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.  One of my favorites.  We entered St. Agnes and dropped our attire. The most beautiful changing room.  Then we turned them loose in the most beautiful part of Rome.  I told them they ALL had to go see the Pantheon.  Many went to the Spanish Steps, shopping, eating, shopping, gelato and shopping!  I always love it when they return and show me their bargains. Amazing.  You just may Ben a recipient of a French or Italian souvenir!!  Some of the girls bought identical dresses from a street vendor.  Darling!  And only 12 euro!  They ARE bargain hunters.  What did I purchase?  Hmmm.  I love the memories more than the THINGS….but I did bring home one special perfume, two small leather items for the girls in my life,  and some Mellon liqueur that I was told I must get from a former SCSS member who had studied in Rome.  That’s it.  Oh, I forgot……my 20 euro dress from Florence and too many to count cups of gelato!  While all the kids and parents were out conquering Rome, the brilliant blue, cloudless sky took a turn!  A few of us had hiked it to Piazza di Poppulo (?) to see the Carravaggio paintings.  Then strolled down a side street to an outdoor restaurant.  As soon as we sat down the sky opened up!  Lightning, thunder and buckets of water.   Remember those travel umbrellas I insisted upon?  They weren’t just used for sun shading yesterday. Of course some of them were good for nothing !  Ask Rachel Smith!  :)   the people that were in the Pantheon when the storm hit experienced such a treat.  I’m so jealous!  Do you know why? 

We all met back at the church to change.  Girls first!!!  Sent them out to the piazza which in itself was advertisement!  After everyone was changed we sang a couple of tunes outside and then went in for a sound and row check.  We were ready to go at 4:50 so I started the concert early.  I did not want to make my singers stand there for ten minutes and there was not enough room to stand in the changing room beautiful chapel.  

There was a full house!  Wait until you see these pictures.  Gorgeous.  The music was gorgeous, the people were gorgeous.  Of course we were all a bit toasty.  Oh well.  I have to share with you that Laetitia, the church caretaker and contact said to me after we finished that we were the best choir she has ever heard in St Agnes.   A member of the audience came up to me who was from San Francisco and a singer and said how wonderful we were and that we were the face of America in Rome.  Such lovely words.  

Gathered up all our belongings and headed to the buses and then dinner.  Dinner was a bit frenetic.  Two other large groups in a restaurant featuring two singers and a pianist.  Very loud and I felt bad for the performers.   I couldn’t control other groups and their volume level which also impacted our volume level.  Kind of frustrating at each table when trying to have a conversation.  Nice words spoken by students.  Very heartfelt.  Special gifts.  Very thoughtful.  

I told myself inward going to hold it together for this last performance.  I did.  Cannot guarantee that at the welcome home concert.   It really is hard to turn to the last page of this final chapter.  What a wonderful ending it is.  

Time to put in some headsets.  Maybe the baby will take a nap…..she’s four rows behind me.  Here’s hoping.  

Only seven more hours to landing!  Then 5 of bus travel.  We will make it!  

I’m sure as soon as we are through passport control all those kids will fire up their cell phones and call you.  In fact I will encourage them to do just that.  I will send this once I get wifi on the bus.  Those of you reading encourage your parent friends to read as well so that they know our progress.  

Again thank you!  

Grazie mille! 

Gartner 

2 Comments

  1. Thanks you so much for sharing your wonderful trip with us! So many memories for all of you, children and chaperones.
    I only have one regret you did not come to Paris this time, I know you are amazing singers!
    Sophie Daubas, Cincinnati 5 years ago

  2. Wow! You all have had a wonderful adventure, and I’m so glad you shared it with all of us. I can’t wait for the concert:)
    Leslie Burklow