Thursday, June 21, 2018

The scenic path is a bit windy. And cobble-stoned.

The good stuff far outweighed the bad stuff today. But the bad stuff was still hard and I am so desperate to paint the whole story....and yet, I am a creature who always looks at the glass half full. I photograph the moments when the glass is absolutely overflowing so as to savor those and forget those empty-glassed moments. I, you know, am the blessing counter, after all.

Rome is breathtaking in its architecture. Romantic in it's winding roads, bicycle-riders, and flowers hanging from every balcony. And delicious in its street cafes boasting pizza, focaccia, and the best cappuccinos ever!

But the breathtaking architecture is often not wheelchair friendly. The romantic winding roads are cobbled and don't often sport width or curb-cut-outs that allow the wheelchair easy passage. And those street vendors are useless if the crowds surrounding them force my son to be unable to eat.


Benjamin navigating around the cutest little truck.

We spent a good portion of the day coaxing, urging, begging Benjamin to try and drive on narrow side-walks.

Some sidewalks were wide, crowd-free and perfectly easy to navigate. And they were few and far between.

Just when we would hit an open area and he could accelerate with confidence, we would hit another traffic/crowd congested area.

And those often forced me to take the joy-stick and control his wheels while navigating him out into the street and traffic because the sidewalk was impassable. Once, the cars were double-parked and I was literally staring down a speeding mini-bus hurtling towards us. The mopeds zoom in and around traffic and I was holding my breath that one would not come flying around this large vehicle and not have time to stop or room to swerve as this road was so tight. Basically, I was a walking prayer meeting today.

Wade and crew in Piazza Navona laughing because I said we should take the photo from this angle...

There were a couple of times (or maybe more) when I wanted to scream at the injustice of the level of stress required to explore this amazing city with my family. I wanted to rail, and vent, and maybe pound my fist.

But then we would do what we do as a family. We would find a spot to catch our breath and laugh at the situation -- or at Mom's losing-her-cool-attitude -- and life realigned. My heart took a breath and my boy took a bigger breath and we tried again.

And yes, we had to repeat this several times today.

But we saw the Trevi Fountain and though there were no less than a million people there (The close cropping on this photo is because they were crowded in on every side!)....and even threw our coins so that one day we could return to Rome! (Benjamin could not get down the stairs to throw his coin....admittedly he had just had to drive into oncoming traffic to get to the fountain so he wasn't sure this was a huge loss!)

Three of my four at Trevi Fountain!

We explored a market that was delightful for all our senses!

And spent some time studying the ruins of the Forum in all their majesty!

Dad reminding us he is strong enough to protect us from some very very aggressive street peddlers! :)

And we enjoyed our favorite al fresco restaurant -- the servers were delighted to welcome us back!

Tomorrow, we resume our tour with our tour guide and his accessible van. Dad was brilliant to search that out -- we will leave the navigating in their hands and not worry about curb cut-outs for the day.

Quite the creativity!

But tonight, as exhausted as I feel, I am grateful that we took today to wander the streets on our own.

And if it was hard, well, hard doesn't hurt us.

Hard makes it more memorable.

Me and my girls in the flower market -- oh how I love these two.

Doing the hard -- overcoming the hard -- is what we do as a family. It is only right that we do that while discovering Rome!

Carol - The Blessings Counter