Did I say early start?! Things always drag out when you combine late risers with the organisation that having three young children and our life in a car requires. We decided to have a leisurely morning as the ferry didn't leave until 2200h, so while Jason took the kids to the beach I decided to clean the car as best I could, even without a vacuum (my vacuum friends from yesterday left early this morning, with a clean motorhome I might add!). Shame we didn't get back in time yesterday for me to use the neighbours vacuum, but I still had cleaning on the brain. I proceeded to empty the car out and attack it with the dustpan and brush and wetwipe combo - not the most effective.
I should add that we had quite literally a dreadful night with felix up and crying about 4 times and loud. After we reluctantly arose around 8:30am we were interrupted by a teenage boy from our new motorhome neighbours asking us to keep the kids quiet as they were trying to sleep. We did try but by that stage I thought it wasn't horrifically early and what can you expect with young children?! I saw the mother later and did apologise for felix during the night and reassured her that we were leaving today! She was very understanding considering I wanted to throttle the boy overnight and he's my child!
We had also met up with a lovely couple out walking their dog and looking for a new position with more sun. After chatting a while they decided to move to the spot opposite us. They were retired, from the Netherlands though he was British originally and were enjoying the nomad lifestyle. He gave Jason a copy of bill bryson's 'down under', and the two commiserated as only English men can about the state of Europe. She was lovely, and saying that the reason I was lamenting the food shopping in Italy was because the Italians don't go to the supermarkets. They go to small specialised shops or directly to the farmers.
Thus passed a morning of cleaning and chat. Emily came back from playing with her friends on the beach and had a good Bose around the couple's caravan. We finally wVe goodbye around midday, stopping ever so briefly at Paestum on our way northwards.
Nearing Naples, I asked Jason if he wanted to see the amalfi coast on our way through and he was keen so we detoured onto the Coastal road. Again memories of that girlie trip here and driving around the bends on the winding amalfi road. It is obe of the great Coastal drives, though more spectacular in summer when the azure sea and sky meld into each other and all the colors seem more vivid. Coming from the south, the villages were still peeling and decrepit, but seemed to have more character. Amalfi itself is a lovely little strip of palm trees and beachfrontage that is quiet now but heaving in summer. We drove through to Positano where we parked and walked the one way system down through the rows of shops to the seafront. Here is definitely a year round town. Still thronging with people, shops and stalls ablaze, upmarket clothes and souvenirs for sale. I showed everyone where I had stayed, and where I bought emily's series of pictures. Even though the warmth was dwindling by this time, the girls insisted on ice-cream at the beach, and felix had a calzonetta snack while I people watched.
On our way back, both the girls and I bought some Positano lace (kind of) clothes. Me and meg skirts, and em a dress. I love my skirt which is navy, tiered and flowing. Happy campers. Not so happy once we programmed our final destination of Civitavecchia into good old Serena. Having thought we were only 2 hrs away, it was a shock to be told it was 4 hrs and our estimated time of arrival was an hour before departure! After struggling with traffic both on the peninsula and then coming into Rome, this was heading closer to half an hour before departure. While in a traffic jam, Jason asked me to drive as it was stressing him out, so we quickly swapped. Where possible, I drove like a true Italian for the next two hours - well above the 'speed limit'. I'll spare you the details but suffice to say we arrived at the dock and were the last car to pull up outside the ship, with 5 mins to spare!! Unbelievable.
Parked the car, thank goodness I had already packed an overnight bag, and made our way to reception where the lady handed us our room keys before we'd told her our names! Oops. A miracle that we made it. For a minimal price difference I had upgraded us to a junior suite which was significantly bigger, had a double bed in addition to the sofa and pull down, and a porthole! As I'd already paid for meals I went to grab a late dinner while j got the kids bed ready. The ship was fairly empty, the passengers mostly truck drivers. Many facilities (pool included) were closed. In saying that though, the ship is the newest and cleanest we've been on. I came back with a sandwich for the minors and let j out for his meal. Sweet dreams on the sea for all tonight. Very relieved to be here. Ciao Italy.