Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spring Fling

kids look cute, I look fat!!


View from our hotel room
Isle of Capri

Well I've been up for 21 straight hours now. I flew from London today and have 5 hours to wait in SFO. Unfortunately, I didn't sleep more than 15 minutes on my London flight.

I had a great time with Linds and family in London. I flew there Mar 30, got there Mar 31 and struggled with jet lag the first couple of days. Nothing like walking around in a fog! We just played it low key the first couple of days. Love that Isobel and Oliver. Talk about cute kids! Isobel always tells me like it is and won't go overboard for grandma but I caught her grabbing my hand and leaning into me quite a few times. I also got several pictures that she made with I love you's on them. I think bringing a present a day for her to open helped. Oliver is so cute to watch romp around and just brightens your day!

On the 3rd day Alan graciously watched the kids for 4 days and Lindsey and I headed to Sorrento, Italy and the Amalfi Coast. Gorgeous, gorgeous area of the world. We landed in Naples and pulled our suitcases from street to street in search of Pizzeria de Matteo known for great pizza. It was worth the jaunt-delicioso!! Naples, on the other hand, is just a dirty, big city.

After our pizza we caught the train to Sorrento. The night before we left we had read in Rick Steeve's book that the trains have a lot of pick pocketers and were kind of nervous. We worried for nothing-it was all fine. We got to Naples and what a gorgeous city it is!! So clean, right on the coast and we loved it! We had gotten our hotel from Trip Advisor reviews and weren't that thrilled with it. $150+ a night for very clean, amazing views but not very nice. Think Motel 6. The reviews also talked about Gianni and his family and they loved him. We were anxious to meet this Italian who would make us feel like family. What we got was a very frazzled owner who constantly looked harried and never even introduced himself. Mind you, this hotel is in top 10 of all hotels in Sorrento. We did get met at the station by the cutest Italian shuttle bus driver ever! Lindsey and I loved "Guido" (our name for him)! He was always smiling, always going out of his way for everyone!! We went to dinner in Sorrento the first night at a Rick Steeve's recommended place and hit the bed early.

The next morning we headed to the island of Capri which was very beautiful-reminded me of what Greece must look like. It is kind of a tourist trap so we didn't stay all day. When we returned to Sorrento we went to the #1 recommended restaurant for dinner: Taverna Allegra. We had an amazing mill and were glad we followed the reviews. Would have gone there again but it was closed the next night. Had gelato after dinner. Ymmm! In fact, I think I had gelato after every lunch and dinner!!

Monday we went to Positano about 30 minutes away on the public bus. Fortunately, we sat on the opposite sides of the bus of the steep cliffs. It was an interesting ride with some of it not wide enough for 2 vehicles. Positano is probably the most gorgeous town I've ever seen! The houses are terraced and it's right on the sea and it is just beautiful. We did a tour with an Australian girl named Christine who married an Italian from Positano after meeting him when she was traveling Europe. Great tour, fun girl and great lunch at place she recommended. Returned to Sorrento, shopped, had dinner and went to bed.

On the last day we stopped at Pompeii on our way to the airport. What an amazing tour that was! The weather the entire time was great. Only problem we had was on the train to Pompeii I gave a gypsy beggar a euro. We only had about 25 pounds cash but I wasn't concerned because I planned to use a credit card at the site. They only take cash. We thought we'd be fine though because we thought we'd have enough if we saved 5 euros for the train back to Naples. We tipped the baggage girl all but those 5 euros and went to get our tickets. The cost was $5.60 euros! Great! No ATM at the station, nearest one in town 2 miles away. We ended up taking a taxi in that cost 15 euros. If we had only not been generous to the gypsy and baggage girl we would have been fine. Our good deeds cost us an extra $22!! Oh well. It was a great trip!!

Back at Lindsey's for 4 more days. We went to several parks, the London Zoo and saw Legally Blonde the musical (It was so, so good-go if you get a chance!) I loved getting the chance to spend that much time with Lindsey-I miss not seeing her as much as I would if she lived in the USA but it's a great excuse for traveling and I do enjoy that!