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May 13th 2016
Published: May 14th 2016
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Well, everyone who was going home should be there by now. Can not believe it is over. It was truly a marvelous trip and there is still so much of Sicily I would love to see. Thought I would kind of give a fun ending to this blog by relating some fun stuff.

First of all, I promised Luca I would correct a couple of spellings from an early blog. Luca, if there were more errors, feel free to correct me. I only wrote what I remembered and that can sometimes be way off. The town we saw from the outlook or belvedere in Sicily was Castellammare. The hot ricotta cream pastry was Cassatelli.

When one travels in a foreign country, there are always interesting things. First let me introduce you to my fellow travelers, but saving Luca for the end.

Kathy and Dave are retired teachers from Iowa. Dave is a consummate punster. Never knew what would come out of his mouth. Kathy is amazing, she had really done a number on her foot and has to wear one of those heavy walking cast boots the whole time. She was a real trooper throughout, doing all the activities, sometimes having to abbreviate them, but on she went, even though you could see she was in pain. And both of them were always smiling. Thanks you two.

Sharon and John have known Kathy and Dave for a long time and are good friends. They all spend winters in an RV campground in Texas. Sharon is really handy with her iPad taking pictures. John just soaks things in and helps Dave with Kathy when needed.

Martha and Alex also come from Texas. Alex was always wandering off someplace quietly, but he sure makes a mean tiramisu. Martha is the grandmotherly type, a retired college recruiter, nothing seems to phase her. They both love to try new restaurants and test the vino.

Carol and Doug are this crazy couple from Idaho. There always has to be one on every trip. Doug managed to fall on the wet stones in Cefalu and hobbled around with a walking stick and a sling for about 5 days. They just love to travel and try new food and wine.

Dan and Sandy are from New Jersey. He was a doctor, not sure what Sandy did, but know both of them were avid photographers, especially Sandy. Her big camera was always at the ready.

Marcia and Gary, from Arizona, are the quiet couple. They headed to Malta after Sicily.

Danielle is a veterinarianfrom Massachusetts. She spoke fluent Italian. She spoke a lot with the other guides and locals. Wish I understood Italian, I feel I missed a lot when there where conversations going on.

Ron from San Francisco is really the quiet one. He kept mostly to himself, but was very interesting when he hung out with us.

Mary Ann is the last of the group, just because we are neighbors at home. This was a total new experience for her and it is nice to know she enjoyed trying all the new stuff.

Last, but not least, there is our tour guide, Luca. Only 24 and a little unsure of how things would go. His love of his island was evident in everything he said and did. Think because of the age difference, each of the tour members felt they had been gifted with a new grandson. We felt as protective of him as he was of us.

So, here is my advice to you, Luca. Enjoy each and every tour to the fullest. You have wonderful insight in reading the needs, strengths and weaknesses of your group. So relax, soak in your group as they soak in your beloved Sicily, and know life is good.

Before I end, I have to relate a Luca story. Luca worked so hard at being friendly and helpful and courteous to everyone until the "incident" in Ragusa. We had to meet the bus to get to an activity. Because the bus was uphill and about 6 blocks away, it was decided that Luca would call a taxi for her. We all thought she would be there before us, but after being on the bus for about 10 minutes and no Kathy, we could all tell Luca was getting worried. Luckily, Danielle had missed the meeting time and decided to wait with Kathy. Finally an upset driver showed up and was being aggressive toward Kathy. He had no idea where he was supposed to go and did not seem to want to be there in the first place. Danielle phoned Luca and he gave the guy directions. But by then it was the last straw for Luca and he told us he was not going to pay the guy. When he finally showed up, he and Luca had a "discussion" and Luca refused to pay him. Guy yelled a bunch and then told Luca not to call him again. As if! Anyway, Luca apologized to all of us for showing his "dark" side, but he was preaching to the choir. We all thought he was a hero. Of course, that gave us all something to tease him about the rest of the tour.

This has been a great tour. Thank you Luca and other travelers. Hope we all meet again in the future.


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