Saturday, August 9, 1997
[Patti and Kaelen] Today we woke up in Rome. Brian and Kaelen (the heartiest tourists of our bunch) took off early to try to catch the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel before we headed out. They took a cab over to Vatican City only to discover a line that would have taken at least an hour to get through, so they jumped a cab back to the hotel and gave up on fulfilling the tourist requirements of Rome.
Part of the Vatican Museum line
Meanwhile, back at the Hotel Alexandra, I packed, but somehow managed to forget my small piece of stone from Augustus' house.
Navigating Rome in a car is quite a trick. We actually did better getting out of the city than we had coming in. (At least we didn't have to put somebody in a cab so we could follow behind!) Actually, today Brian and Kaelen were a pretty good team using the GPS system. We decided to take the coastal route, so we had to find our way to the beginning of that road and we had only general directions from the hotel concierge. We had a couple of false turns but we made it in pretty reasonable time.
Once we hit the coast, it was about lunch time. We had the idea it would be fun to have lunch on a beach, but we were out of luck because the grocery stores in that area closed at 1:30 on Saturdays and it was about 2. We eventually found a little snack bar thing. Brian and Cameron, both of whom can stand mayonnaise, had little white bread sandwiches. Patti and Kaelen had gelati and lemon ice drinks, which we will take over mayonnaise any day of the week. After lunch, the boys laid out on a beach for a while. Patti sat under a tree where it wasn't quite so awfully hot.
Kaelen shows off his "Kato" tan maker
Then we hopped back into the car and headed for Sorrento. This is a very popular resort town in Italy about 45 minutes from Naples. It is on cliffs overlooking the sea and is spectacularly beautiful.
Sorrento was the only spot for which we didn't have hotel reservations before we left the states. Brian got on the web last night and found a very cute hotel - Hotel Villa di Sorrento. We were all happy to get in and take showers. Between sweat and highway grime, a person gets feeling pretty grubby.
On the way to dinner, we booked an excursion tomorrow to Pompeii. The streets were teaming with people strolling along looking into shops and whatnot. What was funny was that everything, including the travel agency, was open at 8:30 on Saturday night - but they all had their lights very dim. People just wandered in shopping in the dimness.
Dinner was a 2 1/2 hour long affair. Our usual starter, 1st plate and 2nd plate, then huge slices of watermelon. When we finished dinner, it was after 11, but the streets were still full of people. The stores were closed, for the most part, but everybody was still out strolling.
[Brian] Note: Sorry for the delay in uploading this. Our quaint Sorrento hotel had a quaint 1950's phone system that precluded net access.