Monday Musings: What I Learned on my Vacation

I’m back in action after a sort-of-hiatus while I adventured across France and Italy.  Let me start off by saying, it was a perfectly delightful trip, and my only complaint is that I wish it could have been longer.  Although, given the amount of croissants, wine, pain au chocolat, foie gras, macarons and gelato I ate, it’s probably a good thing it didn’t last any longer.

Let me continue by saying, despite the end result of a perfect vacation, it certainly didn’t feel perfect when I was sitting on a curb in Rome on our second day, sobbing uncontrollably, watching my ankle swell obscenely fast, and blubbering about how I had ruined our trip completely while simultaneously wondering why my body seems out to get me this year.

Yes, I sprained my one remaining good ankle (though I guess it’s not fair to see it’s good anymore) on our second day of vacation–and badly.  No, I was not doing anything exciting. I was walking down the street, hit an uneven edge, and rolled it hard. You know your sprain is bad when it balloons in seconds, and when the staff inside a (thankfully) nearby Pharmacia literally springs to action the second they see it, grabbing anything in sight that could help despite our inability to speak a word of Italian. It’s something so perfectly me to do on vacation.

Alas, although it put a major damper on that afternoon for me, it did not ruin our trip at all. In fact, by the time we got to Cinque Terre I was able to hike just as I wanted. And, though injuries on vacation are not something I recommend, I did learn a few things from this one:

1. Ice and crutches are hard to come by in Italy…in fact, they may not actually exist.  All we were able to find were these instant cold packs that you slam against a hard surface to activate, and even those weren’t easy to come by. I’m not ashamed to admit I used a mini-bar Coke bottle to tame my swelling at one point…and then returned it to the mini-bar.  Sorry to the person that eventually consumes that bottle! Our search for crutches came up short, even with the help of our hotel concierge.  We went in countless pharmacias, all to no avail. I do not know what Italians do when they injure themselves, but they clearly don’t make use of crutches.

2. Gelato has magical healing powers: I heal pretty quickly from sprains, but this was a bad one, and I was back to walking 10-15 km/day and hiking within days.  I attribute this quick improvement to increased gelato consumption. I am not even ashamed to admit there were days when I had gelato three times. Since my injury exponentially improved the more gelato I consumed, I’m now certain gelato has some sort of magical ingredient that promotes healing.

3. My boyfriend is the most patient person on the planet: Not only did he have to deal with the blubbering, sobbing curb moment, but he also convinced a reluctant cab driver to take us back to the hotel (without Italian), made sure I was well-stocked with ankle tape, went out to get me croissants and coffee the next morning because there was nothing close to our hotel, dealt with my slow hobble through the Rome train station as if it was nothing, went in and out of countless Pharmacias trying to find me crutches, and never once complained about how we might miss out on sight-seeing because of my injury. He is the best.

For those of you less interested in hearing about yet another one of my injuries, I plan to post about our hikes in Cinque Terre, including photos. Until then, I am filled with wonderful memories of our trip and the distinct feeling that 2016 is meant to be my year of injuries.




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