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Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Amalfi Mini Cruise

July was HOT, and we hadn't seen rain since we arrived in Italy. What better way to get Hotter, go on a The Day started out gorgeous, maybe a little hazy, but nice temp. We headed down to the port by bus, They dropped us off, and we boarded our mini-cruise ship for the day, kids were kinda excited. Our first top was to swim in a little open spot right next to the Isle of Capri. Water was refreshingly cool, but man it was salty. Diane and Andrew jumped in first, then Andrew and I did a couple canonballs. Next we headed over to the town of Positano, absolutely gorgeous town built right into the side of a cliff! We swam at the beach, the ate at Chez' Black right on the coast @ thebeach front. Great Day was had by all !

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Getting Here.......Italy 2009

The Solley’s in Italy 2009

Monday June 29th
Diane and I got up early to start packing stuff! Sherry went and picked up Scooby at the vets for us and brought him back to Homewood Suites. Sherry had Jacob, Sheila & Bethany with her. Said our see ya laters (arivederci).Kids are very excited!!Taxi came and picked us up @ 12p, so we could get to Dulles early, because first time ever traveling with pets. Percy tore the heck out of my arm getting her into her crate (little bitch) lol! We arrived at airport around 1:30p. We thought; hey get a skycap to help us so things go smoothly....right! Then the chaos begins, stand here, no lets go here, let's try over at this counter, you have pets you need to go over there....ok(is this sky cap really helping, cause I know he is going to want a TIP).Scooby is whining non-stop, and Percy meow's every other second(No-Stress). Excuse me Sir, Cat has Wrong crate, What? Now I have to take Percy out of the old crate, buy a new crate @ airport, great price ...not! Now, try to get Percy back in new crate, she tears the heck out of my arm again (This s#!t is getting old fast). Now sir we have to inspect the pet’s crates. Go around other side of counter, take Scooby out of crate to inspect crate, no problems. Sir please remove cat from crate, what the hell is going on, did they not see my bloody arm, didn't you just assemble the thing over there? Could I have possibly put something in there, from there to here? Carefully take Percy from crate, seems to be doing ok, sir please put cat back in crate, holy crap here we go again. Percy sounded like Tasmanian devil on steroids; of course the 200 people that were watching me didn’t make it any easier. Get tourniquet from sky cap..Thanks for all your help, and here is your nice tip (why?) Now boarding, Huge airplane, biggest I've ever been on. Kids are doing great!! More room than I was expecting, I could almost fit in the seat, and put my legs in front of me, almost. Just as the plane starts down the runway I notice the sweet sound of a baby gently crying. I miss that sometimes.3hrs into the flight baby is still crying, not such a sweet melody anymore. 5hrs into the flight, after dinner, and some drinks, baby is still crying, movie can't drown out the crying. I just want to get some sleep. I'm really getting restless, please quite your baby ma'am. Not joking, 8hrs in, and the baby is still crying unless mom is walking her around the plane I'm starting to lose it, cause I am tired, and this seat made for "other" people doesn't feel so good. As we start our decent into Munich, Emily says, Daddy I don't feel so good....Ught Oh! There she blows....we almost got it all in the bag, almost..Yikes! Welcome to Munich!!

Tuesday June 30th
Arrived in Munich Germany @ 9:15a, can't read anything, let's follow the crowd! I get the full treatment @ the inspection area. Kids are asking Diane, what are they doing to Daddy? Kids are hungry, and tired. We are all worried about the dog and cat, hope they're doing well :^). We are flying Lufthansa, and the airplane looks brand new inside and out, beautiful. Things are getting better, maybe. Short flight to Naples Italy went great. Let's find our luggage............... wholly crap the dog and the cat come out on the luggage conveyor.... we weren’t expecting that. How in the heck am I going to get three kids w/ backpacks, two animal crates w/animals, and seven pieces of luggage out of this airport? Let's find a skycap.....easier said than done, but we did it! Finally get everything loaded, three carts full. Leave luggage area and Diane's sponsor is waiting for us...Lana, and Andy are very nice. Lana borrowed a huge Mercedes van, and we still almost had enough room. Wholly crap they drive like absolute! We arrive @ the support site to get checked in and have the vet check out the pets, everything looking good. Lana wants to keep us awake, and all we want to do is sleep. Lana takes us to our Hotel in Bagnoli called the Montespina Park Hotel. We get checked in, and get the pets settled, and we all take a 1hr nap. Feeling better now, what's next? Let's walk to where Diane is going to work, and Lana wants us to see where the metro station is located. Walt's first impressions are Italy is a slum, and they drive like nothing he has ever seen before. The walk is hilly, and the kids are tired, but it was good, because we finished with a Gelato, and made it all worthwhile.

Wednesday July 1st
Slept in late, or should I say we laid on the hardest beds ever for 8hrs. Now I know how the Flintstones felt. Almost late for breakfast. Lots of pastries, and stuff, but where is the meat? How about a western omelet, you know ham & cheese, onions & green peppers...not in sight. Tony Alfredo is really struggling with his English, probably better than my Italian though. Hey, lets hang out at the pool Get the kids all changed, and sun block on, walk up to the pool. No, no, no, please tell me I don't have to wear a swim cap...please. Sir everyone must wear cap while in the pool, man I feel like a dork!

Thursday July 2nd
Up @ I'm tired.....bed really sucks. We have to be @ JFC for the only bus that takes us to Support Site. Kids are still very tired, but they are doing a great job, because it is quite a hill to get to the JFC site. Get to walk by some of the dirtiest areas we've seen so far, not so scenic here, but I know there is more to see.

Friday July 3rd
Met Jim & Katie Daly @ pool today with their children Sally & David (DD). Emily and Sally had a great time together in and out of the pool. Jim and Katie are Irish, but recently moved to Brussels for his work. They are both golfers, and they love to follow sports especially golf & tennis (Wimbledon was playing) very nice people!

Saturday July 4th
Up early to meet Lana for breakfast and see some houses. Kids are getting tired of getting up early, but they are troopers. Poor Scooby and Percy, not much time for them right now, but they are adjusting very well. We saw some absolutely gorgeous homes, but none that really just said this is the one. Diane and I are also concerned about safety. My biggest concern is theft, Seems to be a very bad problem around the Naples area! The Housing dept won’t let you live in one of the most popular areas, unless you sign a waiver, because the crime rate is so high there (Lago Patria)

Sunday July 5th
Slept in late again, I’m starting to like this!

Monday July 6th
Area Orientation, kids to camp adventure, and Emily to CDC Boys bus doesn't get back until after our only bus leaves for JFC Ask Jody to gives us a lift back to our hotel, just the boys and I Jody's husband Mike used Homer Simpson’s voice for his Tom-tom very funny ride for a very stressful driving environment

Tuesday July 7th
Area Orientation, Boys with us , but Emily went to CDC Diane and I pass our drivers test yeah!! Met John and his wife Tammy , they live in the same apt bldg as Jody and Mike. Jody & Mike have Gavin John & Tammy have a boy named Carson (13), and a girl named Landa (9)

Wednesday July 8th
Area Orientation, boys go to camp today, because they will be back before bus leaves went to the bowling alley today for camp Emily went for a mini field trip, and walked around the high school track! Andy & his wife Molly are letting us use their station wagon until our van gets here. Very nice couple and they have been very helpful

Thursday July 9th
Area Orientation, Kids are in camp, Emily at CDC Last night at the Montesquito Walter and I took a early load of things to the apt. I got lost on the way back to the hotel, almost made it to the base of Mt Vesuvius!

Friday July 10th
Moved into apt. Skipped Area Orientation w/ bus & train trips took Emily to CDC, because they were going to play in the sprinkler today, she was so excited boys stayed with us today no camp for them.

Saturday July 11th
First morning in our four bedroom apt. not too bad, just image Diane and me in a double bed.....whoa! Wasn't so bad comfort wise actually, it's just that I'm not used to touching her while we sleep, unless I'm trying to get frisky. I'm used to the king bed, and we meet in the middle; double bed seemed to only have Additionally, I put Percy's new collar on her yesterday that was just the cutest with a cute little bell on it. When I put it on her she looked adorable, and every time she moved the little bell made such a cute sound. Now try to remember next time dumb ass that cats are mostly active at night, because that cute little bell didn't sound so cute @ 2a. Mostly worked around the house today, unpacking the boxes that we shipped here. Went to library with the kids today, while Diane went shopping. Had picnic with Andy & Molly and their little girl Claire! Very Nice night! Saw some great fireworks late on the back balcony!

Sunday July 12th
We all slept in late today….like 9a, very nice!

Monday July 13th
Diane started work today up @ 5a……WHAT? Yes, I said it, Diane up @5a, which means I was up also, she didn’t know it though, but her coffee was waiting for her. The kids and I hung around the house most of the day, but later we went to the pool for while to enjoy the day!

Tuesday July 14th
Another day in paradise!

Wednesday July 15th
Walter turns 10 years old today!! Happy Birthday Son!! We are very blessed to have such awesome children, and Walter started it all off! We all went to the pool today, and Diane met us there after she got off work. It was a nice day! We had a little tasty cake birthday cake for Walter, and just made it a nice day for him!

Thursday July 16th
Had Birthday party for Walter @ the Bowling Alley, and everyone came, and made it a very special evening!! It was such a nice evening for Walter to have new friends to enjoy his Birthday with!

Sunday July 19th
Went to Contemporary Church service @ 9:15a on Support Site. We all walked over, and it was very nice. Met a very nice couple Dean, Kathy and their son Hunter!

Saturday July 25th
Woke up early to catch the bus for our Cruise of the Amalfi coast. We left dock at Castellammare, and headed out for the day. Our first stop was a tour around the Isle of Capri, and about an hour stop off the coast of Capri for a swim. Diane and Andrew went in first, and Andrew was in heaven, not so much for Diane(I’ll let her tell that story). Then Andrew and I did a couple cannonballs and called it a day, back on the ship. Next we headed for the town of Positano, to spend the next three hours, while the rest of the people on the ship go to the town of Amalfi. Pay for a little shuttle boat to take you from the cruise ship to the shore, pack you in like sardines, on a 90deg day. They drop you off at a little dock on the beach, and off you go. We stopped at the beach so the kids could swim for a while. Funny thing is, no sand! The beach is literally nothing but rock, all nice rounded off smooth stones, but man are they HOT! The water is clear and blue, but you see stuff floating around, that maybe you don’t want to see… ! The kids loved it, and we took some video of them playing, which so how much fun they were having.