Homeward Bound – Italy

by Funhog Family on May 23, 2023

Our journey home began at 6:30a with a leisurely stroll from the apartment to the train station for our 7a train to the Rome international airport to make our 10a flight to Dallas.  All of our travel this trip has been logistically fairly easy.  We have baked in enough time at each interchange, so that we are never rushed, but instead waiting for the next leg to happen.  It was not always like this when I have traveled in the past.  I used to try to pack as much into every minute that I would be racing, almost late, for the next thing.  We saw plenty of frenzied travelers running around like the white rabbit from Alice’s wonderland saying “I’m late! I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date!”

We got to the airport by 7:50a and it took us 1.5hrs to make it through all the ticketing and various checkpoints.  Neither Tirzah, nor I, was able to sleep much on the plane ride to Dallas.  We had a four hour layover in Dallas before our flight to Phoenix.  It took two hours to get through customs and we witnessed many panicked people who were missing their connections.  We were able to get a bite to eat and then it was time for our flight to leave at 6:50p.  We did not actually get on the plane until an hour after we were supposed to leave.  The captain told us that it was because one of the toilets was having some issues, so they finally decided to just close down that toilet for the flight.

Jet lag was catching up to the both of us about this time, so as soon as we were in our seats we went to sleep for the two hour flight to Phoenix.  We woke up in a holding pattern over Phoenix.  There was a dust storm that was preventing us from landing.  We spent an hour above Phoenix waiting for the weather to clear.  The plane was getting low on fuel so we must land or we would have to divert to another airport.  We started final approach and just as we were about to land, there was a lightening strike at the airport.  This means we were not allowed to land, so we had to do a touch and go.  Since we no longer had enough gas, it also meant we would have to divert to Tucson.  We flew down to Tucson to get some gas, along with every other plane that got stuck circling above Phoenix.  There were not enough gates in Tucson for all the planes, so we were stuck on the tarmac.  Fortunately a gas truck was able to eventually get to us to fill out tanks.  We were in a race against time because the flight crew was fifteen minutes away from timing out.  We got back into the air just in the nick of time, otherwise we would have been forced to stay the night in Tucson.  Then the short flight back to Phoenix landed us there by 11:30p.

We met Marty on that leg of the flight and it was great hearing his testimony of all the Lord has done in his life.  He was a big burly man who wants to teach prisoners how to start businesses.  His hope is as he lives for Jesus and he teaches them how to help themselves, that they will be hungry to learn more about our Savior.

Tirzah was such an amazing traveling companion.  She was continual learning as we traveled, to the point that by the end of the trip, she was fairly comfortable navigating the many different styles of transportation we used on this trip.  It was fun watching her blossom as she became more comfortable talking with strangers and learning to navigate her vessel more fully.  I watched her on the plane ride home be able to communicate with the stewardess when given options in food or drink and let her know which would best bless her.  This was growth that was a blessing to see.  We both came home with hearts full of thanksgiving and praise.  The Lord created this trip and was part of it from beginning to end.  We got a chance to be used, and we were just thankful to be a part of it all.

Rome – Italy

by Funhog Family on May 22, 2023

In Rome we toured the colosseum, the roman forum, Trevi fountain, pantheon, circus Maximus and everything else we could see in the ancient city.  We walked from one end to the other.  We also got a chance to experience the Metro (subway).  It was so crowded that a full subway would arrive and then people would literally push themselves in, until they also fit in the overcrowded train.  We watched three different trains come and go before we were sure we would be able to tolerate packing ourselves in with the crowd.  When we finally did I found myself trying to rescue an older lady who seemed to be getting crushed by the crowd to the point she was pleading for help.

While in Rome we also got a chance to experience the catacombs.  There are miles of underground passage ways that were used to bury the dead and also for the Christians to use as living quarters during times of Roman persecution.  It was pretty cold in the catacombs (in the 60s) and we were having a hard time imagining having to live in them when persecuted for your faith.  

We got to experience lots of pasta in Rome.  The noodles were thick and yummy.  One restaurant rolled, cut, and made the noodles in front of you while you ate.  All the food was excellent.

Pisa – Italy

May 21, 2023

We left Florence earlier the next day to take the train to Pisa.  Our plan was to get to the leaning tower by the time it opened.  We had tried to get tickets, but everything was sold out.  Once in Pisa we dropped our bags off at a ‘Stow Your Bags’ store.  It allowed us […]

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Florence – Italy

May 20, 2023

Leaving Venice early in the morning allowed us to enjoy all the streets and passage ways without people.  It is a completely different city when all the people are off the streets.  The next time we ever visit Venice we will make sure we explore the city before it wakes! The rain met us as […]

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Venice – Italy

May 20, 2023

We decided to start our morning with a trip to Juliet’s balcony in Verona.  It was about 3mins from the apartment and at 9a, it only had fifty people in the courtyard when we got there.  Shakespeare made Verona famous with his fictional tale of Romeo and Juliet.  We made it to the train station […]

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Verona – Italy

May 19, 2023

I spent the morning repacking for the next phase of our adventure.  All of the wet gear from the days prior   finally was starting to dry.  The hotel breakfast was delicious with different meats and cheeses and pastries.  While having breakfast and getting all of our itinerary for the day loading in the the […]

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Motorcycles & Glass Elevator – Italy

May 18, 2023

Dad’s Day – In the morning there was a heavy snow, but nothing was sticking.  Someone showed us a picture of the next town 2km away, where we were originally planning to stay, and it had gotten several feet of snow that night.  We had a great breakfast at the hotel.  For the ride home […]

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Motorcycles & Playing – Italy

May 17, 2023

Dad’s Day –I have been on a motorcycle only a handful of times in my life.  Knowing part of our adventure would be touring the Dolomites (Italian Alps) on motorcycles, I took a class prior to coming.  I discovered that I really enjoy motorcycles and would even buy one if all the other crazy drivers […]

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Play Day & Via Ferrata – Italy

May 16, 2023

Dad’s Day –The rain came down all night long on our tents.  It did not look promising that we would be able to do a via ferrate that day, but we decided to at least hike to the beginning of it.  It took us an hour to drive to the start of the hike.  Then […]

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Canyoning & Biking – Italy

May 14, 2023

Dad’s Day-It rained all night long.  I was wondering what that would do to our canyon, but was assured by the guides (Andrea and Devid) that it would not be a problem at all.  We drove to the half way point to check the water flow and the guides started speaking feverish Italian.  I also […]

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