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From Sorrento to Rome

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The meeting (conference) has been fun, but exhausting. Unfortunately, we didn't get to leave the hotel during the day because so much was going on during the meeting. The only photos I took were from the bus as we drove back to Rome, so it's not the best, but you can still see the costa Sorrentina (Sorrento coast) as we drove toward Napoli. And, you can see the clouds I was talking about that creep over the hill and head west out over the sea.

The meeting didn't end until 3PM and we all quickly went up to the dining room to eat. Luckily we had a coffee break at noon where they served pastries and drinks. We were starving when we finally sat down to eat. I chose a seat next to the window so that we could look out one last time at Vesuvio.

We were served an antipasto with un'insalata di polpo e patate (octopus and potato salad). We all ate that up quite quickly. Afterwards, we were served lasagne alla sorrentina (Sorrento-style lasagna), which wasn't that different from other lasagne that I've eaten in Italy with the exception of the hard-boiled egg cut in quarters mixed in.

Usually when something says alla fiorentina (Florentine-style), I know that generally means that there are green peas inside. But alla sorrentina hasn't been very clear. I figured it would have something to do with seafood, but there wasn't any in the lasagne.

We were just about to be served the calamari when Dave told me that the other people from our bus were getting up. I told him to keep his eye on them so we wouldn't miss our bus. I asked the guy in charge of the bus ride back and he did tell me that we'd leave at 4PM; however, when I asked Mario, another guy at the company, he said that it won't leave until after lunch.

I ran up to one of the girls, who asked me when the bus was leaving Saturday night at dinner, if she was going to catch the bus. "Sequo queste altre ragazze perché mi hanno detto che il pullman era già arrivato" (I'm following these girls because they told me that the bus is already here).

Dave and I quickly said good-bye to everyone at our table and went downstairs to pick up our luggage. We stood outside waiting for the bus, which didn't arrive until almost 4:30PM. I kept wishing that I could've gone back to eat more, but I would've had to go up four flights of stairs. I could see a few people from our meeting on the balcony smoking cigarettes and imagined that they had eaten the calamari and were now waiting for the dolce (dessert).

Our bus ride back to Rome was uneventful and we stopped at the exact same AutoGrill (a chain of restaurants along the highway) that we did last time on the way down to Sorrento. Almost everyone left the bus to grab something to eat while two other girls, Dave, and I were locked in the bus alone. I kept thinking how dangerous it was to be sitting in a locked bus, which wasn't running luckily, with no way to get out since the driver took the keys with him.

We didn't make it back to Rome until about 9PM. Thankfully, I talked to Enzo with whom we work with at the company and asked him if we could stay at the hotel next to the office for the night. I had to install something on their servers on Monday, so it ended up working out. I didn't want to get a taxi to Rome and then jump on a train to Florence and not arrive until midnight.

We carted our luggage down the street to the hotel, ate dinner, and went to sleep. Another early wake-up tomorrow for us, but luckily we don't have far to go to work.

February 2006
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