Friday, September 3, 2010

I Just Want to be the Goblin King from Labyrinth

Today, Sam and I again decided to take it easy. So, we had breakfast at the café and then went back to the room and watched a couple of episodes of The OC, mimicking SoapNet’s “Breakfast in Bed.” Then, we decided to have lunch real Rome style, meaning at a small café. I had read in my Italy guidebook that there was a cute, La Dolce Vita bar near the hotel, so I excitedly suggested it. I looked it up on Google Maps and found that it was only four minutes away. Perfect! So we were off…

About ten minutes into our journey, I realized that I had neglected to change the direction setting from driving to walking, so the bar was actually four minutes away by car. To add to it, we were entering a dodgy neighborhood. Nonetheless, I kept my mouth shut and continued because Fromer’s had told me this was a great place, and when it comes to travel information, I trust Fromer’s. So we continued to get lost (because the directions led to where the metaphorical car was supposed to park, not the restaurant) and the neighborhood grew increasingly lacking. Finally we found the place – or the shell of the place. The neon sign remained, but that was it – no tables, no counter, and certainly no food. The buildings around it were covered in graffiti. Why, Fromer? Why?

So we switched plans and went to a café closer to the hotel. After that, we relaxed and watched some TV before going out for the night. For our last dinner in Rome, we went to the place we had had our first dinner in Rome five years ago – Piazza Navona. After comparing the prices of several different restaurants, we ended up at the Café Neptune. Sam got lasagna and tortellini, while I chose the ravioli with ricotta and spinach in butter. It was perfect! The food was great and as we ate, people milled around outside and several street musicians played in front of the restaurant. We finished the meal with chocolate cake and tiramisu. It was the perfect way to end our vacation.

After we were done, Sam and I walked around the piazza. One side of the fountain, dozens of artists displayed their landscapes and portraits. On the other side, there were people spray-painting pictures with an audience of on-lookers. Several of these crowds gathered around different artists throughout the piazza. There were also a few living statues. In addition, Sam and I watched a little bit of an Israeli glass orb dancer’s (I’m not sure that’s his official title) show. What he did was a type of interpretive dance as he twirled a glass orb around. Sam and I wondered if he had seen David Bowie in Labyrinth as a child and resolved not to quit until he had skills like the Goblin King.

Sam and I wondered a bit, fitting in ample sit and soak-in time. Then, we went back to the Beehive, arranged for a 4am taxi and packed Sam up. I can’t believe this is over tomorrow…

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