Arrived in Italia!

Sitting here at The Peabody Memphis, enjoy a Grapefruit Cosmo and the world famous ducks, I warn you – It’s been over 2 years since I have written anything, bare with me. At the moment, I’m watching the lobby fill up with many excited guests hoping to watch the ducks march. Blueberry Mojito – mmmm…definitely try it. Ducks are marching. On to The Local Gastropub, before a night of dancing at Alfred’s. I’m looking forward to the Memphis Jazz Orchestra.

I, first, want to dedicate this post to my late father who I would share this story with first if I could. I enjoy bringing back stories and sharing those stories with my close family and friends even more than I like going on the adventures. He would tell me, he’s proud and I can imagine it in his smile. And, Mom and Chelsea – who love the stories, love the gifts, but especially love to go on the adventures. And, last, to all my friends, colleagues, and family who I just adore. I’m truly lucky, even when I don’t see it that way. I wish I could spend more time with you and invite you on these adventures with me.

Why travel? Life is a journey; you’ll make new friends to guide you on your way.

My soul belongs in Italy. I feel at peace and at home each time I go. So, a US Airways flight, Philadelphia to Rome, that’s where my journey began.

Your Cookie Rookie (Check her out on Facebook!!) was seated beside me. She was a first time flyer on her way to Italy. She and her 97 year old grandmother had planned time and again to return to Italy – Nonna’s childhood home. But, grandmother grew older and was unable to make it. Upon her death, she had made way for grandaughter to return her to her homeland. Grandaughter was on her way to meet aunts, uncles, and cousins for the first time – to enjoy the trip of a lifetime. She told me of a colosseum in Capua, close to Naples, where she planned to replicate a picture of herself standing in the same place as an uncle of her’s had. She was delightful, full of hope and light. She makes the most beautiful cookies I have ever seen. Each one is truly a piece of art! Really, google her and see for yourself. What a great seatmate and person! So glad we met! I spent the morning awaiting her cousin with her at the train terminal, but decided to continue on towards the Amalfi Coast – hoping for spring, sunshine, and a freshed soul.

Sidebar Advice: €16 Train to Rome versus €6 Bus to Rome. If you have cash handy, go with the bus. It drops you off at the same location, Roma Termini. At the termini, you have multiple options to go further into the country – buses and trains alike.

In Napoli, I had to switch trains. Of course, the train was late arriving. Once it arrived, it was even more late leaving. I started wondering whether there was an infamous Italian union workers strike. But, trains are often late in Italy. Only 30 minutes late leaving though! On to Salerno!

Salerno – The City of Flowers

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Spent the morning walking around Salerno’s very windy streets discovering ruins of ancient churches, the lives of locals, and cheap €1.50 wine – a whole bottle, locally sourced. I really wanted to go to the castle, but was told there have been rock slides (bus 19 will take you there). On my morning stroll, I saw the Duomo of Salerno and momuments to other churches. I went to see the Garden of Minerva. Although I don’t know much about medicinal plants, such gardens facinate me. Especially now that I know Salerno once had intricate waterways and was a flowering city. The Garden of Minerva is considered the forerunner to all European botantical gardens – built upon the old city wall which once led up to castle.

Pompeii – Ancient

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Amalfi Coast: hiking, lemon trees, Carnival, romance

Hostels and budget accomodations are always available. I splured on a b&b in Amalfi and then trekked the next two days from a hostel in the town of Altrani to Almalfi – 10 minute walk, half the price €27.

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The Footpath of the Gods along the ridge line and cliffs, the Emerald Grotto, local wine, local food, local people, and the Italian language will draw me again to this infamous coast.

Rome – The Eternal City

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My third coin is finally in! Will it lead to marriage!? Make sure you throw one if you come to Rome to ensure a return!

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Next stop, the Hotel De Glace, Quebec City, Canada

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I hope you’ve enjoyed my lil’ post of my last trip. Please comment. And, I promise to post again soon.

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St Patrick’s Day 2014

May the road rise up to meet you,
Kayce

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