This will be short because I am knackered to the tenth degree, which is one higher than the ramblings I did yesterday. This morning we were off and running…again with a visit to La chiesa di Sant’Ignazio di Loyola. The first church the Jesuits built in Rome. Quite an impressive structure. Like all churches built in the 1600’s the space in the nave was huge. The ceiling is a visual 3-D experience. The guy who painted it must have been a genius. Side story, when the church was being built the neighbors didn’t want a dome. What’s a church without a dome you say? Well it’s a church with a pretend dome. There is the illusion of a dome painted on a flat ceiling and I swear you cannot tell the difference until you get right under it. It was akin to something I may have experienced in the ’60’s but I can’t be sure because I don’t remember the ’60’s.
We visited the tombs of Luigi Gonzaga (the guy Gonzaga University in Spokane and Gonzaga College in Dublin get their names…doh). His grave and altar were fancy schmancy compared to Robert Bellarmine who is buried in the next altar, although Bellarmine looks smart laying there in his Cardinal’s robes. So we said a prayer to both.
Out in the smallish square we did our S.I. cheer…lame but relevant don’t you think? We would have done a cheer for Bellarmine Prep in San Jose, but they are the Bells and how do you make a bell noise. Valerio, our guide for the whole week took us around back of the church which is on a pretty sizable lot in Rome, to show us the high school that has been in operation for hundreds of years. I’m not sure if the kids understood what they were seeing, but you never know what sinks in.
Then it was a mad dash for the airport to catch our late afternoon flight to Barcelona. We had to say ‘good-bye’ to our guide Valerio and sang to him on the bus. The flight was uneventful and smooth. Food and drink (no coffee) was sold to passengers. We arrived in Barcelona without any problems. It is when we stepped into baggage claim that the fun began. The driver who was to meet us at the airport was nowhere to be found. Meanwhile back at the ranch, the airline lost one of our kids’ luggage with her gown for performing. Hopefully it will show up tomorrow before we perform. Anyone who has had their luggage lost by an airline knows exactly what this kid is going through. Back to the driver, the director called the bus company to find out where he was. They told us he couldn’t leave his bus and to meet him on the lower level of the Barcelona Airport. So off we go…to Manresa. No, no Mr Bus driver we are going to Barcelona. He had the wrong itinerary. Long story short, he was not a happy camper when we arrived at the right destination in Barcelona but at the wrong gate. He told us to get off the bus and started taking the luggage off. Luckily we have a student who is fluent in Spanish and was able to tell him he was at the wrong drop off point. Even a lady coming down the street, a total stranger chimed in and explained where the entrance was. That’s when we became unhappy campers. Tomorrow we will have a different bus driver.
Dinner at the Retreat Center was, let’s say, interesting. It consisted of fish sticks and a type of lasagna and potato chips. So the moms decided to make a trip to McDonald’s for burgers, apples and salad. You know and I know when you are with teens, if they are tired and don’t get fed properly you may lose your head while you sleep. So I think, I don’t know for sure, but I think they were OK with this dinner. Valerio always cautioned us to not eat at McDonalds and to try and sample the local cuisine. Tonite we had to brake that rule and placate the masses. Well it was cooked locally but it may have not been cuisine.
Long day tomorrow…and so it goes….