Saturday, April 14, 2012

Italy 2011 Sorrento & Capri

Team Carlson in Italy
What? It has been months since Italy and I haven't blogged about it or posted any pictures?
Well that is because if is a giant pain in the rear to download the 2000 pictures Kelly took and then to upload them on here takes a while too. So, don't judge my laziness. At least I am finally getting around to it...Picture 1 is in Rome at the Colosseum. Not is order, but a pretty cute pic so it goes first

From now on though I will try to go in order... Let me begin with how the trip started. Saturday morning we got to XNA airport about two  (11am) hours ahead of our flight which is a bit overkill for XNA with its one terminal, but again I am a little bit on the OCD and annal side so the family indulged me.

Walk up to Delta counter and there is a very long line.. not good... I then get a call from Delta telling me that our flight has been canceled and we will not be leaving until 5pm. Which is the same time that our flight to Paris is leaving...awesome. Long and very dramatic story short we get a new plane and the new departure time is 230. Still cutting it close, but we could make it. Did I forget to mention that we were going through Atlanta? oh you know just the busiest Airport in the US... oh wait I mean THE WORLD- true story- look it up- I did.

So we land in ATL with 45 minutes before our flight leaves. Another learning experience here too. When flying international they close the doors 30 minutes before the flight. It was truly like the scene in Home Alone where they are running through the airport. I could hear them paging us on the loud speakers, "Last Call for Carlson" we made it to the gate as they were about the shut the gate. I was so stressed. Since we were so late and had such a problem with our tickets at XNA we weren't sitting together. Bobby & Julie were up close to the front. I was on a row with Kelly and Kurt and Kaylee ended up next to a super southern couple from Arkansas.

I thought that I was going to be so prepared for the flight. It was a 6pm flight I would pop an ambien and be golden. Well I wasn't. One I don't sleep well on planes and two Kelly and Kurt decided to watch the hangover part II. They flight was about 8 hours and would have been a perfect night sleep if all had gone to plane.
* Travel tip- buy a cheap pillow and toss it when you are done. I bout the blow up one and it really wasn't comfy at all.
They did have complementary  2 meal, snacks and wine all night long. Not to mention they had a ton of new movies and tv shows (all in the headset in front of you so you don't have to share) for you to watch.  Which if you are on a plane that long and paying that much- there probably should be.
When we finally landed in Paris we were late, again, we had to ride a bus get on another bus, find our terminal, make it through customs, and go back through security all in under an hour while the main language spoken obviously if French and can be troublesome.
*Travel tip- Allow extra tip if you are changing planes internationally. You have to go through the whole passport stamping and then back through security before you can board the next plane.

From Paris we flew to Naples/ Napoli- which is the how it is referred to in Italian.
Then the real adventure started...

This was after we filed a claim for a lost bag.
*Travel tip- when flying international, DON'T check a bag. We each packed one carry on personal item- a backpack and one carry item- a suitcase. The suitcase must be smaller than 22" and those flight attendants don't mess around it any country. We checked one very large suitcase for souvineers. Due to the mess of our flights we lost it. If we had acutally packed in that we would have been so out of luck.

If you thought claiming a lost bag in the states was bad... try doing it when you don't speak the language and have a large black suitcase with no distinguishable marks on it. Finally getting some info back we were told it would be at our hotel by Monday. We were leaving Wednesday to head north, so I had come to the realization that we would never see that suitcase again!

The first hotel was in Sorrento and it had an amazing view.  We stayed there Sunday -Wednesday morning. We also voted and the Hilton Hotel in Sorrento may have won the award for the best breakfast for the whole trip.

Driving the Almafi Coast was absolutely breathe taking!

Close to Sorrento and only a boat ride away is the island of Capri.

See why it has taken me soooo long to do this! I am only on the first day!


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