We arrive at Hotel Regina, a jewel box by the sea in Sorrento, where a two day day storm of infinite beauty and fury commences. Andy’s cold also begins its furious, dripping journey.
We are holed up in our glass encased room, only leaving for meals during merciful breaks in the torrential rains, lightning and thunder. Three of five meals are at Taverna Abruzzo in the harbor, both the best and closest restaurant to us as we are now well past tourist season and many places are closed. By our last supper, the owner is plying us with gifts of prosecco , fortified wine and limoncello. We stuff ourselves with pasta and clam sauce and fresh grilled sea bass.
What do we do all day in our room with a sea view? We take photos of the changing sky over Mount Vesuvius: The clouds, the rainbows, the sudden darkening skies before the clouds split open.
Watching the variable sky is vastly more interesting than surfing the few English language channels in Europe that only offer a steady diet of news; BBC America, CNN, Bloomberg, Euronews. Not one hotel offers any English language entertainment and we cannot take any more mewling and puking news media. We are so done with pundits and polls and politics. The skies of Sorrento echo our tears and frustration.
We do, however, discover that our slow internet supports playing Ted Talks, podcasts and later we expand to webisodes of “comedians in cars getting coffee” with Jerry Seinfeld., particularly enjoying the one with President Obama. I also read the extraordinary book “Flight Behavior” by Barbara Kingsolver and write this blog post. A. strums his portable guitar. The days and the storm pass slowly.
Despite our plans, there would be no visit to Pompeii or Herculaneum on this leg of our journey. No drive to Positano or along the Amalfi Coast. No ferry to the Isle of Capri. There will just be rain outside our Sorrento windows and sniffles inside.
Yesterday, our last day, was a hard traveling one of trains and connections toward Rome where we end up stranded at a hotel near their airport. There is nothing else nearby.
A. is still sick so we eat at the hotel and retire early for our 4 am wake up call to begin the long flight home.
Before we turn out the light, we catch a youtube segment of Saturday Night Live. It is the opening with Kate McKinnon in her Hilary white suit singing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelulah” in a moving elegy to all of our shared grief over an election lost.
It’s been a long, strange ride this trip and we are ready to come home.