Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Last Letter from Your Lover: JoJo Moyes

This was the first book by JoJo Moyes I have read. I did watch the movie, Me Before You, on the airplane ride from DC to Washington State back in December and I really loved the story. So in March when I was in the airport waiting to come back to Italy, I saw this book at the book store in the airport. I read the back and picked it up. I just got around to reading it this past week and I LOVED IT! I didn't love all of the story but I really couldn't put it down. I just wanted to keep reading and find out how the story ends.

So the story start its 1960 and two people fall madly in love. Unfortunately, the women is already married. They write letters to each other because that is one of the only ways they can communicate. He is a writer so he pours his heart and soul out to her via letters. The affair goes on for a while and she doesn't leave her husband although she is unhappy. The story gets cut off and you jump to 2003.

In 2003 there is Ellie that is also a writer that is having an affair with a married man. They don't write letters though because in 2003 text message is the way to communicate and not long passionate love letters. She does however find some of the love letters from 1960 and wants to find out what happened to the couple. Maybe if their affair had a happy ending then hers could to.

It was definitely a page turner. I just wanted to know what happened as well. There was some fluff wording. I don't love long descriptive paragraphs that seem to add nothing to the story. But other than that like I said I really liked it. Not gonna give any spoilers away. It is cute love story. And you can basically get two love stories for the price of one.
love, Carlee

Quotes I liked from the book: 

In my experience there is no one more brutally impartial than a wife.

War zones, he thought, were easier. Safer. In war zones you could always tell who the enemy was.

She is pretty enough to attract attention that she still pretends offends her.




Monday, May 8, 2017

Anfiteator Campano

On Saturday, we headed just 20 minuets up the road from our house to the Campania Amphitheater. If you want to look it up use the Italian name "Anfiteator Campano" and you'll find it easier.  It was the second largest amphitheater in the world just after the Colosseum in Rome. Now it is just ruins but it is still amazing. It cost 2.50 euro per person to get in and there is a little tiny museum with ruins and gladiator amor. Even though it was a Saturday we basically had the whole place to ourselves. We were the only people there until we started to leave and there was another couple walking in. It was amazing.
The underground portion of the amphitheater where the gladiators would get ready and where the animals were held was in wonderful condition. I read on the internet that the underground is the best preserve out of all the left standing amphitheaters including the Colosseum. And we were totally alone down there! Now there is moss and plants growing all over down there. I think it beautiful that way. Obviously back in the day it would have been all clean and just stone. And probably lots of animal waster, can you image the smell? You can't go out into the little of the amphitheater. They probably don't want you falling through any rotten wood or the grates. 
Clark making sure my butt isn't showing haha.

A word of advice, when you pull up to the amphitheater site park right there on the side of the road. Instead of following the parking sign. We followed the parking sign at first and parked and walked up to the amphitheater. You can still see if from the parking lot so we walked up to it but there is a fence and turns out the entrance is when you first see the amphitheater so we got back in the car and drove to where you first can see it. 
love, Carlee 
Dress: NEX
Cardigan: Target
Shoes: Clarks
Bag: JCPennys

Friday, May 5, 2017

Baia di Leranto

After our first hike to the archeological site and lunch in Sorrento we went to our camping area to change then headed out for a 'secret beach' in a little town just on the other side of the hill from Sorrento. According to our friends the hike was only 1km each way but it was more like 2.5 miles one way haha. It was a long hike. It was definitely worth it. The views were gorgeous and the beach was amazing. The water perfectly clear. 
Clark and all the boys jumped in the water and splashed around for a while. They jumped off the rocks. I wish I could jump off the rocks too, I think I just need some good water shoes and then I will be back at it again.  I soaked my feet in the cold Mediterranean Sea to help the achyness with my ankle. It felt a lot better. Then I laid on the beach and collected sea glass. 
We were definitely the last ones up the hill on the way back. Seeing the wildflowers growing on the hills and the sun starting to peak behind the coastline was beautiful. It was a lovely golden hour hike. Of course, I said some "I don't think I'm gonna make it" and "just leave me here" a few too many times. But once we made it back to the town, we were greeted with fresh strawberries, water, and cookies. It really was a lovely day. My ankle was very very sore in the evening and the next day. But worth it. 
love, Carlee



Thursday, May 4, 2017

Green thumb practice

I have been working on my green thumb this spring. I remember when we moved in last August, planting flowers was something I definitely wanted to do but it wasn't really a priority. I figured I would get to. So when I got back to Italy in March, I knew I wanted to start planting flowers and other greenery. Plants seem to grow really well here. The climate is good and it seems to rain a good amount and give lots of sun. I think most people don't do anything with there plants and they are just growing amazingly. Were as I try really hard sometimes with my plants and they fail haha. I actually had 3 succulents in the house when I broke my leg and I was gone for 4 months and clark didn't water them the hole time I was gone haha. So they didn't get watered for 4 months. It was probably a good thing that I was gone because I  would have definitely over watered and killed them if I was here.
I had picked up some flowers at the store on base and after I plated them in the ground they seemed so pathetic. They started to wilt and my mom said just to keep watering them and they will come back to life. They just need to get use to the ground. I decided that maybe I would like it better if I planted seeds or bulbs instead of an already grown plant. So I got some gladiolus and  ranunculus bulbs and planted them in the back of my house where there was some open dirty. The plants are coming up. Everyday for weeks now I go out there and check to see how many have sprouted and now all 16 bulbs have sprouted I think that is amazing. I was excited when there was just 5. I thought 5/16 isn't bad. My mom promised that at least 12 would sprout but she said they probably all would actually.

Knox actually stepped and broke one of the gladiolus off so I bought some low grounding plants to plant in front of them so he knew not to walk back in the garden area anymore. He hasn't broken anymore since. Knock on wood.
My Italian neighbor was throwing away a bunch of succulent plants. I think he was thinning out his plant and I saw them by the garbage pile. Of course I was like those would look awesome in a big pot in front of my door. So I gathered them up and went to the store and bought a $4 plastic pot and replanted them. It is going strong and is even starting to sprout new ones. My neighbor noticed that I took them so he also gave me a little succulent haha. I will take anything I can get. Clark also got some tomato plants from one of our military friends so I am going to plant those soon. I am excited to see some stuff start blooming. Will keep you updated!
love, Carlee

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Villa di Pollio Felice- Bagni della Regina Giovanna

Last weekend we went to Sorrento with some friends to adventure. We stayed the night in this cute little campground. Our first stop on Saturday was Villa di Pollio Felice a really cool old archeological site. It is not very well kept up but it is gorgeous and right on the water. There is also this awesome little cove that has the clearest water I have ever seen. It was quite a walk down to it but so worth it.
I know that in the summer people swim in the lagoon and will swim through the arch out to the sea. A lot of people say it is a great little hidden gem in Sorrento. I loved visiting it. And another thing I loved about our trip was that our friends planned the whole thing so I didn't have to do any planning or research. I just has to follow along and take great photos along the way. It was refreshing to just tag along and enjoy the day.
There is also a restaurant just a little ways pass the archaeological site that you can only get to by walking. It is called Lido la Solara and it is really tasty. They have very fresh food and a nice laid back atmosphere. You can even rent chairs and beach equipment and there is a ladder on the rocks so when you jump into the water you can climb back up. We didn't swim in the water because it is only April and not summer swimming weather yet. At least for me haha. But sometime a trip back might be in order. I am sure the restaurant does really great in the summer months. I loved this trip!
love, Carlee 
Leggings: Old Navy
Shirt: Lucky Brand
Jacket: Marshalls
Bag: JCPennys
Shoes: Nike

Monday, May 1, 2017

Only in Naples: Katherine Wilson

So this book I discovered because I am apart of a Facebook group for the base book club. I hadn't been to the book club yet but wanted to so when they announced that Only in Naples would be the book for April I was excited. The book looked cute and easy and I wanted to join the book club now that I was back in Naples. I thought it might be fun meeting some other ladies with a love for reading.

I liked the book a lot. It is kind of a memoir/ biography of the author. She is an American that moves to Naples for an internship and then falls in love with an Italian and ends up staying for a while longer, then eventually marrying him and moves to Rome. And while you get to read about the love story long the way the book is definitely more about Naples. She talks about the food, garbage, month long vacations. I think that he perspective is a little bit different because her in-laws lived in the rich area of Naples, Posillipo, and even had another home in Positano (super expensive vacation area on the Amalfi Coast.) So they were definitely a little higher class then the average Neapolitan (people from Naples.) 

But it was still fun to read about her time here. She talks a lot about the food. Her mother in-law makes the best Ragu but it takes 12 hours to cook. That seems like a little excessive for me. She includes some fun recipes in the back of the book including a short version of the ragu (only 3 hours haha.) 

I really liked this book. I probably wouldn't have read it if we weren't here experiencing Naples because some of the things she talks were definitely better to read since I have some perspective on the Naples area but anyone interested in Naples or Italy would probably find it a fun read. If one has ever traveled to Naples before they definitely would enjoy it. At least thats my belief. 

Favorite Quotes from the book:

Never forget that men are needy and pathetic when it comes to sex. You have the power. Use it.

A Neapolitan philosopher, once said that if the Lord wanted to take everyone in Naples to heaven, all He would have to do is pull one line of laundry and the whole city would come with it, because all the buildings in Naples are connected by hanging wash.

The man might be pampered but in the end it was a woman who would decide.

As the saying goes in Naples, when you're sick, one of the most dangerous places you can be is at the hospital.

To trust is good, not to trust is better

It is normal to tell untruths, creative reconstructions of reality. These untruths are told with great calm and finesse. They are told not only to dupe or deceive but also to protect, out of love for the person being misled.

love, Carlee 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Bacoli

On Tuesday, Clark got the day off, it was Liberation Day here in Italy and Clark gets the Italian holidays off so we decided to take a little adventure and explore an area we haven't explored before. Which is what I do every time I get a change haha. So nothing new there. Bacoli is a little town on on peninsula in the Bay of Naples. It has pretty beaches and a lighthouse on the point. There is a cool building on the end of the pier called Casina Vanvitelliana in Bacoli which was our first stop. 
We drove around and stopped at some pretty points. We even drove to the most western point of the peninsula where there is a lighthouse and a gorgeous view of Naples and Mt. Vesuvius. There was even a hiking trail on the edge of the peninsula but we were not dressed in the correct clothes for a hike so we will definitely have to go back to hike. I love how blue the water is in these photos. There was even people already on the beach and swimming in the water, even though it was barely 70 degrees. While I enjoy the 70 degree weather I don't think it's warm enough to swim haha. I can't wait until it is though. 
love, Carlee
Dress: Marshalls
Sandals: Clarks
Sunglasses: Target
Bag: JCPennys