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Lucille's Adventures in Peru Av. Fatima 820, #703, Trujillo, Peru --- www.perumission.org --- "Not all those who wander are lost." J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings

Billy Williams, bre

ITALY | Wednesday, 28 May 2008 | Views [732] | Comments [16]

Today has been one of our most blessed days.  We are in Florence and staying at the nicest "hostel" I have ever stayed in!!!  It more than makes up for the character that the 2 Ducks had!  I do have to admit, we found bugs in one personàs bed at the hostel, but he was using the travel liner.  . . it wasnàt the cleanest, but it was cheap, decent location, not bad.   Today, we got up and headed to the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel.  It is like 4 miles of art and incredible!  Finally after wandering through the halls of the Vatican for seriously like an hour, and seeing sign after sign of Sistine Chapel this way, you get to it and it did not disappoint.  They have restored it since I have been there and it did indeed look better.  throughout the museum we were all taking our own time, etc. and so we'd wait periodically and then all catch up so it was like that all morning.  At this point, let me say, we are all together and fine. . the story has a good ending!!

But, at one point, we all were waiting on the group and I guess Alex thought we were walking when we were still waiting.  At any point, right at the very end like 20 yards from the exit, we lost him, but said, "oh, he will be waiting at the exit."  We took longer than expected becuase we stopped and got postcards and mailed them from the Vatican.  When we left, no Alex. . . we pretty much panicked and then calmed down and went back in to look for him and still no Alex.  So, we discussed what he would have done and where he would have been.  I sent one person to look in all the stores across the street and i went back in and looked.  And still no Alex.  So, we think, maybe he thought we went a different exit and so we all trooped together to the front of the Vatican where. . . the Pope was holding Mass!!  Yes, we saw the Pope!!  We had a reservation on the 12:55 train.  And so we waited until like 12:40 and at this point we decide that Alex has gone back to the hostel becuase we got separated and he knew we needed to catch a train.  Sure enough, we go back to the hostel and there he is.  Taylor called it, when we said, Taylor, what was he thinking?  What happened.  Taylor said, he thought we went a different exit and looked for us while we were looking for him and then he just went back to the hostel becuase by now weàve been on the Metro so much, everyone would know their way home.  sure enough, that is what happened.  I was, needless to say, worried sick!  But praying that he'd be at the hostel and he was.  Alex felt bad for making us worry, but just got confused when we were not coming out and thought we'd gone another way and I had said that we needed to be on the road by 12:30 to catch the train so it made sense.

Bottom Line:  trust me, the boys have totally gotten a FULL understanding of why I only had 3 rules.  we DO NOT LEAVE THE GROUP!!!  I am confident that no one will get separated again, but if it does happen, we have gone over separation drills, what to do when separated from the group.  The first action is to wait at the main exit!  I will come find you.  but since then, they have been really, really, really, really good about sticking together.  The rest of the day, I got asked, may i cross the street to get gelato?  I am not worred about anyone getting separated.  We debated on whether to own up to this now, but you'd hear about it when we get home and the good news is that the lesson is learned EXTREMELY well and everyone is fine.  a little hairy for all.  i think everyone was worried about Alex and yet understand how it happened.  Needless to say, no one has walked alone since!  But it was a stressful one to two hours of figuring it all out. 

So, we missed the train to Florence we had seats on. . . no biggie.  We got seats on the next one and headed out to Florence.  This was the first real ride on a train and for the boys to see how this is all going to work out.  Well, the train was HOT, HOT, HOT, what is up with Europe haveing no AC???  Seriously???  We had 2 cars.  One car had me, Alex, Bob, Sumner, Taylor and Ghandi.  The other had Lane, Patterson, Marty, Turner and David.  It was a long hot train ride.  Like 2 hours?  And the weird thing is we closed our window and turned on what little air we had trying to cool our cabin.   well, i guess the pressure got too much.  All 6 in my car just screamed and grabbed our ears and noses to pop our ears.  it was crazy, we went through a tunnel and it was excruciating, but somehow hilarious at the same time.  We were cracking up at our exact same reactions at the same time!  But a hot train ride makes for a little grouchy traveling companions. . .  so, Firenze has several stops.  I asked 2 people about when the main station was becuase I kept seeing Firenze on the train signs as we pulled into stations.  Well, long story short, I know too late, we got off one stop early.  But it was the time we should have arrived in Firenze.  but we were one stop too early and 5 minutes away from where we needed to be. ..  so we got back on the next train just 5 min. out and we rode the next 5 min. to the main station.  Longest five minutes of my life.  I said, we donàt have tickets for this train, so we are going to just hope on, stand in the aisle and then hop off at next station in 5 minutes.  okay, it was hotter than the first train.  we were literally all dripping, and i do mean literally, with sweat.   Finally we get to the main station and i hear, just stop the train and let me off.  we donàt need to get any closer.   just stop the train. . . i was laughing so hard. . . not so sure the boys thought it was funny as I did.  I just consider all of this part of the adventure of traveling. things happen. . . you adjust.  And then we have the fun of figureing where to stay.  i lead my ducks around and say, wait here as I head to the accommodation station at the train station. you can go in and just ask for a hotel, pension, hostel, whatever.  a guy was stanind outside and said, need a hostel?  (we are so obvious with the bakcpacks).  i said, indeed we do, what do you have?  Well, he had an answered prayer, literally. . . I mean heaven!!  I had been praying on the train that God would bless us with a place to sleep that was safe, and clean and just a good deal. . . hello, Hostel Florence Plus.  It is fabulous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   We had a swimming pool and immediately that is what we did.  We all swam after the extremely hot and tiring ride to Florence, it was just what we needed!  AHHHHHHHH  new life. . . everyone said it was the cleanest we have felt in 2 weeks.  And probably has been.  did i mention that in the Roma train station Patterson and David bought new swimwear. . . yes, that is the picture from the "terrace" of our hotel on this article.  and to boot, this was only 20 euros. . . 4 cheaper than the 2 ducks.  so, we have run the gammit on hostels. 

Anyway, after our swim, we had dinner at an outside restaurant by the Duamo in the main plaza.  unbelievable.  Right now we are all doing laundry youàll be glad to hear. . . or those around us will be glad to smell. 

Tomorrow, plan is to see Florence and then head out to Milan with an anticipated arrival by mid afternoon.  We'll hop off.  See the duomo there, which is one of the 4 largest in Europe and then at 20:35 head to Interlaken and be at Balmers by midnight tomorrow night.   Depending upon train schedules, we may fit in another country and city between Interlaken and Barcelona.  I will keep you posted.  This is my favorite part and beauty of backpacking.  decide you only need one day, then off you go.  also, this fabuluous hostel has one in barcelona. . . we are so there!

Anyway, i came down the street to update the blog and pictures while they do laundry.  so I need to get back. But again, lesson learned, no one is going anywhere without checking in with me.  I hope providing you the entire truth doesn't worry anyone more than you may already be, it should actually be an encouragement. . . now the boys have seen that the reason not to leave the group for any reason is things like this happen.  No harm to anyone, but because of the confusion, we missed a train.  Which ended up working out fine.  

So, lots of activity and fun today with a true blessing in the end.  everyone agrees that the hostel has been like an oasis in a desert to everyone.  Anyway, Taylor jsut came in and said that the laudry guy is kicking us out at midnight so . . . our clothes may dry on the terrace like a clothes line. . again, just part of the adventure.

We are having a great time. . . cannot wait to see more of Florence tomorrow and then Milano!  Until later, Ciao!

Tags: florence; roma



It sounds like yall are not lacking for excitement! So thrilled about the hostel situation. I am glad yall are going to Milan, too. I think it is great that yall are seeing a lot and the boys are comfortable planning and doing! Keep the good updates coming...and we would LOVE more pics. We are praying!!! Be safe and have fun! Hello to all the boys from all the Abrahams

  Melissa May 29, 2008 8:17 AM


Wow! What an adventure today has been!!!! Glad the troops are back together! Saw the Pope-I know that Turner was so excited -he was hoping for that! Alleen thanks so much for these wonderful accounts of each day-it is the next best thing to being there!! You are a GEM thanks so much for leading our precious boys on an adventure of a lifetime!!!


  elizabeth May 29, 2008 8:21 AM


I haven't gotten a picture yet with the update -- maybe it hasn't loaded; I'm a little nervous about seeing David & Patterson in their new swimwear. It makes me very skeptical when David sends us an email telling us he is "sorry for the embarrassment" and "when else are you gonna get to wear a tiny bathing suit without a care in the world?" Maybe the picture won't work and we won't have to be embarrassed! Seriously, sounds like a day full of excitement and adventure -- I'm thankful you are all back together and have such a wonderful place to stay!

  Wyeth Luter May 29, 2008 8:28 AM


I haven't gotten a picture yet with the update -- maybe it hasn't loaded; I'm a little nervous about seeing David & Patterson in their new swimwear. It makes me very skeptical when David sends us an email telling us he is "sorry for the embarrassment" and "when else are you gonna get to wear a tiny bathing suit without a care in the world?" Maybe the picture won't work and we won't have to be embarrassed! Seriously, sounds like a day full of excitement and adventure -- I'm thankful you are all back together and have such a wonderful place to stay!

  Wyeth Luter May 29, 2008 8:28 AM


I was so glad to hear from Lane and get a chance to read the blog. Sumner, your aunt is truly amazing(and maybe a little crazy). I can so appreciate your hot hike around Rome; too bad your weren't dragging full size loaded suitcases up and down the sidewalks of Roma. And the hostel in Florence sounds light-years better than the "Autostrade Real." Soak it all in and eat lots of pizza and gelato. love ya, mean it.
Mrs. McKibben

  Lou Ann McKibben May 29, 2008 8:41 AM


Alleen, I have decided that you need to take a group of moms on this trip! I am very jealous of you all. What a way to see the world-- You all will be seasoned travellers when you return. "The world is your oyster" is ringing true! What an awesome gift--
Y'all take notes for the next group--

  Teri Bowie May 29, 2008 9:25 AM


Gentlemen(and Lady),

Thanks for the subtle shoutouts. I have forwarded your journals to the immortal Billy Williams and Rome Sherrod.. If you run into Lars Sumberg or "Timmee", send him my best..

I really enjoy reading of your adventures. I have to confess that I am really jealous in a Christian way.. I am glad that you found Alex; I was afraid that he had converted to Catholicism(not that there is anything wrong with that- in fact, I was baptized Catholic so I am told, I don't remember). We still need him to be on the presbyterian team..

Keep it up gentlemen!! Your journals are great!!

Peace from Fondren to Europe, Malcolm

  malcolm saxon May 29, 2008 11:04 AM


Well, it rained for Melissa's birthday but she had it anyway. Glad that Alex was not lost for good. Maybe you should tie everybody together in pairs or they could all hold a rope like the preschoolers. I feel sure y'all will remember the train ride for a long time! Eager awaiting the swimsuit picture. Have fun and life's short, so eat dessert first!!

  Helen May 29, 2008 11:45 AM


Alleen - you might have a new career after this trip?! By the time Grace graduates from high school, you'll have all the kinks worked out.....When IS the mom trip? I'm usually the one who is always getting lost, so you'll need the preschool rope for me! :) Can't find the infamous swimsuit pic? maybe it didn't clear the world nomads filter? really glad to hear you did laundry and got clean! "bed bugs" has a whole new meaning for the boys now........we'll keep praying and we are glad to hear y'all are having so much fun!

  Adele May 29, 2008 12:25 PM


Sorry, but I remember buying new swimwear for this trip! If the shorts were too short for the Vatican I am thankful that the Pope did not see yall swimming! Pat... you have tons of Catholic cousins not to mention grandparents looking down from on high! Almost halfway...savor every moment! Kelley

  Kelley Fenelon May 29, 2008 2:56 PM


oh..and Celtics won...barely...3-2 in series...

  kelley Fenelon May 29, 2008 3:00 PM


Alleen, thanks so much. I'm thrilled for Bob and all the boys that you are giving them such a wonderful experience! Much better than if their parents attempted such. Keep having fun. Jim

  Jim May 30, 2008 12:06 AM


Alleen, as I read I imaginatively revisit all the sites you mention, and it's been a great trip! And of course, I can easily imagine the running narrative the boys are offering as you travel through each day. And you've only had ONE get lost?! What a great record! Hmm..the trip is only half over..but not to worry. eagerly anticipate their return and being regaled with tales of symbolism and history, as I watch the video. Best to all, Mrs. Arinder

  Diann Arinder May 30, 2008 1:33 AM


Oh, my, Alleen, what an eventful day!!! Maybe a little TOO much excitement for our wonderful and fearless leader!!! Glad Taylor was able to read Alex's mind. Tell Waldo no more wondering about! Thank you so much for providing these guys with a trip of a lifetime! Love to all!

  Paula May 30, 2008 1:56 AM


It's my first day to join into the adventure. I'm at the beach in Georgia with the family, but after reading your updates, I must say my trip sounds boring.

Alex, you probably gave your momma a heart attack.

David and Sumner, you will be pleased to know that Daniel got us all on the alumni summer league together. Find some Italians to scrimmage against and keep that jumper warm.

See ya when you get back, love the updates

  Brian Sorgenfrei May 30, 2008 3:15 AM


Alleen!!!! holy cow... i'm like flipping out on all the awesomeness.... i just was talking to my mom and i think think that you and i should take an adventure to either China or Australia.. granted Australia wouldn't be nearly as nerve racking... China is calling... no yelling out our names =)

  raindropsonroses May 31, 2008 1:04 AM

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