Bright memories – 10

Family holidays always had to balance my insatiable desire to see everything with allowing pool and sociable time for the youngster. He was good at finding a friend and our holiday to Sorrento was memorable in that respect. Always a keen football fan, Juventus was one of the teams he favoured, and his black and white striped Del Piero shirt greatly endeared him to the Italian waiters. He also had a passion for Ferrari, in those Schumacher days, and one of the small boys at our hotel was of the same mind. They formed a great attachment and much fun was had, but the inevitable day came when Liam had to go home. Our son was out of bed at crack of dawn- the only time on that holiday- and downstairs to say his farewells. I watched, with a huge lump in my throat.

Fortunately a distraction was planned for that day. An outing to Amalfi. Initially not much of a treat for James, who felt coach sick for most of the winding journey down the coast. I was in awe of one of the most beautiful journeys I had ever made, whilst ministering to the youngster. My gaze riveted to the coach window, I prayed fervently that he could hold on till our stop. Which he did, only to be bundled onto another coach up to the dizzying heights of Ravello. Nor were the stunning villas Rufolo and Cimbrone much to his taste. What a selfish parent! But the aerial views in that first link show you the wonderful landscape in a way I can’t hope to.

I seem to remember he ate his bodyweight in pizza and chocolate ice cream once we were back at ground level. And there was the amazing Duomo to see, and a wander through the charming streets. I could have lingered by the harbour, but there was a hydrofoil heading back up the coast which finally put a smile on his face. The journey was every bit as bumpy as the coach, but he didn’t mind one bit. A happy family again!

78 comments

  1. I read this with a lump in my throat too … it is wonderful when we make friends on vacation – the goodbyes are so difficult. And I have felt like that “bad parent’ more than once, I’m afraid – but it is so challenging to balance everyone’s “wants” & “needs”. Sigh.

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    1. They’re only young once, but you might never get the chance to see some of these places again! We had some fabulous holidays, but there was always compromise πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ And happy memories!

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  2. I would have been feeling like James I think. Winding roads and coaches do not agree with me. Winding roads and steep drops do not agree with the OH either, so how come we both enjoyed our coach trip to Ithaca? Not been to the Amalfi coast, but the views are gorgeous. So many places, so little time. I can’t believe you kept going back to Tavira every year. I guess that’s one reason why we never bought a holiday home as I’m not keen on going back to the same place. But I suppose it is useful as a base to explore the region / country. I wonder what you’ll do when you have covered Portugal? A nice little villa in the Azores?

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    1. Well, we all have a home we live in. The north east of England had its time. Mick was never going to be an itinerant so home had to be where the heart was. He’s happy πŸ€—πŸ’•πŸ’•

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  3. The Almalfi coast is so beautiful and that drive weaving in & out practically cliff side is not for the weak stomach! Our home base was in Praiano when we visited, using the Sita buses as our way of visiting other towns along the coastline. Spectacular!

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  4. The 50km stretch of terraced cliffs, winding roads and pastel wedding-cake villages that make up the Amalfi coast is pretty high on many a traveller’s bucket list, mine including! Thanks for sharing and have a good day. Aiva πŸ™‚

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  5. Amazing views! This area is definitely on my wish-list for a future visit to Italy. We did a day trip to Sorrento from Naples but have never been further along the coast – as yet. Isn’t it wonderful how kids can be feeling sick one minute and stuffing their faces with food the next?!

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  6. Stunning scenery, Jo and I’m glad your youngster cheered up at the end! Hydrofoil, pizza and icecream will usually do it at that age! As for bus journeys I suffer on bumpy bendy roads and had a frightening experience in Crete on the way to Samaria Gorge … I honestly thought we were going to fall off the cliff edges whilst my husband was oblivious and just enjoyed the views! πŸ˜€

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    1. I’m seldom scared, unless my husband is driving and is tense, Annika. The transport links were great there so we never needed to and James was head over heels in love with hydrofoils πŸ€—πŸ’•

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  7. Great photos bringing back lots of memories Jo. We stayed in Minori, a gorgeous little town very much overlooked by the mass tourism trade, and went to Sorrento by boat from Amalfi one day. However, when we wanted to come back there were no boats running so we had to get the bus – and that winding journey along the coast, with the bus often looking like it would tip over the edge, was the best bus ride I’ve ever had. We both said at the time that if we had known it would be so good we would have gone by bus in the first place πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    We could see Ravello from our hotel balcony, I went there on my own one day and P and I were waving at each other πŸ™‚ On the coach going up there was a woman sitting behind me whose only words were “Oh my God!” every time we went round a bend, while I thought the journey was brilliant πŸ™‚

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    1. Funny how different people’s reactions are. These days they’d all be glued to their phones πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Glad to bring back the memories. I think we considered Minori and Maiori when we were booking but my priority was easy access to the many delights of that coast, and a good hotel pool for James. It worked for us. It is the most sublime part of the world. πŸ™‚

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      1. It certainly is Jo. I’d love to go back some day but unfortunately the hotel we stayed in is no longer a hotel and I’m not sure I would like a different one as that one was just so ‘right’ for us.

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