It’s10:00 pm and we’ve just finished dinner in a wonderful Italian restaurant
at our beautiful hotel. It was the best meal we’ve had and is by far the nicest hotel. Today was a travel day, leaving for Rome at 7:30 am and arriving at 8:45 pm. We did have stops for breaks and lunch, plus one “surprise”.
Our tour guide announced that we’d be stopping at a ceramics factory, with authentic Italian products like olive oil and cheese. What she failed to mention beforehand to any of us was that they also sold wine including free samples. Now the samples were in little Dixie cups and had about a thimble full in there, but I’m guessing some of our kids took advantage of the situation and since we had no advance notice, we hadn’t given our usual speech about what was and wasn’t allowed. Four of our kids even purchased wine to bring home to you-, the parents–and that is all in our possession. We will hand it directly to the parents upon our return home. They wanted to do something nice for their parents and I guess they didn’t realize that we actually import Italian wine into the US DAILY! It will be a pain in the neck to transport, but remember, it’s perfectly legal here for our oldest students to purchase and consume alcohol. Not allowed by us as a school trip, but legal here. Everyone handled it very well, no one was trying to hide anything, and the potential problem is averted. Bill Schindler gave our tour guide quite an earful for having allowed it when we’ve been clear since day one that we are a careful and conservative group.
Hey, it’s not as bad as when two girls got tattoos on one of my tours in the nineties–but I know just how Bill feels right now, worrying that parents (and his boss) will be upset. I assure you we have it totally under control. Figured best we use the blog to tell you lest you hear an exaggerated version and worry.
The highlight of the day came when we visited Assisi. I remember this beautiful place well from a trip I led in 1999. This is where St. Francis of Assisi is buried in the basilica. He is the founding father of the Franciscan tradition in the Roman Catholic church and is the Patron Saint of Nature. I cannot imagine a more beautiful place to be if I chose to take vows of poverty and celibacy. 😉
Tomorrow is a huge day for us and we continue to enjoy your comments on the blog. Thanks for reading and writing. Tomorrow we see the coliseum and the Vatican–tonight we sleep in a hotel on a hill overlooking the city. Sleep well Gowanda. Love from all of us mid-way through our trip of a lifetime.