Just a quick update tonight since I don't have a lot of time.

Matt flew out a few days ago and it was sad to see him go. But he was quickly replaced (not that you could ever be replaced, Matt) by Krishelle, Heather, and Jonathan who flew into Rome to join me on a frantic few days of Italy wandering (and in some sketch neighborhoods. Welcome to the world of international travel, Heather).

We had a great couple of days in Rome, checking out the Vatican and several incredible churches and ruins. All of this amid drinking from every fountain and puddle of water in sight, including some that looked like they were meant for human consumption, and others . . . not so much. I think questionable water and even more questionable 4 weeks of kababs are having a huge fight somewhere inside of me right now. If I'm picking sides, I hope the kababs win so that I'll feel justified in consuming so many. (I'm making little sense).

Then we thought, "hey, let's go to Naples City, where the grass is green and the girls are pretty!" (Reference for you rock stars out there). The pictures we saw online looked great (although we think most of them were actually of Naples Florida, which probably is nice). So we boarded a train that must have just arrived from hell because it was hot enough to roast a kabab in there. This was likely most miserable for Heather, who, for reasons I still don't understand, was dressed like we were heading to Siberia in the winter for the entire day. So we arrived in Naples hot and sweaty. After about 35 minutes of wandering Naples looking for our hotel, which happened to actually only be about 2 minutes away, Heather informed us that "this place must be the Harlem of Italy." And she was right. Or the landfill of Italy. Or the Harlem landfill of Italy. But we dropped our things off at the hotel and asked hotel lady where the beach was, who then told us mid-cackles that there are no beaches in Naples but then pointed to a green spot on our terrible map and said that we could find something there that "looks kind of like a beach." And so we walked for another 2 or 3 hours until we reached that place and found that her description was actually pretty generous. Let me help you imagine this place. Think of a beach. Now make it the size of your bedroom. Now take away the sand and add mud and cigarette butts. Turn the water brown and put garbage in it. Now add 200,000 naked Europeans.
The next day we took a train to Sorrento where the beaches were supposed to be lovely. Sorrento was a cool little town and really pretty. the beaches were about one step above the "beach" of Naples, but the town and area was really fun to see.

We decided to head back north since it was too difficult to find ferries out to Croatia on such short notice. We made it back into Rome this afternoon and wandered a bit more and recovered from yet another train that had just come from hell (where it's summer right now so it's even hotter than just normal hell). Tomorrow we'll train up to Venice and stay for a night or two and figure out where to go from there.

We're having a great time, although I'm getting tired and hope to sleep for about 15 months when we get home.

~It Just Gets Stranger