Thank you for all of your prayers! I am happy to report that Leanna and I are safe and sound back in Toronto- and back at work! My what a change of pace this adjustment has been for us. Monday morning, I woke up at 5:30am totally ready to start the day. By 9:00am, I brought my youthful exuberance into the office, began feverishly replying to emails and voicemails, and yet by our 2:00pm staff meeting, I was pretty tired. However, now our jet lag has improved and we’re back on EST for the most part. Although unlike Leanna who lives like a normal 20 something, I still appreciate an early bedtime.
I think I write for both of us when I report that our medieval monastery in Sansepolcro, a small town in Tuscany, though charmingly rustic, made us yearn for our own beds and showers. It was very cold at night and there were too many spiders everywhere.
Our very last night in Sansepolcro was quite the adventure. We wandered the streets, said goodbye to a statue of Italian mathematician Luca Pacioli, appreciated the beauty of Piero della Francesca’s frescoes, and treated ourselves to not one, not two, but three scoops of delicious pistachio gelato. As you can tell, we. went. wild.
After a 6:00am wake-up call and a 4 hour bus ride back to Rome, we arrived at the Roma Marriott as we began the countdown to our flight home. We really did our best to soak up the price of the hotel (hello long showers, free wifi in the lobby, and poolside tanning). However, sadly, the hotel won out in the end as Leanna and I had a serious case of ‘hangriness.’ We had no choice but to opt for one of three choices on an absurdly expensive bar menu (the only restaurant open in the hotel). Hilariously, the menu’s three options were the best of what they considered to be “North American fare.” Ah, just what we wanted to enjoy as we savored our last night in Italy…said no one ever. Choosing an 18 Eur. burger over a club sandwich or a veggie wrap, we waited every so patiently for our food to arrive 40 minutes later. We ate remarkably quickly then went back to our room to watch some world news before falling asleep at 9:00pm- which was pretty much our standard bedtime anyways.
The next morning, we felt in our hearts that our great adventure was drawing to a close. After a 5 Eur. shuttle ride to the Fiumicino Airport, we had a very pleasant flight, leaving on time and with incredibly friendly staff. In fact, we even got to celebrate Gene and Larry’s 37 years of service to Air Canada as they performed their last meal service and set off on retirement. Congrats again Gene and Larry!
Now as we’re back at work and processing the experience, we look forward to sharing our findings with the rest of the parish. Stay tuned for an announcement at Mass this coming Sunday and an official “report” giving you all the pertinent details of the seminar.