We are here! A little worse for wear, but preparing to have a great time, with pictures added each day, hopefully. I had surgery last Tuesday to place a new pacemaker with defibrillator that required me to stay a night in the hospital, because I was slow to overcome the anesthesia. Still, the doctor said I could come to Italy.
I cannot raise my left arm or put it behind my back for six weeks, but I cannot think of any instance where I need to do so. I am sore and in a little pain, but Tylenol is enough to take care of it. I am on no other medications, except I start a beta blocker when I return home.
Three flights in twenty-four hours and a four-hour drive to Atlanta means we are taking today easy, planning to start tomorrow. But, what a beautiful country. We are staying in a less visited region, called Abruzzo, in Montesilvano, Pescara. Driving 90 minutes from the Ancona airport, we saw snow-covered mountains, rolling hills, vineyards on steep hillsides, and the magnificent Adriatic Sea, which is a five-minute walk from our Airbnb apartment.
Douglas had his driving prowess tested when we arrived in the city. In Italy, you have to learn how to seize left turns, putting your nose out in the traffic, hoping nobody hits you. Stopping to let someone turn is not a part of the Italian drivers’ behavior. It is as if there are no traffic rules but be as aggressive as possible! They come around you and make right turns, if you are too slow.
My nerves will be either completely shot or I will become a very calm passenger. Motorcyclists seems to have death wishes, and act like there are no lanes to maintain. It is nerve-wracking, but wow, it is also great fun to watch! It is like seeing a synchronized act, to watch the drivers interact with each other. You must be quick on the brakes! Yeah, Douglas will do the driving, for sure!
It is cloudy today, and it has rained a lot. Douglas decided, after a particularly stressful drive last night to the Burger King, that today is a rest day. He did go to the store, and we have food. I have to use my phone to translate what I am eating, particularly meats, but we plan to eat lunches and most dinners out and cook breakfasts. We do plan to become gourmands of Italian fare. We have a cooking class, complete with wine for Douglas, on Friday!
Our paradigm for traveling is not to try to experience everything in two weeks. We plan to see Florence, Pompeii, Naples, and maybe a couple of days in Rome. But for the most part, we plan to ensure we rest in between, being in our late sixties, but also, relishing what we can do. We will let some things slide, while attempting to maximize our time and experiencing as much of Italy as possible. We realize that you would need months to see it all.
So, as I am listening to Douglas snoring in the next room, I know that a day recovering from nearly thirty hours of being awake and on the move (I cannot sleep on planes) is the best strategy. We will walk later in the evening to acclimate ourselves to places and spend time next to the Sea. But resting these old bodies will replenish our energies for the next two weeks.
This is different from when I traveled alone before, wearing myself out filling every minute with activity. I worried about getting my money’s worth. With age, I have learned that just laying on the beach and including rest in the equation means a better trip and less feeling bad.
Thanks for all your prayers for my successful surgery. It was a little more than I expected. But praise be to God for all going well and for safe journeys. I will write less, of course, but try not to miss my beloved prompts. Arrivederci, for now!