Leaving Italy soon...
Going back to California.
Not the cascade we had planned. Aside from the above, Vito is running a high fever and the three of us are feeling a little rotten.
After a few days of off and on rainstorms and cold temperatures hearkening a colder season than autumn, and coinciding with the downfall of the beginning of our Italian endeavor which made everything feel even bleaker than it really is, the weather has nicely mellowed a bit.
Drove to Naples on Thursday morning to get an emergency passport for Vito, which would facilitate our departure together. Naples is about 3½ hours by car from Putignano and, as our appointment was for any time between 8AM and 9AM at the United States consulate, we had to leave in the wee hours.
We woke up at 3:20AM, 20 minutes later than we wanted and, instead of leaving at 3:30AM, we hit the road by 4AM. No big deal. That should still have put us in Naples by 8AM and it did. About 15 minutes out of town, I realized that I had forgotten my driver's license! Already behind schedule, Vito, thankfully, sleeping soundly in his car seat, we opted to continue on and try our luck without it.
It was dark and the autostrada was fantastically vacant. We stopped once for gas and once more to soothe Vito who was clamoring for a change, but found ourselves crossing into Naples right around 8AM. It was rush hour then and so there was no avoiding traffic any longer. Angela began to get nervous. I was confident and reminded Angela that we had plenty of time.
The weather was spectacular and clear, but it quickly became unimportant. We took a few wrong exits, drove down a dead end street, backed into a post, and drove around lost for about 45 minutes! Angela used to live in Naples, notorious, as you may know, as being a city famous for its terrible drivers and traffic, but she had never driven there and found her knowledge of the streets somewhat lacking. We found a nice man who told us to follow him in his car, and he showed us the way to the consulate, weaving us through some of the most beautiful streets in Naples, although neither of us were in the mood to enjoy them.
We arrived unhappy because we had missed our appointment, and thought we would have to return next week, but we were admitted, presented with the passport, and were back in our car by 10AM. We had one more stop to pick up Angela's diploma, which didn't take long and, by 11:30AM we had completed everything we had set out to do!
Anxious to get out of the stressful traffic and chaos of downtown Naples, we started back toward home hungry, but willing to stop for something to eat on the way. We returned without much trouble (although Vito was restless and beginning to show signs of his illness) and, soon, all three of us were fast asleep.