I'm sorry for not writing for the last few days. I just got back from Rome where I led a pilgrimage of 45 current and former parishioners on a tour of the city I love to visit.
As I'm writing this, it is now about 6:30am. I've been awake, off and on, since about 3am (9am Rome time), and thanks to the gift of jetlag, I've spent the last few hours catching up on e-mails, going through my regular mail, and unpacking and sorting the things I brought back with me from Rome (who gets the rosarys, who gets the medals, etc.).
What a great trip it was! Truly the "Most Valuable Player" of the week was the incredibly sunny and mild weather we had while we were visiting the city. When planning a tour, you arrange the airflight, hotel, bus transportation, meals, etc. You even get to plan the "just in case" stuff, like getting to the airport with plenty of time, in case of traffic or accidents (or even, as I've learned, a taxi strike). But the one thing that cannot be arranged, or a reservation made for, is perfect weather. That's what we had this past week. Rome in January can be rainy and chilly, but it's also the low tourist season. So the question becomes: would you rather be in mild weather as you get elbowed and groped by myriads of tourists trying to see the same sites as you, or would you rather see things with almost no crowds, bringing along a $5.00 Totes umbrella? We chose the umbrella route, but luckily, and perhaps through God's grace, those umbrellas stayed in the suitcases all week. The only rain spotted? Yesterday, on the windows of the airplane as we boarded to depart for home.
I could tell you my highlights, but I think I'm going to wait to hear from my pilgrims, and then post what they say about it. In the meantime, I have Mass in an hour and need to say my Office. Ciao!