Tomorrow is our last real day in Italy! I can't believe it. We thought it would go by fast, and we were right. Gilbert's already asking for another trip. I have thought often this week that I'm thankful for having little expectation and knowledge of what specifically to see and do, because if we had made a list of "must sees" and "must do's," we might have been disappointed this week. Let me clarify: We have had a great time and have seen some really beautiful places. But we didn't come knowing specific buildings we wanted to see. We knew that we wanted to see Venice. I wanted to be able to see some of the beautiful landscapes of Italy. We were excited to have the chance to experience Florence. But as far as knowing that we wanted to see famous buildings or artwork, we didn't. I think that this fact has kept us from feeling too pressured to cram in sight-seeing. For this reason, we've been able to enjoy the sights, to relax, and to enjoy being with each other (Gilbert's parents, his grandmother, and of course his brother are with the two of us).
We have had so much fun. Yesterday we took a train to Venice and spent the day there. We walked what felt like every inch of that place. We even covered the tiny streets that are only the width of two people. We did some shopping and had a great time. It was colder than we expected, but it didn't rain like we thought it would, so we were willing to take the cool winds. Here are a few pictures from Venice.
This baby was sitting in the area of Venice where the pigeons are not in short supply (Piazza San Marco Square, I believe it's called). His mom got some bread crumbs and dumped them all around him. The pigeons swarmed him and he had the best time. It was fun watching him.
We took this picture while waiting on the train back to Prato. After a really long day, we were all quite delirious at this point. According to Randy, this is a "Kate sandwich with Kerrigan bread." I said I wanted it to be close up. Not exactly what I had in mind.
We spent most of today in a gorgeous little town called Lucca.
We finished the day by going to the church here in Prato. We had a small service that was in Italian and some English. We spent the time singing songs in Italian that we Americans knew well. Both times that I've had the opportunity to worship with fellow believers in other countries, singing with them really tugs at my heart strings. I love to know that while we struggle so much to communicate, we can find unity in singing praises to our God. I find this to be such an incredible feeling.
Tomorrow we'll be heading to Florence for one last venture. We'll spend the night there and catch our flight back home early on Friday morning. I'm sure I'll have more pictures to share when we return home. Please remember us when you pray as we continue to travel.