Exploring…

Getting lost is easy. I jumped on a boat that took me to Lido, which I knew right away was the wrong place for me…cars. After taking one photo, I found a new boat. Smaller, sleaker, taking me back to Venice, but I realize my problem. Same one I have at home, I need my own boat. Now I’m in Santa Elana. The football stadium is here, and surprisingly a baileys and coffee is €3. Wish I could stay on this island a while, it’s towering trees, quiet, well kept neighborhood, underpriced cafe, but I have so much more to do. Thank you for the rest, warmth, and coffee to go!Back on the little water bus again, headed nowhere, somewhere, who knows? If you say the Captain….Bienalle, ok, but that’s the same place. Damn headed back to Marcos square. The yachts look familiar.

I could see where I wanted to go. Guess I’m going to have to hoof it. I do need to go to the Guggenheim, Peggy was pissed I missed her yesterday, and she wasn’t open earlier. Yes, I’ll go visit now.

Appreciation

Not always what you might think, and reasons vary vastly. Each day you wake up there should be some. Not always easy though. When times are tough, job is unsatisfying, life throws a mean curve, but if you can, try to find something to smile about, be grateful for, even laugh at the mountain you are going to climb.

Personally, I took a shower. When times were dark, I forced myself to, crawl sometimes to the bathroom, turn on the heater, get the water as hot as possible, shaking like a paint can mixer, tears non stop, get a leg, then two in, back hunched, sometimes I never did stand up all the way, just put some soap on, rinse off, crawl back out, towel off, get some lotion on, make my way to the daily outfit, unsure how to put pants on, let alone 2 pair (long johns), every joint screaming for relief, pain killers are pointless, now to the face. Just the simple things, like looking in the mirror, would have been nice to avoid. Whose face was that in the mirror? Who’s teeth were those? Surely the mirror had it wrong, so I stopped looking, but I put makeup on all the same.

For the first few weeks I hadn’t discovered the joy of coffee, but I tried to coat my mouth several times with every suggested product out there. Everything hurt though. I couldn’t put anything in my feeding tube in the morning. Way to much fear of what might happen while I was strapped to the radiation table. After learning I could sip coffee life got better.

I’ve been trying to write this, many revisits, but it’s too hard. Too fresh. I can’t keep from crying, and I don’t want more puffyeyed days. Let me say, appreciate that you’re alive, or that someone else is. It’s a short, tough journey, but happiness is free!

Back home…

8E to 4L and I’m here… so is the cruise ship. Shit! Going to be long lines and lots of tourists..yuk! Please, tell me you’re laughing with me! It has been brought to my attention that my humor is getting lost on some readers. Yes, I know you’re stalking me, but I wish you would come out of the closet, say hello, and let me know you care.

Needless, ful, to say, I’m joking! Very few people get my sarcastic whit, but it is humor I assure you!Anyway, walk over the bridge, just follow the crowd, water bus B, will take you to San Marco square, which I have one last order of business. I also desperately need coffee, and the two coincide. Therefore, I must brave the crushing cruise ship crowd, pass Rialto, and onto Harry’s Bar. Thus fulfilling the necessity to sup with the ghost of Hemingway. I wonder what, if anything, he will say?

Nothing I haven’t already said to myself, a thousand times or heard a million. He was, just a man after all!

After you get passed the pretentiousness and the prices on the menu, it is easy to fall in love with this place. Situated just off the water, with no view of it, the rich wood, and low, ribbed, white ceiling gives me a sense of being aboard a ship. The staff wears luxurious white with black tie, seven bar stools, 20 tables, no shorts allowed, I must admit I feel underdressed in jeans. I can see this on board a an old canal schooner, and feel the surrounding seas passing by.

OMG, sorry Elaine, but an EXQUISITE gentleman just left. Out of a novel, he had dark green tartan plaid pants, a red turtleneck, dark green corduroy jacket, and perfect hair! The staff seemed familiar with him, and words like debonair were invented for him. I would love to have dinner with him and hear his story. He shuffled his, easily 80 year old body toward the door that at one time was regal. He nodded, acknowledged the staff and they all smiled with their eyes, knowingly, as though he dined here often. I want to follow the man, see where he goes and what he knows.

Ok, that moment just left, and then my sensational desert arrived. The creme souffle was served in style with dazzling, hot flames to warm my chilled bones. I wish Mom was here to see the proper service still existing in this old world staple! I know I’m coming back, no matter the cost. Asparagus soup, baby artichoke something, screams my name, and my next hotel is just around the corner. The hostess assured me this is my table, with crisp white linen, whenever I want it, all night long. I’m so cozy and warm, I would love to stay all day, but Venice awaits! I need a scarf and to find my hotel. I have found a beautiful place that, no matter what card I have, loves me!

No bad days…Lol

I’m back in Venice, with all my things, clean clothes, medicine, and familiarity which brought me peace. The surely woman at the front desk, hates how her husband helps me, was even NICE! I didn’t have enough cash to pay for my bus fare, and she gave it to me despite my empty pockets.

Speaking to family and friends for Mother’s Day was comforting, perhaps for all of us. The realization that I’m where I want to be, safe, and off of the midnight trains is relaxing. I SLEPT like the dead for the first time in 7 days. I was astonished when, with no alarm set, I didn’t wake up until noon!

It’s embarrassing that I would waste so much precious time of this once in a lifetime vacation. I’m not sorry one bit, because by aches and pains alone I could tell that restoration was in order. My hair was smashed beyond repair, but even after a deep conditioning treatment it wanted to lay down and die for another 8 hours. Well, no, out we go, flat or no.

In two days, I had failed to notice through the trees that a fricking superstore was just across from my bus stop! In I went, back to the room and voila, I’m ready to hit the town!

Clean AND styled! Venice awaits my fearless examination and I’m ready to impale her! Felling charged, powerful, and on a mission to fulfill my dying wish! Ten things still remain on my Venice list, and today two of them shall be realized.

As well as the ATM!

Maybe it’s just spring..

Rome approached, and what I didn’t remember is how, when Authors wrote of Rome, green and lush it is. The city is lush, and air thick with the reminiscent humidity of fresh rain. I never pictured this jungle like feeling when I thought of Rome just the monuments, castles, structures that remind us of the great past. Academia, Philosophers, Saints, Gladiators, art, churches, but running all through it is the Tiber, feeding beautiful, thick, blanketing foliage reminding me that this city is still alive in the present. Real life, love, families, futures pump through Rome apart from the vast majority only in the city to examine the past.

Last night I took a late tour through the city. I ignored my overwhelming exhaustion, pain, the aching cries of my back, feet, mouth, neck, head, and heart and went again to enjoy the city from a new perspective. The Saturday night streets were swollen with tourists, tempters, shops, restaurants, artists, and crowds on almost every corner. At the end of the walking tour, we loaded a small bus to shuttle off to the Collusium lit up gloriously at night.

We went through a section of town, I don’t know what it’s called, where at least a hundred young people gather to meet and mingle. I saw no signs, flashy lights, big restaurants, artists, peddlers, sight sucking experiences, buses, just a nightlife of friends. I was astonished how it jumped out at me as if a hidden onyx was sewn in a sea of velvet. I envied the young people instantly! What did we have? The mall? Bennigan’s? T.G.I.Fridays?

What these people have looks FABULOUS, and as much as I wanted, my weary body Uberd back to the hotel. I could not sleep. My brain would not release my body from the glorious rapture of the last 2 days.I find it hard now as the train pulls into the station to give myself to this city. I feel as though I’m cheating on Michelangelo.

LOVE these trees!

Florence a bust…

Not that there was too much riding on it, I did want to see the David, but not at that cost. As I was whisked from the station to my hotel on the other side of town, all I could see was wall to wall stores. Not the, “Hey you’re a tourist, come buy some magnets!” No the, “If you have to ask what it cost, you don’t belong here!” Sorry, but I left Richard Gere’s credit card in my other movie! At least in the other cities the super wealthy meshed with the regular people. Yes, the restaurants closer to the attractions are more expensive, but if you don’t KNOW $25.00 for a tuna sandwich is a bit much, there’s no help for you!I seriously felt like I was in Manhattan or Beverly Hills which is NOT why I came to Italy! True beauty and passion are all around without the need for material crap! The real people, even the ones sinking themselves into financial misery and despair (Johnny Depp) are the ones I want to see. Sipping coffee, laughing at a sidewalk cafe with friends, walking around the Vatican like everyone else, blended and above a credit card or bank account. From the moment I rode through the streets, I wanted to leave. So I did!

Now I’m sitting comfortably in First Class barreling back to my motel in Venice! Ironic isn’t it, but for $5 more, live a little! This is my vacation after all!I look forward to strolling through the streets tomorrow, coffee in hand, not judging or feeling judged, watching the beautiful boats go by, and finding the funky Jewish section of town! What JOY!Nice car though!

Ahhh…Rome! Uno!

Thrilling and fast, as if the train never stopped. I was kept barreling through the city without revivicest. I dropped off my bag and walked around the Vatican with the heat sucking in my long sleeve black dress. I wished desperately to whip it off in exchange for a bikini and a dip in the Sea. I kept focus on the task at hand, ignoring the peddlers with their pretensions, and found my way inside the Vatican. Staring at a map, a headphone, and an app. which wouldn’t tell me where to go. An expert in a blue uniform sensed my confusion and lead the way to my beloved Sistine Chapel. I whisked past the maps, library, treasures, exquisite tapestries, knowing tomorrow I would spare my time with a guide, but today belonged to Michelangelo, indeed, most of the trip belonged to the poor non painter, sculptor, and architect.

The Chapel was not as crowded this Friday as I had been lead to believe. I saw so many breaking the rules and photographing his beautiful legacy. I could not disgrace the artist so; the entire Vatican city is available to shoot. I looked up, the fibrosis in my neck strained against me, and pain shot through my head. Tears weld in my eyes from the strain, comraderi, and the glory of story of God’s creation as seen and painted by a young Michelangelo.

I held my breath as the figures danced before my blurry eyes. I had no guide, no map in my hand to guide me, just the story. The ascent into heaven, on the wall representing the Last Judgement held me in rapture. I went scene by scene, the art in such detail the ceiling came alive. I weep now in remembrance of the beautiful fresco.

I stare. Blurry eyed, tissue in hand, at the green rolling hills as Rome falls away to reveal Florence. I met a restaurateur who lived in Rome his whole life, and never has taken the $40 train here. I am thrilled to be alive, heart open, and pushing myself to ascend from that which tries to pull me down.

From wikipedia