Monday, June 26, 2017

Venice: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!

I once again woke early; looked out of our window and saw that we were pulling into Venice! The sight from our window was breathtaking, so I quickly showered and dressed and made my way to the back of the ship, in the shade to marvel at the beauty which surrounded me. The old buildings, churches, domes and canals were crazy! It was so much larger than I envisioned and I couldn’t wait to explore, it all!
We had lunch on the ship before heading out for the day, and as I feared, it was much hotter than I had hoped. Since my legs and feet were nearly back to normal, I didn’t think that I was at risk of having another reaction, although we knew it was a possibility, so we all vowed to go slow, and keep an eye on my legs.

We bought tickets to the people mover for 3 euros, round trip; it basically took us from the cruise port to an area where there were water taxis and buses, and bridges which we could walk over. We met a few guys on the mover and they told us that they had been to Venice many times and that we should go to San Marco Square, which was on our list, so we headed in that direction; or so we thought! They told us it was “close”to where we were. HA!

After a good hike, we came to a bridge, and didn’t know which way to go, after asking someone, we headed off in the direction they told us to go; we were in a square, but not the the right one. But it was very cool and we saw tons of old buildings and windows, on our walk, and in the square.

Eventually we came to another bridge, a large wooden bridge, and we went part of the way up; one direction you could not see what was up ahead, the other, you could see a very unique building with many domes. It looked like it was really close, like just down a street, on the left, so we decided to take a quick detour and see what that building was, before going to San Marco Square. We did NOT find what we were looking for, easily, but we did see many, many other interesting buildings and shops. One of the shops was a mask shop, and one of the artists was painting a beautiful mask, we spoke to her about her work and admired the many different masks that were in her shop. Joe and Cindy actually bought a gorgeous one to bring home, for their travel corner.

Eventually, we turned a corner, and there was the building, we had been looking for; right smack dab in front of us! it was a massive church, which did not allow picture taking, which is really annoying! I loved that France allowed you to take photos of all of the incredible things that you saw, as this chemo brain of mine has a short term memory, and I want to be able to look back and remember all of the beauty that I have seen. It seemed that since we arrived in Italy, it was much more common to NOT allow photos, inside the buildings.

After cooling down a bit in the church, we decided to look for someplace to sit down, with internet to catch up with things back home, have a drink, and go to the bathroom; apparently Italians have HUGE bladders, and no need for toilettes, so they are nearly impossible to find. Wouldn’t it just figure that there was not a café’ to be seen; we had passed dozens, but now there were none. We started looking down alley-ways, me, all the while taking photo,  after photo and eventually asked someone on the street where we could sit down, and get some drinks.

She pointed a direction and we headed that way, finding a musical instrument museum, along our path. Due to the heat, we ducked in, to view the instruments and to cool off. Once again, no photos; I so wanted to take a photo of the flutes, for my daughter, who has a God given talent, and plays the flute like an angel, but sad to say, I was unable. I understand when they have the no photo rules, if taking the photo would cause harm, but if there is no flash, and no harm, I think it sucks! They do it just so you will be forced to purchase their photos, I suppose; haven’t they heard of Google images? I am sure I can find one there…if I remember.

I guess I shouldn’t complain, as there were so many, many photo options, and really, what am I going to do with them all, anyway? I just wanted a pic of those gorgeous flutes! Lol
Fortunately, just as I was about to collapse from the heat, we found a restaurant; with air conditioning, a bathroom, AND internet!! Score!!! We went in and ordered drinks; in France you got awesome bottles, filled with delicious tap water, in Italy you paid a high price for cheap, bottled water. A small price to pay for the amenities, I suppose, although the guys, beers were quite spendy, too! Before this pit stop, I was ready to go back to ship and have dinner and then come back in the evening, but we were all afraid if we did that, that we would never make it back! This cool reprieve revitalized me, and I was up for the mission of finding San Marcos Plaza.

We actually weren’t too far away at that point, and managed to get up, and over the wooden bridge, down a few alley ways and between a few buildings and there it was; a sight for sore eyes! The Basilica was MASSIVE, and intricate and ornate, and CLOSED!!! We missed going into the church by fifteen minutes! Lol Just our luck; we were all hot, and tired and I figured that I had probably pushed myself too far, once again.

But we had found the golden nugget, so I took tons of photos outside, went around to the exit and talked to the guy there; he allowed me to peek into the exit area, and I could see all of the gold leaf mosaics; it was beautiful, but just seeing the sculptures and mosaics on the outside of the church, was reward enough for me. After spending some time around the square, I think we were all hot and exhausted enough to call an end to our day.

We had intended to do a gondola ride, when the sun went down, but there were just SO many of them, stuck in traffic jams, that it just did not look like much fun; not to mention that we were ALL hot, tired and grumpy! Lol When we did stumble across a dock with rides, they were covering their gondolas, probably for a break, so we decided to just go back to the ship; the big fat question was how were we going to get there; there was NO way I could walk, an I don’t think any one else wanted to either, so we started looking for options.

I saw a water taxi drop off a group or people and their luggage at a hotel, so I ran over and asked, “How much?” To the port; 60 euros! For a fifteen minute ride, and I didn’t care! I was miserable! And they all must have been too, as everyone agreed; so off to the port we go.

I considered our taxi ride, our gondola ride, for one third the cost! It took us up and down canals, and eventually to the people mover, near the ship; once on the people mover, I noticed my legs; worse than before! Horribly broken blood vessels, all of the way up my thighs, this time, not to mention a larger area, with brighter, redder splotches covering my lower legs. I was not a happy girl. As a matter of fact, I was quite disgusted.

Joe and I noticed a man sitting across from us, you could see below his pant leg, that his legs probably looked like mine. His wife noticed my legs and came over and said that her husbands legs looked like mine, and showed me something they had picked up at the pharmacy; I am not sure what it was, but Arnica, and staying off of them and out of the heat seemed to help mine. I could not decipher the ingredients, so I didn’t want to risk using it; odd coincidence….he also has cancer. I seems that us cancer warriors do not like the heat or walking as much as we have been! He and I both reacted the same way, on the same “heat” day, after over doing it. Such a bother…..

It was a slow walk from the mover to the ship and I collapsed in the air conditioning in our cabin; I applied Arnica and relaxed until dinner. We had a great dinner and returned immediately back to our cabin for the night. I am feeling a bit bummed that I have yet to be able to explore the ship, and have seen little of it, other than our cabin and where we eat! Maybe tomorrow…..

Once back in our room, my favorite thing to do is to download all of my photos of the day from my camera, to my iPad; I have been doing this every day, so I can keep track of what is where. Tonight, I started the process, which continued like it has every other night since we left home. Downloading 467 photos! I was excited to see them and felt as though I had earned each and every one, and despite my. Painful legs, at least I was going to have some great photos, right?

WRONG!!!! I do not know what happened, but every single photo loaded, with absolutely no picture to view; every single one was nothing butt a blank screen. Not one photo transferred properly and had nothing to show for the day except my UGLY, RED, Throbbing legs!
Yup, just felt like crying, but was grateful that we would be in Venice another day; I went to sleep, bound and determined to to get more photos tomorrow, sick about the ones I had lost…sometimes, life makes you wonder, but hey….I am still alive, I can  breathe and I am traveling in Europe, with my husband and dear friends!!!How lucky am i? What a blessing!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Dubrovnik Brought me to Tears!

This morning was a good morning! I was literally like a two year old on Christmas morning, I started looking out the window at 6:30 am (anyone that knows me, knows this is not my norm) I was so excited seeing land, that I woke Joe up around 7:30 and said “Let’s GO!” I am not sure he was quite as excited as I was, but he did get up! My legs and feet are nearly fully recovered and I feel like dancing, as I am so excited!! Our plan is to visit Dubrovnik, without over doing it.

We went and had breakfast in the dining room; eggs Benedict for me and it was delicious; always a good thing to be fully fueled when leaving the ship. A quick trip back to our room for our stuff; Chilly Pad, Hydro with water, a few snacks, camera, umbrella, sun screen and chapstick, and we were on our way.

Since they started allowing the hoards of people off the ship a few hours ago, we were able to walk off at our leisure. I am not great at waiting in lines, for my legs and feet, as well as my nature!lol We quickly found a local cab and asked how much for a trip into old town; 13 euros, for the four of us; much less than the 15 euros each person that the ship wanted for taxi fare. I find that cruise ships tend to WAY over charge for their excursions, and they are always in such cattle call fashion, that I avoid them,

We asked our driver how much more it would be to drive us around to all of the tourist “hot spots” and he said he would do it for 50 euro, and then drop us at old town. We vehemently agreed, and took off. It was SO beautiful, it literally brought me to tears; the water was so, so blue and clear, and the architecture SO amazing and old.

He took us up this tiny, winding road, where when cars were coming down, one of us had to pull over to the side of the road, in order to pass. We were on the cliff side, with very few guard rails, so it was a little freaky, but the view was like no other! Apparently, this had been Yugoslavia, at some point, and if I am not mistaken, my one of my mother’s grandmothers (greats) had lived here. I could barely stop the tears for the beauty.

Apparently we were only ten minutes from Bosnia; which was an interesting trivia fact. He stopped the taxi many times and allowed us to take photos, as well as, taking photos, for us too. This tour was worth every penny and I didn’t want it to ever come to an end!

We left the top of the mountain, and shortly arrived in the old town section of Dubrovnik, which is behind vey large, walls. We walked under an arch and could see the mechanism that was used to raise and lower the draw bridge. The center of the square, was full of very old, elaborate stone buildings and churches; I just marvel at the sheer fact that not only are these buildings still standing, but how, in the world, were they ever built in the first place? The are HUGE! So tall, and made from marble, granite and concrete; how did they even get them built, and build them to remain, still mostly intact, hundreds, and hundreds of years later, a true wonder for me. And the cobbled streets! Everything, breathtakingly, beautiful.

Another thing I love, are all of the side streets and alley ways; people just set up shop in the craziest places; restaurants gelato shops, bakeries, candy stores and people peddling wares of all types. And then there are the balconies, where people live, with flowers pouring from pots, with laundry strung across the alley! I do not know why all of this is so appealing to me, but it is! Lol

We walked around for a few hours, went into a few gorgeous churches, my fam now has candles burning all across Europe, and then decided to take a break; beer for the boys, ice tea for the girls! Lol I am not sure they were thrilled that we actually wanted ice, but they did give it to us. They also had internet and a bathroom, so it was a total score!  We took the time to cool down, catch up with news from home, and people watch; so much fun! Legs and feet, feeling pretty good, thank goodness.

We walked around a bit more, enjoying the sights, but hoping to not over do it, we took a taxi back to the ship, to relax, before dinner; it was an incredible day in Dubrovnik, and despite it being considerably more expensive than Paris, I could spend much more time here.

We had a great time at dinner with our friends, and even saw the show, for a change. It was a couple, that did a cirque du soule’ type performance; they were phenomenal! We enjoyed it immensely, and then went to bed; tomorrow is Venice! Whoo Hoo!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Leaving Rome and Getting on the Ship!

Leaving Rome and Getting on the Ship!
Our first experience of renting an apartment, internationally, was great! The two bedroom, two bath apartment was extremely clean and large enough for the four of us. We were able to make breakfast in the morning before leaving for the ship and since we had arranged for one of the shuttle guys to pick us up, and take us to the ship, we were able to leave our suitcases, in the apartment while the owner, and his mother cleaned the apartment, in order to get ready for the new arrivals, later that day, until the driver showed up. Carla and Luca were great hosts.

It is nearly an our from Rome to the cruise port, so if you are planning a European cruise, out of “Rome”, be prepared for a BIG cab fare; it was $140 euros for the four of us to be picked up at our apartment and dropped at the entrance of the cruise ship; worth every penny, in my opinion; to me and especially to my feet and legs, which are still horrible looking and feeling. I believe that the arnica is helping somewhat, and I really am going to try and stay off of them as much as I can.
On our drive, Cindy and I arranged for our shuttle driver, Antonio, to pick us up after the cruise, and take us to our hotel, at the Fumiciano Airport, and then into Rome, to see the Colluseum. It was on this ride that Joe and I realized that we are flying out of the other airport in Rome! Campiano,,NOT Fumciano, which is Not good! Lol Huge mistake on my part; I am not entirely sure how I let this slip by me, and I am not sure how we are going to fix this yet, but I think we will just stay at the hotel in Fumiciano, and then taxi to the other airport in the morning; our driver said that it was about thirty minutes away, but with limited internet,  I don’t think we are going to have much choice. Oy! Live and learn!

Any way, we got to the ship, and I asked for a wheelchair right out the gate; and they brought it! They wheeled us right up to the person checking passports and right to our room. At some point we noticed that not only were my legs still red, but that my left foot had a bunch of fluid pooled on the top of it; ThiS was enough for me to stay off my feet for the rest of the day, and tomorrow, too!

I called for a wheelchair to take me to dinner, and to bring me back to the room; I stayed in bed and put arnica on my foot and legs several times before a fitful night of sleep. I the morning the swelling had gone down some, but not entirely, so I continued to request a wheelchair to take me upstairs for lunch, then I walked right out on the deck in the shade.
I brought my knitting, a book and cards with me and was prepared to stay put, with the exception of bathroom breaks, for the day. I was a good girl, and the swelling has gone down considerably, and the redness is beginning to fade a bit.
We had a great time playing cards (hearts) all afternoon, and a lovely dinner at a French restaurant; I had lamb, onion soup, asparagus, a salad and crème” brûlée” ; it was fabulous! We even made it to a lounge for a little while, which was also nice.
I am not used to being an invalid, and by now I would be familiar with every inch of this ship, but thus far, I only know a very small portion. On the upside, I believe my diligence, in not walking around had paid off, and I am praying that I will be doing well enough, in the morning, to enjoy Dubrivnik! Keeping my fingers and toes crossed.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Third Day in Rome; Was Not Easy!

After catching up with our friends last night, we were excited to to start our vacation, together  in Rome. I was praying that my feet and and legs would co-operate with my ambitions, as they were a bit better in the morning, than they were the night before.

Since the Vatican City, and the Sistine Chapel were high on my priority list,  and they had wheelchair options, we decided to truck up to the subway station and head into the city center. We had some breakfast/lunch on our way to the subway, to break up the walk; it was not nearly as good as our sandwiches in France, boo.

It was hot and humid, and my feet and legs were already starting to hurt a bit, but I really wanted to see the Sistine Chapel, so I just kept going; the metro ride was fairly quick, but the walk to Vatican City was long and hot. The line was forever long, but we were determined to find the handicap entrance and walked up the hill, past hundreds of people, if not thousands, standing in line. At the top of the hill, we somehow we found ourselves right in the middle of a group tour that was about to go into the Museum, so instead of asking and explaining myself, to the handicap authorities, we just followed the group into the building.

It wasn’t until they were going through the ticket line turnstiles,  and we didn’t have a ticket, that we were stopped! Lol They told us we needed a ticket to enter, so the guys went and bought them; our total time to get into the Museum was maybe fifteen minutes; as opposed to three or four hours. A win, in my book, for sure!  Feeling pretty good, I decided to forego the wheelchair, thus trying to avoid anyone having to push it through throngs of people; it just seemed like too big a deal, to try and maneuver through the museum, through all of those people.

We weren’t to far into the tour when I had realized that that had been a HUGE mistake; my legs were getting redder and my feet and legs were starting to throb, and I was now stuck in a sea of people all swimming upstream. I swear that all we did was trudge slowly forward looking at different artifacts, sculptors, and artwork, which in my opinion, were not nearly as impressive as all of the other churches and museums that we have seen, thus far.

Eventually, we arrived at the opening to the “famous” Sistine Chapel. With paintings that I remembered seeing since I was a child, in many religious and art books. There were workers bees standing at the entrance,  just inside the doors, yelling loudly; Silence, no photos, no talking, no hats; Move to the center! Over and over again; which was really distracting and annoying, not to mention the fact that they seemed to create a scene that they were trying to prevent. There was no peaceful feeling or presence of God, that is for sure!

The paintings of course, were amazing and actually looked 3-D from many angles, but if I am to be honest with you, I was underwhelmed. I am sure that it did not help, that I was not feeling the greatest and it was hot and miserable, and I was really sorry that I had not just gone ahead and gotten the wheelchair, when I knew I should have. Hindsight!

We finally got to the end of the cattle call, and sat a bit and got a bite to eat; we talked about what we should do next, and wondered where St Peter’s Cathedral was, compared to where we currently were. By the time we reached the street, and realized how far it was, my heart still wanted to go with our friends, but my legs and my husband said otherwise. Joe and Joe, my friend Cindy’s husband, both said that my legs were considerably worse, and that I needed to get off my feet; like NOW!
Joe and I both knew we had quite the trek back to the apartment, so I relented and agreed to let them go on without us. It  was not very long before I knew what a good decision that really was; I was so miserable and it literally took us nearly two hours to get “home”; it was not pretty, I was hobbling SO slowly. The last .8 mile from the Metro, to the apartment felt like ten miles.I was not having a good time in Rome,  thus far.
On our way home, I thought that if we saw a Farmacia, aka pharmacy, that I would stop and get some Arnica; we found one and both the pharmacy tech and the pharmacist, nearly jumped out of their skin when they saw my legs. After determining that they were not ives, did not itch and were not a rash, therefore no need for cortisone, they agreed that arnica was a good choice.
Our friends got back around 8:00 and around 9:00, we were all starting to get hungry; you will be proud to know that I stayed home, on the couch; like a good girl; while they all walked to a great restaurant a few blocks away. My feet and legs had had it. It is so difficult for me to accept defeat, despite the fact of all of the wonderful things that I have already been able to do,  I still really hate missing out; I hate slowing people down. I really hate cancer, and sometimes I have a really hard time accepting the fact that this “Old grey Mare, Just Ain’t What She Used to Be!”
They brought dinner and desert back to me a few hours later, for which I was totally grateful, and filled me in on all I had missed.
I am looking forward to getting on the cruise ship tomorrow and enjoying a sea day; I am vowing to use a wheelchair, until we get to Dubrovnik, in two days; let’s pray I can do it!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

First Day in Rome; Boy, Oh Boy!

Our first day in Rome started out innocent enough; we got up and were happy to realize that we had slept well, despite there being only one air conditioner, in the living area, of the apartment. That coupled with the fact that we had finally gotten our clothes out of the evil washer; it appeared it was going to be a good day.

Right up until I pushed the button on the hot pot and blew a fuse. There was a fuse box right at the front door, so I flipped those fuses, to no avail. I checked all of the plugs that I could find for GFI switches, or their equal; and found nothing.

I quickly realized that without a phone, and without power, we had no internet, and there fore, no way to reach the owner of the apartment, so I thought I would try a neighbor, to see if it was only our apartment, or the whole building. I knocked, no answer, and then I rang their bell, which worked; ours did not, meaning it was only our power, that was out.  Oh, joy….now what?

I know! Get  dressed, and head down to the pizza shop to see if they either have WiFi, or I can maybe use their phone to call the owner. They had both! And spoke good enough English, that I was able to explain my predicament, and give him  the phone number, for Carla, the woman who met us last night.

He explained to her in Italian, what had happened, and she said she would meet us there in twenty minutes, which she did. She showed us where the secret fuse box was, flipped the switch; and just like that, we were back in business; thank God! I would have died if we had not been able to have the air conditioner running.

Once we were back in the apartment, with all systems go, we prepared for our day. We decided to do another Hop On, Hop Off bus, and to just ride it around the entire loop, to see what we could, of Rome. We headed towards theMetro, which was nearly a mile away, and noticed tons of graffiti; here they consider it art; not gang related. Once at the metro,we realized they were on strike! Strike two of the day! We were told that they would start running, again at three.

Since we had a few hours to kill, we decided to walk around a bit, and spied, off in the distance, a bell tower, and a cross, which belonged to a church. Since churches have become one of my favorite places to view, a. Because they are awesome and b. Because they are cool, we headed that way. It was like a bazillion degrees outside, and humid, which makes me feel like crap, so walking around a cool church, was just what the doctor ordered.

Saint Paolo did not disappoint and was every bit as magnificent as all of the other churches we had been in, in France. We were told that it was the only other significant church outside the city walls, and we  were so glad that we had stumbled upon it.

There was a tourist playing the pipe organ, which just enhanced our time there and after a few hours, we thought that we would check to see if the Metro was running yet, or not. It was, so we joyfully bought a ticket and headed to the platform. As soon as we got on the train, we were engulfed in heat; hot and humid. The trains had been sitting during the strike, and had just started running, not giving them time to cool down. It was literally like a sauna, and we were very grateful that we only had three stops to go.

We got off at the Colosseum, the first stop on the Hop On, Hop Off bus. It was much larger than I had envisioned and the one wall was in much better shape than I thought. We were immediately bombarded with sales people from many different companies, and settled on a HO/HO Bus that had a discounted rate after three; we were told that it ran until 9:30, and since we planned to be back to the apartment by 8:30, to meet our friends from Denver, we thought it would be perfect.

We bought our ticket. We walked over to the loading area, and immediately people started pushing and shoving; walking past us and shoving us out of their way; not fun, to me! When the bus arrived, it was mayhem! People pushing, shoving, stepping on you and just being rude; we were shocked, as we had heard that “Italy” was a friendlier place than France; this may be true, however, it is not true of the tourists; Somehow, we managed to get to the top of the bus and find a seat.

Once the bus was running, there was a breeze, and between the breeze and my cool cloth, I was feeling pretty good. We were enjoying the ride and seeing Rome for about 40 minutes of the ninety minute loop,  when our bus pulled into a drop-off slot, turned off the engine and said that everyone had to get off; she was done. When I asked if another bus was coming, or not, she shrugged and said, Maybe!

Really??????  I couldn’t believe it; we waited about 20 minutes, and gave up; more than annoyed.

Strike three!

Since we were close to a Metro, we took the train to Trevi Fountains; got out and walked blocks and blocks, in the stifling heat; I am not loving Rome at this point. We stopped for a Gelato to enjoy some air conditioning and to give my poor body a break, before finally arriving at the Fountains; along with a million other people. Fortunately, a rail opened up that we were able to sit on, to enjoy the fountain for a few minutes; I guess the “fable” says, if you throw a coin, over your shoulder, into the fountain, you will return to Rome; I did not toss a coin into the fountain!

We left the fountain a thought we might visit the Spanish Steps, which were not far away, but after realizing it was 7:30, we thought we should get back to the apartment, in order to greet our friends, and to let them in, after their long journey from Denver.

At this point, I was wearing down in the heat, and struggled a bit to get to the Metro; when we were almost there, a guy started yelling, last train, last train; so I hobbled faster and we got on the last train. We were on the “A” line and had to get to the “B” to go “home.”  At this point, it never occurred to us that there may not be a “B” line running.

We got off at our stop, and raced, with a sea of people, from the “A” line, to the “B” line; and waited. Eventually we heard a train coming, thank goodness! But to our dismay, the empty train, passed us by; they had started the strike up again, at 8:00. Freaking crazy, Italians! NOW WHAT???

We are miles from our apartment and the Metro is on strike; I walk up to a young man, and asked for options; he told us that he was going home, and that his apartment was even further south that ours; he said that it was possible to catch a bus. I told him that I was going to “follow him” and he smiled and said OK!

    So, off we went, Joe and our angel ahead of me, and me trying my damn-dest, to keep up. It was quite a walk to the bus station and as we waited, with crossed fingers, a bus pulled passed us without stopping;meaing they were on strike, too. Close to tears now, worrying that our friends would get to the apartment, and we wouldn’t be there, and being beyond exhausted, I said, “Now, what?”

He said, “the other train,” which happened to be across a very wide street, so off  we went; the three of us, me bringing up the rear, not wanting to slow this young, healthy kid down. We bought our tickets on a railway for one euros each, and headed to the platform; I swear it was a mile away! It was number 26 and took us fifteen minutes to get there; at this point, my legs were on fire and I was beyond exhausted and over heated, but I trudged onward.

Finally, after reaching the platform the train was already there; on the upside, I could sit, and it was air conditioned.I told our “guide” that he was our travel angel and that he had become part of our adventure; his name was I asked him where the train would take us, and he said “closer to Saint Paolo church; not exactly what I wanted to hear.

We got off a few minutes and miles down. the road, and still had miles to walk; literally. It was now 9:30 and I was sick, thinking of our friends standing outside the gate to our apartment. I prayed that they had either found the pizza and beer place, or called the owner, and told him to let them in; I had no idea how much longer we would be walking, on foot, but I did know that I felt like, crying and crawling into a ball, in the gutter!

Forty minutes later, and we finally saw Saint Paolo Church, which meant we were only about a mile from home; Thank God! I prayed I would make it, and while I was extremely grateful to our travel angel, I was also relieved that we could walk at a bit slower pace; I truly didn’t think that I was going to make it. The sun had finally gone down, and it was a bit cooler, which was a blessing.

I literally forced myself to take each and every step, and could not hardly wait to see our street. It was another twenty or so minutes, and we had been hoofing it for nearly two hours; I curse the strikers! Finally, we rounded the corner to. our place; which at this point was uphill! Eventually we could see our friends, who had been waiting for two hours, after flying from Denver!

I was mortified that we had kept them waiting, and exhausted beyond measure; when I looked down and saw my legs, I knew that I had WAY over done it; I am talking WAY! My calves look like hamburger, although the skin is not broken, and hurt worse than they have ever hurt before!

BUT, my friends are still my friends, and we did manage to get the pizza place to make us dinner, and allow us to sit in there shop, until midnight; we had a full size pizza, a slice of pizza, six HUGE beers, a wine, two salads, one chcken, one tuna, HUGE bottle of water and tiramisu, all for 39 euros!

Considering the way the day started, and how it continued, I cannot complain at all for the way it ended; our dear friends are here, and tomorrow is another day.

Pray for me; that my legs will recover and I will regain some strength, and most importantly, pray that I use some good sense during the next part of our journey!



Bricks for the Brave!!