We packed our bags for the last time this morning, and it was nice to be able to close the suitcases without sitting on them. The strategy of taking old clothes and leaving them behind is a winner. I personally left long pants, a pair of shorts, multiple old shirts, two golf hats, and a pair of shoes.
I also feel that being able to get rid of old clothes demonstrates a rejection of the materialism of which Americans are so often accused. It also made a lot of room in our luggage for all our purchases from Rome and Florence.
I meant to mention in an earlier post that one of the stores we saw in Florence, but didn’t shop at was Re Nero. As you can see from the pic above, the items in the store are made in Italy, just like Nero. I also hear that all non-Christian shoppers get a 6.66% discount on their purchases. Just kidding, but seriously, the proprietors of this store are obviously not history buffs.
I give thanks to God for helping us all avoid the COVID. This was one of my biggest concerns, not only because of the health concern but because if one of us had contracted COVID, it would have ruined the trip for them and made it very difficult for the rest of us to proceed. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. The entire team was vaxxed and boosted and most of the team was pretty good about wearing their N95s in high-risk areas. This is the reality of travel in a pandemic.
Our flights home were non-eventful. They were on time, even a little ahead, and the food at the United Polaris Lounge in Chicago was so good, we didn’t even have to eat food on the flight from Chicago to Houston.
A number of years ago, I started adding an extra day of vacation at home after returning from overseas. It allows me to transition more reasonably back into a work mindset. I keep my out-of-office email reply on for an additional day so I can triage the 1,000+ emails I received while I was gone, and I don’t go into the office. So, the good news is I don’t have to go back to work at full speed tomorrow.
But this is the last day of our travels on the Early Christian, Medieval Travel Journal. We saw just about everything we wanted to see. The weather was great. We learned, as we always learn, about how God has moved in history to continue to expand His kingdom on earth and about those heroes who have been catalysts for those changes. GS