Our final day in Rome began much like the last two, cold, grey and rainy. Also, Miss Wigglebum Squirmypants had hogged my side of the bed all night, so I was not willing to spend another day in the rain. Nevertheless, we ventured out. We had planned to visit Appia Antica, the oldest street in Rome (and in fact, the whole Western world) which stretched to the heel of the boot. We found the proper metro station and the connecting bus to catch. As we waited for the bus to depart we started to think. When did we last feed Nora? Shouldn't we do that sooner rather than later? Spotting a McDonald's across the street we decided (against every instinct) to go, order a coffee, and use the warm dry seating area an washroom before heading out. This didn't quite go as planned. First: they do not sell coffee. Yes, that's right. They do not sell coffee. Not even Italian style coffee. So we tried a chocolate milkshake. Turns out it tasted just like melted soft serve. Gross. Second: the washrooms are locked and you need a code (printed on your receipt) to get in. They didn't give us a receipt for our melted ice cream, so I had to go ask the guy. Bonus: the washrooms made me forget I was in Italy. There was counter space I could use for baby-changing purposes, and they were actually clean! Cool!
Once we left McDonald's we decided to go find real food for lunch, since while I was drinking my not-coffee our bus had left. We chose a doner/pizza shop we had seen a few metro stops away. We had doners since we're totally sick of pizza. When we got out of the metro and prepared ourselves for the rain, we noticed it was no longer raining. It was snowing. Gross. Big, wet flakes of snow melted and turned slushy on the ground. We were even happier now to see the doner shop had a large seating area and did not charge us extra to use it. Bonus: it was warm inside.
Having killed enough time, we decided to try to get to the Appia Antica once more. As we stood outside McDonald's huddled under our umbrella and waiting for our bus to arrive, we contemplated leaving and just finding an indoor museum. It could be the museum of kitchen utensils, we didn't care. Right about then, our bus arrived. As we ran our tickets through the validator, another couple got on. I heard the girl asking the driver (in Italian) about going to the catacombs. These were people just as crazy as us, so I asked them where they were going. Also to san Sabastiano, as it turned out. They were from Sweden and we walked together along the Appia Antica, which looks just like a crappy cobbled street and is difficult to walk on, but we did it anyway. It was still snowing and we slogged our way through the slushy mess. The Swedes led us down a road called via San Sebastiano, which turned out not to go to the catacombs at all. I figured this out part way there and we turned around. By this point, they were too far ahead, and even though we shouted they didn't hear us. Never mind. It was cold, my feet were wet, and I didn't care anymore. They're adults,
they can find their own way. Shortly past where we made our wrong turn, we found the church. I was so excited to get someplace warm and dry. It was indeed dry inside. Not warm , but dry. Close enough! The ticket taker told us the next tour in English was set to take place in 20 minutes, so even though we were the only people in the place, we bought our tickets and set to shaking the wet snow off our shoes, coats and umbrella. Soon enough the Swedes found us, along with three other people to take the tour. Nora was awake for the tour having slept through the wet, blustery walk. Smart kid. The native Lithuanian guide gave us a tour, and I'm sure he repeated himself a few times, and there were other bits of his speech I missed due to his accent or the acoustics or who knows what. It was interesting enough for a 6 euro, 30 minute tour where we were all a bit damp and cold and wanting to get someplace warmer, Cuba, perhaps. The tour completed, he gave us directions to the nearest bus stop and said the bus came every 15 minutes. Perfect. We squelched our way to the bus stop. The Swedes were already there, and soon enough we were joined by everyone else from our tour, including a Danish couple on holiday for a week. My shoes and socks were soaked through, and the bus couldn't come soon enough. All hunkering under umbrellas or the overhanging tree branches, we waited.
The bus had not arrived after 8 minutes so we waited some more. Another 10 minutes went by, as did many other forms of traffic, but no bus. We had been standing for at least 22 minutes when a taxi went by. The Danish girl flagged it down, and just as I was thinking, "What a great idea, the next one is mine!", she looked at me and said, "want to share a taxi?". My brain did not even engage before my chattering jaw said, "yes!" and my frozen toes had propelled me to the waiting car. It was gloriously warm inside and totally dry. The driver took us to a metro station, not Termini like we asked, but that was because it was closed. I guess the weather had adversely affected traffic so much, they closed the city core to much of it. Whatever. Any metro stop could totally get us where we wanted to go...back to our B&B.
Finally back in our room, we hung wet things over the radiators and took hot showers. After a rest, I put on my spare shoes and we went backout for dinner. This being our last night, we wanted to have a larger restaurant meal and spend what remained of our euros, so we went to a resataurant near the Spanish steps (nothing to do with Spain). The food was nothing special, so it felt a bit like
a wasted endeavour, but I did enjoy my wine. The streets are heavy with wet slush and puddles of frigid water. I shouldn't have bothered with my spare shoes, because now I have two pairs of wet shoes instead of one. Both are now sitting by the radiators as we wait for things to dry before we get them all packed up for the flights home tomorrow. I say "home" but we're really going to Regina and then Edmonton to see family, so we won't be home for another week yet. Too bad. I'm sick of all the clothes I packed. I want to throw them all away and buy new ones. Nora still fits all hers, but some of them not for long. We will wrap up our trip by packing up and walking along the skinny sidewalk by the freeway through the slush and whatever else morning brings us. It's been an adventure, Italy, thanks!