It’s Saturday, February 2, 2019, and I am pleased to say that I had the privilege to sleep in my own bed for two whole nights before leaving town again. In the past 3 weeks, I’ve been to Baltimore and back home, then to Rome and back home, and now I am on the final leg of my monthlong journey to New Jersey for a staff retreat in Jersey City. I am heading to my parent’s place first to see my folks.
With her 2nd to last chemo treatment behind her, mom is very weak these days again. She apparently didn’t eat yesterday and she slept most of the day. I spoke with Dad a few times, who sounded like he was glad I would be coming, even if it was a short period of time. Mom has one more round of chemo this month, and then she is done…hopefully forever, but at least we know it is for now. No one can predict the future, right?
Rome was a blast, despite the blustery, rainy weather. I arrived to Rome via London on Sunday, January 27 and went to my hotel called Hotel Artemide, which is located at 22 Via Nazionale. I mention that because it was excellent and I highly recommend it! Very clean, comfortable, and excellent staff. The best parts were threefold: 1) location, 2) spa and 3) free minibar. I didn’t use the spa, but it looked really nice! It would have been great to have brought a bathing suit and taken advantage of the sauna, pools, salt room, etc. I will have to go back – I told Ted we need to stay there together!
On Monday, I booked a trip through Viator (owned by Trip Advisor) via Greenline Tours to Orvieto and Assisi. It was a great day trip. We ultimately traveled about 12 hours, but it was worth it. I had a lovely experience getting to know a Japanese-American couple from San Francisco and a Mormon couple from Salt Lake City, who were visiting Rome for the dedication of a new Mormon Temple (near Ikea, they told me). When they learned I worked for a university in Israel, they said I was doing “God’s work” and the husband said that I “must be a supporter of walls since I work for an Israeli university.” When I told him I was, in fact, not a believer in walls, he said, “Well, then you think people should be able to roam freely.” Um, look at the name of this blog?? The answer is YES! I politely told him that one of the best things about the university that I work for is “apolitical” and that they make a point of focusing on technology & science rather than politics. In fact, I told them, 22% of the student population are Arab. That seemed to shut him up.
I spent Tuesday and Wednesday “wandering” around Rome. When I calculated how much I walked between Sunday and Thursday (when I flew home), I realized I had walked nearly 20 miles. I told my dad that apparently the key to me moving more is to be in Rome. Clearly, it motivates me to walk and see the city. My friend asked me if I’d ever move back there. The answer is likely yes, but only if Ted comes with me (big smile).
For those of you keeping track, I have now lost 54 pounds. A few posts ago, I talked about the joy I felt sitting on a plane, and having room between my legs and the seat rest is bliss. Traveling to Boston—->London—>Rome, and then the reverse was cake. I wasn’t stuck in the seat the way I have been in the past. I was more comfortable and didn’t feel as self conscious. This is one metric that I can check off – flying gets a thumbs up! And now, as I write this post, I am sitting on am Amtrak train, again comfortably.
That’s about all for now. See you all again soon!