Maybe if I do a blog every other day, I can relate this magnificent trip of ours without overwhelming anyone—including me. I'm still very tired, and find myself wanting to be asleep at strange times, and wanting to be awake in the middle of the night. I'm slowly getting back to normal, though, and I pray I'll be able to stay awake during church tomorrow. Tonight I want to recount the many steps we climbed in Ancona, Italy. It was our first port after boarding the Costa Victoria, the cruise ship that was to be our home for the next week.
What a grand home it was. John and I were on the twelfth floor, one of the few cabins up there, and one of only a couple of small cabins nestled among the suites. Ben and Ruth were tucked into an outside cabin with Kate and Ashley on the eighth floor. We were on opposite sides and ends of the ship as well, so it was somewhat of a hike to get to each others' cabins, but once we learned the layout of the ship it was no problem.
Some of the photos show the many steps we climbed to get to the top of Ancona. Yes, I climbed them all. That has, along with all the climbing we did in the other cities, I'm sure, contributed to the flare up of the plantar fasciitis I'm being treated for, but some things you know are going to hurt before you do them, and you weigh the merit. Will this be worth it? Yes or no. Then you decide whether or not to go for it. I have no regrets. My memories outweigh all the pain and recuperation I'm needing, even if my physical therapist might be a little frustrated with me.
As we pulled into port, I took a few photos of the city coming into view, and realized it was built more like San Francisco, with the waterfront leading up to the interesting things on the hills. Here, however, the stairways were stone steps leading straight up, and the railings were often intermittent. Ben and Ruth led the way, with John looking very strong behind them while I brought up the rear—determined and relentless, I suppose, with plenty of stops to take pictures.
It was a wonderful day, and I guess I wasn't altogether sure I'd make it all the way to the top at one point. There was a beautiful church at the top, and incredible panoramas of the village below, with the cruise ship sitting at anchor in the harbor. It was a little overcast, but the weather was mild. If it had been hot, I'm sure I would have given out. I don't do heat gracefully, and I consider anything over 79° as punishment. ("What have I done this time, God?")
I remember suggesting to Ashley at one point that she walk and I ride in her back pack, and she thought that was pretty funny. She told me I was too big. Those kids were great. The one way Kate would usually be willing to hold my hand, for example, when she really wanted to run on ahead, was if I told her, "Don't lose Grandma!" Then she'd run back and grab my hand. They were so much fun!
So here's my slide show of Ancona. It was a great day, but they all were.