Monday, August 15, 2011

Having the Time of our Lives in Sorrento

Tuesday, May 24, 2011:

Since we have had a string of days stuffed full of activity, we chose to relax by the pool this morning and simply chill. The pool area was lovely with comfortable lounges, and we spent our "down time" reading books, magazines, Kindles, Nooks, and listening to our iPods. We were the only guests at the pool, so we felt as though we had our own private recreation area. I found it to be so peaceful to lie back and allow the music from my iPod to flow through my ears and seep into my brain. I had downloaded some Italian selections by Josh Groban, so I enjoyed soaking in the melodies with Italian lyrics that resonated so perfectly with the surroundings.

With the arrival of a few clouds and a brief sprinkling of rain, Marianne and I walked to the little grocery store in Sant' Agata. A short time later, we all took another walk, turning right at the end of the road in Sant' Agata and exploring an area that we had missed during our initial venture into town. We located an adorable restaurant where we enjoyed another outdoor dining experience for lunch. The bruschetta was delicious with toasted bread that tasted as though it had been generously buttered. Yum. We walked all along the residential streets of hilly Sant' Agata, became momentarily disoriented, but spotted our hotel way off in the distance and managed to wind our way back into familiar territory so we could find the main road that would lead us back to the hotel.

After a quick stop at the Grand Hotel Due Golfi, we took the shuttle into Sorrento, where we shopped all afternoon until dinner. It was so difficult to make purchasing decisions because of the great unknown. How many potential treasures are awaiting us during our upcoming shopping days in Rome? We did, however, buy more scarves and ate dinner at Syrenuse in the square. This restaurant is next door to the steps leading down to Daniele's, the karaoke location for tonight. Just as we finished dinner, our new Australian friends, Scott, Julie, Peter and Sandy, arrived and sat at the table next to ours. We all chatted for a while and then walked down to Daniele's. At first, we were practically the only people in the establishment, and we wondered if we would be singing to entertain only ourselves for the evening. Shortly thereafter, the people began to wander in and the room began to fill. Since we had arrived so early, we had captured prime seating right in the vicinity of the stage and microphone.

We girls performed "Dancing Queen," "I Feel Like a Woman," and during "New York-New York" we were joined by Scott. He was right there with us every step of the way for the kick line. Marianne, Sharon and Laura also sang "Mustang Sally." The unfortunate aspect of karaoke is that the participants cannot choose the key in which the song is played. Consequently, unless the song is recorded in a key that is within your comfort zone, reaching some of the notes can be a mighty painful stretch. (Painful for the audience, that is.)

There was a gigantic pole in the center of the room, and we girls had been eyeing it all evening. We knew we couldn't leave until we posed for a photo with us surrounding that silly pole. It was just one of those photo ops that is difficult to pass up.

We all spent the entire evening singing our little hearts out with everyone in the place. The owner or manager of Daniele's sang a few numbers and really had a very nice voice. When he sang "I Had the Time of My Life" from Dirty Dancing as a duet with one of the customers, it was extremely entertaining. We couldn't stop laughing when the girl dashed to the other side of the room and then ran full blast toward the male singer, jumping into his arms just as Baby (Jennifer Grey) had done with Johnny (Patrick Swayze) in the beloved movie. We were especially tickled by the fact that the guy was so tiny and she was a fairly stocky gal. We really thought she was going to knock him over!

A group of approximately ten or so young women from....well, I'm not sure where.....came in and sang some songs in a foreign language, so that was our cue to leave. If we couldn't join in the singing, it was time to go. We said our goodbyes to our Australian friends, who were absolutely delightful. We had exchanged email addresses and I promised to send the photos I had taken of them.

This was our latest night out in Italy up to this point. We ordinarily cram so much activity into the days, we are in bed reasonably early at night. We left Daniele's at 1:00 a.m., having called a driver who was recommended by our hotel. He was extremely prompt in retrieving us and bringing us up the winding road to our current home away from home. We were all exhausted from our performances of the evening, but it really was a hilarious and memorable time.

When I stop and think about the fabulous experiences we have enjoyed so far and the wonderful people from all corners of the world that we have met along the way, it seems more like a dream than reality. I am so blessed to have these friendships with my traveling companions and to have been able to accompany them to Italy. I know we will sleep like hibernating bears tonight, anticipating tomorrow's new adventures!

I'm closing this post with one final photo to commemorate the evening. Let it not be said that we failed to have an amazing time!!!

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