We’re on the train to Florence which means we’re half way through our trip! Thus far, it’s been more than we had even ever dreamed of! The sun has been shining, the people have been friendly and welcoming, the scenery has been stunning and the food and wine has been unreal.
Our time in Positano was the perfect was to start our trip. We stayed at a fabulous hotel (Covo De Sarcini, highly recommend) right at the bottom of the cliffs on a small beach. It’s a fishing town so the seafood was absolutely mouth watering. I’m picky about fish so it was a shocker when I ordered mussels three times in five days. The food here in general is literally so fresh it’s hard to explain unless you’ve tasted it. I also don’t loveeeee tomatoes typically however they are so juicy and flavorful here I haven’t stopped eating them! We spent a morning at the Pompeii Ruins and it was just fascinating. Then the next day we went on a boat with about 10 other people for the day. It took us along the beautiful Almafi coast, had a few hours on the island of Capri and stopped at different grottos and let us swim around in the Mediterranean Sea. swimming was my favorite, the water is so blue and salty you float easily. We swam into the grottos and got to look up at the natural caves- it was a moment I will never ever forget. The last night we did a wine and cheese tasting. Boy the Italians do not skimp out on their wine pours- but I never complain! 🍷 There was a festival going on right outside our hotel where kids were performing ballet to mostly music from the nutcracker so we watched it from our balcony and enjoyed some music we recognize. Perfect way to end our perfect little Italian beach getaway.
Then we headed to Rome where we fell in love with this city! The history is unmatched and the vibrancy of the city life makes you smile. And of course, the food and wine is like heaven. We toured the Colosseum and got a tour in the underground tunnels where the athletes and animals would be kept before being put on the stage. Walking thru the ruins of the Roman town from 3,000 years ago and to hear about how they lived was just unreal. Yesterday we went to the Vatican and although Pope Francis was holding a mass while we were there, we were somehow not invited. But we did spend four hours going thru all the art, looking up at Michaelangelo’s work of the Sistine Chapel and then ended our time at the Basillica which was nothing like I’ve ever seen. We were lucky as the Holy Door was open, which it only is every 20 years, and it’s said that your sins are washed away as you enter thru. It was a special moment and one that I needed after the many not-so-holy thoughts I had had while touring the Vatican with an especially obnoxious visitor that was in our group and the 10,000 other visitors who bumped and shoved their way thru the museum. Okay, okay, back to the religious part of the day. My favorite part, by far, was simply getting to kneel and say a prayer in this stunning cathedral knowing the Pope had been there just an hour before.
And as beautiful as all the sites and amazing as all the history, I think my favorite memories I’ll take are just the moments Mike and I sat and people watched outside, whether it was at a small ristorante, or The Trevvi Fountain at night, or the small cafe as stopped at to get a glass of wine where we met the best couple and chatted with them for an hour or so. It has been the small moments, the moments together, feeling content and peaceful that I will take away from this trip.
My heart is so filled with gratitude for getting to have this experience. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime and I am trying not to miss out on any of the little moments. So with that, I must get back to staring out the window of this train as we pass thru the mountainside as we head to Florence.
Caio! And lots of love & light,
As I write this, I’m sitting in a small Irish pub after having Oxtail for the first time and waiting for another Guinness as I listen to two young men sing authentic Irish music. Music that reminds me of what my dad would play on Saturday mornings as we made French toast.
Today I’m in Europe. I’m in Ireland. I’m going to Italy tomorrow. I can’t believe this is my life. I can’t believe that the trip that Mike and I have talked about for 3 years has come to fruition. This trip was our end goal of years that won’t go down as the happiest but will go down as the most memorable. THIS was our goal. Traveling together was our goal. Seeing the world together was our goal.
Today we reached our goal. Today our goals were exceeded when we were in St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the main priest came over to us as we were quietly taking in the beauty that this church was and said “he wanted us to experience something.” After having us pray in a pew that is 400 years old–out loud to him—he took us to a door that had once been used by the church when murderers were trying to get in. They cut a hole in the door so that they could stick their hands out to shake hands to signify that they were going to try to be peaceful. The door has been preserved but isn’t open to the public. Yet, somehow, “Father Tony” saw us and asked us if he could “do something special for us.” So he took us to the original door and trusted that we put our our hands thru the hole and ask those who we’ve wrong done to, to forgive us. Then, he had Mike go to the other side and he had us reach thru to touch our own hands. We promised to be loyal to each other, to always try to understand each other, to always be faithful, to always honor each other and most importantly, we promised to love each other deeply forever. All in a chapel that is hundreds of years old, with Father Tony, lingering around the corner with excitement.
It may not have been July 22, 2017, but it felt like wedding bells were ringing as I swore to be a good wife to an Irish Father.
Then as a typical Mike and I move, we headed from the beautiful church to the beautiful Guiness factory. It was incredible. HUGE. The history was wow-worthy and the “stouts” were even better.
After we had gotten enough of the Guinness factory, we headed to a small pub (because thank god I had barely eaten all day!). As we arrived, it was relatively quiet but the menu looked authentic and there are Guinness’s on the menu. In. What made it magical was when two young men came with their guitar and violin and began performing traditional Irish music. THIS WAS AMAZING!!!!!!! They played so many great songs but as they began “Wild Rover” and asked if anyone knew it to sing along, I was THRILLED to get scream “this American knows!!!”
What a day! And it was only the layover.
Lots of love & light,
P.S. Yes, I made a custom shirt with Phoebes face on it so she got to come on the trip too. SUE ME
I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I wrote a post. I can blame it on the fact I’ve been quite the busy lady in August, from bachelorette weekends to concerts to Red Sox games to doggy ice cream socials to creating a 6-page itinerary of our upcoming Italy trip, it’s been a whirlwind month but if I’m being honest, there’s another reason I haven’t written too. I have a bit of guilt that’s kept me from writing. I used to write this blog in a hospital room when I was feeling lonely or sad or scared or upset to get my emotions out. I still have feelings of isolation or sadness or anxiety but I don’t feel like I have the right to express myself when so many things have gone right for me recently. What do I have to complain about when I know there are so many people still suffering? I know that this blog should be a safe space for me but, like everyone, I worry about what others will think. What you will think. Whether or not somebody will roll their eyes when they read my posts. People might think this is weird but I almost feel more vulnerable expressing my feelings now than when I was going through treatment. My day to day isn’t “interesting” to the outside world anymore. And god damn, I’m so happy it isn’t! My trials and tribulations are just like everyone else’s — a normal 27 year old, trying to figure out the whole work-life-love balance.
After going through cancer, I feel such a large responsibility to myself and every single person who gave me my health back to make the most of life, to be the happiest, healthiest version of myself. But sometimes having pressure to be happy, to be content, to be “living life to the fullest” is overwhelming. I learned so strongly how quickly life can change and so I hate when I feel like I’m “wasting time” or not making the most of everything.
So this was a bit of rant but sometimes that’s when I get my truest feelings out and that’s what I’m going to continue to do, keep being honest and as open as I can be. I’ll keep this blog as a place for what’s going on in my life– whether it’s inspirational or not, it’s what’s happening in my life.
On a brighter note, something that just happened in my life was getting the opportunity to be interviewed for the Red Sox pre-game show with Tom Caron last night to tell my story as a way of raising awareness and garnering funds for the Jimmy Fund. I had an absolute blast and was ready to start handing out my number to the staff to try to get me my own show! haha boy, I just loved it! 🙂 Here are some pics :
Lastly, Mike and I leave for Italy vacation this coming Monday. I went to Dana Farber today and was so relieved to find out that everything still looks good and I’m in the clear to head abroad. I’m beyond excited!