I woke up at 5:30 a.m. on our last day in Italy. I don’t know why… I’d tried to sleep in as much the rest of the trip, and here I was spontaneously waking up way too early.

As I layed there in bed, trying to go back to sleep – it dawned on me that the sun was likely coming up any minute… which made me want to get up to go take pictures. But I also remembered from my days in the Army that nothing quite comes as slowly as a sun that you want to come up, even when you know exactly when it’s supposed to rise. I checked Google from my phone, and the sunrise wasn’t supposed to happen until 6:30 or so.

So I laid there for a few more minutes, resting.

When I noticed the sky was changing colors, I got up and threw on my clothes, and took the elevator to the roof of the hotel. And boy was I rewarded.

The colors were amazing as the sun rose slowly, and the lights in the town were still on.

After breakfast, Christine and I got the car, and drove south towards Salerno, taking in the rest of the Amalfi Coast. Needless to say, the drive was gorgeous.

We even took the road up to Ravello, to see a few more sights, before heading back to the airport. Chrsitine made a little video of the drive up to Ravello, if you want to get a feel for how crazy it was driving on some of the roads in Italy:

We parked the car at the top…

and saw the Villa Rufolo and the Villa Cimbrone, where we got some amazing photos, and learned more about Italy’s history, before grabbing our last gelato’s in the town square, and getting in the car to drive back to Naples.

A quick jot down the coast to Salerno, while Christine read the rest of the Lonely Planet’s chapter on The Amalfi Coast, and we were on the Autostrada (toll highway) headed back to Naples.

We returned our car to Hertz, and paid way too much for them to fill up the tank (the car ran on natural gas, and I wasn’t about to figure out where or how to fill it up in Italian). We got thorugh security and had a fantastic lunch there at the airport, before going to our gate to wait on our plane to London Gatwick.

Once in London, we took a cab to our hotel near Heathrow, and both of us were nodding off in the backseat. We were staying at the Ramada, which I believe might have been the nicest Ramada I’ve ever seen in my life.

We grabbed dinner at the hotel restaurant (it was 9:30 at night). I had fish and chips (I was in England… what else should you eat in England when you’ll only be there for one or two meals). Christine had ____. Both were really good. Oh, and I ordered lemonade with my meal… two sips, and I was in love with it, so I asked the waitress how it was made (it was carbonated, so I was sure the bartender made it) … she said “I don’t know, you just push the button next to the Sprite that says ‘lemonade’” which we got a chuckle from. Turns out lemonade is just a more lemony Sprite, I guess. Heh.

We slept in that next morning, and headed to Heahtrow with a few hours earlier than we needed to be there, so we did some shopping at ate lunch at Heathrow, while we waited for our gate to be confirmed. We bought some tea for a friend and confections for the kids.

After boarding our plane, we settled in, and were promptly told that our flight was delayed for at least 1.5 hours, due to the fog. Fog in London? London Fog? Who’d have guessed?

A long flight home, after which we found out that we’d lost our car keys, a rental car to Austin and back, and we were really finally home. Longing for more time in Italy, and glad to be back to our normal lives, all in the same breath.

I can easily recommend Italy more than any other place I’ve ever been… especially the Amalfi Coast, Positano, Capri, Pompeii and Rome. What a fantastic trip. So thankful that my wife found it on Travelzoo and jumped on it almost a year ago.

Ciao!

Oh, and you can go through all of the photos from our Italy trip: Big Camera here. iPhone photos here. No guarantee that they’re in chronological order though ;)