Category Archives: Sorrento

Day Ten: Sorrento

We got our storm. The skies not only look grumpy, they really are. Wicked winds, booming thunder, blowing rain.

Kat and I switch our workout spot to the living room. A serious, sweaty hour of cardio, cooled a bit by the wind through our open door. These are tough moves, baby, tough, complicated and fast–but we stick with it.

I might get it reasonably smooth after practicing it a half a dozen times.

Follow that with a nice yoga session to stretch it all out, and I’m out. Kat’s not! She hits it with more cardio–I hit the showers.

The storm’s passed and left everything washed clean and fresh. The air smells glorious, and the sun beams. I’ll work a couple of hours on the patio, happy to divide my attention between the book and the view.

Post storm sky.  Photo by NR.
Post storm sky. Photo by NR.
The little islands off the coast.  Photo by NR.
The little islands off the coast. Photo by NR.
Well, why not another view?  Photo by j a-b.
Well, why not another view? Photo by j a-b.

I see Kat come out to read by the pool. BW’s stretched out with a book. It looks like Jason’s working at the kitchen table. We have a quiet afternoon with our individual pursuits.

I top mine off with King’s book and a little snack–cheese, bread, grapes and wine. With the calico cat for company. She sits by my feet, mewing plaintively, staring up at me.

It’s not my fault, really, if a bit of bread falls on the ground. But like the little dog in the restaurant, this is rejected.

Then she jumps on my lap, surprising us both. Looks astonished with herself and jumps down again. She does allow me to scratch her behind the ears, and if a bite of cheese should fall, it’s just a little accident.

This is not rejected.

She jumps on my lap again, jumps off. Occasionally she wanders to the kitchen doors, goes as far as easing her body halfway in, eases back.

Our housekeeper’s husband and pretty young daughter come by so he can interpret a question she has for me. She wants to know if I know the author of The Secret. I confess I don’t, but defer to BW as the bookshop owner–he knows the book, but not the author.

We chat a few minutes, then they lure the cat away for awhile.

Where does our feline friend go at night? I wonder. I suspect this is when she hunts.

We decide to go a little farther afield for dinner as BW’s found a restaurant that claims to afford beautiful views. This means a drive as it’s just a bit too far to walk.

It does have those views, perched on the second floor, overlooking the water and the little islands. It also has the expected lovely food. Grilled swordfish? I’ll take it. BW gets a seafood medley that includes squid–I won’t take that.

Hikers.  Photo by NR.
Hikers. Photo by NR.

As we sit, big groups of young hikers trail by below–an annual thing we’re told. I think they’ll hike all the way to Napoli. They’re young and happy, wave to us–and will, we assume bunk for the night as a hostel before heading out again in the morning.

Lemon cake, profiteroles–maybe we should have geared up for that walk, after all.

Post meal caffeine.  Salute!  photo by j a-b.
Post meal caffeine. Salute! photo by j a-b.

I do stroll around for a bit after we get home, an easy task when the night’s so full of stars, and a brilliant half moon.

More Olympics. Is our own Simone not the most amazing? And that joy is so compelling. Grace, athleticism, and that absolute delight. Cheers for the USA, and their gold and silver for the All Around.

I’m so close to finishing my book, I add enough time in my day to do so. A terrific story, smartly written, start to finish.

Today, it’s Positano, so we’ll get ourselves up and about earlier than the last few days. We also have a wine tasting here early evening.

So a day of sun and sites and shopping followed by wine. That sounds pretty damn perfect.

Nora

Note from Laura.  Here are a couple of photos from the day in Sorrento caught in limbo during the internet instability:

BW and NR.  Photo by j a-b.
BW and NR. Photo by j a-b.
Kat and the cat/Kat Whisperer -- with french fry.  Photo by NR.
Kat and the cat/Kat Whisperer — with french fry. Photo by NR.
Bougainvillea with a view.  Photo by NR.
Bougainvillea with a view. Photo by NR.

Day Nine: Sorrento

A day spent at home with sun and sea and sky. Not a bad deal.

BW decides on a hot breakfast, so with some kibitzing from me–and some help from Kat–puts together what I think of as a poor man’s omelette–some prosciutto, some tomatoes, some cheese (and some herbs I added) with scrambled eggs. It’s pretty! And apparently tasty as BW and Kat cleaned their plates.

Photo by NR.
Omelet by group. Photo by NR.
BW and coffee.  Photo by Kat.
BW and coffee. Photo by Kat.

It’s workout time. Some Shaun T today–cardio and his challenging 8-minute abs. How can it be so vicious when it’s only 8 minutes! We add 50 minutes more, with bands, hitting more abs (ow!), upper and lower body, the works.

Job well done. And it’s not so tough, really, to workout with sun and sea and sky. Especially when it’s finished!

A visit from the manager to deal with the internet–yay. It seems to be back on track. May it continue.

I work on the patio. Lovely, just lovely, and the gang catches up on news and what’s what at home. After a good session, I reward myself with a fresh peach bellini. Another pretty good deal.

Infinity pool to the sea.  Photo by j a-b.
Infinity pool to the sea. Photo by j a-b.

Kat and I have discussed making lemonade. We have a beautiful supply of lemons, so why not do it the old-fashioned way? My girl makes the simple syrup, squeezes lemons. I start a red sauce with fresh herbs, and make a side of sliced tomatoes and mozzarella–the mozzarella comes in pretty little balls in a bag filled with water. Find a dish, layer them, add fresh basil and pepper, some olive oil, a dash or so of balsamic, and into the fridge for dinner.

Limoni.  Photo by Nora.
Limoni. Photo by Nora.
Lemonade by Kat.  Photo by Nora.
Lemonade by Kat. Photo by Nora.
Summer on a platter.  Photo by NR.
Summer on a platter. Photo by NR.

It’s sweet and cozy working together in our Italian kitchen.

Domestic day continues with laundry. When I go downstairs I see BW and Kat have set up a little drying rack on the terrace, and pinned laundered clothes up. It’s so cute!

Laundry with a view. photo by BW
Laundry with a view. photo by BW

The calico cat comes to visit, and responds immediately to Jason–the Cat Whisperer. She preens for him, tries to sneak in by him, lets him pet and scratch, and I swear looks at him with adoring eyes. She lets Kat give her a little attention, too, and eventually settles down right on the kitchen threshold. Kat’s dubbed her Benito, due to her odd little black moustache. Though it should, technically, be Benita, we have a Benita in our lives, and she doesn’t have a moustache!

Jason, The Cat Whisperer.  Photo by NR.
Jason, The Cat Whisperer. Photo by NR.

Stirring the pot, and Kat asks if I like candied lemon peel. I don’t know, but I bet I would. She starts lemon peels simmering before she and Jason walk down to the village for a few fresh supplies. And I can pour another drink, watch the pots and read my book–for those who asked, it’s Stephen King’s End Of Watch.

All at the ready on the prep station. Photo by NR.
All at the ready on the prep station. Photo by NR.

We’re all back–fresh salad makings from the village market, and Jason chunking up more tomatoes. Kat makes a garlic paste, and we–with some head-scratching–figure out how to work the broiler on the oven for garlic bread. Pasta on the boil, sauce simmering, Kat coating lemon peels with sugar–and yes, I definitely like candied lemon peel. We joke about dressing for dinner. Nah.

We enjoy our home-made feast on the patio, add some candles, but the breeze keeps blowing them out. Finish it up with some gelato. Mmmm. A good meal while the sun lowers.

Dining al fresco.  Photo by Kat.
Dining al fresco. Photo by Kat.
Set for family meal.  Photo by Kat.
Set for family meal. Photo by Kat.
The family.  Photo by Kat.
The family. Photo by Kat.
Photo by Kat.
Plated for dinner. Photo by Kat.

When it lowers, it increases the gorgeous blur of the horizon, the deeper blue of the water, the paler sky with a soft blush of pink between. The blush shimmers on higher clouds, outlining them in that pretty pink, a quiet underlight. The view here changes with the light, and is never less than magnifico.

The sunset view.  Photo by NR.
The sunset view. Photo by NR.

A little more laundry, a little more reading, then it’s bedtime for me.

Very breezy this morning, and some chance of storms later. I think it would be fantastic to watch a thunderstorm over the water here. We think we’ll wait for tomorrow for the trip to Positano, and until Monday–early morning trip–to Pompeii–and just continue to vacate here today. It’s pretty easy to relax when you’re saturated in beauty.  

Nora

Day Eight: Sorrento

Note from Laura: We have a well illustrated post! Some of the photos below are from the day spent in Sorrento.  All captions (and potential errors) are mine.

photo by Kat
photo by Kat
photo by Kat
photo by Kat
Leather and its minions.  photo by j a-b
Leather and its minions. photo by j a-b

And now for the update:

Another pretty perfect day of sun and breezes and glorious views. It’s easy to just sit and ahhhh.

But we’re made of sterner stuff.

Kat and I hit the workout, solid cardio, some upper body–gotta keep those arms in shape!

Then we move to the grass, all four of us, for some family Tai Chi. It’s fun, goes from slow to fast enough to break a sweat, and all with those lovely views. Nothing like working out in the sunlight, in the breeze.

Perfect place to sit and read. Or do Tai Chi.  photo by NR
Perfect place to sit and read. photo by NR

When we’re done BW hits the pool–and since he stays in awhile, I believe him when he says it’s a little warmer.

A pool that goes to infinity, and beyond,  And BW. photo by NR
A pool that goes to infinity, and beyond, And BW. photo by NR

For me, I spend the bulk of the day sitting on the patio writing. Another lovely way to work–views and breezes.

Today’s housekeeper stops by to ask if I speak Italian. I don’t. Russian? I say (though have no idea how to spell) dosvadonya, and make her laugh.

In her little bit of English–more than my Italian or Russian–she tells me she’s actually Ukranian. And through hand gestures and a few words of Italian I recognize, she explains she likes my books. Asks if she can bring one with her when she comes next.

Find your favorite author. photo by Kat
Find your favorite author. photo by Kat

This is sweet, and I communicate that’s absolutely fine.

Later, while I work, I hear her and Kat communicating–mostly, Kat tells me with gestures.

A good productive day at the keyboard for me. And all this productivity deserves a bubbly adult beverage, some time with a book.

Bougainvillea in front of water. Photo by NR
Bougainvillea in front of water. Photo by NR

We talk about what we might do tomorrow. Pompeii, Positano? BW suggests the train to Pompeii might be shorter than the drive. I don’t do trains well either–really wish otherwise–but if it’s shorter …

We have to wait until we walk down to the village for dinner to find out the logistics, as the internet just dies here after about 9 a.m.

Down we go–and Kat has on her new dress. So pretty! We take some pictures as the clouds are smoking picturesquely over the mountains. I’m actually hauling my tablet in hopes pictures I’ve taken can be uploaded at last. Our Wifi just won’t handle it.

photo by j a-b
photo by j a-b
photo by BW
photo by BW

This restaurant is up a slope rather than down, and just opening as we arrive–about 7:30, I think. Here the waiter has no English, but we all manage to have a friendly chat anyway about food and wine choices.

Pasta and pizza once more top our list.

Kat wonders where the steep, skinny road beside the restaurant leads, so she and I decide to find out.

Seriously steep, seriously skinny–surely no on could drive on it. (Though later we find out at least scooters can and do. And in one case, a small truck.) I love the look of the old buildings that border it, those old walls, the sheer audacity and vision it must have taken–not to mention the effort–to build like this, on soaring hillsides. To make communities, plant gardens.

And we top that crazy rise, and the world just opens. If the climb hasn’t stolen your breath, the view would. All of Sorrento spread out below, some of its lights starting to flicker in the coming twilight. The rise and rise of hills, so sheer, so steep, and the houses that stack up those rises like pretty building blocks.

To the left, higher hills yet, and homes that sit right on top. The view must dazzle there every day. How could you get used to it?

The water sweeping up to the edge of the land–the city built there–then spreading out forever.

When we get back, Kat talks Jason into going back up with her, this time with a camera.

We eat, drink, talk plans again. The train won’t work, far too complicated and not shorter. We waver between Pompeii and Positano–both will get their time–then decide we all want another day at the villa, to just be.

Meanwhile, BW is looking into the possibility of a sunset cruise–for all but me. If they work this out, I’ll stand up here on my high perch and wave down at them.

We have a lovely dinner, joined toward the end by a little dog. He obviously knows his way around the place. Stretches out under a table for a bit, wanders around. I know better than to feed a dog from the table–a strict rule in my house–but . . .

I try to lure him with a tiny bit of bread. He sniffs it, turns up his nose.

As if he’d settle. No, he’s now laser focused on the table behind us, and the man with sausage on his plate. He sits and stares, stares, stares until the diner finally gives in, tosses him a bite.

Gobbled politely enough, then back to staring.

A young boy, clearly a local, laughs at the dog, talks to him–and others–just hangs out. We’d been told this is a spot for locals to eat and drink more than tourists. And most who come in seem to know one another.

photo by j a-b
photo by j a-b

We head home again, glad for the walk. And have plenty of time to see the US team win the gold in women’s gymnastics. Girls, you’re simply astonishing.

This morning’s as pretty as yesterday, though the cat hasn’t come to visit as yet. My plans are easy. Fingers crossed this goes through our shaky internet, a workout, some time at the keyboard. A lot more time today, I believe, with someone else’s book.

Kat and I think we’ll cook here. After all, we have fresh basil, lovely tomatoes–and can pick rosemary right off the bush outside.  

Rosemary, the scented privacy screen.  photo by NR
Rosemary, the scented privacy screen. photo by NR

Nora

The view.  photo by BW
The view. photo by BW

Day Seven: Sorrento

Kat and I move to the shady patio for our morning workout, and since my girl feels energetic, we do a second round.

I think the woman who came to clean got a kick out of us dancing, squatting and lunging.

The internet continues weird, and only early mornings seem to work right now. Good thing I’m an early riser.

Workout and daily travelogue done, it’s hit the showers and dress for our trip into Sorrento to change money and poke around.

We’ve been given instructions on how to find the parking garage as otherwise, parking is next to impossible.

The drive down isn’t as bad for this motion-sickness prone system as I feared. And so pretty–vineyards, olive groves, sea views–even as the bone-thin road snakes and winds.

Little villages, lots of scooters tearing up the road. I just look away as a car approaches and BW squeezes by time after time.

We come to the main road, and think we do as instructed. But the parking garage ‘we can’t miss’? Hah.

We circle, and circle again in the thick traffic–and there my system fails. But we think we’ve found it! Manage to find the entrance, drive in, manage to maneuver into the skinny slot–and after awhile, manage to find our way out to the sidewalk.

And have no real clue how to get where we’re going. We walk, and walk, come to the busy road leading in and walk more. Along a very narrow sidewalk on a busy two-lane road. Squeezing by others walking the other way.

And walk.

We’re way, way past the point of no return when we realize–oh, THERE’S the garage. We didn’t actually park in Sorrento, but its outskirts.

So we walk–easily a mile or more, and my abused system has no chance to level.

When we actually get more or less where we wanted to be–and believe me the climb to Mt. Jovis on Capri was more entertaining–we hunt for a bank. Find one.

We have to put everything but the money and passports in a security locker before we’re allowed in. And we wait. Wait. Wait. Only one teller, and he’s obviously the champion of I Can Work Slower!

The man he’s helping has a lot of business, and they have a lot of conversation. After about fifteen minutes, we just give up.

And finally luck turns when we find an exchange, are immediately helped by a charming, entertaining man who jokes all the way through the multi-transactions.

Mission accomplished.

As all this has taken so much time, our next step is a seat, some food, some wine for me. A little outdoor restaurant, a seat in the shade. A lovely salad, that glass of red–and fries! Revival time.

And they have a BW fave. Meatloaf. He deems it very good. I can’t remember what Kat had, but Jason’s is some dish with fresh tomato slices topped with chunks of fried mozzerella. [Note from Laura: I know, I know!  Description in the caption.]

BW's Neapolitan meatloaf.  Photo by Kat
BW’s Neapolitan meatloaf. Photo by Kat
Kat's green gnocchi with tomatoes, olives and caper sauce. Photo by Kat
Kat’s green gnocchi with tomatoes, olives and caper sauce. Photo by Kat
Jason's tomatos topped with fried cheese. photo by Kat
Jason’s tomatos topped with fried cheese. photo by Kat

As we’re recovering from our all-too-urban hike, the staff begins to bubble with excitement. A man–American accent–comes in, and is greeted with big hugs, big grins. He talks of his wife and his girls–unpacking as they’ve just landed. The hostess, the waitstaff all chatter with him, and another man comes in–Roberto! (It sounds like the Italian version of Norm! from Cheers) and he and the American embrace, move to a table while the staff huddle around them in joy.

Friends or family, I couldn’t say–and often one is the same as the other–but it’s lovely to see that kind of genuine affection and happiness.

Add some live music from strolling players–one had a cello as tall as he was–and it’s a nice balance to the hard walk to get there.

Now shopping.

There’s a narrow pedestrian street lined with shops, just what the doctor ordered. We stroll, we poke, admire the fresh fruit stalls–and BW buys some bananas. I find another gift, consult with Kat, wander.

So much color, so many scents. Peaches and lemons and herbs. I resist–and it was a hard battle–buying another purse. So many, so pretty. Same with leather jackets. I do consider some sandals–my God, only ten Euro!! but they don’t fit.

Linen shirts–and that one in the luscious sea blue? I tell BW we’ll see if they have your size, and it can be a birthday gift from Sorrento.

We find his fit–and I find a lovely white linen jacket for me. Kat finds a oh so pretty red linen dress for her–and as often happens, I’d just pulled out the same from a rack thinking it looked like her.

A happy stop!

Bags and bags of pasta in every shape and size, in rainbow colors. Kat buys colorful little sombreo-shaped pasta. What a dish that’ll make!

We wander, and I think it’s good we listened to the advice not to go on the big cruise ship days as it’s crowded enough as it is.

We debate walking back as we’ve found a shorter route or cabbing back to our far-flung parking garage. We think we’ll walk–but first gelato.

I get a small cup of milk gelato with dark chocolate scattered over it–like your most heavenly, God-kissed Good Humor bar.

And as our feet are tired, Kat’s shoulder is feeling it as her bag’s taken on weight, we decide on the cab.

Backtrack, eating gelato, stand a while, eating gelato while cars swerve by. Hit the cab stand.

And as the ride back proves longer–much–than I imagined, I’m glad we decided to take the wheels.

I have more than 13k steps on my Fitbit! That’s enough!

We retrieve the car, wind our way home–the sea, the high cliffs, the vineyards climbing, the olive groves spreading.

Home again. I decide to use one of our peaches, puree it and make some bellinis. Beyond delicious. BW takes a swim, and I sit on the pool deck with my lovely drink and watch the boats on the water.

There’s enough puree for a second, so why not? How about a third–hey, I’m on vacation.

I read, I nap, I sit and look–that’s a fine wrap up to the afternoon.

We decide on take out for dinner, with Kat and Jason walking down to pick up our choices and a few things at the market.

And we eat–pasta, pizza, red wine–on our patio until the stars come out.

More Olympics–men’s gymnastics. The rings–I can barely watch the rings as I always think arms aren’t supposed to revolve that way?Why don’t they just snap off?

A little more reading for me, then lights out.

Today, the calico cat is sitting just outside the open kitchen door as I write this. She obviously knows she’s not allowed in–and any attempt to go out and make friends has her stalking away. So we’ll just sit a few feet apart and enjoy the quiet morning.

Our plans are for lazy today. I’ll write and I’ll read, I’ll sit and bask. We have plenty of leftovers to enjoy for lunch, plenty of wine–and more peaches if a bellini calls me.

I hear dogs barking, roosters crowing. The air, and the wide water are both very still. I may take a walk about before my gang gets up to start the day.

And we’ll see which workout Kat and I choose. I need some upper body in the mix today.

Fingers crossed this goes through, and the pictures uploaded through the restaurant’s WIFI show some of the lovely bits and pieces.  

Nora

Note from Laura:  Nora’s narrative comes through easily,  but the photos are slower.  I have the food from yesterday, but none of the trip to Sorrento.  So I’ll share another pano from Jason over the weekend.

Can you ever tire of the view?  photo by j a-b
Can you ever tire of the view? photo by j a-b

Day Six: Sorrento

The weather on Sunday morning changes minute by minute. I’m awake early to coolish temps and brisk wind. It blows the flowering shrubs, the trees around like mad fans. Then the sun beams, washing a glisten over the water. Then clouds roll in and we get about 90 seconds of rain. The wind stills; the wind kicks.

It’s kind of fascinating.

I hear dogs and roosters, and see one of the local cats stroll down the steps off the patio.

The villa grounds, with infinity pool. Photo by j a-b
The villa grounds, with infinity pool. Photo by j a-b

BW’s up next for a dip in the pool. The sun’s out again, but the dip is very quick as the water, he reports, is freezing. It’s my guy’s birthday, sure to be a happy one here in Sorrento. But a birthday morning hug is off the table because he’s wet!

Kat and I have our very sweaty hour workout on the grass. The sun’s brilliant as we do our Bootcamp Boogie, and not a leaf stirs as we guzzle down water after.

View from the villa. Photo by j a-b
View from the villa. Photo by j a-b

She takes some time to walk about our pretty place, and I hit the showers. When I come up, it’s rained again, and the wind’s back. I think a good way for me to spend this fickle day is at the pretty kitchen table writing. We’re all spread out here, it seems, finding places to read or work or just sit and look. We have tomatoes and cheese and bread and other little snacks to get us through.

I make some good progress on the work into the afternoon. Feels very good, so I deserve a walk around as the day’s cleared again, then some time perched somewhere pretty to read.

I choose our bedroom terrace, read awhile, and half listen to the family vacationing next door. I hear the mother, the father, a young girl, what sounds like a teenage boy. They’re clearly Facetiming someone, or someones. American voices with lots to say. They talk, for awhile, to and about Sayid. I don’t hear Sayid answer, and now as I’m stretched out dozing or half dozing I’m wondering: Is Sayid a baby, a cat? And who is the young woman who talks from home? They’re clearly going somewhere as the mother will say they have to get ready to go, and goodbye. Other goodbyes, then someone will say something else, and a conversation begins again.

I drift in and out with their voices.

It’s lovely to come back to the surface to the blue plate of water and shadows of land in the distance.

A view.  Photo by j a-b
A view. Photo by j a-b

As it’s BW’s birthday, he gets to choose the dinner arrangements. Instead of cooking, we’re walking down to one of the local restaurants–Kat’s checked, made sure they’re open on Sunday. We even make a reservation.

It’s a pretty walk, maybe a half a mile or a bit more. A steep walk, but so pretty. Vineyards rising up, spreading out, and some of the grapes are hanging fat and purple. Up higher a woman and two men work in theirs and call out a greeting as we walk. A lazy trio of dogs sleeping in the shade, an olive grove turning its landscape into that sun-washed silvery green. Flowers spilling, cats inside gates aloof to us, and to dogs that bark madly when we pass.

Grapes on the vine. Photo by j a-b
Grapes on the vine. Photo by j a-b
The birthday boy, his wife and son. Photo by Kat
The birthday boy, his wife and son. Photo by Kat

The air’s warm and sweet, the road steep and narrow. A couple of women chat with each other over their low garden wall.

And here’s the little market where we got–and will get more–supplies. Restaurants and old buildings and flowers and vines.

Our choice is down a kind of driveway where our waiter, cheerful as the sun, greets us. We settle on a table out on the covered patio, and are told we must have a small glass of prosecco–for chin-chin. We have many questions about the menu as it lists several pastas or dishes we’re not familiar with. Our delightful waiter (and only he and another delightful female server who I think is also a cook are on duty) does an admirable job of explaining, even using props. The woman brings out complimentary bruschetto even as we’re all trying to decide what we’ll eat.

We’re treated so warmly, welcomed so easily, and everyone knows which villa we’re staying in. It shows me small towns work the same way universally, and I find it charming.

Salads so fresh the ingredients had to be just picked. A bowl of minestroni for BW that’s the size of a vat. Lovely bread to dip, and all before the main. I have sea bass, beautifully prepared, and home-made fries. Another vat of soup–this time tomato-basil for Jason. We’ll have to come back again when I have room to try that. It comes with some toasted chunks of bread on the side. The woman insists Jason put the bread in the soup, break it up, she demonstrates and put it in. He’s game for that, but shortly she comes back, takes his spoon, pushes the bread under the soup. He should eat it properly!

Brilliant proscuitto. photo by j a-b
Brilliant proscuitto. photo by j a-b
Vat o'tomato-basil. Plus bread. Photo by j-ab
Vat o’tomato-basil. Plus bread. Photo by j-ab
The sea bass (I think). Photo by Kat
The sea bass (I think). Photo by Kat

A family comes in, and I swear the father especially looks just like my mental image of the neighboring dad. I wonder, as there is a mom, a little girl, an older boy–though not the teen I saw in my head–if this is indeed the family vacationing next-door.

We sit, we eat, we drink a really lovely house red. Our two servers stop by to make sure we have all we need–and for, I think, the woman to make certain Jason’s eating that soup properly. He can’t finish it, but we’ll take half the vat home for someone’s lunch. It’s a birthday, after all–Kat had an app on her phone for birthday candles BW can blow out–so we need dessert. Our waiter explains the display inside, and it all looks amazing. Still I want gelato. I ask for a ball of the lemon with a ball of the strawberry. Our woman server obviously considers this just wrong. I can have either, but not both together! LOL. So I have lemon, and it’s wonderful.

We’re gifted with a bottle of the house red before we leave. We walk home in the soft night with our container of soup, a bag of the bread and the wine. Flashlight apps on phones help light the way. Cats and dogs wander. There’s no doubt we’ll become very familiar with this route, and visit our friends at the restaurant again. And you really need that walk when you have all that fabulous food.

Home, and into pjs for me. We have Olympics on, Italian style. It’s fun to watch–and the women’s gymnastics are truly amazing–from the Italian pov. The stars are brilliant, the night warm. It’s midnight before I settle down to sleep.

This morning it’s still and warm. We’ll get that workout in, then put ourselves together for a drive into Sorrento. We need to change money–and we absolutely have to visit some of those shops, see the sites, have lunch somewhere pretty. I’m just not going to think of that wild, winding road up and back. BW handles Ireland fine–and that’s driving on the wrong side for us. So he should do fine here, too.

Hopefully, within the next day or so, our internet problems will be no more.

I’ll try to send this now–and hopefully the pictures also make the trip!  

Nora

Note from Laura:  BW, Kat and Jason figured out the lovely restaurant also had solid WiFi and uploaded photos while they were there.  Below are a couple from the trip over to Sorrento.

Leaving Capri in the wake. Photo by j a-b
Leaving Capri in the wake. Photo by j a-b
Coming into Sorrento. Photo by Kat
Coming into Sorrento. Photo by Kat
The landing in Sorrento. Photo by Kat
The landing in Sorrento. Photo by Kat

 

 

Day Five: Capri to Sorrento

Our last day on Capri is both easy and breezy. Pack up what we’ve unpacked, gather our stuff from here and there. Obsessively check drawers and closets. Obsessively check drawers and closets again.

Our days here have been everything we could have asked for.

We’ve timed it so we can enjoy a leisurely lunch poolside before our ride to the docks in Capri Town. We do exactly that and enjoy our last lazy and delicious hour before we’re packed–literally–in our van for the final winding ride down. Offload, reload into our boat with the same captain and mate as our trip in.

This, it turns out, is a bumpier trip. My system questions the wisdom, so I do my best to ignore its whining and watch those high, rugged cliffs as we head out over the water. Big party boats and ferries, elegant sailboats glide along with us as we speed away from Capri.

BW points out Villa Jovis, high, high on its cliff so we can clearly see the long steep climb we did. We’re impressed with us!

Now I see Sorrento. More high cliffs with buildings built onto, and into the rocky walls. Those gorgeous sun-faded colors and bright, bright white, cypress and sweeps of flowers which reminded me of the gorgeous flowers in Dublin that I loved so much. Then, the restaurants offering dining on platforms over the water, and crowds of people dining or strolling.

Offload, reload into another van. Our charming driver is a native, not only of Sorrento, but of the little village we’re heading toward. He tells us to avoid Fridays, Saturdays and Tuesdays–as the cruise ships come in on those days, and the crowds are massive. Good information!

Lots of shops to explore–on days not Friday, Saturday or Tuesday.

Then we’re heading up, again on skinny, twisting roads. Wicked switchbacks with rock walls on one side, or a small field, or a lucky glimpse of the water. He points out the road along the Almafi Coast, but my system warns me not to look, at least for long. We side-wind our way up. Our cheerful driver tells us there are restaurants in the little village near our villa, and recommends one especially–good food, good people.

It’s a longer drive from Sorrento to the villa than it was from Capri Town to our hotel, and I swear the roads are even snakier. Though we’ve rented a car to be delivered to our villa, we may want our guy once in a while.

Plus I have a feeling my journeys out and about will be few.

I’m more sure of that when we arrive.

The little gate opens to let us in where Bruno and his mama and his young son wait. Bruno and his family manage the villa–and own it. In fact his parents built it, and lived here for many years. They’re justifiably proud, and Mama knows much of the area, its legends. We have to be shown around, instructed on how everything works, but first we must look out. All that blue water below, the shadow of land, the rise of it far out. And three little islands off our shores. We’re told they were once called the Islands of the Sirens–as the Sirens sat and sang and lured the boats.

There’s an infinity pool overlooking the water from the villa’s high perch. I expect we’ll give it a lot of use.

The gracious villa offers gardens–fig trees!–paths and steps leading down to pretty spots to sit, and a hiking trail. We have a big patio off the kitchen, with awnings we can open and close as the sun demands. But the view, honestly, the view is all. I almost hate to go in and see the house itself. I’m going to get a lot of writing and reading done in some of those outdoor spaces.

We have a pretty living room–windows and a terrace to enjoy the view. Two bedrooms on this level, and Kat and Jason decide to take one of them. They’ll love having that terrace.

A big country kitchen with a pretty tiled table. We’ve ordered in a few supplies. We have a bowl of gorgeous tomatoes–Sorrento tomatoes–and basil on the counter.

Two more bedrooms downstairs, and BW and I take the one with the bigger bed–he’s a very tall guy. We’ll enjoy the terrace off the bedroom.

Lots of practical things to be addressed, instructions on the WiFi–which turns out to be pretty wonky, and should be fixed by Monday or Tuesday. On the TVs, the alarm, the gate, the doors and windows, the recycling, and so on.

I need a drink!! I hunt for ice. Kat saves me by finding the little tray in a skinny freezer drawer. Now I can explore a bit, the grassy area by the pool Kat and I decide will be a fine workout spot. The flowers, the paths down. The view, stunning from every level and angle.

Time to unpack, and it feels good to have everything put away, the suitcases stored in the second bedroom.

It’s been a long time since our leisurely lunch on Capri. I slice up a tomato, add some basil, some pepper, some olive oil. Slice up some lovely bread, a variety of cheeses, a gorgeous peach, arrange it all with some grapes on a pretty tray. We have a snack on our patio.

We’ve going to need more from the market, and an actual meal–a little later. More exploring, more just sitting and basking first. Some WiFi frustration, more instructions by text.

We have menus from the local spots, and they’ll deliver. But Jason and Kat will walk to the village, do the marketing and pick up dinner. BW will drive down to fetch them since our car’s been delivered.

I pour a drink, roll back the patio awnings as the sun’s softened its heat. We have olives on a tree–not ripe yet, as Kat quickly discovered, but so pretty. While my family’s dealing with food and supplies, I sit on the patio. A skinny cat wanders out. We’ve been asked not to feed the stray cats or let them in the house, or the grassy area will become a litter box. The cat’s not much interested in me though I try to coax him over for a pet. Maybe later.

Now we have our supplies, and our dinner–and as it’s reported to be a nice walk, I’ll look forward to wandering down myself some time. We have ravioli, pizza, gnocchi on the patio as day fades to night.

Out on the terrace we look up at brilliant stars. They actually twinkle, bright pinpoints against the deep sky. The breeze sounds like the surf.

It’s early to bed for me, and I go out in what seemed like seconds, I wake to soft light just before six, walk out to breezes strong enough for a sweater. Soft blue skys with streaks of clouds, high cliffs, white rock and green trees, flowering bushes blowing in the wind, and the water, spreading wide.

It’s a fine morning view.

I think a restful Sunday’s in order, and maybe we’ll make some pasta in our pretty kitchen for dinner tonight. We have gelato in the freezer!

Nora

Note from Laura:  Iffy WiFi means the words got through but photos will take a little longer, so I’m adding a few from Capri I didn’t use in other recaps.  Enjoy!

Photo by Kat
Photo by Kat
Photo by Kat
Photo by Kat
Photo by Kat
Photo by Kat
Photo by j a-b
Photo by j a-b