Before we left, I remembered to buy tickets for the Borghese Gallery in Rome. It's an interesting ticket process: at least a week (or a few days) in advance, you reserve and pay for your 2-hour timeslot online (you can only go at 9 am, 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm or 5pm); a half hour before your time, you line up in the ticket office with the print-out of your reservation, hoping you're in the right line and wondering if the clerk (who's on his phone the whole time) even knows you're there; and then, tickets in hand, you have two hours to explore one of the world's most beautiful art galleries.
When I booked online - over a week ago, in California - I couldn't decide on the "best" time slot for our family of five. Would they wake up early enough for the 11 am slot, knowing we'd have to be there at 10:30 and thus would have to leave the apartment at 10 am (the girls are not early risers on a "regular" schedule, so vacation mornings are even more of a challenge)? Would 1 pm hit us right at lunchtime? Would 3 pm be too late because we'd be out exploring the city and perhaps reluctant to go and see art?
I had *thought* I'd booked 11 am, so we rallied the girls - not easy with an ice cold shower that never warmed up - and walked up Via Veneto past the chi-chi sidewalk cafes and stood in line behind a gaggle of American college-age girls and got our tickets.
At the ticket window, the clerk finally stopped his conversation with his co-worker and turned to me with my tickets in his hand, "These are for 3 pm. Next!"
The good part? We had hours to ride bikes and a surrey around the gardens again, caught a gorgeous view of Rome from above the Piazza del Popolo and had a nice lunch at a cafe within the garden (Marlowe had another minestrone soup and I had my first non-cheese, non-pizza, non-pasta meal since we arrived: spinach and white beans).
The bad part? We're back at the apartment and I think two of the girls are staging a mutiny.
Chances are, it will just be a museum trip for me and Emme, which is fine, too. My expectation was to show my whole family this museum that I love so much, the place where I fell for Caravaggio and Bernini in a big way, but it appears that I have to let go of that expectation and practice the art of being with what *is* rather than what I expected. I'll leave in about 20 minutes to hike back up to the Villa, but for now, here are some pictures:
|The girls love these stands all around the Villa Borghese;|
Emme ate two huge panini the other day and we've also had
cold water, Gatorade, Nestea, Oreos, gelati... It's awesome!
Sure beats a dilapidated ice cream truck in the Valley.
|A 4-person pedal-powered surrey. It goes way faster than you'd expect |
(though still not as fast as a regular bike. So there's that...)
|Serena overlooking Rome.|
|Emme and me above the Piazza del Popolo. |
Yes, she's taller than me.
|Marlowe, continuing her culinary tour of Rome, ordered a |
strawberry granita with whipped cream at lunch.