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May 5th 2012
I woke up in the morning at 4:30am and had a shower, got dressed, and had breakfast. We left home at 6:45am and got to the airport at 7:30am. I checked in with no waiting line at the Air Canada counter. I got my tickets and had a tea and a muffin from Tim Horton’s while waiting to go through security. I went through security where I met Sarah while waiting for our plane, who was also going on the same trip I was. We sat at gate A3 and talked until it was time to board the plane. My seat was 16F by a window. I watched The Vow. I looked out the window and saw the great lakes under me. They are much bigger than I imagined. Toronto looks so green and big from above. We flew so close to the highways underneath us! When we landed we walked around for a while and then made our way to our gate where we sat waiting for our boarding time. Our flight boarded at 7:5pm and I sat in seat 22A which was supposed to be a window seat but there was no window, just the wall. At 2:07am Rome time we were served supper. I had chicken and veggies with cold corn salad and a brownie with orange juice. I am happy there are no delays! We didn’t have individual TV’s, just overhead ones. They were playing Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and the Iron Lady. The plane was very cold. It turned dark at about 2:40am Rome time, 8:40pm Toronto time. I should probably go to sleep now. All my worries about the flight and thinking I was crazy to go on this trip are still lingering, I hope they disappear as soon as I get there!
May 6th 2012
It was very hard to sleep, probably because I was so anxious and nervous. My nose, eyes, and lips were so dry. I woke up at 8:08am Rome time. We were served blueberry muffins and juice and tea. I looked out the window in front of me and saw the Italian coast and a big peninsula with a long river going from it. I made it, I am in Italy!! Only one hour left to go before I am on the roads that lead to Rome. I expect it to be beautiful and busy. I don’t care if it rains or shines I will explore all afternoon! We landed and walked off the bus to the tarmac and took a bus to the customs terminal, from then we went through customs and I got my passport stamped! I went to the bathroom, gross! I picked up my bag at the baggage claim. I met up with Sarah and caught a ‘taxi’ and got to the hotel 95 euros later!!! Make sure you take a certified taxi and ignore the men that are waiting inside the door of the airport. I checked into the hotel- Hotel Regent- and went to my room, # 151. It was small but decent. The only thing I didn't like about the hotel was that is was far from any attractions. I put my stuff away and went with Sarah around Rome. My umbrella was broken so we got rained on and got lost. We gave up and found our way back to the hotel. Not a good way to start the trip! I hope it gets better; I wanted to buy stuff today and take pictures. We dried off and then went out again in the rain. Sarah, Sara (from Florida) and I went to a gelato/pastry shop. I had my first gelato, Sorrento lemon gelato. I got really bad blisters on my ankles, they hurt really badly. We met for the group meeting at 4pm. The wifi was broken so I couldn’t message home. Our tour manager is named Vinni, he is really funny and is an amazing tour manager! The meeting lasted until 6:30pm. Then a bunch of girls on the trip and I went to a pizzeria connected to our hotel for supper. I shared a margarita pizza with a girl named Katie. The pizza was delicious, the best pizza I have ever had! After that we went to a pub called Carrots for a drink. We went back the hotel, had a shower, organized my suitcase and set my alarm for 6am. We are supposed to have breakfast at 6:30am and leave at 7:15am. I went to bed at 10pm after blow-drying my hair and clothes. I hope the weather is nice tomorrow. Pompeii and Sorrento tomorrow! I spent hardly any money today, I think only 62 euro for the ‘taxi’ and food. Weather: Rome- rainy, warm, 20 degrees
May 7th 2012
We woke up at 6am and got ready and packed. We went down for breakfast at 6: 30am. I had a croissant with lemon in it, cornflakes, fruit juice, and fruit salad. At 7:15am we boarded the bus and left at 7:30am. They didn’t measure or weigh our bags. We drove a while and got stuck in traffic. We first stopped at the designer outlet, where we tried a local cake called baba. It is saturated in rum and is covered in syrup. We had an hour to shop and I bought a couple things for my sister, but the shops were very expensive. We then drove to Pompeii and had a guided tour of Pompeii by a women with radio headsets. This optional is a must do!! I bought some souvenirs and then left on the bus for half an hour ride to Sorrento. The views from the bus were amazing - Mt Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples especially! We got to our hotel ‘Hotel Central’ and went to my room, # 310 with a balcony facing the main road in Sorrento. This was one of my favorite hotels that we stayed at. The fresh air feels so good, we explored a bit and bought postcards and chocolate. I went back to the hotel and bought 30 minutes of internet usage. At 6pm we left the hotel, walking to a place with a view of the coast and Vesuvius. We had a welcome glass of prosecco and some appetizers. I didn’t like prosecco, I found it very strong and bitter. We took many photos and then we walked to the location for our pizza party. We first had salad, toast, and water. Vinni took us to the back of the restaurant to show us how to make traditional pizza. He put flower all over our faces! We were given 3 kinds of pizza: margarita, mushroom and zucchini; corn and mushroom. Then we had a lemon cake called grandma’s cake and lemoncello. (Make sure your lemoncello is ice cold other wise it does not taste good!) It was warm and really sour, it burned down my throat! After, I went souvenir shopping and then got melon and fruit de bosco gelato. I walked back to the hotel and organized my stuff before going to bed at 12:30am.
Weather: Sorrento- cloudy, sunny, hot, 25 degrees
May 8th 2012
This morning we woke up at 6am, got ready and had breakfast at 7am. I had a pastry with nutella on it, a sugared bun, fruit salad, and yogurt. Nutella is everywhere in Italy. Then we walked down the street to a long case of stairs all the way down a hill to the sea port. At 9am we got on a ferry ship that took us to the island of Capri. I took gravol because I knew from past experiences I get motion sickness on big boats. I was light headed but I made it. Then we got off that boat and got on another smaller motor boat. It took us all around the island. On the other side of the island it was very wavy and I got a little nauseous, but I didn’t get sick. We floated by the blue grotto entrance but couldn’t go in because the tide was too high:( Then we went to the green grotto. There was an option to swim but I didn’t and was glad I didn’t because people who did got stung by jelly fish. Then we stopped at a public beach and spent some time sitting at the beach and looking in the local shops. We floated right through the Faraglioni rock formations. They are much bigger in person. From the boat we saw a natural arc formation on the cliff side. Then we went to the white grotto entrance and saw the waving boy statue on the cliff side. We got back to the marina at 12:30pm. I went to the bathroom and then got a gelato that was coconut and lemon flavoured and bought postcards. I bought a ticket to go up the funicular where I met up with Sarah and Sara. We walked around trying to find the gardens. I bought some paintings from a lady. We never did find the gardens and I decided to go back down the funicular and bought a lemon slushy. I then went to the free public beach and sat in the shade to write in my journal. It was a beautiful day! I then joined the girls that came to the beach; we picked rocks and hung out until 3:30pm. We met Vinni at the marina and boarded a ferry back to Sorrento. I fell asleep on the ferry. After we docked, we walked up many stairs to the top of the cliff where Sorrento sits. It seemed like a million stairs. My legs were really tense afterwards. I went to the hotel and went of Facebook and got ready for supper. We went to Il Borgo Sorrento restaurant in the upper Sorrento mountain area. We were served 4 courses and bread. The first course was broccoli, peppers, zucchini and eggplant. Then we were served 2 kinds of pasta, they were really good. After, we were served veal and buffalo mozzarella with potatoes and peas. Finally, dessert was a lemon cake with crème on it for Annie’s birthday. We also had red and white wine; I don’t like them because I find them very bitter. We left on the bus and Vinni sang the Italian national anthem and told us about tomorrows activities. We got to the hotel at 10pm. I packed m stuff and went to bed around 12am. I got really burned on my feet, chest, and one arm. Ouch!!
Weather: Capri- sunny, warm, subtle wind, 18 degrees
May 9th 2012
This morning I woke up at 6am and got dressed to finish packing. Then I went down at 6:35am and sat in the lobby until breakfast opened. I had yogurt, fruit salad, pastries, and a sugar bun. We left at 7:15 am and slept on the bus for 2 ½ hours. We stopped at an autogrill, owned by the pope, and got crackers, cookies and went to the washroom. We watched ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ movie on the bus. As I looked out my window I saw many sheep and a farmer working in his land. There are also many poppies covering the ground. We got to another autogrill for lunch and I bought a Capri sandwich. It was very good! Then we started our trip to the castle winery. Leonardo Davinci is from Florence area; he actually does not have a last name because he was an illegal son and could not take the last name of his father. Davinci mean from Vinci (a small town by Florence). When we got to the castle winery we got out of the bus and were shown where the grapes/olives are taken to be crushed. Then w...
Review written Jun 2012Read more reviews » Write a review