Having just returned from a two-week stint in Italy, lots of folks have been asking, “How was your vacation?” People seem surprised by my simple “good” response.
Under normal circumstances, I would say fabulous. We did some very cool stuff, saw lots of amazing sights, ate a whole lot of good food, drank quite a bit of good beer and wine, spent quality time with friends, etc. But vacationing two weeks after Mom’s unexpected passing wasn’t “normal.”
I’ve never had to work so hard, mentally, to enjoy a vacation. Nothing against the people I was with, it just took quite a bit of effort to block all the negative stuff from my head and try to enjoy Italy.
Yes, it was good to get away. But the guilt of leaving was awful. There’s so much yet to be done. Plus there are a gazillion other things one thinks about when a loved one dies.
It’s sort of like having a cold. Mornings and evenings are usually the hardest. You tend to feel worst when you are at your weakest. Once you wake up, it all gets a bit easier to bear. Then every now and then things sneak up on you and, wham, you feel crappy again.
I’m slow on the trip reporting for similar reasons. My most-faithful reader is gone. She didn’t comment much — I always gave her a hard time for that — but she enjoyed reading the blog. Her form of commenting was chatting with me about my posts. She was always telling her friends to have a look, too. Knowing that just makes sitting down to do a post doubly hard.
I’ll get the trip reports done eventually.
I’m not apologizing for being slow, I’m just trying to explain why blogging just doesn’t have the same appeal for me right now.
Anyway… back to Italy.
I’m still on day one. That’s the day we arrived. Since we had some spare time on Sunday afternoon, we visited the Duomo (Milan’s cathedral).
Or at least we tried to.
Unfortunately, thousands of other people had the same idea. The Duomo is old (construction began in 1386). It’s very big (supposedly can hold 40,000 people). It’s adorned with thousands of statues, stained glass, paintings, etc.
We were disappointed not to go inside, but neither of us could fathom standing in that line. We’ll have to go back off-season like my buddy Fuzzy who had the place almost to herself when she visited.
Seeing the outside was impressive enough.
It’s hard to explain just how big and majestic the place is. Pictures don’t do it justice. It’s hard to convey the sheer size of the place.
Click on any of the images on this page for a better view.
Because I had my zoom lens with me, I was able to capture some pretty cool images of a few statues and some other sculptures on the building’s facade.
The last image, shown below, is my favorite.
And that’s just a few of the statues. There are thousands.
Even if Milan wasn’t my favorite city, I’d still like to go back someday to see more of the Duomo.