We had just extricated ourselves from the crowds around the Tivoli Fountains and found a quiet restaurant to grab a quick lunch. Sarah noticed there was free wifi. Marcia checked her instagram account and her niece Madeline had posted a picture of herself in front of the Tivoli Fountains. The timestamp said it was posted two hours ago. Madeline is studying in Copenhagen for the semester. She had visited us several weeks ago in Paris. With no prior planning, it seemed unlikely that we would be at the same fountain about an hour or two apart. Marcia contacted Madeline via Facebook Messenger. In disbelief, we traded messages and arranged to met later that night for dinner.
In the interim, we headed to the Colosseum. This time we opted to skip the line and get a guide. Although we were a few euros lighter, it was a good decision. It took a few minutes to get through security, but the guide was excellent. The girls listened intently to descriptions of the brutality of the Romans. There 80 arches that surround the Colosseum each served as an entrance gate. The said that 50,000 spectators could exit within 15 minutes.
Outside the Colosseum, were three girls dressed in togas. They were being photographed by a couple of guys with high end camera equipment. I just had to ask what they were doing. It turned out that they were completing the first day of the Red Bull challenge. 165 teams from 50 countries, each team started with 24 cans of Red Bull, and no cash. Their challenge was to get from city to city in Europe trading cans for rides. The three girls of Team Oklahomies were able to get from Florence to Rome by trading three cans of Red Bull for 3 train tickets. A lady from Phoenix said buying them tickets was her good deed for the day. More info see Team Oklahomies.
It took us a while to find the restaurant where we were to meet Madeline. Google.maps let us down. We walked past the restaurant, and then walked in circles. It was worth the extra 30 minutes of searching. We agree with the Lonely Planet, “Freni e Frizione draws a young spritz -loving crowd that swells onto the small piazza outside to sip well-priced cocktails.” By buying one drink, the buffet was free. Marcia posted the picture in Instagram and a number of people mentioned that Britney (sitting between Marcia and Madeline) certainly looks like one of the family. It was a fun get together.
At about 10:00 we walked along the Tiber River to return to our apartment. Fortunately at one point in the journey, Sarah said, “Dad, that would make a great picture.”