So we finish with the pigeons and prepare to find something for dinner. It’s about 7 now, and people are hungry. We leave out of the corner by the “Bar Americano” and prepare to walk back towards the Rialto. What I actually told the kids was that we would wander until we found a non-touristy restaurant and go there. That was the plan, but as you’ll soon see, it became problematic and terrifying for me.
I think this will be an excellent time to chat with Sam’s sister. I haven’t really spoken with her before because I’ve been preoccupied with losing someone. Usually, especially as we walk in cities, I look back obsessively to make sure that the whole group is there. But, we get into deep conversation and I don’t do that. We eventually make it right by the Rialto (the huge bridge in Venice) and I even made some comment like, “how did we possibly end up here?” Right, so I turn around, and….
Half the kids are gone. Not there. Vanished. I figure that maybe they’ve simply slowed down and will catch up with us. Five minutes later, nope. They are gone. Lost in Venice. We immediately begin to backtrack toward them. I tell the kids who made it to wait right there by the bridge while I go back to get the others. I’m still not really sure where they are. Then, I remember (thanks to one of the kids). I’ve collected everyone’s contact information that day on the train to give to everyone else once we get back to the USA. Nolan has his American phone on him and always on (some of his friends jokingly called him one night in a hotel and he answered). I call, and he answers.
My mind is immediately more at ease. They are in San Marco, following the separation plan to the letter. They were getting worried, but were relieved that I would be coming back. And I was relieved too. Unfortunately, Venice can still get me lost and it took me a bit longer than I wanted to find everyone. But I did everyone, and that was the important thing. We were reunited and a crisis was averted.