Italy Trip: Another Scrap With Friction

Aug 3rd, 2014, 12:14 PM
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More please! I'm guessing the stomachache relates to the friction and "blowing chunks"!
newtome is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2014, 01:11 PM
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well you did eventually find the fish!

tagging along for the ride which I for one am enjoying so far.
annhig is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2014, 02:07 PM
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Also along for the ride! Spent six nights on the AC this past April. Stayed near Praiano (really, too off the beaten track for that long - fish entree at every dinner), so ended up throwing lots of € at private drivers to get around (Naples to/from Praiano, early morning cooking class on rainy day in Ravello, and sunny day to Paestrum). SITA too unreliable. So friction, yep. I totally understand. I'm enjoying your take on the experience!
Janetd5 is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2014, 03:18 PM
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Loving your report, heading to the Amalfi coast next spring for a return trip after an absence of several years.
Decided to stay in Amalfi this time last trip was Praino .
Good to refresh my memory about the long waits for the buses to go from town to town.
Any restaurants that you particularly liked will be helpful.
tdk320n is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2014, 08:07 PM
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Enjoying your tale carfree. Looking forward to more.
Scootoir is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2014, 09:31 PM
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I think the typo has merit - scrap is also slang for a fight or conflict, it seems there might be some coming.

Enjoying your report on a beautiful area. Thanks for continuing.
sartoric is offline  
Aug 5th, 2014, 03:31 PM
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Really enjoying this trip report. "Please sir, I want some more."
wikoffclan is offline  
Aug 6th, 2014, 04:53 AM
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Note: I admit that I am writing this partly in response to all those trip report that you read on sites like Fodoes, Tripadvisor, etc. where everything is wonderful, fabulous, great and magnificent and nothing ever goes wrong. Personally, I have never been on such a trip. I have never found that the natural laws governing the human condition change one iota just because I get on a plane and cross an ocean. Anything that can happen at home can and probably will happen at some time or other on vacation. As I found out.

Amalfi & Positano

The day started badly as upset-stomach friction reared its ugly head. At breakfast, I couldn't eat much. It was heart breaking to pass on all that lovely food but my stomach was doing backflips with reverse handstands that would have scored Olga Korbut a 10. Just as we were leaving the breakfast room, I noticed a statue on one of the tables. It was a primitive head, very elongated, with pointed head and its mouth was wide open around a big circle of teeth. It had a look discomfort in its eyes. This is what they call foreshadowing.

My original plan for the day had been to take the bus over to Positano, visit and then ferry back to Amalfi. The bus supposedly drops you at the top of town, so you can walk down the zillion steps whereas the ferry arrives at the bottom, so that you have to walk up the zillion steps. Walking down seemed like a better idea. Following our previous day's sardine ride and almost being stranded, we changed our plan and took the ferry both ways. Big, big, big mistake.

We walked through the piazza and headed out to the dock to wait for the ferry. The next thing I knew, my gut welled up and I was blowing chunks, something I don't think I've done since college many, many years ago when it was the price you paid for a night spent drinking too much Mateus or Boone's Farm (among other things). We debated getting on the ferry but boarded anyway. Blowing-chunks friction was not going to stop us, but I stayed near the rail in case I had to "sacrifice to Poseidon", as the ancient Romans used to say. This is amazingly similar to our old college phrase, "bowing to the porcelain god".

The sea air seemed to help, so I was optimistic that the worst was over as Positano came into sight around the headland. From offshore, Positano looked like picture-postcard, the ideal of a quaint Italian seaside town draped over the hillside. Once we docked, however, things went downhill metaphysically, but uphill geologcally. We disembarked and headed toward town as the heat poured down. By the time we reached the beach, I was blowing a second round of chunks. This time I did it tastefully, leaning over the water and properly sacrificing to Poseidon.

For the next while we alternately walked around the low town tourist trap restaurants and chi-chi junk shops and desperately tried to find a (free) place to sit down in the shade out of the scorching sun while waiting to see if there were any more chunks left to blow. We walked a ways up the road that leads west out of town for the view and then back to town. We finally decided that it was time to really explore the upper town, and noticed that most tourist looking people, that is to say virtually everyone else, going up one particular set of stairs. There was great irony that we traveled 4000 miles to hear more English spoken in Amalfi and Positano than we hear at home these days.

We started up the steps, wear soon set in. Every set of stairs seemed to lead to yet another with no end in sight. The heat was intense and maybe there was residual jet lag. We finally paused and decided it was just too much and gave up. Alas, we were also experiencing the one source of friction for which all my planning and vacation tribology has no cure: the age-is-catching-up-to-you friction. It is true, my friends, that the legs go first. Anyway, it would be crazy to wear ourselves out on day 3 of a 13 day trip, especially if the rest of Positano was like what we had already seen. We were not impressed. There is some truth the old saying, "You don't see things as they are. You see them as you are." But only some.

Still, if only we had taken the %#@! bus and been walking down the steps, much of the wear-and-tear friction would have been reduced. Of course, blowing chunks on the bus might have been somewhat declasse. How do you say, "Excuse my chunks" in Italian? We returned on the ferry after on 3 hours in Positano.

Back in Amalfi, I lay moaning in fetal position in our room at the hotel while my wife went off to buy the town's entire supply of Maalox tablets before going off to see the duomo. Our only stop had been to get more bottled water, which we were drinking by the gallon in the heat. Seeking out places to buy bottled water became our main activity on the trip. We discovered that not all bottled water is created equal. Acqua Panna became our best friend in Italy.

When it came dinner time, the thought of food made me want to gag, but I didn't my wife to starve. We walked around looking for a place to sit outside and for her to eat. The small square next to the main one had a place called L'Abside that seemed as good as any. My wife had buschetta and pasta with clams, which she found excellent. I tried a nibble of each and agreed. We strolled around and had gelato, since it was the only thing that seemed to help my stomach. It was definately better than the Maalox. We headed back to the hotel early, since we were catching an early ferry out of town.
carfree is offline  
Aug 6th, 2014, 06:41 AM
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Oh, dear. Here's hoping the gelato worked its wonders... There's nothing worse than being ill while on vacation.
Jean is offline  
Aug 6th, 2014, 07:08 AM
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Now that we've had the "chunks" experience, my "I want some more" comment seems particularly inappropriate But still looking forward to more of this trip report! Hoping you started feeling better as the trip progressed.
wikoffclan is offline  
Aug 6th, 2014, 07:14 AM
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I'm so sorry. But I have to admit that

>>This is what they call foreshadowing.<<

made me literally LOL.

I hope you felt better the next day.
LCBoniti is offline  
Aug 6th, 2014, 07:43 AM
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"You don't see things as they are. You see them as you are.">>>>>>>A very true, even profound statement.

So sorry to read about your stomach problems. Glad gelato was a cure!
TDudette is offline  
Aug 6th, 2014, 08:10 AM
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We used to call it "calling for Ralph and Hughie on the big white phone" but we get the gist
bilboburgler is offline  
Aug 6th, 2014, 11:22 AM
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oh dear. I too have had my share of gastric problems which I did not hesitate to share with my fodor friends. Glad that you're carrying on the tradition!
annhig is offline  
Aug 6th, 2014, 11:52 AM
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Been there and truly sympathize. Hope nothing worse happened and you recovered quickly, but I'm suspecting that we'll hear more tails of woe.
dgunbug is offline  
Aug 6th, 2014, 12:28 PM
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>>>my stomach was doing backflips with reverse handstands that would have scored Olga Korbut a 10. <<<

>>>it was the price you paid for a night spent drinking too much Mateus or Boone's Farm (among other things). <<<

Now that dates you. Are you sure you didn't drink a little Ripple too?

>>>buy the town's entire supply of Maalox tablets <<<

For a rolling stomach, I've found the best thing to be the pink stuff (liquid only as the tablets don't contain the same ingredients and aren't as strong). Worth it to carry a small bottle on vacation.
kybourbon is offline  
Aug 6th, 2014, 12:59 PM
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"Are you sure you didn't drink a little Ripple too?"

Hey, I had too much class to drink stuff like that. Thunderbird on the other hand...
carfree is offline  
Aug 6th, 2014, 01:53 PM
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and ditto comments like bigger wine glasses further south (how about correct wine glasses for the wine?)

I wonder if Sandralist would tell the restaurateur that he is committing a faux pas by serving too much wine in the wrong glass?
Michael is offline  
Aug 6th, 2014, 02:06 PM
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Thunderbird and class in the same line? I don't think so! LOL. Next you will be denying ever drinking any MD 20/20. At least you got some nice wines in Italy (no matter the glass size).
kybourbon is offline  
Aug 6th, 2014, 04:59 PM
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OMG---Olga Korbut was my hero(ine) when I was a kid. You score points for knowing who she is. AND, the fact that you could tie that in with Mateus and Boone's Farm is a masterpiece, in my eyes!

Maybe you didn't catch my "snakes on a plane" report a few years ago - it was not full of perfection as we both spent our time bowing to the porcelain gods in Paris (in the tiniest apt I have ever been in). My poor husband missed Thanksgiving dinner b/c of it and exactly 48 hours later I was praying I could get back to that tiny apt and not "blow chucks" on the street in Paris. All this after an over zealous gate agent took my husband's bag and it did not arrive with us at CDG (meanwhile the over head bin above us made the trip empty)....definitely not a perfect trip. In a few years, I hope that it will be funny to us (maybe, someday).

Waiting for more!
denisea is offline  

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