Red, itchy, rashy bumps…they started on Giff’s arms and then slowly creeped up around his neck and chest. At first, it seemed like a mosquito attacked him (he had about 40 bites on his arm and hand ) but then tiny little bumps started forming around the “bug bites” and he was constantly scratching. Giff started to research rashes on the Internet and then started researching bed bugs…what if? After a couple weeks of freaking ourselves out with what the rash could be, we went to the hospital to have him checked.
The hospital seemed more organized than Barcelona. It was similar to going to the DMV. You take a number, wait for it to be called…go to the window and explain what is needed. Then you go to a different part of the hospital depending on the need which in our case was the dermatologist, sign in at that counter and wait for the doctor. Thankfully, there was one person who spoke English and assisted us through the system. He took us to the second counter and spoke in Italian to the women who eventually had us take a seat. He came later to check in on us which was really nice. After about an hour, the doctor called Giff, and I was not allowed to accompany him. 20 minutes later, Giff came out with a prescription for cortisone pills and was given a cortisone shot in the bootie. He said the doctor didn’t speak a word of English…the trip was kind of a waste. They gave us a piece of paper and told us to go pay at the front counter. The English speaking guy at the front told us not to pay and if the rash didn’t settle down by the next day to come back.
We headed straight to Barolo to find lunch. It was raining and the restaurant was packed. We sat at a table and ordered risotto di Barolo which was an extremely rich creamy risotto infused with the local red wine. We ate lunch chatting with the people sitting next to us and then decided to check out a few other small villages in the area.
First, we stopped at an Enoteca which we found out was a cooperative for the area…meaning they took grapes from numerous farmers, blended it all together and made wine. We tasted a few of the wines and discussed the differences. We weren’t overly impressed, so decided not to purchase any bottles .
As we continued our drive towards the village of La Morra, we couldn’t resist pulling over on the side of the road to appreciate the utter beauty surrounding us. There were miles and miles of perfectly trimmed vines and farmland as far as the eye could see with little hilltop villages peppered throughout the landscape. We pulled the tripod out and took some pictures inside the vineyards as we tried to capture the scenery on film.
The village of La Morra was teeny and very quiet. We walked around a bit, buying an ice cream first and stopping at the lookout point which stood tall above the rest of the area. We took pictures of the statues, church and clock tower and after our short walk had seen La Morra.
We drove back to our B&B to unwind and enjoy our relaxing evening, eating our left over Parmesan, peaches and wine for dinner.
Published by Giff Kabat
I grew up in Ohio as a kid, so of course I went to college at “THE” Ohio State University. I graduated in 2001 with a major in business finance. A month after graduation, I moved out to California with my college girlfriend (whom I married in 2005)…and started my career in sales (industrial sales for 5 years…then moved into medical laser sales for 4 years).
In 2009 I was 31 years old. I had a great job, a new house, and a beautiful wife. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better…my wife and I found out we were going to have a baby. Everything was going according to plan…and I couldn’t have scripted a better life for myself.
Then in the same year…everything changed. My wife, Brandey, called me when I was on my way to work and told me over the phone, something I never thought could be possible in a million years. My beautiful 30-year old pregnant wife was just told that she had breast cancer. At that moment, everything stopped all at once. I immediately went to her…and learned of our new plan…which began with her needing surgery immediately…and the rest we would find out later.
The day we returned from the hospital after Brandey’s surgery…my father died. He had been battling an aggressive cancer of his own…and although he was the one person I wanted to speak with about Brandey having cancer…I never told him. My sister, Brooke, had just gotten married a few months ago, and although he was weak, he was able to walk his little girl down the aisle of her wedding. On the night before my sister’s wedding, Brandey and I told him that we were pregnant and about to make him a grandfather. It made no sense to tell him that everything had changed for us…so he died in peace knowing everything was “the way it should be” for his only 2 children.
2010 was the worst year of my life. We had lost our baby…and for 12 months I watched my wife fight cancer with multiple surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation treatments, and drug therapy. It was a difficult year for us…but we made it. When you go through something like this in life, you learn a lot about yourself and the people around you. I was amazed at the strength and courage of my wife…and how many good people there are in this world. I will be forever grateful for the ones who never ceased to amaze me with their kindness during this hard time. Family, friends, and sometimes complete strangers…helped us make it through this. I am, and will always be especially grateful to my mother, who was with my dad at the very end, when I couldn’t be there, and when things were at their worst. She has been so supportive throughout all of this, and without her everything would have been so much harder for me.
It’s 2011 now…and the plan we have for our life this year…is to make it the best year of our lives. Brandey is officially in remission from breast cancer and she has a 95% chance the cancer will never come back. Besides the love that I have for my wife and family, the loves of my life are food, wine, and adventure travel. My wife and I love traveling to new places, seeing natural wonders, and meeting new people from different parts of the world. So for the next 400 days…we’ve decided to travel the world…and celebrate our lives. There are so many things I took for granted in life that I will never take for granted again. My father worked for over 30 years at the same job with the same company…rarely took time off…and died at 64 years old right after his retirement. For me, this trip is a combination of a tribute to him, along with wanting to spend the time of my life with the “love of my life.”
* The only thing I will miss while we are gone is our family and friends (who we hope will meet us somewhere throughout our trip) and especially our 3 little kitties we left with my mom in Ohio to catsit for the next 400 days. I will also miss watching “American Football” over the weekend…but I’ll do my best to check the scores in the middle of the night.
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One Reply to “Day 170 of 400: Barolo and La Morra – Piedmont, Italy”
So what was the rash?