Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Full Circle

View over Amalfi Coast as we started the walk from Ravello

Thirty four months ago, we crossed the Atlantic Ocean and took up residence in a hotel on base. We had no car, none of our own things, no friends, and no idea of how things in Italy work. We quickly realized that we needed wheels...and fast! We were stuck on the base with our only out in the form of a public bus which ran on its own, inexplicable timetable (despite there being an actual timetable it was "supposed" to run) and no way to purchase tickets for this bus anyway...no need to repeat all that - it's well documented in my early posts! We could see the car we had shipped over to Italy. It sat sadly behind locked gates while we impatiently waited for the day when we were allowed to take our Italy driving test. Passing that test felt better than any school test because it meant FREEDOM! Our first day trip other than driving around Naples with some new friends was to the Amalfi Coast town of Ravello: Amalfi Hill Town was the post about that day trip. Completely coincidentally, Ravello was also our final day trip of our Italian life.

Enjoying the vines along our path
We'd played around with an actual weekend away, but we are both exhausted. The moving out and checking out procedure to leave Italy is phenomenally painful. At every turn, we have had some type of problem or hurdle. We have sold one of our cars already and decided to ship home the other. Nathan is dropping off that car with the shipping agent as I type, and tomorrow, we leave Italy. We don't really have any leeway in the event we had a problem with the car on a road trip. I was very firm in my utter lack of desire to spend my last weekend in Italy in our on-base hotel, so Nathan suggested a day trip to Ravello. Then at dinner with our friends last week, they recommended a beautiful walk from Ravello down to the coast town of Atrani, then another five minutes over to Amalfi and an open air bus ride back up the mountain. Perfect. We were sold. And so, we have come full circle in our Italian adventures.

My re-entry into American life has already begun. Our hotel has laundry, and I have found that I can wash AND dry a load of laundry in only 75 minutes!!! There are no words. Actually, there are. What sort of magical wonderland is this? I'm working on a post that was full of things I miss about the USA and all the things I know I'll miss about Italy. Since I never got it finished, I'll post it later. Tomorrow morning at 4:45am, we will depart via taxi for the six block ride to the airport. With a baby, stroller, car seat, six suitcases, and four carry on bags, a taxi is the easier choice. And if all goes according to plan (ha, ha, ha repeated over and over), we will be in Seattle by tomorrow night...which will already be wake-up time on Thursday morning here in Naples. I will keep up with this blog because I have a number of posts I still want to include. And it will give me time to think about setting up another blog. Until then, here are a few more photos of our Ravello adventure:
Looking down into tiny, but charming, Atrani
Unseasonal rain and cold delayed our beach season, but it's finally begun
We ate lunch at the base of Amalfi's fabulous Duomo before catching the
open air bus back up to Ravello; the bus was my favorite part.


  1. Stephanie, I don't now if you were aware but Rick Jordan retired as our minister of music after 40 years. Laura Reid sent our praise team an email about a song she had either heard or sung called "Sorrows & Joys" and this is the same sentiment I'm sure you are feeling..and me too (probably everyone who has visited you in Italy). We are getting a wonderful new worship leader and his family is great too; BUT it is "Sorrows & Joys". Looking forward to being able to facetime w/ you after I get home @ night and it is still afternoon for you instead of the other way around. Love Mom

  2. Ditto what your mom said about facetiming in the afternoons. I've been so excited that I might actually get to SEE you on a regular basis. The time difference in Italy has made it so hard for that.