Friday, April 5, 2013

Personal Observations

I've usually been using the plural "we" when updating this blog because all 106 of us were in this together from beginning to end.  Still, as the blog portion of our adventure begins to wind down, I wanted to share some personal observations and reflections, some of which will only make sense to the folks who were there.

I can't seem to get Ciaran's voice out of my head...but then again, why would I want to?

Here on our first full day home, I've already had two naps today.  Both times, I woke up suddenly with the alarmed feeling that right at that moment, I should be taking a picture of something.

No matter how tired I got, nor how sore my feet, nothing put me in a better mood than hearing high school students spontaneously sing showtunes.

We all had just about enough of the pushy umbrella salesmen and cheap souvenir vendors, and we frequently wondered how they could possibly make any money.  Without question, though, the best moneymaking operation at any of the tourist sites had to be the pay toilet business.

I will never ever complain about inattentive school audiences ever again. Ever.

Apologies in advance to those of you who don't find this funny, but I'm looking forward to the principal's reaction when we tell her that the students had lots of margheritas and crack on the trip. Margheritas (note the spelling) are inexpensive cheese pizzas, and as Ciaran told us, 'crack' is a common Irish term for 'fun'.

In the fleeting moments that I had a television on, it was obvious that the most popular Italian TV programs are American programs that have been dubbed into Italian. 

Those on the Delta flight back home probably noticed the pierced and tattooed middle-aged British blokes traveling with us.  One of them was sitting next to me.  Turns out they're a barely successful 80s punk band known as One Way System who are still touring and performing more than thirty years later.  Basically, a real-life Spinal Tap. 

We "count off" every time on the bus before we left any location to make sure we didn't lose anybody.  Despite Siriki's best efforts, I still can't remember my number in Italian. 

Speaking of losing anybody, it's interesting that the three different times anyone was actually lost for any period of time, it was an adult.  And yes, I'm afraid that the worst of the three incidents was mine.  It made me wonder how tours kept track of each other before cell phones.

Finally, my most important observation from our trip.  Your children are amazing.  I was delighted to be along for the ride. Thanks.



  1. Matt
    Thank you for your dedication and diligence. You have captured and shared a truly amazing experience with fellow travelers and loved ones watching from a far. We appreciate your hard work and creativity and look forward to receiving the trip DVD!
    P.S. So glad that you've forgiven me for kidnapping Claudia and taking her shopping in Florence with the girls. It was a good day :)

  2. Thank you for your sacrifice of sleep, for your beautiful shots, for your informative words and for your appreciation of these young people--they really are cool people.

    Being back home, it was really fun to follow along. I checked this page obsessively each day, hoping to catch a glimpse of the awesome time you were all having. I really appreciate the time you took to do this. Looking forward to the DVD!

  3. Trenta cinque and Trenta sei

    Just sayin.....