Friday, June 25, 2010

Benvenuti a Napoli!

Here we are- Naples, Italy! Actually, that's like me saying "I'm from D.C..." technically we're 20 minutes outside of Naples. Whatever the case, my cousin suggested that I make a blog during my three (3) year stay in Italy, so that family and friends can keep up to date on our life, and I can log all the happenings life (and Italy) brings our way, so here we go...

Our first week:

We, My husband James and I, we're dropped off at the airport in Washington, D.C. by my mom and brother to board a plane bound for Norfolk,VA on Tuesday, June 15th (My sister's birthday :-/ ). We arrived an hour and a half early, expecting little or no delays. We checked in our bags, and as they're rode the conveyor belt around the corner of no return, we learned that the Navy had reserved our tickets but not paid for them yet... Excuse me, WHAT! We had 1 hour to work this out... and already checked luggage... I will spare you the painful details and several phone calls, etc, and just tell you that it all worked out and gave us 20 whole mins til take off! Thanks to many days on the treadmill, we were seated on the plane 5 mins before take off... just enough time to catch our breath and stow our carry-on items under our seats.

In Norfolk we were able to hang out with James' cousin (who happens to be stationed in Norfolk) and his GF for a few hours, and enjoy one last meal at The Cheesecake Factory. We left Norfolk, VA late that night and, had one short layover. We finally arrived in Naples on Wednesday evening, where our sponsor, J., along with our friend Jeff, picked us up. We got to drive through and see the town before getting to our base, and it is gorgeous here! The town is a little trashy but we had previous heard that- the gorgeous part is the fact that there are mountains and a volcano surrounding the area. We see the volcano, Mt Vesuvius, on a daily basis from the base (I love it!). On the other side of the Volcano is Pompeii, for those of you who know what that is... Pretty cool... scares my mom a little but I think it's beautiful, hah! Anyway, the driving is a little intimidating! The rules aren't really followed but it almost makes more sense... it's weird- in a good way. So, once on base, we checked into the hotel, got settled and then headed to Jeff's place where his wife, Keda, made us dinner, because pretty much every thing closes at 8 on base, and we wouldn't be able to get dinner or groceries. Then we went to bed around 2am (only 8pm EST), and that's only because we're addicted to Super Mario on Wii, hah!

On Thursday we woke up at 1:30pm on accident (7:30am EST... yeah, almost 12 hrs of sleep) and then had to rush and get ready to go to a hail and farewell BBQ at 2:30pm where we met people that James will be working with, and a few people he actually already knew from passing in either Bethesda or Djibouti, kind of cool... After the BBQ we went grocery shopping and checked out the "mall." The mall consists of the commissary (grocery store), Navy Exchange (NEX aka department store/everything-you'll-ever-need store...), a bunch of random stores (sunglasses, souvenirs, framing shop, book store, etc), random shops the Italians have set up to sell their various goodies, a bank, movie theater and, a food court (with KFC, Taco Bell, A&W and Subway). Very exciting Thursday ;-p We forced ourselves to bed at Midnight (6pm EST!!!) because we had to be at Area Orientation (AO) at 7:30am... and then we woke up at about 2:30am WIDE awake... good times...

Friday was the first day of AO. It was basically random information and paper work. But we did find out that we'll be living on base in a two bed room on base... apparently they changed the rules (again) and newbies HAVE to live on base unless there's nothing available... but it's allll free so no complaints!!! Yay! And now the parents don't have to worry about me being "taken," from my home out in town ;-p After AO we went to the chapel to see when services were. On Sunday there are two services, a contemporary Christian one at 915am and then a "Hallelujah Full Gospel Service" at 2:30pm so we planned to check out both. Then we saw an "Apostolic home fellowship" on Tuesday night with Charles Luff. We wonder what organization he was with and then looked over at another sheet with the Chaplain's information, only to find out that he is UPCI! Awesome :-) We are pretty thrilled about that and can't wait to meet him. After that we cooked, chilled and conquered Bowser :-)

Saturday we woke up at 11:30am (getting better!) and ran errands... nothing too exciting so I won't bore you :-) But we did get to the gym, which is pretty nice, did a little car shopping (no pun intended ;-p), and we talked to lots of people on skype which was great! Oh and I had a revelation... here they only drink espresso (in baby sized mugs), so if you want want we call coffee you have to order a "Cafe Americano," which when I worked at Starbucks was espresso with water... yeah, I'm pretty sure that's exactly what it is here... that only took me 4 days to realize ;-p Oh and Lattes are also served in little tiny mugs... coffee drinkers beware...

Sunday, we hit snooze a bit and woke up at 11:00am, (jetlag is still a work in progress...), which of course means that we missed the first church service :-/ But we did make the Gospel service, where we were the only white people :-) It was really good, just very different than what we're used to. So we'll see what Tuesday and next Sunday morning has in store for us!
Oh, and it rained all weekend, but it's actually really beautiful and the clouds move super fast! There were like 3 thunderstorms in an hour, and in between each was a calm...

Monday-Thrusday, we had more AO. It was pretty interesting. We learned more base stuff, but also about driving out in town and just Naples culture in general... that was quite entertaining! They make driving in sound kind of like go-carting or bumper cars... anything goes as long as traffic is still moving! Although, I did have a heads up on this, thus the reason they drive little cars AND why we didn't bring either of our cars... But I'm not gonna lie... I do miss my Mustang!!!

Til' next time...

Good bye DC!

Benvenuti Vesuvius!


  1. What a full week! How exciting to be living in Italy. :) Um, pics please! Looking forward to following your adventures. Love and prayers.


  2. Hey Girl, Loved reading what you have been up to. Glad you found the whole bible study thing. Has James started working? Miss you!

  3. Lovely Heather-

    SOOO glad you decided to do this!! I cherish the emails that I sent back more than anything else becaue I have forgotten so many details!! I definitely noticed the optional driving rules in Italy- pretty funny, and definitely intimidating when i drove there at 19!! On the church services- hopefully you guys will find a good bible study or something... I'm sure it's super different. Enjoy yourself, hope to visit you next year!!!! For now I'll keep reading (and being jealous ;O))

  4. Kelly- I've finally got some pics going, I as slow to learn that part of blogging, hah! But we're not in most of them cuz I wasn't sure how felt about that... so facebook will have to suffice for pics:-)

    Ashley - A little late but James started working a day short of two weeks of being here. They didn't mess around... and it was training, not really "working," hah... But now he works full days, til 4-4:30 just about every day :-/

    Kris- Yeah, I thought this would be good to remember our travels as well. I am keeping up with my journal writing for once, I've always been so bad at it that I decided this was it for me! So far, so good :-) And you need to retest your driving skills out here soon!!!