I have finally made it! & what happened approximately 30 minutes after arrival? I collapsed in a heap on my bed for 12 solid hours. 12! If you know me at all I can never sleep that long but 3 full days of travel wears a person out.
This is how the journey started… My cousin happened to be getting married in Las Vegas! I’ve never been to Vegas and was extremely excited to go for a wedding, however her wedding just happened to be on the 27th of April 2 days before the end of the month. I was required to report for duty by the last day of the month and to get to Italy I would have to fly on the 29th in order to make it the 30th. What did this mean?!
We were doing Vegas live, and my plan was to then travel for the next 3 days in order to make it where I needed to be. It was a worst case scenario kind of thing that I let play out. As a side note, for planning purposes, never do anything like this unless there are NO other options. It will seem feasible at the time, but it’s just Hard when you’re actually doing it.
So I went from Pittsburgh to Norfolk, Norfolk to the MAC (military air craft) terminal on the Norfolk Naval Base and around 0100 I boarded and set off. The destinations of this plane were as follows, Azores Portugal, Naples Italy (thank the lord), Souda Bay Greece, Bahrain, Diego Garcia.
It took just over 12 hours to get to Naples with a two-hour layover in the Azores, a place that made my list of places to visit after the brief visit. At the Naples airport I walked off the plane and my sponsor, a pilot that works in my shop was there to greet me. Woo! I collected my luggage and he told me to look around because I was currently on the Naples Naval Base. No Way! The airport is part of the base, military side is actually on base and just around the corner and outside the gate is the commercial side. Wow, that just made travel sooo easy. You can park your car on base for no fees and the safety of the parking garages and then go on your trip here there or anywhere.
We had to drive about 40 minutes away to the support site where I would be staying and attending the indoctrination class, something I also was required to attend in Japan. On the way I was immediately introduced to the antics of the Italian Driver, something completely unexplainable until you see it to believe it. I vaguely remember their antics when I was in a taxi in Rome on deployment a couple of years ago. In Asia they all conglomerate together but the Italians are just completely out of their mind. There won’t be driving for the weak of heart in Italy I’ll tell you that. It’s best to be aggressive or you might sit at an intersection for hours!
P told me I’d be joining him and his wife for dinner and although I was exhausted it was hard to refuse since they did live right next to where I would be staying, so I settled in for the ride.
Upon arrival I met Bane (as in Batman Bane) their dog whom they rescued, there are many homeless dogs around which is horribly sad. I’d kill a cat any day (semi joking) but I’d save 20 dogs the same day if I could.
As soon as we walked in the door D poured me a glass of wine and told me to pull up a chair. She then went about setting dinner out for us. It was an exquisite introduction to Italian cuisine and we ended the dinner with bits of orange chocolate. yummmm.
She then handed me a large bag full of all kinds of Itailian garb, wine, champagne, olives, strawberries, a book about Naples, an Italian dictionary, and I was so surprised and happy to receive it! There was even a note that said “Benvenuti a Napoli” Cassey which is the theme of this post.
The whole next week I attended the indoctrination and on Friday we took a field trip to downtown Naples. We rode the train and cable cars and did some shopping in and around the area. Here are some pictures to wet the appetite. I was dying to see what it looked like too, trust me!
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