It has been a wonderful trip. I am sorry not to update more often, but we have been on yhe go, so opportunities to write posts and upload photos have been too few. Up early everyday and out and about. Back late and a need for bed. For some reason, photos have loadec very slowly -- and those are the best thing.
Today we were at St. Peters Basilica. Very busy. I have seen it bevore, so I wasnt disappointed by the hustle and bustle. I did go to confession. A Chinese priest, all business. I like that.
Then we could go up to the the top, but that involves lots of stair-climbing, and I have done it, and I was weary from much walking on torturous Roman conblestones,so I only went as far as the elevator. That enabled me to have coffee on the roof of St Peters. After a while, I went down tothe street for a sandwich, then we met up to head for Santa Maria Sopra Minerva for Mass. After that, and some walking - always walking, walking, walking - Fr. Stechschulte and I were ready to head back to the hotel. But we did pause for one last gelato.
After some much needed quiet and rest at the hotel...
But wait, there was a delightful "interruption." There is an Italian military base next door to the hotel. So after I get into my room, and open the windows for fresh air, and change out of my clothes, preparing for a much desired shower, I hear drhms and marching music. It goes on and on. I look over, and the soldiers next door are in fancy uniform a d marching and singing, swords flashing and all! I really cant see that well, but I get a glimpse. I wanted to find a way to get closer, but my feet hurt and I really needed to rest. So I lay on the bed and heard all the pomp and circumstance in the background.
Then we gathered in the lobby for the bus ride to our farewell dinner. So much fun. I sat next to Emmanuele, our bus driver. He zpoke a few words of English, I know a few words of ItLian, plus I add in a few more words of Spanish, plus lots of guesses a d gesturing, and we got along fine. He told me the food we had was true Roman: prosciutto and salami to start, plus foccacia, then for the primo, caccia e pepe, and a kind of fettucini alfredo; then saltimbocca with fried potatoes; then insalata mista, then por la dolce, a nice cake. Then espresso! We had everything but the digestivo, which I could have gotten afterward in the hotel bar, but I knew I needed to get to bed.
The dinner also included a couple of singers presenting opera songs and otber Italian music, like O Sole Mio and Santa Lucia. A song from Carmen featured some mummery from the diva, stroking the heads of several of the men. That got raucous responses. After all this, Fr. Stechschulte presented some amusing awards. It was all a lot of fun.
We will arrive, God willing, in Columbus around 10:30 pm tomorrow night, which means I hope to be in my much-missed bed around 12:30. I enjoyed this immensely. I love Italy. This was a fun group. But I love home, too. I prayed every day for my family and my parish.