I took a few last photos at sunrise over our beloved town, truly a beautiful view. The driver helped us with our luggage from our rooms, we all got in the car and headed north with plenty of time for dealing with morning commute traffic around Rome. The road we took was along the coast and I was familiar with it, particularly passing the neighboring towns like Sperlonga, Terracina and Fondi where I had spent time with friends. I smiled as I looked out the window happy that the driver chose this route for our departure.The flight home was painless and I enjoyed my few hour layover in London. It's interesting how Rome and London airports are basically big American style shopping malls. The only indication that they are airports are the digital signs listing flight numbers and people dragging luggage around. It's easy to find a charger for your phone and difficult to be bored with so much distraction. Once I made it to Vegas around 10pm I was exhausted and cranky, but I called for my Lyft. The driver told me that car shares aren't allowed to pick people up at that terminal and I must take a shuttle to another one. There was no way in hell I was feeling up for that and I asked him if he was willing to accommodate me this one time and he said no. Quite a contrast from my car share guy in Rome who found me but I guess I ran out of vacation luck. I got into a normal cab and arrived home for a little bit more money but less wear on the nerves.This was an incredible dream vacation and although it was only a week it felt like two. I'm indebted to Janis and her incredible generosity and loyal friendship. I'm a lucky gal.
The next morning we had our breakfast, bought bus tickets at the front desk and walked over to the bus stop. It was due to arrive anytime, so we waited with a chatty local lady. Well, we saw the bus come, and we saw the bus go without stopping for us. August is vacation time for Italians and Gaeta is a popular beach town with still only one main two-lane road going in and out. The bus is always full and the traffic heavy. At 10am and it was already crazy so we wondered how we were going to get into town to do our sight seeing. Aside from growing wings we simply had to be patient (like island time) and wait for a cab, which we did. Our driver got us into town pretty efficiently and gave us his card for when we were ready to return, I'm glad I kept that card.The driver dropped us off at the top of the main street of Gaeta and since it was closest we walked over to my neighborhood first. We walked past the little jewelry store spot (no longer there) I'd spent much allowance on and from where I still have earrings I bought back in the 80's.
In a little over an hour we arrived at our Gaeta Hotel, Villa-Irlanda. It's built into and on top of a monastery that was as old as Pompeii so we saw similar types of frescos in the lobby. Their roads were cobble stoned and not great for dragging luggage across so they had this cute three-wheeled vehicle to take us to our rooms. Because it's so old, the room configurations were a bit, uh, quirky so the four of us wouldn't fit into one room. The gang divided up and I got my own room which had a spiral staircase through the middle of it that went to the main bed and bathroom. I decided to sleep on the pull-out couch below but I was sure not to drink too much liquid before bedtime to avoid the hell of climbing a tiny, twisty staircase in the middle of the night. Janis's bedroom was a floor above mine but oddly the elevator didn't go up that far, insert obvious joke here. They had the most and heaviest luggage and really no guy around to assist but we all managed to get them up to their room.