Still in Doggy Rome

Ok, so these are way behind. I’ve given up on my page. It won’t load anything. So, I’ll just post hear, so you guys now what is up with me. No, I didn’t disappear off the globe. I’m still here, actually just a little south as of now.

To begin:

Christmas and After – Discovering myself

Christmas was ok. Not what I expected. I missed being home with my family, especially this Christmas. Last Christmas was rough without my grandmother and then this year was even worse without my dad. But, I’m traveling, so it hasn’t quite hit home yet that he is gone forever.

I thought I may be able to get tickets to the Vatican for Christmas Eve Mass, but nope. My priest tried, but with Covid I think it’s extra hard. I had a hotel all lined up too, right outside the gates. And, Elizabetta said we could go in Capena, but nope, so I watched St. Boniface online. Of course it was good, Father Ferris is great, but I wanted communion. I feel abandoned by God without it. I also continue to watch Father Ferris online when there’s not a church around (as in at Elisabetta’s). I’m in Rome after all. It was a very sad Christmas. My first let down in Rome and this workaway.

January was a long cold month. Compared to Ohio I guess it was mild, but after Tahiti I freeze and my host doesn’t use central heating, because of the expense. I totally understand. She uses space heaters instead. You can only use two/three at a time or the electricity goes out or if you’re using the washer or the stove and they are on. It’s definitely something to get used to. I bundle up. I wear the coat she let me borrow all the time in the house. I’ve now gotten used to wearing tights she let me borrow as well, as an extra layer under my pants. I was opposed at first, but I got desperate and now it’s just another layer I have to put on. And, mind you, I’m not outside much. This is for the house. Plus, the last workawayer is coming back and left somethings she told me I can use. Sweaters, pants, etc. Grazie Ana and Elizabetta for trying to keep me warm. Ugh winter. Like I said before: from now on warm destinations only.

I’ve been dealing with these crazy dogs and it’s not getting much easier. Granted they are friendly and loveable (as all dogs are) but they jump and scratch and there’s just a lot of them. I’m not happy and so ready to leave. I didn’t realize what I was getting into at all. Her description on workaway isn’t clear and I suggested she change it. She was not happy with me. It’s not a workaway (5 hours a day/5 days a week). It truly is a 24/7 job. They wake me up at around 5/6 crying and god forbid they wake her up. “I have to be gentle with the dogs, talk to them like a baby, don’t yell.” But, she screams at them. She says, “I can. I am their mother.” The dogs can never be alone, so I need to be here until she gets up at noon and when she works from 3 or 5 until 1:30am. It takes 1 1/2 to get to Rome (walk 3 miles, bus 15 minutes, then train 15 minutes). So, I can’t leave. I’m stuck. Plus, it’s freezing and there is nothing close. The closest grocery store is a 5k one way. I walked there once. Ugh, I’m so, so ready to leave.

She says, “but I pay you.” 300 euro a month which equals about $10.00 a day, umm no. I made $40/50 an hour in the US doing something I love and this is vaca (with a little work to save money), not a 24/7 job. She says, “you’re just like all the other Americans.” I wonder why. Your description doesn’t say what this is and this is not a Workaway. The whole point is to be able to afford to see the world.

She’s just in over her head. She has 8 crazy dogs and works all evening/night. She over commits and does everything herself, because others don’t know anything. Which I understand, because I’m the same stubborn person, as was my father. You can only do it right if you do it yourself, but I don’t ask for help (it kinda makes me feel like less of a person if I do or lazy), but she does and either just treats you like an idiot when you do it differently or goes back and does it herself anyway.

Plus, thank you for being so sensitive, when I should be home helping my mom. But, instead came here, because I don’t back out on commitments.

Either way, I’m in Venice, free, and enjoying every second. The 600 euro is a huge help, so Grazie Elisabetta. I can’t believe I was there almost two months, well some days I can. It did seem like Forever.

I finally did a long weekend in Rome the 21st-23rd and it was fabulous. (Though, the whole reason I did this workaway was to not have to pay for hotels and both times I’ve went to Rome I had to get permission, pay my way, and lodging, so why did I waste so much time being a doggy babysitter, especially when she constantly told me I do everything wrong) She yelled at me for getting a towel dirty when I was only using it to dry the dishes like she instructed me and yes I did use it for just that. I don’t let them sit in the rack to air dry and get all spotty. She does. And, she leaves the door open all the time for the dogs and told me to too. I freeze so I don’t, I just stand there like a door man and let the dogs in and out. Yet, the one time I do she yells at me. “Don’t leave the door open. It wastes heat.” (Since, you use any anyway) Plus, I need a hair cut, bread and pasta don’t make you gain weight and …. Everything is wrong. How I am, what I do.

But, her cooking is amazing and healthy, which I appreciate. And she catered to my pescatarian diet. Fish and vegetables. I did truly appreciate that. Grazie!

I finally got my hair done after 6 months and love it. It desperately needed it and my hair guy was fabulous and cute. I went to Tony & Guy on Via di Repetta.

So, feeling good with my new fresh hair and freedom, I went to thank God at the Vatican on a Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel tour through Get Your Guide Tours. The guide was very knowledgeable. There’s so much history. It was almost overwhelming. I could spend days there and not see everything, but I saw the highlights.

The next day I took a trip through the same tour group to Pompeii. They are affordable and the guides are fantastic.

The Pompeii tour guide was extra great. I really hit it off with her and her suggestions for dining and help were much obliged.

I did some shopping in Rome and bought a purse at Aldo only to get home and realize it’s too small and took it back, then I got another one (it was so cute) but I couldn’t find anywhere to hook the shoulder strap. So, I took it back. The spot the sales girl then told me was weird, so I took forever and settled on another one. I think I like it? I’m funny, especially on a purse I use everyday and needs to look good with everything. Plus, I have to watch it now while traveling and am only allowed so much. I have a big backpack (I check), a small backpack for carryon, laptop bag and a purse. I should be ok. I always take a pair of clothes and pjs in my carry-on just in case, so this gives me a bit more room.

I was going to go to the UK to do my STCW (sailboat) safety training, but after thinking about the cold I canceled and switched to Fort Lauderdale. There are lots of opportunities on boats in the north, but like I said, I’m opting for warmer destinations. It was a bit more, but I’m going with Bluewater. They help you get a position. Plus, I need to get my ENG1 (seafarers medical check) and there are only a handful off doctors approved in the whole world and a couple happen to be in Fort Lauderdale.

I’m desperately trying to find a place to get the Covid booster. Rome is very strict on their Covid policy. You must have had your second shot within 9 months in January and 6 months in February. I’m ok, but barely and still some restaurants won’t allow me to dine there. Only Italian citizens can get the pass. I have to have a fiscal code. Which doesn’t make sense to me. If they’re at a level 4 in most parts of Rome and all of Italy is bad and they want to stop the spread, then why not allow foreigners to get the booster ?????? Same in Spain when I go to the Canary Islands, so I’m going to have to wait until Fort Lauderdale Feb. 27th. I have a lot of things I must do in just 7 days and the list keeps growing.

I have a thirst for adventure. Always Have, Alway Will. My tag line is YOLO (You Only Live Once) or in my case ++++ times, yet I continue to live my life to the fullest. Since, we're here for only a short time, I take advantage of everything that comes my way. I want to seize every moment, see and experience all can. I have been very blessed. So far I've had the opportunity to travel to over 30 countries, fought (in a cage) yes fought, lived through a tragic head-on collision with a semi, strut my stuff on a stage in 4" heels as a bodybuilding bikini girl. (I'll get more into those later) Yes, most would say I'm crazy, but I continue to push the button. My new, crazy obsession is to travel the globe taking on and conquering new challenges. I want to surf in Sayulita, Mexico, run a marathon in Greece, bungee jump in Macau, etc. (My bucket list is long). As I embark on my challenges, I plan to share with you my trials and tribulations leading up to these challenges, budget travel tips & tricks (I'm a very thrifty traveler), fun exercises to prepare me for the task ahead, new exciting things to see and do in the locale I'm in, restaurants to try, the people I meet, etc. Join me in my adventures :)