Arrival in Pompeii

21 Aug

So we depart the homestay community early in the morning and head off toward our next destination — Pompeii.  All of the families show up on the platform, we take a few more pictures and we hop on the train.  Some of the siblings were in tears, but none were cuter than Bajia’s host sister.

Last group photo in the homestay

Carolina is four and was struggling to figure out what was happening.  She realized that Bajia (and Rob) were going away that morning and became unconsolable.  She wanted to come along and was in tears on the platform.  It was adorable.

Thankfully, this train ride was nothing like the past one. We hopped aboard and enjoyed cool, air-conditioned compartments.  I tried to make contact with our local rep, Enzo, to tell him it would be late, but had no success.  Strangely, the train made up the 30 minutes of lateness it had accumulated and we pulled into Napoli Centrale on time.  Italian trains make no sense.

Checking in on the kids on the train

I tried calling Enzo again with no luck.  We walk down the platform, hoping that someone will be there and he is!  Enzo is an English teacher and speaks it wonderfully.  He has lived in the Napoli area (well actually right on the side of Vesuvius) for most of his adult life.  He knows everything about the city and has every moment of our stay planned out.  His staple clothing choice is a NY Yankees shirt.  He loves American culture and knows many TV shows I’ve never heard of.  His son and a friend are constantly with us, though the fact that they speak no English impedes our ability to interact with them.

Enzo, our fearless guide through everything Napoli

We hop on the bus and take a 20-minute ride up to Pompeii and our hotel.  The rumors online suggest that it’s haunted but, other than Maggie and Caitlen freaking out late at night, nobody finds any conclusive proof of that.  So we check-in and go play in the pool.  Enzo says that he and I need to chat later, but everybody can play in the pool until dinnertime.

Our hotel in Pompeii

So I wait and wait.  Finally Enzo shows up.  I follow him as he moves toward another side of the complex.  His son and friend come with us.  I’m thinking this is strange.  We stop and walk into a room…. it’s the bathroom.  I’m thinking, “Uhhhh.”  Enzo says, “Come, you can have a stall if you need one.”  And I realize there is no meeting.  I’m pretty embarrassed actually.

The pool is wonderful and we have tons of fun that afternoon.  I’ll talk about our first dinner with Enzo tomorrow.

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