Day 2 — My Birthday

Today is my birthday and I am celebrating it in Rome. Not too shabby. I actually slept in later than I thought and it was a Today needed sleep. Tomasso greeted me with warmth and a Buon Compleanno! He gave me a balloon with confetti inside. I had cappuccino and a hot sandwich, which tasted so good since I hadn’t eaten dinner. Too tired.

It was suggested that I walk to the Gianicolo Hill to observe a beautifuw l vista of Roma. I set out in my Sketchers on a walk much further than anticipated. I also got lost. I am hopeless when it comes to directions but in a foreign country this is even more pronounced. After many confusing and conflicting directions, I didn’t find the park, but I did get up quite high to enjoy the breathtaking view. Then the trick was finding my way back down and on the right road back to my hotel.

Admittedly, I do have residue of PTSD from all I went through with nine surgeries and complications from infection. I know that many survivors understand this. With that said, the busy traffic, famous siren noise of Italy, and getting lost caused me to panic some. There are, of course, alternatives to getting around and that could include a tour guide, bicycle if you are good at directions, and so forth.

It was quite warm going up hill for a long way but going down with a lovely breeze was refreshing. When I realized I didn’t know which street to take to find the tunnel again, I backtracked. Eventually, I ran into a kind Italian woman who spoke some English and she guided me to the right road. There seemed to be four to choose from and I was overwhelmed. Once I was led to the correct route, I took a big breath. Va benne.

Later this afternoon, I’m meeting up with an American journalist who retired early and has lived in Rome for eight years. He now writes a food and travel blog. I was connected to John Henderson through a friend in Santa Barbara. It’s an interesting blog under ‘dog eared passport’. He’s taking me to a rooftop bar for a birthday celebration, which I look forward to. The view will be amazing. Moore on this outing in tomorrow’s blog.

Time to put my feet up for a bit after that long ‘camminare’.

Keep on swimming through life,

Valerie Anne

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Valerie Anne Burns

Author, “Caution: Mermaid Crossing, Voyages of a Motherless Daughter”; Style Consultant; Film Biz Survivor; Breast Cancer Survivor; Speaker; and Beauty Seeker.