Finale addendum 

Almost noon Rome time, we have been on the plane since about 9:30am. Felt I should add a bit of detail from yesterday and I certainly have the time to do it. Rome to Chicago is a ten and a half hour flight today.  Plenty of time to catch up on some sleep IF the baby stops crying and the flight attendants make less trips up and down the aisle.  Not whining, mind you.  I’m sure you know there is no whining allowed on SCSS trips. Another reason why parents enjoy these trips! :)  Just finished lunch.  For the life of me I do not understand what the fascination is with peas on  this trip!  We have had them probably four times during this trip.  Today when I opened the foil on my entree lo and behold……more PEAS!   Yesterday was glorious in Rome on many counts. When we started our day the sky was a brilliant blue, cloudless and warm. We toured the coliseum and he forum with our guide.  Always heading to the shady spots which felt ten degrees cooler.  I have to admit that group there’s guide, while exceptionally knowledgeable was a bit on the dry and wordy side!  Again, I was trying really hard to listen and soak up more rocks and stuff history but at some point I was like many of the kids…..ear bud in but volume off or at least turned down. And then there’s my husband, God love him……always asking questions.  At some point in the Forum I told him his question quota had been met!!!   Then to piazza Navona....

Finale 

its 11:45pm. Wake up,call at 5:30, leaving hotel at 6:30.  What a trip! So many stories. So many laughs. So many memories.   Above all…..so many great people now added to the SCSS family.  We will be home soon.  Prayers for safe travel and for Mr. Harris to not get lost!  :)  Good night from Roma!  Fondly, ...

Last Day 

Good Morning, All!   First, thank you for all of your comments!  I feel so connected!!  Wake up call at 6:20 this morning.  We got an extra five minutes.  Of course, I choose to roll over and wait until 7:00 to get up.  I can be ready in thirty minutes.  Bus here at 8:00.  Heading to coliseum, forum and pantheon. Caps!!!!  Free time around piazza Navona and then final concert at 5:00. Hoping to do all the fun stuff out on the square.  We must get electricity from some bat or gelateria.  However forecast of showers this afternoon.  We will see.  Off for the bus.  Kids all good.  No worries!  Later!...

It’s Vatican Day 

Good morning, All!  Today’s the day. Someone said in the crowd this morning waiting for the bus…..this is the day that we have been practicing for in the last ten months. Honestly, I’m a bit overwhelmed today but I’m not going to tell anyone!  St. Peter’s.  St. Peter’s!!!!!!!!  They were given our repertoire a very long time ago.  They selected four pieces for the mass: Adoramus Te, Down in the River to Pray, For the Beauty of the Earth and The Lord Bless You and Keep You. I’m taking our Italian speaking nurse with me into St Peter’s.  I’m not sure if Mass will be in Italian or Latin.  Just asked a couple of my bus one adults who are Catholics if the Mass is in Latin would they understand it……the answer….no, but I think I could guess. Doesn’t instill a lot of faith!  Haha get it….faith!  (Can you tell I’m a bit punchy!)  Overwhelmed and so very humbled.  A bit teary eyed as I type.  We are about to enter the walls of Rome.  OH MY!  I’m so amazed every time I visit this city. It truly is beautiful.  I have to be honest that the first time I visited Rome in 2005 I was not impressed.  The Gartner family gave it another chance in 2007 and again in 2010.  This will be my fourth time. I fall in love with it even more every time. We are going to drop off near the Vatican and give them about 90 min to shop/eat/drink and get back so that we can drop our concert attire.  For those of you...

Left Montecatini and heading to Rome 

buona Sera from the bus!  It is 5:41pm and I honestly have to think really hard to remember what we have done all day.   What a fun day. Headed to beautiful Tuscany today to have our bike adventure.  What a gorgeous day with perfect weather. Can you just picture beautiful country roads, cypress trees dotting the golden and green landscape and then a roadside rest with 109 really nice hybrid bikes and helmets sitting and waiting for us.  Kids were so excited.  Adults….well, lots of them were!  Rode through the countryside and then double backed to a sweet little village town for our lunch.  Picture a small park with a big shade tree in the middle with a 100 blue shirted bikers eating their bag lunch!  TWO baguette sandwiches, Orange fanta, bottle water and a cookie.  We snarfed those right down!  Rode back to our departure site and back on the bus.  We made a variation to the itinerary and went to the charming hill town of Pienza.  We were all pretty much done with crowds and tourists and Florence!  Went the charming, peaceful route today.  Side note: Gartner family visited this beautiful hill top town for lunch back in 2008.  Always knew I wanted a repeat visit.  Today I was walking with one of the chaperones and told him that it really is fun to travel but it is REALLY fun to share travel with others.  We went straight to the town square and sang four songs.  You ought to see how fast we attract crowds!  Sang Cantate Domino, Down in the River, Blue Skies and Ride...