We spent the weekend before last (the 29th and the 30th) in the town of Sorrento, on the southern tip of the Bay of Naples. We piled onto a bus at eight thirty in the morning, greeted by everyone's favorite busdriver, Giuseppe, and headed off on a three hour bus ride to Naples. We arrived in Naples, and spent a whirlwind six hours seeing as much as we could (see my dad's post below for more details). We then got back on the bus for a two hour drive to Sorrento. Driving around the bay, we saw one of the more beautiful sunsets I have ever seen. As we wound our way along the streets, shifting between closely packed houses and scenic views of the Mediterranean with the sun sinking lower and lower, reflecting bright orange off the water, we were informed by David Dawson-Vasquez, the program director, that there was an Irish pub and a karaoke night at another local bar.
We checked into the hotel, and were told we had a half hour until dinner. The half hour was largely spent discovering that we all had balconies that connected to each other. When we were finished on the balcony, it was time for dinner, so we all headed up to the dining room, where I sat with three of the students, Tom, AJ, and Betsy. Denis sat at a table with three other students, and Sophie decided to stay with our parents. Dinner was a huge, multi-course affair, consisting of pasta, chicken, potatoes and dessert. As dinner drew to a close, I asked if I could go with the students to the karaoke bar. They said sure, and so a half hour or so later, we all followed David into town.
It turned out that there wasn't actually karaoke that night, but we had a good time anyway. The next morning, we woke up and went to Pompeii (See Denis' entry below for more details). When we came back, we decided not to try and catch a ferry to the nearby island of Capri, and instead enjoyed a leisurely lunch with David, and then went for a walk down to the shore. While Denis only got a little wet playing in the sand, Sophie felt a need to wade into the painfully cold Mediterranean, and got her pants thoroughly wet before we went into town to look at some of the inlaid woodwork that Sorrento is famous for. We then went to Mass in one of the coldest churches I have ever been in. Despite the cold, Sophie, Denis, and I all kept nodding off during the homily. After Mass, we went back to the hotel in time for Sophie to change, and went up to dinner.
At dinner, our family dispersed among the students. Tom, Betsy, and I were once again sitting at the same table, and we were joined towards the end of the meal by Sophie. After dinner, we went back to our rooms, where we watched part of a House episode, dubbed in Italian. I then went down to another room, and hung out with the students for a few hours, while the rest of my family went to sleep.
The next morning, we woke up, ate breakfast, and went to the bufala farm (see Sophie's entry below for more details),before turning home.As we drove back to Rome, I realized how much I had enjoyed the last few days. I don't know if it was the beautiful, peaceful town, or the fact that I was able to hang out with people who were not family members, spoke English, and were between the ages of fifteen and thirty, or some of both, but I think that it was the best couple of days I have spent since we came to Italy.