To Points South (Part Three)

Napoli. Wow. I took the boys so they would know that being afraid is never a good reason not to do something. (All the guidebooks had us petrified we’d be getting mugged immediately, and often.) Napoli seems, in retrospect, like it would be really fun to visit at night and/or if we had more time to find the happy places. Alas, we found no happy places.

The Pompei exhibit at the museum was closed, but oddly they didn’t tell us this even when I asked what floor it was on (?). I insisted we could not leave this city without a positive experience, so I decided to take us to Chiaia, the part of town with boutiques, hip people, cool cafés. Perfect. And we were starving, so off we went for what I thought was a two-stop trip on the Metro, but 35 minutes later we emerged from underground to find ourselves in what I’ll say was like the Needham of Naples. A total suburb miles and miles away from Chiaia; we were in Chiaiano : ( Ever determined NOT to leave defeated, we eventually found out way to Chiaia. The lunch place I had researched was closed, as were all the shops, which were, by the way, not what I call boutiques, but high-end, Rodeo Drive type stores. Louis Vuitton, etc. Grabbed some cheeseless pizza pastry things at a bar and walked the waterfront, which is amazing. They’ve made it pedestrian-only and the hotels are huge and line the water, along with hundreds of café tables and chairs in front of the hotels. Across the street, people swim in the bay! So funny to see people swimming right next to a huge city! Grabbed a cab to the station whose driver refused to take us to the station we needed to get to, instead insisting we get out and then saying to me, “Aren’t you gonna give me a tip? No American tip? No dollar?” Like an ASS, I tipped him. We came home to Pompei and got take-out pizza (Italians do this now!) which was AMAZING and watched Skyfall on cable in the air conditioning : ) Ciao Napoli.

Next morning, off to get Fred, whose flight was not due till 5 pm, so we decided to have lunch at the beach. Nice lunch. Italians at the sea on Sunday, a national pastime. Got to the airport and settled in with some English papers and coffee at a café. At 4:30, I went to check the board only to find that Fred’s flight had been cancelled. He had emailed us to go home. He’d arrive the next day at 2:00 and take the train home to Viterbo. We went home but picked him up the next day. The boys thought it would be too sad to make him take the train after that whole ordeal. Okay, NEW day, no more negativity!!!! Except one thing: I brought Fred back a little bottle of limoncello from Sorrento which I knocked off the counter and sent down the stone steps inside our apartment. Limoncello and glass flew up over our heads on the floor above, down into the basement bedroom, all over the walls….. next half hour was spent cleaning it up! So THAT is the final chapter on our five days away.