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Report 834: There's No Such Thing as Too Much...Pasta and Ceramics

By Palma from California, Fall 2005

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Page 22 of 23: Sunday, September 25:Capri and starting home

photo by Palma Hansen

Capri Sunset

It’s our last day to wake up in Italy! I hate this part. Leaving is so hard, and going back to reality is even worse. But I still have a whole day to enjoy Capri’s “lifestyle of the rich and famous” dreamworld! We had our last Quisisana breakfast, and finished packing. We made arrangements for our luggage to be picked up at 12:30 (leaving only our carry-ons with the concierge) and all arrangements for getting from Capri town to the Naples airport for our flight to London tonight at 11:30 p.m. We had all of the hotel services available to us all day.

We walked to our favorite little art gallery where we had purchased a small painting from artist, Antonio Palumba, on our last trip. We spoke to him yesterday, and he set up a visit from his adorable mother we met last time we were here. She came to the gallery to see us this morning, and we visited with her and bought another small painting of a street scene filled with flowers. We took the painting with us, but Antonio no longer accepts credit cards and we didn’t have enough cash with us as we’ve been getting rid of euros we will no longer need. He suggested we leave him a check or cash in an envelope at the Quisisana, and he would pick it up later, to save us a trip back to the gallery. I can’t imagine that kind of trust from a merchant at home based on one past meeting.

We took the finiculare down to Marina Piccola to get the VAT refund on my bell. We returned to town and I bought three last-minute Christmas presents for family members. We checked out of the hotel and relaxed in the piazza, doing some people-watching over cold drinks. We hung out at the Quisisana until 5:30, when we left with our carry-ons to have an early dinner. I had ravioli in a lemon sauce and Brad had a calzone. We caught a beautiful sunset, took pictures and began the departure process. The Quisisana’s arrangements made it all run smoothly. We had a taxi voucher to Marina Piccola, where we met Massimo at the ferry, and saw all of our luggage get loaded on the boat to Naples. In Naples, a driver met us with a huge van, loaded our bags, and dropped us at the airport, where we sat until boarding our flight to Gatwick at 11:30.

We landed in Gatwick at around 1 a.m. London time. As soon as we were off the plane and going through passport control, Brad realized he did not have his glasses. We were not able to return to the plane, and were told by British Airlines to wait until morning and call their lost and found. It was going to be an all-nighter for us, so we retrieved our luggage and said good-bye to Jan and Les as they left for their night at the Meridian Hotel before their mid-afternoon flight to Seattle tomorrow. We had two luggage carts and decided to revive ourselves with coffee, since we had all night to get ourselves to Heathrow. Gatwick is a much smaller and easier airport to navigate, so we hung out in a coffee shop (with a smoking area for me) and got a second wind. We took turns watching our stuff and walking around to stretch our legs. An hour and a half later, we decided food was what we needed, so we had breakfast and felt a little better.

During the middle of the night, the bus from Gatwick to Heathrow comes only once an hour, so we sat and waited for the scheduled 3:45 a.m. bus. It was “freezing” outside! (I don’t like anything much cooler than 70 degrees, but I still had on my white capris, sandals and a light denim jacket that I left Capri in…) Where was the cute guy from the Quisisana when I needed him? The bus came at 4:20 a.m., and we were at Heathrow before 6. We waited for the British Air counter to open, checked our luggage, checked about Brad’s glasses, and at seven when the shops opened, he bought a pair of reading glasses so he could read on the flight.

We continued the long wait until we finally boarded at 9:30 for our 10:05 flight to LAX. I sleep easily on airplanes, and got a total of at least six hours. Brad had a few 15-minute naps. We arrived at LAX around 2:00 p.m. and by the time we got luggage, went through customs, paid some duty (we’re too honest), and got the rental car, it was 4 o’clock traffic time in Los Angeles. We got home at 6:30 Monday night. We realized the last time we slept in a bed was Saturday night, Italy time. We took a nap until 8:30, got up and did only what was necessary to be ready to go to work the next morning.

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