Days 8 and 9

The group woke up on Friday early in order to begin the long bus ride back to Rome. Unfortunately, the bus broke down at a gas station rest stop about an hour and a half into the drive. About an hour later, the mechanics managed to get us going well enough to get to another stop where we could switch buses. Despite the long delay, the kids kept their composure and managed to stay entertained. We did not end up getting back to our hotel in Rome until about 2pm, at which point we split for lunch and headed up to the incredible Borghese gallery. There, the group tested their knowledge of Mythological and Biblical stories by trying to guess the characters depicted in the flawless statues and paintings. Once we had had our fill, and our necks were sore from staring at the decorated ceilings, we marched through a rainstorm to get back to the hotel for some dinner and well deserved rest.

We were up again by 5:15am on Saturday in order to catch our bus to the airport. The security process went smoothly, and soon enough we were in our seats, buckled and ready for the 10 and a half hour flight home. The kids endured the long travel day and were ecstatic to be reunited with their parents, who showed up to the new international terminal en masse with a colored poster to greet us. It was a wonderful end to a fantastic trip!

– Graham Anthony

Day 7

Today was one of the most fun days we have had so far this trip. We started out the day eating breakfast at the Sorrento hotel as we normally do an then we started a two-hour bus ride to sulfitoria, a very smelly volcano with a crater that people can walk in. There were also two brick ovens built in the crater that had sulfuric steam seeping into them. The people who were feeling brave took turns standing in these ovens. We ate a quick lunch-snack before getting back on the bus to go to our final destination for the day, Paestum. Here we enjoyed the best preserved Ancient Greek temples in the world. Once we were finished looking at ancient lamp stands and statue heads in the Paestum museum, we got back on the bus only to enjoy a two-hour ride back to Sorrento. So far, this was my favorite day.

-Clay Sullivan

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Day 6

We wake up and get dressed for the day. We ate breakfast at the hotel and then go to meet in the lobby. In the lobby the chaperones inform us, because of pouring rain, that we will not be able to go to Capri so we would have three hours to shop in Sorrento. We split into groups and go shopping at sunglasses, leather, and jewelry stores. After we shop we go to the hotel to meet the chaperones in the lobby. They tell us we have a hour and a half to eat lunch. We ate lunch at the same place we ate the night before. After lunch we meet the chaperones in the lobby. They tell us that all the public transportation in Sorrento is on strike, so we will have three hours of free time in the hotel.

So we go to the hotel room and blast Journey, The Beatles, and Van Halen. After our jam session we go down to the terrace to mess around. Next we went to Miss Peterson’s room to get Clay’s hair and mine straightened by Taylor and Amanda. After our hair makeovers we played Blackjack and Poker. When we were back in our room we got a call from Miss Peterson that they were extending our free time for another hour. Then we played more card games until the meeting time at 5:00

At five we go down to the lobby and are informed that we will be going bowling! We walk through Sorrento and arrive at the bowling ally. We get our bowling shoes and begin to bowl. The leading scorer of the night was Mr. Anthony. After we finished bowling we walked back to the hotel in pouring rain. From the hotel we split up into groups for dinner. After walking into one restaurant that we were way under dressed for we eventually found another restaurant. We were the only ones inside. After eating an amazing meal we go back to the hotel in pouring rain and go to bed.

– Ben Thompson

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Day 5

Today we woke up and and went to Mt. Vesuvius. We drove halfway up, and walked the rest of the way. On the walk up, we saw some beautiful views, found some souvenirs for our families, and fell a couple of times. In the crater of the volcano, we found a little bit of smoke. There were some predictions on what they thought would happen, which scared most of us. On the way down, we got to run! We only ran because we thought the bus was gonna leave us. Fortunately, the bus waited for us. Going down, there were some more falls, and some more laughs. I loved Mt. Vesuvius!

After Mt. Vesuvius, we drove to Pompeii. When we got there we all went to different restaurants for lunch. My friends and I went to a sandwich shop and got gelato. After lunch we met up again, and walked to the gates of Pompeii. We met our tour guide, Vincentzo. The first thing we saw was the gladiator school, we saw where they trained and where they slept. After that we walked to the smaller theatre, it was so big that it could fit 1,000 people. It was huge! The tour guide have us a chance to get up in front on the theatre and yell, the acoustics were loud, so the people in the back of the theatre could hear what the thespians were saying. On the way to the bigger theatre we stopped at this wall that had a lot of graffiti from the people of Pompeii. We got to the bigger theatre, and it was huge and could fit 5,000. We got to go to the top of the theatre and take pictures. There was an amazing view of Pompeii from the top. After that we went to streets of Pompeii, they were very bumpy. There were these three random stone blocks in the middle of the street, up and down all of the streets. Vincentzo told us that they were for when it rained, and all of the streets were flooding, so the people wouldn’t get wet and their sandals wouldn’t get ruined. After that we went to an ancient fast food restaurant. Then we went to a gymnasium. There was a pool, indoor pool, 3 steam showers, hot, medium, and cold, heated floors, and the only building in Pompeii that has the ceiling and art on the ceiling still intact. Inside that building we saw two men, victims of the volcano. One was a slave, and you could tell because you could see his belt, the other was a rich man, and you could tell because you could see his shoes. From there we walked to the trading and market center. We also saw a ton of clay pots, in the middle was a cast of a man just sitting there. From there, there was also an amazing view of Mt.Vesuvius.

Next, we visited Villa Ida were we had a cooking class. First, we learned how to pick lemons and their leaves. Then we learned how to cut up yummy mozzarella, and potatoes. After that we made the meatballs. We used our hands to mush soaked, stale bread, eggs, and more weird ingredients together. The process of putting meatballs in the right shape was really hard. While two thirds of the group grilled egg plants and the meatballs, the other part of the group squeezed the lemon juice. Once the lemon juice was fully squeezed, the whole group went to make the dessert. For dessert, we made tiramisu. We used lady fingers, coffee, custard, and chocolate powder. The tiramisu made most of our group very hyper. After the meal was ready, we sat down to eat. Some food was better than others. At the end of our meal, we got certificates that stated that we successfully passed the cooking lesson at Villa Ida.

– Eden Kerker and Holland Carlton

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Day 4

Gladiator school was awesome! I had been looking forward to it for quite some time, since Mr. Anthony started talking about it in class back when I was in sixth grade. When we arrived, we were greeted by a massive Italian guy who took us into the battle gear museum. Once we learned all about the roman soldier, then we started the obstacle course. It had three elements; the ducking line, the swinging sand bags, the bench jump, and the forward roll. After we did our exercise, we learned five attacks and five defensive moves. We then practiced fighting each other with swords and shields. Finally we received our roman citizenship. Then we drove for an hour to the convenient store and everyone bought a bunch of candy and pizza (Mr. Anthony & Cole). #pizzaswag. Then we drove another three hours and finally arrived in Sorrento to our new hotel. We got our to our rooms and unpacked. The rooms are really cool and nice! After we unpacked everyone met back down in the lobby and we re-grouped for dinner. My tortellini putsanesca was delicious!

– Cole and Julia

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