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May 19, 2017 09:30AM
HI Sylvia and all my friends here,
It is strange to be back, I'm sure that won't last. But I realize that something I almost never thought of while away was the word "cancer". Now that I'm home, it's again part of the pattern that is my life, and pops in and out of my mind. Home is a heavy weight sometimes, it is memories of pain and grief, but also of many happy times, and people dear to me.
The morning after leaving Corfu we found ourselves sailing through a beautiful bay, 28 miles of a narrow inlet surrounded by towering mountains, our destination at the end was Kotor, Montenegro; an old walled city. There was a celebration planned on the top deck as we sailed in but it got rained out, I just watched from my balcony in my bathrobe. Here we took a ride up to one of the mountaintops, high above the bay and visited another restaurant hanging on the mountainside where we were fed more crusty bread and the ham that is so prevalent in this area. In Italian it is called prosciutto, here it is called prsut, or something like that. We visited a farm where pigs are raised to make the ham, and wandered through little picture-postcard villages tucked away into little valleys. Just a beautiful place. That evening we had dinner in the walled city, I had a platter of fresh seafood; mussels, shrimps, octopus, fish and something I wasn't sure of but it was good too. My sis-in-law is quite athletic, so she did the "steps" climb. There is a stone staircase of 1660 steps leading on an old tower, and many tourists make the walk to see the view from the top. Pam went with another passenger, I stayed below and was kind to my knee. They went half-way only, her fellow climber got a bit winded. Had a great time, and the next morning found us in the port of Dubrovnik, Croatia. This is another old walled city, with a much bigger wall. There has also been a lot of building going on here, tons of fancy apartment buildings going up near their very attractive seaside areas. Our tour took us into the countryside with a stop at an old mill, where we were showed how they made their clothing in earlier times, and the giant wheels where they ground their grain. These countries of the old Yugoslavia are very clean places, people seem very healthy and there are fresh markets everywhere with produce brought into town daily. Our ship left port early that day, so we didn't go into the walled city. The next day we were in Koper, Slovenia. There we went into the country again and visited the 430-year old stud farm of the famed Lippizaner horses, which were the preference of Emperors back in the day. We were guided around this farm, saw the horses up close and personal (big beautiful babies), and then were treated to an exhibition of their talents. Truly amazing, these horses dance and prance and bow and stand on their hind feet. They are born black, but all are white as adults. Again, the country is spotless, the people are tall and healthy-looking and outdoorsy. They did not give us any ham! I did buy some lemonade, not like ours, theirs is lemon, water, and basil. As the little girl selling it said, "It's healthy". Beautiful place.
And the next day we were in Venice; a lot of tourists although we were told this is nothing to what will be here in July and August into September. We went through the Great Cathedral of St. Mark, and the Doge's Palace, and had a gondola ride. Then the tour went back, and we stayed on and just wandered through the streets, we had no idea where we were but we seemed to go in circles and always ended up back in the Square. We did enough shopping that we finally returned to the ship because we were tired of carrying our bags. The only way to get around the old city is by water, so we had to be careful to get on the right boat.
I didn't mention but everywhere we went we went into old churches, some so beautiful it's hard to believe how old they are. The murals and frescos look very fresh. As does the Doge's Palace with all it's gold and vivid colors.
The next morning it was time to leave the ship, and our long day home started very early. i got up at 3 AM Venice time Tuesday and walked into my house at 1:30 AM Wednesday my time, would have been 8:30 AM in Venice. We did have some airport difficulties.
Overall, I cannot even say how much I enjoyed this trip, and so did my sis-in-law. We saw a lot in the time we had, and realize there is so much more to see and do.
I will now stop with the travelogue, and return to normal, whatever that is.
Hope all are doing well today, and all snafus overcome.
2/2014, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 2/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
2/19/2014 Mastectomy: Right
3/17/2014 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)