Last Day in Rome; First in England

Sorry. I didn’t post yesterday because we were traveling. The 4:30 a.m. wake up call  to catch the taxi, plus flight, customs and another taxi ride to our friends’ house took its toll on our energy level.

As for our last day in Rome, it was a lazy one.  The only exploration we did was when I took Shade and Mayan to see the Big Bambu in the daylight. It’s an impressive sight in the day, towering over the surrounding buildings, which it turns out are old slaughterhouses converted into museums. They still had the hook mechanism on the ceiling that would carry the cows to be steakified.

During the day, attendants make Big Bambu climbers sign waivers just in case the pile of sticks collapses and kills everyone in it. Yeah, potential death! Unfortunately, they wouldn’t let Shade climb because their policy stated you must be able to climb unassisted. He was very upset, especially because he’s climbed so many steps in the past days. He agreed to wait at the bottom while I took Mayan up.

Near the top, Mayan met his nemesis, an old lady with tons of facial moles whose sole job was to make sure Mayan didn’t have fun. She yelled at him four or five times “Don’t climb on that!” and “Don’t go up there!” and “Stop staring at my moles!” He came down from the Big Bambu sulking. Shade was sulking at the bottom of the structure. The Big Bambu had lost its magic.

As with most vacations, the leaving day was heavy with the burden of loss. Our entire party has been possessed by Rome. Edwin and Brett kept joking that they might accidentally lose their passports and have to stay. The rest of the day was spent packing and eating at Aitza’s favorite restaurant, Il Tulipanne Nero. We spent a good 4 hours here between lunch and dinner lounging over pasta and red wine.

Time warp past all the planes and taxis. We’re now in Loughton, England staying with my buddy Andy, his wife Trish, and kids Rory and Daisy. They live on the edge of Epping Forest, where the famed highwayman Dick Turpin used to hold up rich travelers. It’s also where the famed East End mobsters the Cray Brothers buried the people they killed. With that kind of morbid history, we had to have a walk through.

The forest is crisscrossed with nicely maintained paths. However, they are not wheelchair friendly in that they tend to slope sideways. Shade was always leaning hard to the right or left, pulling the wheelchair in that direction and almost off the path. To keep it straight, I had to push twice as hard with the slope-side arm. The effect was an aching bicep and hand. The paths were also a bit muddy and very steep.

We found a lovely little pond edged with flowering reeds and populated with ducklings and fish. I gave the kids a lesson in skipping stones, and then realized that I was horrible at skipping stones. Shade was happy just chucking them in and listening to them plop. The place was so calm, we fell asleep on the banks.

The rest of the day was devoted to catching up with Andy and family and taking more naps. Not an exciting day but a day none the less.IMG_3058 IMG_3061 IMG_3066 IMG_3073 IMG_3074 IMG_3083 IMG_3088 IMG_3089 IMG_3093 IMG_3095 IMG_3097 IMG_3099IMG_2327 IMG_2328 IMG_3119 IMG_2329 IMG_2332 IMG_2336 IMG_2339 IMG_2341 IMG_3170 IMG_2344 IMG_3195

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Coleen
    Jun 18, 2013 @ 09:12:33

    I want to tell the Crampton family how much I have enjoyed taking your vacation with you. It has been fun seeing all the fascinating places you guys have been. Great to see what Shade has accomplished with all his climbing. That has probably been the best P.T he has had. Also fun watching Mayan eyes through this trip. I hope you guys DID have the time of your life 🙂 xoxoxoxo


  2. Carla
    Jun 22, 2013 @ 21:05:04

    Where are you Vince? Super Moon! Stonehenge!


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