Well that was quite a week. Here we are in Rome, and at last with some internet that allows for more than a cursory Facebook post or text message. I want to give a bit of a play by play on where we’ve been so far and the amazing things we’ve seen, but first I need to be totally honest with you guys and also a little bit vulnerable, so here goes. Would you pray for me? I’ve been struggling with profound anxiety pretty much since we touched down in Italy, which I first chalked up to Luke being just a little harder on the flight than we’d expected (ha. just a little.) and then to jet lag, but at this point it’s safe to say it’s not you, Italia, it’s me. I’m not really sleeping much at night and I’m definitely not soaking up la dolce vita, which I realize makes me a complete moron, but I can’t seem to shake the deep, deep funk of missing my big kids. I literally can’t sleep for missing them, and I feel sick about having still another 5 days till we see them again. So I guess the moral of this story is the grass really is never greener, and I will never, ever take for granted a long, frustrating afternoon with my little charges, because while I’m sitting in what is arguably the most beautiful city in the world with my sweet fat baby and my wonderful husband, all I want is to jump a plane home to the rest of our crew and go to the super lame park across the street from our house and play with them.
So anyway, just had to cop to that startling realization that I actually really, really don’t want to be anywhere else than home, with my kids, being their mama for now. And if the Lord had to bring me halfway around the world to drive that point home, and if that is in fact the entire point of this trip for me, then so be it. I will go home content and with unbelievable eagerness to return to the incomparably beautiful status quo.
Let’s back up a bit though, because thanks to the miracle of the disappearing internet connection, I’ve had nada to blogga.
We’ll start at the beginning. Day 1 we touched down in Rome late Saturday morning, waited around for our lost then found luggage (hello, Italy, you haven’t changed all that much) and hopped onto our bus to Napoli. We were a little stunned after 13 hours in the air, no sleep, and a bit of a wait for those bags, but none of us more so than Luke who then resigned himself less than gracefully to another 2.5 hours confined to a moving vehicle. Everyone in our group was positive, by the time Mt. Vesuvius came into view on the horizon, that it was not the ancient volcano that was in danger of erupting, but the angry baby on my lap.
We had a quick tour of the church of Gesu Nuova in Napoli and there we prayed before the tomb of St. Joseph Moscato for all the intentions we’d be entrusted with, along with some special prayers for the doctors and medical professionals we love. After lunch in Naples we drove the short distance to Pompeii and embarked on a 2 hour walking tour of the excavations. It was absolutely stunning. And I was more tired than I’ve ever been in my life, possibly including childbirth. Carrying Luke’s stupid umbrella stroller over 2000 year old marble roads and exposed chariot grooves was an act of olympic effort, and it was only the sight of the 92-year old woman in our group nimbly scaling the elevations and striding briskly through the temples and piazzas that kept me from face planting somewhere. She continues to put the ablest-bodied pilgrims among us to shame.
After Pompeii (this is still all one day) we visited Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii, where we had Mass in English and heard a little about Bl. Bartolo Longo, which I am ashamed to admit I remember exactly nothing about. Luke had transformed into a vampire bat at this point and I was doing circles in the hallways and around the church, weaving through crowds of nuns and stray cats and starting to question the meaning of life itself. We got back on the bus after mass and headed to another town that had something to do with a castle and Maria and the ocean, and then we finally crashed. Luke slept about 3 hours and then cordially invited us to stroll the town center with him from 1-3 am, which we agreed to under some auditory duress. It was definitely a good immersion experience, and it true Italian fashion, the streets were so thronged with party goers and gelato and panino consumers that we thought it had to have been a major local holiday.
Nope, just Saturday night in Italia.
Luke eventually found his chill, and we eventually slept another 3 hours until wakeup call. Which is where I will leave you, because I am being summoned to dinner by a handsome little pterodactyl who is ready for his pasta ration. I’ll try to add some pictures when the internet is less sleepy, but you can also follow me on Instagram.
Tomorrow we’ll visit Pietralcina, Piano Romana, and San Giovanni Rotundo. Ciao for now.