We got home from Europe (Rome) last night around 8:00. It was a great trip, but it's always good to be home! When you live in the middle of the woods like we do and sometimes don't see another person all day long, it gets tiring to walk the streets of Paris, or Rome, or Munich with millions of people while dodging cars, bicycles, and motorcycles. It is worth the effort to immerse ourselves in cultures unlike ours, but also stressful. I often wonder what those people would think if they could change places with me for awhile. Would they love the peace & quiet, or would they be stressed with no one to talk to?
We saw so many sights that we're having trouble remembering the earlier ones. Good thing I took lots of pictures! Our group consisted of 28 people plus the guide and the bus driver. The interaction between tour members is one of the great things about traveling in a group. It is so fun to run into some of our new friends when we are sightseeing on our free time or to invite them to go with us to a particular site. Everyone is always a little sad to say 'good-bye' at the farewell dinner on the last night. I find myself reflecting on the camaraderie developed with a few people we will probably never see again in a two week period, knowing it is a little space in our lifetime that will never be repeated.
We had some obvious "God" moments on the trip. How good to feel His Presence and know He cares about even the little things in our lives--like saving us from a pickpocket and providing us with a free water taxi to Murano when we couldn't find the vaporetto stop that would take us there. We finally asked directions at a hotel where the manager provided us with a water taxi which dropped us off at a glass blowing demonstration--the reason we wanted to go in the first place!
The whole trip was filled with new experiences, interesting sites, great food, and lots of fun. According to my pedometer, we walked 74 miles in two weeks so we also got lots of excercise to counteract the effects of all the gelato we ate!
We are very grateful to have been able to enjoy the trip with our oldest son, his wife & our granddaughter. I'm sure our grandsons, who went with us two years ago, will have fun comparing notes with them. I think they all are hoping to go back someday. And Country Guy & I have 2 more families to experience a trip to Europe with! We are looking forward to that! But right now we will enjoy the peace and quiet and rest.