Day Fifteen: Sorrento on land and by sea

When BW says he’s up for a workout, we go for a 30-odd minute Shaun T. BW Cizes it up with me and Kat. I think we rocked it. Our guy cools it off with a swim while Kat and I face the rigors of 8 Minutes Abs, then do some resistance training, another round of cardio before we call that part of our day a wrap.  [Note from Laura: see workout list here.]

BW and Jason are heading off to Sorrento to meet Bruno and his boat for the day. Kat and I remain landlubbers. While my girls walks to the market, I clean myself up, set up for writing on the patio.

A lovely breeze, a lovely view.

When I slip into the kitchen for a moment, Kat’s dicing up figs. So pretty! She has her recipe, her ingredients. She has a plan. I work, wander in off and on to record her progress.

Chopped figs.  Photo by Nora.
Chopped figs. Photo by Nora.

A small issue. We have no measuring cups. The Ukranian housekeeper tries to help, finding a small plastic cup and marking it metrically. But Kat’s got her own way.

I watch her take a Coke bottle, cut off the base and make her own cup. She uses the ounce measurements on the blender pitcher, figures and calculates. And has herself a measuring cup for the dough.

This is the girl you want with you when you find yourself shipwrecked on a deserted island.

Measuring cup by Katgyver.  Photo by Nora.
Measuring cup by Katgyver. Photo by Nora.

Fresh figs simmering, pretty (and tasty) dough mixed up.

Cooked figs.  Photo by Nora.
Cooked figs. Photo by Nora.
Fig Newton dough.  Photo by Nora.
Fig Newton dough. Photo by Nora.

While it chills, I go back to work. I hear Kat singing along with Adele while she sits at the kitchen table with her tablet. I must have gone deep into the work as suddenly I smell something fabulous.

In I go to see Kat’s already rolled out the dough–making a rolling pin out of aluminum foil and cling wrap–don’t ask! I have no idea how she manages to come up with things like this, but it’s why we call her KatGyver.

The long logs of fig-filled cookies are baking, already sending out a siren’s scent.

Baked Fig Newtons.  Photo by Nora.
Baked Fig Newtons. Photo by Nora.

A little more work for me–it’s such a nice day and obviously Kat’s got this.

When I knock off for the day, the cookies are cooling. We watch a little Olympics–and a reply of the endearing, amazing, one-in-a-million Bolt’s sprint.

Time to cut those cookie logs into servings. I don’t like figs, have never liked the Fig Newtons my pop was so fond of–and BW continues fond of. But I take a small one. Okay, I like Kat’s Fig Newtons. The cookie part is perfectly delicious, and I’m sure partially because of fresh figs and partially because of Kat magic, the filling is fabulous.

Finished Fig Newtons a la Kat.  (BW critique: Yum!) Photo by Nora.
Finished Fig Newtons a la Kat. (BW critique: Yum!) Photo by Nora.

I’m a fan.

The guys text–they’re off the boat, going into town to complete a task, and want to go out to dinner. Okay then. We change, doll up a little. The breeze has come on strong with evening so I pull out the white linen jacket I found–I think in Sorrento.

The calico comes to visit, and oops, a few bites of ham fall out of Kat’s fingers. This draws the gray tabby with the fierce face. This one has a cold, unwavering eye–a warrior’s eye. Not the type to preen under a human hand, this one. In fact, Kat wonders if she meets those eyes directly, he’d turn her into a frog.

He looks capable.

Here come our sailors. A great day for them. Beautiful seas and skies, a wonderful trip along the coast–with photos that show just how high up our villa sits on the cliff. I knew we were up there, but the tiny white building perched up there from the water’s perspective? Wow, we’re UP there.

Bruno -- villa owner and boat captain.  Photo by BW.
Bruno — villa owner and boat captain. Photo by BW.
The view of the villa from the sea. (Note very small arrow.) Photo by BW.
The view of the villa from the sea. (Note very small arrow.) Photo by BW.

They got into their best snorkeling gear and went snorkeling–and avoided jelly fish. Jason claims the water was cold enough it took his breath away when he first jumped in. They cruised around our little islands. One is privately owned, with a big villa, other homes, a church. Jason says we wouldn’t have enjoyed ourselves, as the ride back was wild and bumpy. But then, he and BW always loved boats. We four all had a fine day doing what we enjoy.

Lively water.  Photo by j a-b.
Lively water. Photo by j a-b.

They have photos, lots of them. Some of skinny, crowded beaches where there are more rocks (or concrete) than sand. And still the umbrellas and sun-lovers gather. Back in Sorrento they rode the beach elevator (!) from the beach up to town.

From BW: Motor bike parking in Sorrento marina.  Photo by j a-b.
From BW: Motor bike parking in Sorrento marina. Photo by j a-b.
Heading out.   Photo by j a-b.
Heading out. Photo by j a-b.
Secluded beach from the boat.  Photo by j a-b.
Secluded beach from the boat. Photo by j a-b.
Marina del Cantone.  Photo by BW.
Marina del Cantone. Photo by BW.
Il Galla Lungo Island.  Photo by BW.
Il Galla Lungo Island. Photo by BW.

Now, full of sea stories, we walk down to our little village for dinner.

Such a pretty night, the clouds forming swirls and sweeps over the hills. We’re a happy, hungry group and choose the revisit the charming restaurant where we had our first meal here.

A table beside ours is full of people–and a little dog. He looks like a small labradoodle, all curly gold. He’s Chester, and wags over to me for a pet. And more pets. Chester and I bond. The group, from the voices and accents, seems to be a mix of Americans and Italians–and they look as if, like our guys, they’ve been out on a boat, or maybe they’ve come in from the beach or a pool.

Happy group, happy dog.

We’re happy, too, as the food’s just as good as it was the first time, and the service charming.

Dinner.  Photo by Kat.
Dinner. Photo by Kat.

A walk back under a fat white moon. A visit on the way from a couple of the local dogs. There’s some traffic on our little road tonight–maybe it’s that moon. Where are they going? Scooters, little cars. Then again, it’s such a gorgeous night, why not go for a drive?

Nearly full.  Photo by Kat.
Nearly full. Photo by Kat.

I manage to read for about ten minutes, then just drop away.

This morning, the clouds across the sea formed a magic cityscape on the horizon, as if mystical buildings had grown up overnight. There’s just a blush of pink behind them, and the pale, still water along their foundations.

The cloud city holds for awhile, a quiet shimmer, than disappears into the mist.

A charming start to another day.  


20 thoughts on “Day Fifteen: Sorrento on land and by sea”

  1. I have written three times during your blog, Nora. I enjoy your daily experiences as well as the incredible photos! Thank you for sharing your time in Italy!

  2. Man! I love the pictures and those homemade fig newtons look divine.

  3. Your day sounds perfect! Love Kat’s photo “Nearly Full”. Beautiful and serene.

  4. There is nothing like a beautiful long relaxing vacation. Unhurried, and enjoyed by all. Your dedication to work while on vacation is admirable and a gift to us- your loyal readers and fans!

  5. I’m intrigued by the ‘beach elevator’ – what exactly is that? Some sort of mechanized conveyance that is a blend of elevator and roller coaster? By the way, I think Kat could give McGyver a run for his money! So clever!

  6. I am so glad that you are enjoying your time away !!!! The Village,people,food sound wonderful !!!! But I love the tif bits about the dogs and cats !!!!! Continue to enjoy !!!! Thanks for the wonderful pictures !!!!

  7. What a wonderful blend of relaxation and business just doing what makes you happy. I bet Bruno gets his share of ogling from the sunbathers – lol. I love Fig Newtons, I’m just drooling!

  8. Nora,
    Love the photos and the descriptions of your visit. I don’t think that I will ever think of Italy the same way ever again. It all seems so exotic and fabulous!
    Kat has an intelligent way of figuring things out that most of us would just shake our head at. I have a son like that. Right now he is making his own rosary beads and they are going to be beautiful. So I enjoy reading about what Kat comes up with next!
    So glad everyone is able to do their own thing and enjoy this vacation and thank you for sharing it with us! Beth

  9. Thank you Nora, for your magnificent travelogue. I have always known the breadth and depth of your heart. Your words reach into my heart and plant themselves there. Thank you for sharing your beautiful family with us. I, too, consider my children and my grandchildren to be close friends. You are a wonderful mother in law, supposedly the most difficult relationship to maintain. So many of your characters have become part of my life. I just can’t forget them. I must admit that I am especially partial to Mia Devlin and Maggie Concannon. I have developed a love for Chuhily glass because of Maggie! Waiting anxiously for the completion of the Guardians Trilogy. Thanks again, Lynne

  10. That last paragraph just blew me away. What a loss to the world if you hadn’t become a writer. Do you have to work hard on composing it, or does it just come to you?

    I love the photos- your blog is the height of my day. Thanks.

  11. While I was reading this, I thought Kat has a little MacGyver in her and then Nora nicknamed her. Ha! Love her ingenuity. Enjoyed reading about your travels. Have a safe trip home and see you in September.

    1. I thought the same thing. It’s great to have someone who can think like that.

  12. Wow, just wow at Bruno, some bod!

    And tonight I replicated your chef made meal, pork medallions and golden potato chunks, the DH loved it all. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Kudos to Kat, she can do anything, reminds me of my mom, she had that ability too. I thought you were going to say she used a wine bottle as a rolling pin but her version worked too.

    1. Have to agree about Bruno, lol. He’s got it goin’ on! Age truly is just a number?

  13. I’m ready for a trip to Italy, You’re vacation sold me on that one. You’re pics are wonderful ,.Kates fig cookies look great , enjoy with a up of tea. Looking forward to reading the rest of your trip. Here’s to the rest!!!!!

  14. Perfect day….and all of you got to enjoy it in your own way! The photographs are wonderful….almost able to smell the cookies baking!

    Thank you for sharing!!!

  15. I’m not a fig fan at all but those homemade newtons look simply fantastic!! I love the water and boat pictures! I’m definitely a sea and ocean lover! Can’t believe your villa is so incredibly high up on the cliffs. That explains why your views are so amazing.

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