Sunday, August 21, 2011

Daytripper: I'm on a Boat!

Yesterday we went on a Mini-Cruise along the Amalfi Coast.  To start off the day, we met the tour bus near the airport at 7:30 AM and drove off to the port near Sorrento.  During the 40 minute bus ride, the tour guide discovered that there were more people on the bus than had paid.  She read off names but it was hard to hear and we were sitting in the back a bit confused.  Then she came down the aisle checking everybody's name.  When she got to our group of 5, she discovered who wasn't on the list.  All of us!  I showed her my receipt and she wrote all of the names down and came back about 5 minutes later to point out the problem.  The girl at the USO booked us on the trip the following weekend.  I turned bright red, embarassed that I had taken on this simple task of booking our group and began to fear that this bubbly Italian girl would turn deadly and leave us stranded at the super sketchy Port of Naples to find our own way home!  Instead, ever the sweetheart that she was, she giggled and referred to us as "the illegals" all day. 

The boat had three levels: one with a dining area and half covered/half open deck at the stern (did you like that?  Nautical speak!  "I'm on a boat!")  The top two decks were covered in beach chairs and immediately upon opening the ropes to let us in, Italians in tiny swim suits.  At this point, it was quarter of 9 and almost every Italian on the boat was in a string bikini or Speedo.  We saw a very common fashion trend of Italian swim suits: men LOVE red speedos and women changed their suits hourly right where they sat.  We saw quite our fair share of lady bits onboard yesterday!

We eventually got to Capri and were given 30 minutes to swim around the boat.  An "Italian line" formed at the stairs on either side of the boat and we all were pushed and shoved by sweaty, nearly nude Italians in line.  I don't mind a normal Italian line, which is to say a mass of people in no particular order or even linear form, under normal circumstances all THAT much but when everyone is clad only in tiny bits of spandex, it makes me a bit uncomfortable!  Alas, we all, minus Tom, who hates the sun and avoids it at all costs, hopped into the water and swam around, making continued note of our good fortune for living in Italy.  The water was super salty but so clear that you could see to the bottom, some 40-50 meters, according to Nathan's guestimations.

Back on board, our hair started to dry in the salty, crusty manner that is highly attractive.  We cruised another 40 minutes until we reached Positano where we piled off of our larger boat onto a very small boat.  The fare was 3 Euro roundtrip and I think to save money on gas, the boat driver and his very pushy wife, decided to cram as many of us onto the boat as possible.  We assumed that  two trips would be made and when I was numbered "trentuno" (31) I began to worry that all five of us wouldn't fit on the tiny boat!  How wrong I was!   At least 50 of us got on the tiny boat!  It rolled so strongly in the wake of other boats that we were obliged to go very very slowly into port. 

Once on dry land in Positano, our group stopped into La Pergola for lunch.  The food was pretty good, though expensive.  As always, I voted Tom's provalone stuffed gnocchi with zucchini the best dish.  From our lazy lunch, we wandered the streets of Positano for a few minutes and looked at artwork, shoes and a cute, 580 EURO top.  Wow, Fendi really is that expensive.  "No, no, just looking!"

We all got some gelato, though I've decided that Kinder is my favorite flavor, and sat in the shade/sun (level of burnt depending) before getting back on our boat to the bigger boat.  Kim and I tried our hand at underwater photography with my Stylus Tough camera (which can be dropped from 6.6 ft and can go 33 feet under water!).  The salt water made this task incredibly difficult and we ended up getting a lot of pictures of my armpit or bubbles.

All in all, we had a lovely day on our cruise!  We finished up with burgers at Blackwood, the Irish style pub by Kim and Nathan's house, and a huge beer each.  Upon arriving home, I remembered the previously agreed upon rule that "no one can touch their sheets before showering first." 

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