On Tuesday night we were able to hang out with some fellow Apostolic families and have a Bible study. I recently found out there are four of us on the base and Chaplain Luff is one of Two Apostolic chaplains in the whole USNavy. What are the odds- isn't God so cool?! :-) So, the Bible study started with us hanging out and chatting, then we sang some songs and moved into the study portion. Afterwords, we had some snacks and chatted some more. It was really good and comfortable to talk, study, and worship with people with the same beliefs and we cant wait to go again next week!
On the home front- we still don't have our household goods shipment, so there a few things that we keep realizing we need (i.e., a broom), and since we now have a car we decided to go to the local Wal-Mart. Actually, it reminds us of Wal-Mart, but it's called Carrefour. So, speaking of buying a broom, they sell the long handle part and the bottom sweeper part separately- odd, but adds to my story. We continued through the store buying random odds and ends, everything was all good and finally it's time to check out. We get in line, another family follows behind, things are going normal, language barrier and all, until the clerk realizes the broom part doesn't have a price tag on it. She asks us but realized we don't speak Italian, so she asks the clerk next to her, she wasn't sure either, so she then makes a phone call, and behind us the line, of course, is only getting longer. Normally we would have just said never mind (or tried to signal it anyway), only she had already rang up the pole part and we weren't trying to go home with a bottomless broom. Then the people behind start getting aggravated, and based on their hand gestures, I think they were suggesting we just forget about the broom, but again with the language barrier, uhh,
This weekend the USO (United Service Organizations) brought a concert into town for us. The Lt. Dan Band (a cover band), held a free concert Saturday night on base on. It was a good time to just get out and relax on the lawn with all the other Navy families. The band got their name from the Forrest Gump character Lt. Dan, because he's the same guy who is the face of the band, Gary Sinise. They travel all over the world and do 75% of their shows for the Military which I thought was very cool! They were surprisingly good and did a lot of Classics (Sweet Home Alabama, Don't Stop believing, Ain't No Mountain) and also some newer fun songs (Sara Bareilles- Love Song, Kelly Clarkson- Walk away, Beyonce- Check up on it), and then they ended with God Bless the USA- it was a good time.
Sunday James and I, and some of our friends decided to spend the day in Rome for the first time. We got to the local train station and bought tickets for the 10:40am train and then had some Caffe while we waited. Once we figured out which train was ours, this group of youth run past us and sit all over the car we were in, we didn't think anything of it until we realized they were in our seats- and we had no idea how to tell them this. I would have showed them our tickets, and I'm sure they would have moved because they were looking at us like "I know this isn't my seat..." however, the seating situation was inconvenient and we just decided to stand in the back. While standing we chatted with a local, his English was pretty good, but at one point he didn't understand me, and when I asked him if we were allowed to eat on the train, and he thought I was offering him my banana which was half eaten- and as bad as I felt after, I could not help but to bust out laughing! Poor guy! I apologized and told him, it was ok, as my Italian in no way compares to his English! About 40 minutes into the trip there was a stop and our the kids left our seats so we were able to sit down for the rest of the trip. At about 12:30pm we were in Rome and got on the Red bus tour, since we didn't know what all there was to see, how to get there, and how to ask locals those questions, so we decided this was the easy way to go. The city is amazing with tons of old, as well as new beautiful buildings. They have things there that date back to 1000 B.C, and some of the most detailed architecture I've ever seen. One of our friends said "The Capitol Building ain't got nothing on some of these buildings," and as gorgeous as that building is, she spoke the truth! The tour was very captivating! We got off to eat some food, and it was, of course, delicious! I ordered a Calzone, which I didn't realize was going to be huge, I don't remember what James' lunch was called, but it just as delicious as mine. Now I understand why people said we'd get fat over here. The food has yet to disappoint! Other than the intense heat, touring Rome was great- getting home on the other hand, was quite the experience.
We bought our tickets for the ride home right when we got there to make sure that we could, in fact, get home that same night. This probably wasn't a great idea because we were ready to go home about 2 hours before our tickets would allow. But we were troppers and grabbed something to eat (as much as I hate to say it, we went to McDonalds! We heard it tasted different because they use Olive Oil and have wanted to try it. We also thought we'd save money because food in Rome, like most big cities, is not cheap!). We were passing time in the half air-conditioned McD's until finally we went down to the tracks about 30 minutes early, only to find out our train was delayed by two hours! To pass time again we walked around the station and the mini-mall under the station. we had to change our tickets to the next train because ours was so delayed, although even then, the next train was delayed as well, until finally at about 10:30pm we were headed back to Naples. Once on the train, we found our seats and they were great- we got a little 6 seater cabin thing all to ourselves! A few minutes after the train started rolling along, the lights in our cabin shut off and we had no control over it- uhh, that can't be good. I think we were going a little senile by then and wanted to document our disastrous train experience, so our friend turned on her camera, only for the picture not to be able to take because the her battery was too low, nice. So I took out our camera, took a picture and then looked down, and my battery, too was about to die. Then we took out the video camera and couldn't figure out how to turn on the light- which only added to our mess of an experience.
We had another great week and weekend full of laughs and new sites! And now I have learned not to buy our tickets back home right when we get somewhere!
This is James saluting the American flag at the US Embassy (formerly princess Margherita's Palace).