Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Girl time on an island in Italy? Yes, please.

For reasons far too complicated to share, we all drove down to Naples, Italy to stay with friends while my girlfriend and I left the men with a mere ten kinder.  We took two buses and a ferry over to Ischia and stayed at the San Montano Resort and Spa for two glorious nights.  

Our View from our Room
The first day (Saturday) we got straight in our suits and hit the many pools where we were greeted by the lifeguard with towels and lounge pads.  He was super on top of it and even told us that the place we chose to sit would get shady in a few hours and directed us to a better location.  It was a beautiful, sunny day. 
Fresh of the ferry and at our hotel room

We each had a spritz (a really pricey one at 12 Euros each!) by the pools since the food was not served until 1pm.  We had missed breakfast in order to get out of the house and catch the early buses and ferry.  They brought out nuts and crackers with our drinks.  We ended up sitting outside the bar shortly after 1pm splitting a bruschetta and a sandwich.  Of course, we had another over priced drink.  They seriously had everything you could think of.  I had an Expresso Martini and my friend had a fancy blue drink.

Spritz by the pool

Next up was more pool and laying out in the sun reading Flannery O'Connor.  We had agreed to both read A Good Man is Hard to Find and her other short stories so that we could discuss them.  She was recommended on Carrots for Michaelmas and I totally thought I'd love it.  I didn't hate it, but nor did I love it or even get it, for that matter. The discussion was not nearly as intensive as I had thought since we both really had a difficult time understanding her point.  We read some commentary on her from Carrot's husband, but we still couldn't quite do much more than shake our heads at each other with our mouth open like we wanted to say something, but just couldn't figure out what it was.  
We didn't have dinner reservations at the hotel restaurant until 8pm so we stayed at the pool or in the saunas and indoor thermal bath until it was time to clean up for dinner.  So relaxing.  We were both amazed at how slowly the time goes when we don't have to take care of anyone.

We didn't last too long in the crazy hot sauna.

View from the pools

Dinner was grand, with a appetizer buffet to die for.  My favorite part both nights!  An entire table of salad veggies, an entire table of weird meats from the sea(if that's what you're into,) and a long table with five kinds of zucchini, five kinds of eggplant, mushrooms at least two different ways, and several other veggies.  Then there was a table of breads and other random items.  The next course was risotto or spaghetti.  The next course was a hard choice for me.  It was all meats that I would not normally eat or steamed veggies.  I decided to be adventurous, and go for the specialty dish of the area and get rabbit.  It was pretty good, but will never be a favorite in my book.  It takes too much concentration for me to force myself not to think about what I am eating, especially when the tiny bunny bones are having to be picked out of your mouth.  The menu also came with a dessert which was a mixture of petite desserts.

My Rabbit Dinner

Day two (Sunday) we had a superb breakfast with eggs, bacon, wurst, salami, prosciutto, cheeses, breads with a table full of honeys and jams (my favorite was pumpkin lemon,) a table full of juices with a muesli bar, and my personal favorite a bar to make your own Caprese Salad.  I just thought that was perfect to be able to have with a savory breakfast.  I maybe ate Caprese Salad six times on this trip.  When in Italy...

Time to catch a shuttle down the fierce hill to Mass.  It was a elegant little church decked out fully in St. Restituta paintings, and even the lectern was the front of a boat.  St. Restituta was martyred under Diocletian and put in a boat set afire.  She was not harmed by the fire and an angel led her boat to the island of Ischia (used to be called Aenaria, FYI) where she landed at the present day site of San Montano.  She was later found dead on the beach by a christian who dreamed of the angel and the boat.
Inside the basilica 

Main Square

Ischia's famous mushroom jutting out of the water
Right across from the shopping strip

Since we were already down there, after church we walked around the shopping area and landed at a pizzeria right overlooking the water where famous people the likes of Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltro, and Queen Latifa had dined before.  They had a wall of celebrities photographed with the owners.  I had a perfect eggplant Parmesan pizza and Bellini.
Lunch at the pizzeria

Wall of famous people

We shuttled back of the hill to get our massages and enjoy the pools till dark.  At which time we repeated our previous night's dinner with a few different menu options.  I was still most pleased with the appetizer buffet which had most of the same choices with a few subtle differences.  We chose a red sparkling wine from the island when the manager encouraged us to ditch the Lambrusco idea for it instead.  It did not disappoint.  We hung out in the piano bar with drinks for a little bit, trying to squeeze every last ounce out of our getaway.

Next to the thermal pools

Night view from our room

The next morning we had the same breakfast exactly, and checked out, and shuttled to the ferry.  In Naples, we walked the Longamare to a restaurant where I could get the famous fried pizza.  It was so enormous.  If we had known how large it was, we'd have split it for sure.  My friend had a bad bout of sea sickness on the ferry this time.  It was pretty choppy and we sat up top.  So she didn't get close to finishing hers.  I finished mine, but shouldn't have.

Waiting on the shuttle and soaking up the last minutes of the view and the quiet

In downtown Naples (castle in the background)

Fried Napoli Pizza

We had a little trouble with the first bus that caused us to miss our second bus and had to be picked up from there.  I have rarely had an easy time with the bus system in Italy.  

So, if you are wondering what the men did with all the kids, They couldn't just stay home and chill.  Instead they took them to downtown Naples on Saturday for a fest and to Pompeii for Mass and lunch on Sunday.  Two full days of being lauded for having so many kids without their wives!  We were told there was lots of cheek pinching and attention on the kiddos.  Here are the pictures from their adventures.  Everyone was a bit overly tired, but all survived.  Impressive!

Ignore Drew's uncooperative, creepy face.
As always we had a wonderful time with dear friends.  The kids had a blast, pretty much 24/7.  When we returned, Bobby and Judah immediately started having meltdowns.  I, of course, was told repeatedly that it was all my fault, and there was nary a whimper when we were gone.  What is it about mom that makes little ones cry about everything?  And even more importantly, what is it about dads that make them never cry?  I am going to stand by my theory that they hold it all in and don't ask for anything from dad (maybe dads don't actually listen when they are asked and it is a learned behavior) and then they are so hungry and thirsty and tired by the time mom comes back that they break down and let it all out for their loving, consoling mom.  What do you think?

1 comment:

Kristen said...

Wow! Sounds really nice. And Amen on the mom vs. dad thing. I always chalk it up to being the nurturer and the fact that they have to ask daddy at least 3 times before he hears them! ;)