I know, I promised I would write more today. I lied. Not on purpose. For eleven days, and ten nights, I got to operate on my OWN schedule (with a little bit of Alex's thrown in here and there)...now that Matt is back, I own nothing, especially time! His schedule today: 6-8:30 a.m. swim practice; 9-10:30 Guerin High for computer pickup and discussion on use, etc., followed by lunch with fellow classmate and mother at Panera (which has free w fly or fly y or whatever the technological people call that where you can sit down, open up the laptop and you are on the net), 1-2:30 working on 4-H project due Sunday (child does project, mom has to line up all the supplies); 3:00-6:00 afternoon swim practice; 5:30-6:30 Mark and I had a swim parents' meeting; dinner for Matt a la Poulet Frit a la Kentucky on the way to Ali's house for a big swim party tonight from 7-10 in honor of Scott who is moving to Idaho (when Matt first told me about it, he said, "Well, they are moving to Detroit. Or maybe Idaho." I said, "Matt, you do you know the difference, right? Idaho and Detroit are not all that close...." He just looked at me and said, "Well, the point is they are moving and I am not sure where." This is where that "guys are not into details" thing comes in, I do believe. Matt wears me out...this kid never stops...he just goes from one thing to the next to the next...bring on that Driver's License! The rest of this week doesn't look much different, and there is a three day swim meet this weekend!
So, here is a bit of what went down in Italy. I will add more later, but these were the giggling pieces on the way home from the airport in the car.
Venice floods at high tide...the groups had all agreed to meet at the plaza and it was flooded when they got there. And, in answer to your question about being "smelly," Shelley, they said they did not notice that at all, but they did say that the rivers looked very polluted...the Arno being the best looking river and the Tiber being the worst. They were also surprised at how small the rivers were as they had expected them to be wider and larger.
Mark was so busy looking at the architecture in Venice that he managed to somehow trip over a ramp left by workmen and landed flat on his face, to the endless delight of the singers, of course. On the way down, he got a very bad cramp in his leg and could not get back up for several minutes. Matt was sure that Mark had sprained an ankle or something and thought, "Now what are we going to do...we can't possibly carry him." While the kids were sympathetic if he was really hurt, they were just hysterical with laughter that Mr. Gerth had keeled over right in front of everyone on the street in Venice.
Those lovely little birdies you see all over Rome, Venice, etc. did not endear themselves to Matt as one targeted him and dropped a little surprise on his head, so Matt and Mark had to find a bathroom to get all that taken care of in the middle of a tour. Matt said he will never look at those birds in the same way again.
He is my son...when he went through the Vatican Museums, Matt took over 250 photos of "things I know Mom would like to see." He was so right. (At the left is St. Helen's casket. She was the mother of Constantine and converted him to the Catholic faith.) When they toured around, he also took around 200 photos of flowers "these flower pictures are all for you, Mom, as I know how you love flowers." That's probably why they ended up with 3000 pictures...he kept taking photos of all the things he knew I would love...is that a good son or what?
Ali confessed at the airport upon return that she had packed seven pairs of shoes for the trip, not the six she had originally admitted to...however, as she reasoned..."I have very small feet, so three of my pairs would equal ONE of Matt's size 13-1/2 pairs." Good point, Ali.
The last words at the airport from me were these: "Have a great time, take lots of pictures so I can see it all and hear all the stories when you get back, I will miss you both, and take good care of Didgy!" Didgy is, or rather was, my digital camera. The first thing I heard when they landed on Sunday, was Buddy (Ali's dad who also went on the trip) saying, "Have you talked to Mark yet? He lost Didgy the first day in Rome!" I could not believe my ears! When they were gone, I was checking out cameras on the web (no one truly thought I was actually going to shop at a mall store did they?) and thinking in terms of getting a new one possibly...thinking more in the lines of Christmas when I never have a clue what to say when they ask me what I want because I usually truly don't want anything...this year, I was actually going to have something to name! After seeing the prices, however, and really thinking about it, I had decided that my old was good enough and I didn't NEED a new one, so I pretty much just thought "no" on the whole thing. I felt a little disloyal, dismissing Didgy so readily, but...now the feelings are running along these lines: I will miss Didgy, BUT I am fairly certain that the new, and even better camera (sorry Didge) is going to be a sure thing fairly soon. How coincidental was that? Christmas in July! Maybe I am more technological than I realized. (Still not getting a web cam, however.)