Whew! The weather turned overnight and it has gotten hot! Yes, I can hear you former pilgrims saying, "it's about time!"
We just finished our weekend of free travel and it was wild! Maribeth, Erin, and I chose to do two different day trips through the tour group and then spend Saturday and Sunday seeing various sights around Rome.
First we went to Assisi; well, we planned on going to Assisi. The tour company misfiled us and ten of us (two different tours) sat at the gate from 6:30 until almost 8:00! Then Sister Cunnegunde helped us straighten matters out with some very severe Italian. We met the tour in Assisi after a wild taxi ride through rush hour traffic and an almost airborne Mercedes Benz minivan trip through the countryside. The reason we chose a guided tour was to have someone help us see the sights, we just didn't plan on the sights becoming a walk through of Claire's Basilica, Francis' sites, and his basilica, and then off to lunch for over an hour. Sad, I wish we had just taken the train and wandered about on our own.
The next day was very exciting for all good reasons...we went to Pompeii! I have been dreaming about this city since I was a little girl watching PBS! And other than the 100 PLUS degree heat, I loved every single minute of Pompeii. We had a super tour guide for this day, Fabiano (very cute too). He told wonderful stories and history as we hiked through the heat of the excavated city. I couln't help but just touch the walls and wonder who lived here. After the two our guided part of the tour, he allowed us another hour to walk on our own and explore the city; but I was too hot, tired, and thirsty to go another step.
Saturday, we joined up with Marie Therese from Tulsa and Emily from Watertown too see the Catacombs! There too I was struck with wonder at all those who have lived, loved, and carried on the faith before us. The Auzzie priest who was our tour guide explained the Callisto catacombs well and had a good sense of humor with the folk who didn't get the church aspect of all this...I suspect some of the visitors paid the 8 Euro just to be in the 65 degree coolness for the duration of the tour.
There is so much more to share and tell, but too much typing becomes a blur of words. I love and miss you all, only a couple weeks and we'll be home!