In May of 2017 while Alex was stationed in Bahrain I made my first trip out to see him! We took advantage of military flights and made plans to pop over to Italy!
Now, I am by no means a control freak, but when it comes to Alex and I traveling, I always plan our trips. I’ve had more experience traveling and am just a little bit more savvy at it. But by the time I went to visit Alex I had just returned home from a three week mission trip in Malawi and I just didn’t have the energy or time to plan this little Italy trip. And to be honest, I really didn’t want to go (say what?!) I hadn’t seen Alex in months and I just wanted to spend time together and relax, not navigate airports and new cities.

Alex was pretty determined though, so I told him if he wanted to go, he was planning the whole thing on his own.
I was kinda regretting that decision when he filled me in on our plans BUT I’m also SO thankful for the insane whirlwind six day trip he planned and I know it wouldn’t have been the same if I had planned it. We visited six some cities and took two overnight flights…mind you I had just spent 30+ hours traveling TO Bahrain only to go back the other direction less than 24 hours later. He may not have factored sleep into our trip but he did such a good job finding us amazing accommodations and I’m so glad he pushed us to see as much as we did!
So, tag along on our crazy trip as we visit Naples, Sorrento, Amalfi and Sicily!

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We flew from Bahrain to Naples and day one (or was it two…I don’t know, we seriously didn’t sleep) we took an awesome tour provided by the USO along the Amalfi Coast, first visiting Sorrento.

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Mount Vesuvius!

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Alex enjoying one of MANNNY slices of pizza. The absolute worst part about this trip was not being able to eat ANYTHING. I can’t eat gluten…and we were visiting the HOME OF PIZZA. It was torture.

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We had a few hours to roam around the city of Amalfi and it was breathtaking. If there weren’t photos to prove it I’d say this was all just a dream…

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The best part of Italy…the wine.

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My absolute favorite photo of all time.

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We hopped on a ferry that took us further down the coast where a bus picked us up and brought us back to Naples. It was incredible to see the coastline from this perspective! Major props to Alex for planning this whole day!

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The next day we went back to Sorrento with our friends Karen, Chris and their kids. This time we weren’t tied to a tour schedule and could spend more time exploring. Sorrento is such a bustling, fun little city! It’s definitely touristy but it didn’t stop us for enjoying it. We had lunch overlooking the ocean, Mount Vesuvius and the coast line and of course had a glass (or two) of wine in hand!

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So grateful to Chris, Karen, Owen and Ruby for letting us stay with them in Naples! We’re SO bummed you’re not in San Diego anymore but we can’t complain about where you live now!

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Marina Grande Beach

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I made this little piece of seaglass into a necklace when I got home. Click here to see a photo of it!

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On the way back from Sorrento we stopped in Naples for the rest of the day. For safety reasons I was advised not to bring my camera along so I I just have a few iphone shots. I wish we could have spent a little more time here, there were some really cool museums and I would have loved to learn more about the history! AND we found a place with gluten free pizza, HOORAY! However, they didn’t open until like 8pm and we of course had some crazy flight the next day and had to get back home. So, no pizza for Joelle.

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SICILY!!!! We nearly missed our flight to Sicily (had to RUN through the airport) but hey, we made it! First stop, the beachy city of Mondello.

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We drank a lllllllllllllllllllllot of coffee.

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Our precious little rental car and my fearless driver! Living in Bahrain definitely taught Alex how to navigate crazy traffic. Driving in Sicily traffic was INSANE but Alex was cool as a cucumber!

We drove around Palermo for about an hour to look around but didn’t have time to stop. Our next destination was our Airbnb in the Sicilian countryside. We drove for hours through the countryside and it was definitely a highlight for us! (We love road trips so this was basically a Sicilian road trip, sign us up!)

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I married up:) Also, he’s going to hate me for all the photos of him on here.

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We love having a rental car as it gives us the freedom to go as we please. As we were driving we saw this town perched way up on a mountain and we made it our mission to find it! The photo below is deceiving, this is when we finally got close to it but we spotted the city way way far away from the highway.

We wound our way up a mountain and finally made it to this sleepy little village. I wish photos could do it justice. We probably saw one or two people, otherwise it was just us. This is exactly why it’s fun to not have a plan and just see where the day takes you. We had SO MUCH FUN.

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The greatest AirBnB stay of all time. Props to Alex once again! This country cottage was impossible to find but absolutely worth the struggle! The cottage has a few separate rooms so we shared the house with other travels (we love doing that). Upon arrival we opened a bottle of wine and walked through the beautiful gardens and were pretty much on cloud nine.

That evening our host Antonio cooked us a NINE course Sicilian meal made with ingredients from his garden. It was divine and an experience we will cherish! We shared the meal with a couple from Germany, Antonio and I’m kicking myself for forgetting his name but Antonio’s friend. Best night ever.

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Breakfast wasn’t too shabby either. All the jams are made by Antonio using the fruit from his property.

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Our amazing host!

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Who knows what day we are on but now we’re in Catania, the second largest city in Sicily.

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See the pretty little ring on my finger? We bought it on our trip! The flower was hand carved out of sea shell. I imagine my kids or grand kids (God willing) going through my jewelry someday and asking me about it 🙂

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Our last day we spent in Taormina, an amazing little hilltop town. The town is known for the Teatro Antico di Taormina, an ancient Greco-­Roman theater still used today, you’ll see…it’s amazing.

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Isola Bella, a tiny island and nature reserve.

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I just have one question…can we do it again?

I would love to know you were here! Leave me a comment and say hello!

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