Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Last night in Rome

March 4
Rome to Florence 

Our bus picked us up at the hotel at 7:00 a.m. We then traveled to Florence. Our bus driver was the same one we had had yesterday. He will never win the friendliest prize.  We made one stop on the way and then completed the three hour trip. Florence was beautiful! We checked into our hotel and Cliff and I had a quaint little suite with bedroom, living room/kitchen, nice roomy bathroom with marble tile floors and walls, and a cobblestone patio with a bistro table and chair set. We could look up from our patio and see Becky's balcony. It was quite charming!

After a brief stop at the hotel we took off walking, very quickly again in hopes of finding a quick take out place for lunch (for 33, right). We were walking toward our museum where we had an after lunch appointment. In the rush on the narrow cobblestone streets and sidewalk, Jon Michael tripped off the sidewalk and fell right on the same knee he had fallen on coming down from the Acropolis. The wound broke open and he began to bleed. We had to pass the word up the line but he kept walking. Finally we stopped and got Neosporin and bandaids on it.  Shortly thereafter, we stopped for a 20 minute grab some food so we can go lunch. We sat on the steps of a church in the little city square we were in and warded off pigeons and beggars while we ate our lunch.

Then it was off on a run again where we arrived at the Academea museum in plenty of time. Early in fact! Inside we saw Byzantine art and the incredible statue of David. It was magnificent! We also visited the wing of the museum that held musical instruments including a Chinese bell. It is a large basin of water made of copper with two handles. You wet your hands a d rub the handles and it makes a humming noise, You can change pitch and timber by pressure and pace. Jon Michael loved it and the rest of us did too.

After we left the museum, the students were going on a walking tour of Florence. It was getting colder and I knew Jon Michael needed to get his cut cleaned up and see exactly what the damage was. He and I took a taxi back to the hotel. I was glad we came back. His bandaid had come off and we had to pull the fibers of his sweat pants out of the wound and rebandage. He ended up cleaning it himself and was amazing.

About 5:00, we set out to find some dinner. The lady at the desk was surprised that I asked about dinner places. She kept saying, "It's 5:00". Then she sent us to a bakery. We didn't want sweets so kept looking. Every food place was closed. We returned to the hotel empty handed. She explained that no place opened for dinner until 7:30. We went back to the room a d JM took a nap while I listened to a book on tape. We went out at 7:45 and found a restaurant but the were just opening up. We were the first customers. JM had pasta with ham and a cream sauce. I had linguini with lobster thinking it would come with tiny chunks of lobster, especially with the low price. WRONG! Here came my plate with the pasta and sauce with a lobster sitting right on top, eyeballs and all! I cracked it open and got out the meat with the plate of tools and such they brought me and then ate an incredible dish! With both pasta dinners, plus our drinks and bread it was only 24 Euros. Not bad! JM had his first taste of lobster. 

By the time we got back from dinner, parts of the group were arriving back. We chatted and shortly went to bed.

Last night before we left Rome, I had gotten the message that my mom had fallen and broken her hip and was in surgery. It was agony being so far away. I did manage to get a call through but the connection was terrible. All I got was that she was out of surgery and doing well. Her room was full of friends and they sounded like they were having a good time. She was still on her magic drugs from surgery and so was in no pain. She is hoping to come home on Friday or Saturday. Prayers would be appreciated.

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