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Vatican City: Aspie Adventures Day Two

Day two in Rome we walked to Vatican City and it rained. We didn’t mind the rain as it was a lot nicer than the 20 below zero we left back home. 58 degrees and rainy, we could do that!

The rain was really coming down by the time we entered St. Peter’s square and the line to get into the Basilica was long. When I say long, I mean long by Aspie boy standards meaning there was a wait—waiting is bad. Especially waiting to get into a cathedral, or the Vatican museum which neither boy had any interest in whatsoever. But they came along mostly without complaining.

I would have never taken a guided tour (even I am bored most of the time) but between the rain and the smallish line, I sprung for a two hour tour that skipped the lines. The guide led us through the Vatican Museum into the beautiful Sistine Chapel and right into St. Peter’s. Very efficient. Interesting for me—the boy’s were seriously bored. But I have these lovely pictures….

Since my oldest refuses to have his picture taken, Matt and I spent the whole trip trying to sneak pictures of Adam.

Walking back through Rome after the tour, we took many small back alleys to wonderful piazzas unhurried until finally we made our way over to Piazza Navona and….. McDonalds. In my defense, we did first stop at a small out of the way pizzeria hoping that Matt would like something they served. He didn’t. Pizza was still awful. Poor kid. He loves pizza. So I promised him a return trip to McDonalds after Adam and I ate down the doughy tasteless bread.

And, I might add I was seriously having some coffee withdrawal in ROME! The Airbnb only had a percolator with no coffee so we made our way over to a supermarket (Best idea we had for food thus far…). Except…the supermarket was a bit hard to navigate not speaking Italian, and Matt and I thought we were buying coffee. A small package of “pocket coffee.”

It wasn’t coffee. It was chocolate. Just one of the funny things that happen to us in Rome.

The boys learned about different currencies too. Euros, we had not idea, only start their paper money (bills) in denomination of five. So there are no one dollar bills, they are coins. The boys didn’t know this, nor were they paying much attention. I kept saying during this whole trip, “go ahead guys lead the way, I am just here to pay.”

I grew up in New York City , but the boys did not and so they were not used to seeing people begging for money on the streets and such. Not the way it was in NYC when I grew up, or the way some tourist areas were in Rome. So being the kind children they try to hide that they are, when I turned around they emptied their pockets of change giving away all the coin to the people on the streets.

Matthew was not too happy when he found out he dumped about twenty bucks in coin into a coin collector. A lesson in currency, and exchange rates learned.

From the Vatican looking out over Rome

Jeannie Davide-Rivera

Jeannie is an award-winning author, the Answers.com Autism Category Expert, contributes to Autism Parenting Magazine, and the Thinking Person's Guide to Autism. She lives in New York with her husband and four sons, on the autism spectrum.