MUSIC IN MILAN
OUR LAST DAY
Most of us had decided that we would go to Mass at the Duomo, some for the drama of a service in the third largest Catholic church in the world, some for the music, and others to celebrate mass. A guard separated the tourists from believers. I guess Gordo either looks too much like a tourist or too much like a non-believer: he wasn't allowed into the worship section of the cathedral.
I was raised a Protestant, so the pomp and circumstance in a high Catholic mass always startles me. Here there were several priests dressed in red and white; one, who I believe was the Cardinal of Milan - the one who might have been Pope - was in scarlet and seemed quietly diminutive at the back of the altar, others in scarlet seemed to aid him in some way; the altar boys were in white. There were about 12 guys up there, pretty impressive. The choir was in the left nave. Their voices sounded beautiful, but a bit lost in that huge space.
It was cold in that church on this rainy day. After an hour the raw weather got to my frigid feet. I was glad when it was over, so I could go back to the hotel and get more clothes on to warm up.
Gordo and I went to the 7th floor of the department store Rinanscente for lunch. There is a high-end, food court with really good choices there. You can have sandwiches, sushi, salads, burgers from faster sit-down, bar-like places or you can have full service at a place there that we didn't want to wait in line for. I didn't find out what that restaurant is. Gordo and I split a panini and salad and had a wonderful lunch. Then we bought some gifts at their food shop in the middle of the store. The chocolates looked wonderful but I did't succumb. There chocolate shoes and purses, along with usual easter eggs and chicks.
That afternoon most of us packed. After all, we would depart the next morning - very early. I thought I would have so much room in my suitcase because I had brought some things which I had distributed to people. But to my dismay, I had to sit on everything to fit it in. Dirty clothes just take up more room than clean ones.
At 7:30 we met in the lobby of the Hotel de la Ville and made our way to L'Opera, their restaurant for La Nostra Cenacola. (our Last Supper).
Our dinner began with my little speech of gratitude to the group for giving me the best trip I've ever done. Everyone in the group was wonderful; all were different, but all were flexible, tolerant, forgiving, happy people. This was a dream group. Martha Edgar was thanked for being the inspiration for the trip. Maria Ferrante was thanked for belting one in the Baptistery. Donna was thanked for trusting me. The ladies from Chi Ca Go were thanked for being their spark and being reps of the Pope! Gordo was thanked for his great help and sacrificing a week of family and work. What a group. And then Don got up to thank me on behalf of all with a gift and a card. Then Irene got up with a gift. And then I cried like a baby.
Thank you so much, Don, Linda, Inez, Jessie, Maria, Martha, Joyce, Irene, Donna, Joan, Bruce, Kimberly, Olga, Dori, Gloria and Chela, Maryane and Kathleen. I hold you dear in my heart.
We went to bed, woke up to snow, and left for the airport, skidding and careening along the streets and autostrada of Milan and environs. All of us made our flights home.