October 22, 2004

Italy, Italia, Ca Bella!

Ok so after France we were home a week and then it was off again on a Chapel sposnered trip to Italy!

After a 16 hour bus trip...............fun fun!........ we finally arrived at Camp Darby about 10pm. Thankfully the tents were all set up...however they were not clean! But what can you do in the dark? So we got everyone settled and down to bed. The next day we walked down to the px and got a small broom, etc and cleaned and resettled the tent. This was a rest and recuperate day.

Italy is so pretty -- the weather was perfect, balmy and 90 degrees! There seems to just be a relaxation in the very air!

So because it was a chapel trip we had a basic itinerary everyday..........up by 6:30, breakfast, trips out and about, back to camp by 5 for dinner and then devotionals in the evening.

Monday was off to Cinque Terra....this is a beautiful national park on the riviera! These are 5 beautiful little towns they are trying to perserve. The one we visited Vernazza is all these beautifully pastel homes, flowering trees hanging on the side of a cliff with a natural harbor on the Mediterannian! We had a wonderful lunch --foccacia bread with melted mozzerella, green olives and tomatoes and wine. We could of stayed forever but had to catch the train back by 4. I bought both the girls and I pretty sarongs to wear, and we went waded in the Med. Guys and kids swam while we shopped! Heaven!

Tuesday was a visit to the American Beach..... it is lovely and sandy, warm green water. and we were on the MEDITERRANIAN!! It was lovely even if I did get stung by a jellyfish on the neck!

Wednesday we headed out to Pisa in the afternoon (devotionals were fun.. we had to do a bunch of team work activites like climb a tree without a ladder--sea pines that don't have branches until about 100 ft up--as a family.) which was intresting but HOT! The tower and cathedral are gorgeous but everything's marble so it just reflects the heat. After taking the requisite goofy tourist pictures we hunted down gelato (YUM! really creamy ice cream that melts quick) and mint slushy's then headed for the shade cast by the buildings --us and every other tourist in Pisa. Then it was time to SHOP! Vendors--everywhere. I got a nice little black italian leather purse and a black and red one for my mom, a mask for Jessica(the kind with glitter - that ladies hold on a stick), souveniers, etc.

Thursday was an option day --go back to Cinque Terra, Florence or the Beach.We chose to stay at camp and frequent the pool, lounge around the tent, do laundry, etc. It was wonderful just basking in the sun at the pool.

Friday was the same as Thursday because we left for home Friday night.

We could of stayed in Italy forever......there is just something in the air, I told my friends no wonder the Italians are the way they are!!

The L-d truly blessed us during this week -- from beautiful scenery, warm waters, time to relax, pool time, and playing games at night to visiting with friends, silly games and Bible time to the bus trip it'sself!

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“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." .... Jeremiah 29:11 (esv)