My 9-day tour was an absolute whirlwind with an amazing sight, smell, taste, or sound to behold around every corner. Suffice it to say, I will not even attempt to do a thorough posting of my time. To give you an idea of what a feat that would be, Christy (my travel buddy), took over 3,000 pictures on her camera alone (not including iPhone photos). I have sat with my sister on two occasions and have yet to get through half of my trip. There is so much to share and so many stories to recall--it is a daunting task to be certain.
Be that as it may, I did want to at least share my top three moments in each city. I know this is crazy as how can one really narrow it down to three when there were like three million? Nevertheless, I am dying to share at least a few highlights in the hope that I might have time for a more expansive post in the future.
My first highlight comes from day #3 on my trip during our time in Vatican City. Whilst touring St. Peter's Basilica, I came across the following side room for prayer:
I made my way into the chapel, knelt at one of the pews, and poured my heart out to God. I began claiming very specific promises for each and every family member and dear friend. They just were flowing like a spring of water. And let me tell you what else was flowing, tears. I was sobbing as the presence of the Lord came over me and was so very real. I was also sobbing as the gravity of where I was began to set in. It was such a beautiful and intimate moment--one I was never expecting, but was so grateful for. It definitely was one of the top moments of my trip without question.
Side note: I am so thrilled our first trip to St. Peter's was on a less-crowded Monday as the room was not open on our subsequent visit the following Saturday. Also, I have about 800 more pictures of St. Peter's, but I'm staying true to the heart of my post which is a top three list, not an onslaught of pictures.
Highlight #2 came on our last morning in Florence. I woke up early (before dawn) to attend mass at the Duomo before we had to catch our train. Since we had an early train, I had to go to the 7:30am mass. If you know me, this is pretty incredible given the fact that I do not usually rise before 7:45ish. However, it was totally and completely God-ordained that I attend this mass. Reason being, as I was walking on the nearly deserted cobblestone streets of Florence towards the Duomo, I came across this:
Of course, pictures do not begin to do this sunrise justice. I cannot even tell you how amazing and magnificent this sunset coming up over the Duomo was to behold. It was so unbelievably beautiful and so very clearly painted by God. I felt as though He was writing me a love letter via the colors of the sky. The moment was surreal and holy. I am forever grateful to have experienced it with my Savior. Praise Him from whom all blessings flow.
While there are countless highlights to be shared from my time on the Amalfi Coast, the one that stands out the most is from our day-long boat trip to Capri. First of all, I could not even process the fact that I was on a boat skimming across the waters of the Amalfi Coast. Second of all, I could not process the fact that the color of these waters was unlike anything I have ever beheld. Third of all, we got to actually swim in this glorious water and I actually wasn't too scared to be in the ocean. Win-win-win.
That's where this highlight comes from. My third highlight was jumping off of the boat into the crisp waters of the Amalfi Coast.