Navona, mainly just because we can. We enjoyed admiring all three fountains. It was a lovely day with some sun and close to 60 degrees. It is kind of hilarious because we are out in just sweaters and light jackets but the Romans are still dressed for about 30 degree weather. One would think you could take off a scarf but I guess not.