(Continued from A Mediterranean Cruise Story: The Lucky Charm)
The next morning we arrived in Athens, land of gods and goddesses. Frances, my sister-in-law, lend me an outfit and the belt to wear during the day. We had a long and very hot and humid day ahead of us, two umbrella strollers, two kids under the age of four and over 150 steps to get from the the base of the Acropolis to the Parthenon. Was it worth it? You bet it was! I've never seen anything more spectacular than ancient Athens in my life.
When we got to the Acropolis we realized that the umbrella strollers were not going to be useful at all. Enrico carried Joaquin and I held Lucia's hand until we got to the top to discover a stunning view of Athens. Just breathtaking. Our guide that day, well, let's just say she wasn't our favorite. Her tour of the Plaka, an ancient and very popular district of Athens, consisted on stopping at her friend's souvenir shop for fifteen minutes. Rip off? Hell, yes.
Lunch was pretty decent and in the afternoon we hopped in a bus for two hours to visit Poseidon's Temple. Getting to the top of the temple was very challenging with the kids, but the view from the top was spectacular. I only wished we could have seen a bit more of Athens itself. I guess this is one of the downsides of taking a cruise; having to absorb so much in so little time.
The next day was a day at sea...Another gala night and absolutely nothing to wear. (sigh)
Joe, the ship's concierge, called me with great news the following morning. Mrs. Goyco, please come by my desk to sign the release forms. Your luggage is waiting for you in Salerno's airport. As you can imagine, I was thrilled! Even though we only had two more days on board, plus the day in Barcelona, I was determined to wear three outfits per day (at least!). We were getting our stuff back! Is all I could say the entire day at sea. The best part is that we were actually getting our luggage early next morning; just in time to spend a day in the Amalfi Coast, very close to Naples, Italy.
That night we had a wonderful dinner and I wore a cute little green dress from another kind stranger, a Puerto Rican girl who was vacationing with her fabulous mother. Ariana, an eighteen year old beautiful girl, helped me with my wardrobe needs that night. I will forever be grateful to my fellow Puerto Rican friend.
Next day: Naples. We got the call at 7:30 am. Your luggage is here, Mrs. Goyco. The three pieces of luggage will be delivered to your room in the next 10 minutes. The three pieces of luggage? THE THREE PIECES OF LUGGAGE? I was hyperventilating. There were four pieces of luggage, not three. And of course the missing piece belonged to me. Talk about bad luck!
Joe, thank you very much for your efforts, but I've been wearing the same two pieces of underwear for the last ten days! This is ridiculous. Are you sure my luggage is not completely lost? Please, I'll rather know now. All I could imagine was my outfits getting sold at a Turkish bazaar for 10 euros a piece! Don't worry, Mrs. Goyco, your luggage is not missing and it will be sent directly to your hotel in Barcelona; and again, I apologize for all the inconvenience this may have caused you.
Well, I guess I wasn't going to see my luggage. Period. Enrico and the kids put on their bathing suits and we spent an amazing day in the Amalfi Coast. We drank Limoncello, ate a traditional Neapolitan pizza and had a blast at a local beach. Both Enrico and I absolutely loved Amalfi. Just beautiful.
We only had another day at sea before the end of our trip. As soon as we got to our room there were two bottles of wine waiting for us and a voice mail from Joe, our concierge. I made reservations at the formal restaurant for the two of you tomorrow night at 8:30 pm. Again, I apologize for your lost luggage Mrs. Goyco. Gee thanks, Joe...Another formal event without anything to wear. Just perfect.
The next day at sea I met the beautiful Chilean sisters: Nina, Valeria and Josefina. They were celebrating their Mother's 75th birthday. These women dressed me that night. Not only were we the same dress size, but we were also the same shoe size! I had dinner with Enrico and we just laughed about everything and enjoyed every bite of our lobster thermidor and the sinful chocolate souffle. After all, we were in the Mediterranean Sea, with or without luggage, it had been a spectacular trip.
In Barcelona, the day before our return, I went to ZARA and got a new outfit and shoes to wear my own stuff our last night in Europe. As you can imagine, my luggage never arrived.
If you are wondering if I ever got my luggage back, I actually did. A week after I got back home, Alitalia Airlines Fed Exed my bag with everything in it. I've been using all the cute bikinis to go to the pool with Lucia and Joaquin and I am sure that some people must be looking at me thinking What is wrong with her? Does she think she's in a cruise or something? And I just smile and think to myself...Exactly!
Lesson learned: Don't
leave for tomorrow what you can wear today. Mamma Mia!