After yesterday's adventure, I owed it to myself for a day of relaxation. The winds and waves had calmed, and the sun was shining. Oh, and IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY! What better way to celebrate life than to do absolutely anything I wanted to do today? My birthday, like most people, is so important to me. The one day out of the year where it's socially acceptable to indulge in whatever piques my interests and desires. You can catch my whole birthday reflection here.
After preparing another light breakfast (true to Italian fashion), I set up on my balcony to welcome the morning and this momentous occasion. Imagine my surprise when my host came up and presented me with a bottle of wine for my birthday! Super thoughtful guy.
The rest of the day, I focused on completing the following tasks:
✓ Rent a beach chair (€10!) and work on this tan
✓ Take a swim in the ocean (freezing but super refreshing)
✓ Partake in a yummy pizza lunch
Mission accomplished! One last thing on my list was to treat myself to dinner at a nice restaurant. The outfit had been carefully selected months ago, and after looking up restaurants with three euro signs (hey, I said I would treat myself), I ordered a reservation at Da Vicenzo at a table with a beautiful ocean view.
The only one of my gripes about Positano is that everything is so close, yet so far away. The restaurant would have normally warranted a 7 minute drive, but in lieu of the money I was about to drop on this dinner, I needed to save where I could and walk there. This meant that I wouldn't make it in time to make my reservation. Luckily, after calling the restaurant, they still were able to have a reservation for me. After getting ready, I initiated the 30-minute walk ahead of me. The route to get to the restaurant, surprise surprise, required a trek up another long, steep flight of stairs. Many burned calories and a light sweat later, I arrived to the restaurant out of breath, but ready for my meal.
Somewhere in between me adjusting my reservation and my arrival, the host could only get me a table in the dead center of the restaurant. I've been traveling far too much to be uncomfortable sitting at a table alone. But in the middle of the room? It turned out that the placement actually ended up being a good thing, though. Sitting outside would've put me next to the street, forcing me to inhale exhaust fumes from passing vehicles. My dish was amazingly carb-free for once (seriously, I'd only been on a pizza & pasta diet since I'd arrived in Italy), giving me the opportunity to partake in the freshest fish of the region, as well as the prized Chianti wine.
My new spot also put me at the center of attention when it was time to sing Happy Birthday!
During my walk back home, I had several extremely existential moments. Looking out to the twinkling lights along the Positano cliffside and hearing the waves crash below, a wave of gratitude poured over me for being here in this beautiful place. I'd set this plan in motion over a year ago, told the WORLD about it, and was able to execute it all on my own. Reflecting on the many blessings (positive and negative) that I'd received over the past year made me that much more resolved to share my experiences with anyone willing to listen. With that in mind, I strolled back to my villa, wine-induced and full of grace.