our spring break theme: “perche no?” (why not?)

I’m finally home – I can’t tell you how wonderful it felt to step foot in the Florence train station Sunday morning! We were supposed to be home from Sicily at 8:30 Saturday night, but after 4 breakdowns, a fault in the tracks, and sleeping through our stop…we arrived home at 8:30AM easter morning (total = 22 hours). Nonetheless, we are alive, safe and had loads of fun this week.

I started out the break in Rome with Becca, her mom and aunt. After the regular stops – Colosseum, Pantheon, Forum, Trevi Fountain – we dropped them off at the train station and went to our hostel for the night.

The next morning we met up with Keith and spent the day traveling south. Unfortunately, our planned stop at Pompeii was unsuccessful because the ruins had already closed for the day. Hopefully I’ll get to go back one of my weekends in April.

We spent the evening and next day bumming around on the Island of Capri and then hopped a ferry to Naples Monday evening. While waiting for our overnight ferry to Palermo, Sicily, we made a run for what was supposedly the best pizza in Naples (Naples is known for its pizza). I’m not sure whether it was the best, but it was certainly good and
very cheap. Plus, it was fun to watch them cook inside the brick ovens. Mmm…

It was great to be on the open water overnight. Our rooms were TINY, but we had beds so all was well! When we arrived in Palermo at 6am we took a train to Cefalú and then on to Milazzo where we boarded yet another ferry to the Aeolean Islands. Our hostel was on Lipari, so we spent most of our 3 days there. It was so beautiful – probably my favorite place so far. We were in the midst of volcanos and ocean…what better examples of the power and in nature??

Most of our time was spent bumming around and relaxing, but we did rent scooters one day. Well, Keith rented a scooter…we rented a nameless go-cart/dune-buggy thing (you’ll just have to see the pictures) for the entire day and drove around the entire island. Some of the views were breathtaking…and the locals in the little mountain villages didn’t know what to make of the two American girls in a dune buggy. I’m not sure the dune buggy knew what to make of the mountains, either! Buster (yes, we named our cart) needed a little help sometimes.

Thursday we spent the morning and early afternoon on another island named Vulcano where there are hot sulfur springs on the beach. From there we took a ferry back to the mainland and headed to our next stop – a town north north of yet another Volcano, Mt. Elba. The cliff-side town was called Taormina and was again beautiful. It was a little more
touristy than the islands, so it took a little getting used to, but we made a friend in the hostel and hung out on the beach with him most of the next day. We also got to see the Good Friday processional that took place in Taormina. All the lights in town were turned off and they lit the main street with candles. A couple hundred women dressed black with black lace scarves over their walked silently down the street with red-tissue candleabras. Then eighty or so sweet little girls dressed in white carried the torture weapons (nails, whip, hammer, crown of thorns…) on cloth-draped platters. It was one of the most powerful Good Fridays I’ve ever experienced.

The next morning Becca and I got up and headed towards home. Keith stayed a couple extra days, so we were on what turned out to be a 22 hour trek by ourselves. But like I said, the week was amazing and I couldn’t have asked for a more relaxing break!

Sorry this email got a little lengthy. I tried to generalize…there are SO many stories! Remember to look at pictures if you have a chance – there are two pages this time. Have a wonderful week and happy Easter everyone!

Calais

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lenticular?

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Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children.
-Kahlil Gibran

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