Day 9: A trip to the Veterinario and some photos from the neighbourhood

Day 9

Around 4 am. Pearl is in my face and making these desperate sounding noises. I knew she had to go. Going out for a walk in a strange city around 4 AM is a little scary! I just kept walking in circles around our little alley until she went and went again and again each one progressively more liquid. I was so glad we went outside! If blood and guts freak you out, you should probably skip to the end of this post or to the next one. Back to bed again, until Pearl woke me up around 7. At this point I’ve starting thinking that maybe a visit to a veterinarian will be necessary, but figure I’ll wait a bit and see if she improves. Miss Pearl has had a lot of changes of climate, diet and water and she might just need to adjust. No such luck! By 9 she has gone a few more times and now it is completely liquid.

What did we do before Google? I searched nearby veterinarios and then started reading reviews. I found one with a ton of good reviews and some of them mentioned that the vet spoke English — perfect! Except whoever answered the phone did not. After a lot of struggling on both sides, I determined that the first available appointment was the following morning at 11 am and booked it. I was now I’m feeling pretty proud of myself. Isn’t there a saying about hubris and downfalls? I believe there is and if not there should be. On our next walk Pearl was just shitting blood, poor baby. Back to Google. I found another vet not too far away and there google entry said they had emergency services. Another phone call, another struggled with explaining in Italian what was wrong with my dog. This time I managed to get an appointment for the afternoon. I thought it was at at 3 o’clock although when I arrive just before three I found out that they were closed until 3:30 and that’s when my appointment was. Even though it was closer than others it was still quite far away and I didn’t want to get lost so we had taken a taxi there. The taxi driver came into the vets with me to ask about how long it would be so he could return to pick me up. It wasn’t in a great part of town and they definitely were not TAXI stands around so I was very happy that he was willing to do this. So Pearl and I walked up and down the street and then we sat in the lobby of the vet’s and then we walked up and down the streets a little more and finally it was 3:30. I rang the little bell again in the bed assistant or receptionist or whatever he was came out and said “5 o 10 minuti in più”. I was pretty sure that’s what he said and that it meant 5 or 10 more minutes. A few minutes later another man comes rushing through the front door, goes in through the inner door and then comes rushing back out and shakes my hand and introduces himself as Marco lo Tuso. We go back into the clinic and Pearl gets weighed. She’s lost half a pound, but that might be partly from all of the walking we’ve been doing. Marco tells me he speaks some English because he has a client from the north of England. This is difficult to understand as it is said almost completely in Italian, so I used my favourite expression — ripeti per favore until I finally understood. Thank god I had thought to bring Pearl’s health documents to the visit. They may not have been needed to get into Italy, but they came in very handy now. They had all of her basic info. I just had to tell him about the vomito e diarheo. Once again google translate came in handy at times. I had brought a feces sample and he took a blood test, both of which were negative. He gave her a shot of antibiotics just in case and sent us on our way with some stomach pills and prescription food for sensitive stomachs. He told me to call if she did not get better, but that he suspected her problems were do to all the changes she’d encountered over the past week especially the change in water. For now my spoiled puppy is drinking only bottled mineral water.

In case you ever need a vet in Palermo, Sicily

I was determined to have a slow day today. There was nothing much that I could do to help with the funeral preparations from Palermo and I was still coughing and blowing my nose. Miss Pearl was under the weather, although just like when you bring your sick child to the doctor, the visit alone seemed to have miraculous healing powers. I thought we would just take a few short walks around the neighbourhood and finally have dinner at the ristorante Bistro Bistrot next door. Well, kind of next door. Their back door was actually across the alley from my front door. The customers always looked happy and there was a window in the kitchen where I had watched the chefs and smelled delicious aromas.

A few blocks away from the apartment there was an excavation of a 200-300 AD Palace. Underneath the portico are mosaics 2,000 + years old. I tried to take a photo, but it was too dark to see them. You can actually still make out some of the scene which is just amazing!

Maybe this is part of the reason I’m so tired:)

Day 8: Banking in Sicily

So much for a good night’s sleep! First Pearl vomited — on my bed — around 2 am and I had to clean that up. After getting rid of the worst of it, I stuck the comforter in the shower ran some water over it and figured I would deal with that in the morning. No rest for the weary though,  while cleaning up the vomit, I discovered that Pearl had peed and pooped in a corner of the kitchen. So I had to clean that up too. She NEVER has accidents! I hoped this was not a trend. Half an hour later I’m finally back in bed and sleeping soundly.

Pearl was a little sluggish, but hungry in the morning, so I gave her some of the chicken and the juice it had cooked in, but no rice since that had all come in the early morning.

A trip to a bank or some kind of cash machine was a necessity soon. I had planned on paying for the car from Rome to Civitavecchia by credit card, but the driver’s POS was not working, so I ended up paying €140 cash. This left me very low on cash especially after buying a bunch of staples for the week. 

I was not looking forward to this adventure. Everything I read while planning the trip, had warned me that banking in Sicily was not going to be as easy as it had been elsewhere in the world. Once you get past the language barrier that is. My first try was the Bank of Sicily. I waited in line to use an ATM only to find a notice saying that only customers of the bank and residents of Sicily could use the ATMs. Back to the drawing board. I had noticed a couple of ATMs outside shops near the apartment and wondered about using those, but first I wanted to check with somebody local. I contacted our landlord because I figured he would know. He’s been an Airbnb host for a few years and must of had this question before. He thought they were safe, so we went out to try them. Unfortunately neither of them worked.

Fine, now it was lunchtime so back to the apartment to have a sandwich and figure out what to do next. I had a delicious sandwich with my provisions from the market and gave Pearl a little more chicken. She really wasn’t herself. She didn’t want to play. She just wanted to lay on the couch. This was worried me a little, but it was too early to worry too much.

While I ate I went online and looked for suggestions for foreigners banking in Sicily. A lot of it was old or inaccurate, for instance they suggested you go to the bank of Sicily. I did find a few references to Bancomats and thought that might be something to follow up. I also rechecked my money wondering if maybe I could make it until we got to Siracusa where my landlady had said she would help with anything I needed, but I only had about €60. That be tight for food for the week plus bus or train tickets to Siracusa. Also, if we did have to go to a vet I didn’t know if they would take credit or if I would need cash. Time to find a Bancomat.

Google maps suggested the bank of Sicily but I already knew that wouldn’t work. However, there was another bank not too much further — BNL. I recognized the name from one of our walks and even had an idea of where it was. I even found it without too much trouble! I put my Master Card into one of the ATM machines, because in my experience they are more accepted at foreign backs. First I tried to get €300, but after going through all of the steps, it spit out my card instead of money. Okay, I had read somewhere about low withdrawal limits, so I tried €250. Same thing — the machine spit out my card and then did it again for €200. Now what? On the off chance that it might work, I stuck in my Tangerine card and tried for €250. It worked! I thought about immediately getting out more, but that might be tempting fate, so I controlled myself and rushed out before anyone came and stopped me.

Time to celebrate with a cappuccino and maybe a piccolo cannoli. Yes I knew it was too late! You’re not supposed to order a cappuccino after noon, but you know what screw it. I wanted a cappuccino and I was going to have a cappuccino. And do you know what there was no reaction to my order. No raised eyebrows, no one asked if I was sure, they just gave me a cappuccino. And not even a real cappuccino a decaf cappuccino!

I honestly don’t know what happened the rest of the day. I FaceTimed with family. Ate leftover chicken and pasta with a salad and walked some more.
I only had a couple of changes of clothes so as long as i was washing the comforter, at least the messy part and all around it, I also washed some of my clothes in the kitchen sink. I towel dried them and then hung them on a drying rack which I placed in front of the bedroom heater. Not as good as the warming racks in some bathrooms, but it would do.

Pearl still had diarrhea, so I wasn’t taking any chances! I was walking her every couple of hours at a minimum. Our last walk was around 11 pm. Or so I thought!

Day 7: Feeling sick and sick at heart

I had a cold when I left and it has been getting better and then getting worse again since I arrived in Rome. Listening to the sound of church bells and thinking about how I really don’t want to get up, but Pearl needs to go out, so staying in bed is not an option. She seems a little out of sorts too, so maybe we could have a quiet day. Mostly I’ve been waisting time until it is late enough at home to call. I had an email from home asking if I wanted to reconsider coming home, but now I was another 1000 km away making it even more difficult. I felt very torn and just wanted to crawl under the covers and cry, but then I’d have a doggy accident to clean up, so I made myself get dressed and ate a piece of toast and jam while my espresso brewed. I am definitely getting one of those little pots when I get home. It is almost as fast as a Nespresso and so much less waste!

One thing that is hard to find in Palermo is bread. They have buns to choose from in Panini shops and lots of dry breads and crackers in stores, but even in the market I didn’t see any bread. Maybe I just had to get there earlier so that is the direction we headed. Since like Rome there is almost no grass or dirt, dogs do their business on any sidewalk, road or square. Pearl complied before we arrived at that market, not that she would have been the only dog doing it there and at least I clean it up. I don’t think that all the doggy doo-doo that you need to watch out for is from the strays! No bread, but I found a nice warm pair of slippers for €4. The one not so great thing about the apartment was that it was cold. The 2 small air conditioning/heating units were not enough to heat a big apartment in a building made of 2 foot deep stone blocks. I was also keeping my eyes open for a wool sweater.

Pearl’s poo was little runny so I bought some chicken legs and rice to boil since they are easy for dog’s to digest. I also got a boneless chicken breast for me. The butchering was a thing of beauty to watch and in no time, instead of a fat, misshapen breast, I had 2 perfectly flat and even fillets. I wish I had filmed it, but I had no idea the butcher was going to perform this magic! I asked the butcher where to find bread and le voila he had 2 little loaves! Now I could make sandwiches for lunch!

Next stop the guy with sauces and pestos. A little pesto basilica spread on the breast before I rolled it up might be nice. With a little pasta of course! The next stop. So many pastas to choose from including these!

The lemon seemed to be a good choice. Now I just had to find my way home. Not a problem! Pearl remembered every turn along the way and brought us directly back to the apartment without getting lost one. although we did stop for a little play time with a puppy she had met the day before.

Grief has a way of distorting time and the 6 hour difference didn’t help. It was only 5 am at home and it felt like I had been waiting to call for days.

Might as well start boiling the chicken. One problem I have with most Airbnbs is the old scratched non stick pans. I started some water and the chicken legs boiling in one and soon tossed out the water and started again in an enamel coated pot I found. As soon as the water in the first pot had started getting hot, a layer of scum (not from the chicken) coated the sides of the pan and the top of the water – gross! Chicken and water boiling away, minus the scum it was time to check email again. Still nothing, but some of my Facebook friends are early risers and some are from time zones closer to me, so I put up a post about my mom. Within 10 minutes I had responses so I didn’t feel totally alone in the world.

At some point in the day I did manage to get in touch with Joan and we chatted for a bit about arrangements. There are so many details Apart from the actual funeral arrangements. Four instance where is everybody going to sleep? My niece Carla was coming home from England and Teresa and her family we’re already staying in my moms apartment except for my nephew Patrick who is going to bunk on a couch somewhere when he arrives.We decided that my cousin Peggy would stay at my apartment and I was trying to remember what state I left it in. I knew for sure that I hadn’t change the sheets on the bed. I remember thinking about it and deciding I’d rather do it when I got home because my apartment gets so dusty. Oh well

Time to add the rice to the chicken and water. The chicken was starting to fall off the bones. And it’s time to make my dinner. I spread some pesto on the chicken fillets stuck on some water for pasta and poured some oil into an enamel lined frying pan. Hum the flame on the burners was either high or very high. I text my landlord to see if there was some sort of trick but he said no you just use a smaller burner if you need less heat. So I use the smaller burner smallest burner but I still had to keep taking the frying pan off the heat for a while letting it just cook in the hot oil then putting it back on taking it off etc. Surprisingly it turned out very well, kind of caramelized. So dinner for both of us a walk and then bed. Have you ever noticed how exhausting grief is. I remembered the tiredness from Pat’s death. Plus I was still sick so best to get a good nights sleep

Day 6: Benvenuti a Palermo

Even though check-in time at my Airbnb is officially 3 pm, my wonderful landlord Giuseppe, agreed to meet me at my Palermo home away from home at 10:30 am. Since it was only 9 am when we disembarked, I decided to walk. Finding a way out of the port was a lot more challenging than I expected, but I just kept saying to people “la città è così” and pointing in some direction. They would either say “sì” or “no” and point another way. I felt very proud of myself when we arrived at a city street. Now to try and navigate to Quattro Canti area of Palermo. Have I mentioned how bad google maps and apple maps are in European cities. In Toronto, they re-route me if there is construction or heavy traffic. Not so in Europe! However, I knew that I needed to head away from the sea, so that’s what we did. I just kept heading toward the mountains until we arrived at some larger streets that google maps recognized. I’m not saying that google and apple maps won’t give you a route. They will. It just may be one that takes you in circles and on roads with no sidewalks. So I’ve learned to try to just go in the general direction of the route suggested. I knew that the Airbnb was in the historic area in a part of the city with restricted vehicle access, so when we arrived at a beautiful piazza with a road blocked off to traffic, I figured we were close enough that I could breathe a sigh of relief and have a cappuccino! Pearl had some water, I sipped my coffee and all was right with the world until a couple of police officers went by on horseback. Pearl does NOT like horses and she told the world how she felt. I was afraid that we were going to be kicked out of the restaurant, but we just got a few disdainful looks. Nevertheless I thought it best not to push our luck and quickly finished my cappuccino so we could be on our way. It turns out it that it is not only police officers riding horses in the historic area, there are also many horse drawn buggies. After a few bouts of hysteria from Pearl, I decided to pickup  her and cover her eyes whenever a horse approached. Thank the goddesses that my arm had gone back down to its normal amount of swelling, otherwise I’m not sure if we would ever have made it to our apartment. We did though and it was beautiful. A huge contrast to the Airbnb in Rome. As was Giuseppe. We got a little lost right at the end of our journey and there was no Giuseppe at the place we ended up. I texted him and he responded immediately and told me to go back out to the main street and I would see him waving. He was and we found him. Giuseppe said that for some reason google maps sent everyone to the wrong place. Mind you, these are really alleys, not streets and there is no egress at the other end, so I suppose google can be forgiven — this time!

Giuseppe grabbed my laden suitcase and opened the door to a spectacular indoor courtyard — with an elevator! Even though the building was obviously hundreds of years old.

Giuseppe showed me around the apartment and how everything worked. There was espresso and tea and those little dry toasts with jam, so I at least had breakfast. There was also soap, shampoo and toilet paper which not every Airbnb is supplied with. There was even a little sewing kit with multiple colours of thread! He also gave me a map and showed me where the markets, Cathedral and the sea were. Pearl and I wished him buona giornata and settled in. We had not even finished unpacking when we got a text with restaurant suggestions, cool places to go and directions to a grocery store. Definitely a super host! 

I would have loved to just rest for a bit, but I was starving, so off we went to explore the neighbourhood. At least this time we did not run into a randy feral dog. On the way to the apartment, a big black lab chased us for blocks because he was determined to try to make babies with my little Pearl! I had to keep kneeing him away and ducking into shops! I told Giuseppe about the encounter and he said it was unusual. He said most of the strays get plenty to eat and are not at all aggressive. I felt much better after hearing that but I still kept my eyes open for that big black lab. A block or two up the street there was a little street food place that was open and I nervously decided to try arancini. I had tried it before at Fortinos and had thrown it out, but figured this was the birthplace some 10,000 years before, so they should have perfected it by now! I took home the zucchini and mozzarella one and it was nothing like the one at Fortinos. I could have eaten 6 of them, it was so good. Although I might have exploded because they are the size of deep fried tennis balls.

Pearl also had lunch and now we were both ready to do some exploring. Giuseppe had pointed out 3 markets within a 15 minute walk and I decided to go to the one he said was best for vegetables and cheese. It only took us 25 minutes to walk to the one 10 minutes away. Partly because I got a little lost, but mainly because everything was incredible! We were staying in the Quattro Canti district an area that all the tours guides say you must visit and it’s true. You must! Every building is ancient and there are piazzas after piazzas full of amazing statues, fountains, churches and buildings that look like palaces. BUT look out for the crazy drivers! I don’t know why people talk about the drivers in Rome. They stop for pedestrians, they let other cars in and you rarely hear car horns. Palermo on the other hand is exactly the opposite. There is a constant beeping of car horns to tell people other cars, motorcycles, bicycles and horses to get the f***k out of their way. I often had to scoop Pearl up and jump out of the way or press myself against a building in an alley where vehicles are prohibito. You may remember me complaining about cars and vans parking in pedestrian crosswalks. Well in Rome that was only at some crosswalks, in Palermo it is every crosswalk. I understand why there are so many churches. People must be constantly praying to arrive safely at their destination.

The Ballaro market was worth it though. A mix of sound, smells and languages — Italian, Sicilian and Arabic. While listening carefully for the sound of a motorcycle and being prepared to leap out of the way, we walked through most of it and then I started buying some food. I got the leanest, roast beef slices I have ever seen, some parmesan, a little Gorgonzola and accidentally a lot of pimento and olive cheese. I asked for mezzo giri di formaggio, but something got lost in translation because when I got home, I discovered due mezzo giri di formaggio — two half rounds of pepper and olive cheese! Some bread, a cone (yes that’s correct – a cone) of ripe tomatoes, some lettuce and olives and I was all set. We took a different way back, not on purpose, but we ended up in this gorgeous square with a large fountain encircled by statues, so once again getting lost was a good thing. After a wander around the immediate neighbourhood, it was time to get back to the apartment and call home. I talked briefly with my sister Teresa and gave her a tour of my great apartment, but everyone was very busy there so after a short conversation, we promised to talk later.

Next we set out to do a little more exploring. Have you ever been someplace where the number of things to take pictures of is so overwhelming that you end up not taking pictures at all. That’s basically what happened to me this afternoon. It’s OK though we have another six days to explore and take pictures.And maybe over the course of the week Pearl will get used to seeing dogs everywhere and stop freaking out about it. For now it is time to head back home and make a delicious super with my goodies from the market and then FaceTime with someone from home before falling into bed.

Day 5: Arrivedérci Roma

Day 5: arrivedérci roma

Courier arrived 40 minutes early, but I was almost ready for him to whisk a suitcase off to Siracusa to be waiting on my arrival. Now that everything was packed except for my pyjamas I thought to myself  “brilliant idea sending this bag on.” There was still a lot to carry: my carry-on bag, my knapsack, Pearl’s sling, Pearl’s travel crate, my camera bag and my purse, but it was manageable. The sling, knapsack and my coat (or one part of it) ,if the day warmed up would all fit in Pearl’s travel crate which had a sleeve that fit over the handle of the carry-on suitcase, so camera bag and purse over my shoulders and across my body, suitcase with travel crate in my left hand and pearls leash in my right. Va bene, we could do this!

After a couple of days off almost going away, my never ending cold was back, so sad. My nose was constantly running and I had a nasty cough, so I decided that we would just have a very quiet last day in Rome and leave for the train station around two. And then I tried to put on my compression sleeve. Excuse the profanity but, “Oh shit!” Both my hand and arm were hugely swollen, worse than they have been in a long time. Scratch the idea of taking a train to Civitavecchia. I called Victor at the front desk and asked him to try and get a private car to take me to the ferry in Civitavecchia. He said he thought he could find out and he would call me back within 10 minutes. Amazingly it was probably only five minutes. Victor may be the only person I met in Rome who’s 10 minutes are less than 10 minutes rather than more than 30 minutes! Success! I had a car for the hour to hour and a half journey to Rome’s Port city. It was not cheap at €140 but, it was necessary. I knew that if I tried to drug luggage and pearl on and off transport my arm might be tripled in size by the end of the day and that gets dangerous. So screw it! Life is short and death is long. If there is a way to make life better why not take it!

Victor & Pearl
I highly recommend this hotel.

I brought all her stuff down to reception for Victor to keep an eye on and Pearl and I went for our last ramble around the neighbourhood. Wow what a difference the day of the week makes! We wandered over to St Peter’s and the Square was full of people! There was a huge lineup encircling the whole square of people waiting to get into the Basilica. Earlier in the week in the mornings, there had been a few people and at times no people waiting in line! Heading in the other direction, we wandered down to Piazza del Risorgimento and sat in the sun for a while. It was about 8 or 9 degrees celsius, so it felt quite warm in the sun. La Piazza del Risorgimento is a good place to people watch, so we stayed for an hour or so, until lunch time. 

I tried again to get some pasta at Pastasciutta. Today it was open, but there was a huge line up and I’m not good at them at the best of times. Not feeling well and having a restless dog with me, made this place a no-go. I decided to go back to Ristorante Da Marcello where I had dinner the night before. They also make their own pasta, they welcomed Pearl (including bringing her a dish of water) and it is very close to the hotel. If you ever go to Rome, I highly recommend it! The address is Borgio Pio, 87, a short walk from St Peter’s piazza. Pasta Carbonara or Alfredo hmm? I went with the Alfredo thinking it would be slightly less heavy and it was delicious. Pearl had some kibble and a drink of water and lay down for a nap while I ate, so all was good. 

After a delicious meal (for me and Pearl seems to like her kibble too) we went back to the hotel to wait for our car on the roof garden. I took the opportunity to Facebook with my siblings before heading out to sea and being completely incommunicado for many hours. I told my mom I loved her and she seemed to be a little more aware for a moment, but I was probably imagining it. My mom was getting morphine every hour and really it was just a matter of when, not if she would pass, so I knew this was very likely to be my last goodbye to her. 

A few minutes before 3 pm Victor came up to the roof to tell us the car had arrived. He sent us down on the elevator and followed with our luggage which he handed off to the driver Giovanni. Once again I was glad that I had changed my mind about the train. With massage, the swelling in my arm had been slowly decreasing, but juggling luggage might have reversed that improvement. Good bye Rome!

Pearl and I slept on and off on the ride to the port, so the time passed quickly. Every so often I would wake and look at the countryside, but often there were tall sound barriers hiding it, so I would nod off again. We got to Civitavecchia in record time – 65 minutes, but then we had to find our way. Silly me, I had assumed my driver would know where he was going, but that was not the case. He followed the signs to the dock for my ship only to be told that we had to go back, so that I could check in. Giovanni was very nice about this. He found a place to double park and showed me where the correct ticket place was. Minutes later, I had my tickets, had had a chance to pee and had gotten some water. NOW I was ready to board!  

Giovanni brought me back to my ship, showed me the walkway for boarding without a car and wish me “buon viaggio.” Luckily it was only a short walk to BORDER SECURITY and CUSTOMS! I had never considered this possibility, but of course, we were going out into international waters. No matter. I smiled my biggest smile, said buongiorno and kept smiling while I put the suitcase on the conveyer belt the wrong way. One guard who obviously loved dogs, he had made a fuss over Pearl while we waited our turn, came over and showed me with hand motions what to do. Then of course I beeped. Ah ha, I showed him my belt and he nodded and said ciao. Bene, bene, bene. I never do anything wrong, but security always make me nervous. 

Onward and upward to our cabin on the master deck of the ship Fantastico. I can see how people would be disappointed if they were expecting a cruise ship, but as I was expecting a ferry, it seemed pretty nice to me. Pearl and I each had our own bunk, I had a closet and a PRIVATE bathroom with a shower!

The only problem was there were many signs about all the places that dogs could not go — this included all of the restaurants! After a walk around the fido deck so Pearl could have a pee, we went to reception to ask about this no dogs policy. For this encounter, I carried Pearl in her sling with her pretty pink collar on. A young woman recited the no dogs policy and walked away. What to do now? A moment later the man behind the counter asked me if I needed something. I said yes, I had a meal ticket, but also a dog, so what was I to do? He thought that if I carried her, there would be no problem — Buono! Another walk around the Fido deck and  meetings with some other dogs. The meetings with puppies and one with another barboncino (poodle) went well. A meeting with 2 enormously obese bulldogs with service animal vests did not go so well. They lunged and growled at her, so she resounded with hysterical yelping. I’m pretty sure service dogs are not supposed to be aggressive! She also met a young puppy that looked like a wolf and the two of them tried to play as much as possible on short leads so all in all. it was a successful outing. I thought perhaps if we went to the dining room really early before many people got there we would have an easier time getting fed so we did a little tour of the shed to find the snack bar the restaurants in the self-serve cafeteria. I thought perhaps if we went to the dining room really early before many other people got there we would have an easier time getting fed, so we did a little tour of the ship to find the snack bar, the restaurants, and the self-serve cafeteria. Alas, none of them opened until 7:30 or later. Back for another round of the Fido deck to watch the land disappear. I had had a very early lunch and was getting hungry. Remember the polo roster from the previous night? I did. There was also a lovely dinner bun and most of a chocolate barRemember the polo roster from the previous night? I did. There was also a lovely dinner bun and most of a chocolate bar for desert. No need to go to the restaurant and possibly get hassled. Pearl and they were tired and the motion of the boat was making her sleepy. No need to go to the restaurant and possibly get hassled. Pearl and I were tired and the motion of the boat was making us sleepy. Last night’s secondi was the perfect remedy. After our delicious meal, we did another few laps of the Fido dec. Pearl did her business and now we could go to bed. It was not an uninterrupted sleep though. It turns out that Pearl and some of the other dogs did not like the announcements. Especially the foghorn sound they began with! Each announcement was accompanied by a cacophony of barks both deep and shrill. Other than one bark sometime in the middle of the night , for who knows what reason, Pearl allowed me to sleep from 11:30 pm, when the announcements stopped for the night, until 6:30 am when they began again. I was told the ferry normally arrived at least 3 hours late, but we were arriving in Palermo at 8 am, an hour early! This was fine with me especially since Pearl had decided that we were up for the day. I took her out to the Fido deck, because animals come first, and then we went to the bar where I got a donut and a cappuccino. Now we were ready to start the day. I packed up a few things and headed for the elevators — that were out of service! Oh well, we would just go back to the Fido deck and check out the action on shore.

I was gazing at this crazy rock/mountain formation thinking, that’s cool, when I turned around and saw this really amazing view! Welcome to Palermo