I had a bit of a restless night as I wanted to be up early enough to blow up balloons and decorate downstairs before Joe woke. I woke about 4:30 and took the balloons into the bathroom and blew them up, spread them around the table, put his cake with the No 1 and No 2 candles Joe organised for me to buy when we were in Roma on top out as well and drew a Happy Birthday sign to put with them. Not much however something festive for him to wake up to seeing as he will be away from his family for his birthday.
I messaged his parents to tell them I'd let them know when he was awake so they could call if they wanted to. When he woke, I gave him his card (carefully selected with a cute dog on it) and once he'd read it, he was busy looking at his phone. I let parents know he was awake and was trying to encourage him to come downstairs so he could see the table. In tHe meantime, The Giles/Dobson family called and he rushed downstairs so he could talk in the privacy of the bathroom. Rushed past the balloons and cake without noticing as he was so excited to talk to the family. When he finished his call, he came out and finally saw the decorations and cake. He was very excited and immediately wanted to light the candles and get on with the cake. Nothing like chocolate mousse cake for breakfast.
Georgia woke with a bit of a sore throat so I did a quick run to the supermarket to see if I could buy some lozenges before we set out for our Vesuvius, Pompeii trip. Needed to wear my poncho as it was raining. The supermarkets don't seem to stock medical type lines so I bought a couple of packets of lozenge type sweets.....one had eucalyptus and another one with vitamin c. They might help a bit. I also gave her some of Joe's cough mixture....he's not using it anymore as he's as good as over his cough. I'd hung a few bits of washing on the outside line and decided to bring it in because of the rain. In the process, I managed to drop one pair of knickers and they finished up on the balcony of the unit below. They'll have an interesting surprise.
Our meeting point is the hotel right next door so we were down there 5 minutes early and the mini bus arrived shortly after. We had a couple more pick up spots and soon had a full bus and we're off to Vesuvius. Clouds are sitting in the mountain so not sure whether we will see much. It was quite interesting driving up the side of the mountain....we were in cloud however could look back over Naples and it was bathed in sunshine. We put our ponchos on before heading up the mountain. I was pleased I had mine as it kept a bit of the cold out. Jenni decided she didn't want to do the climb so the kids and I set out through the mist. Well, after a pretty steep climb, we reached the crater however the clouds were in and we couldn't see anything. We wandered around, took a few photos of each other and then headed down. We had the experience of climbing the mountain but no beautiful views or seeing inside the crater. Oh well, that's how,it goes.
Off to Pompeii and lunch. We were dropped at a restaurant that appears to cater to lots of tour buses. We had a choice of spaghetti with tomato sauce, macaroni with tomato and fresh vegetable sauce or Margherita pizza. One drink was also included. We had a variety of the dishes and Jenni and I enjoyed a glass of wine. It was then a short walk into Pompeii.
Our guide Francesca took us through the city and once again, I found it really interesting. The Romans had such an amazing civilisation and it's hard to believe how it just disappeared. It can stand in the city, imagining life going on around me. Seeing the ruts in the roadways caused by the carriages, the order to the buildings, the beautiful amphitheatre. It's an amazing discovery and museum to the ancient city. Francesca said they've had to take away a lot of the statues and other antiquities unearthed here because of the graffiti artists etc. it's hard to believe anyone would want to deface items that have such a story to tell.
After a couple of hours going back in time, it was back to the bus and home. We were the second drop off after more than half the group were dropped back to their ship. We had some rest time before going out for dinner at our favourite pizzeria. Jenni and I decided we couldn't face another huge pizza so had a few croquettes, arancini balls and frittatinas (macaroni balls). They were delicious and we went back for seconds. Joe was very keen on the arancinis and helped me eat the first one and devoured the second one. And he ate most of a huge pizza (gave me 1/8 of a slice in exchange for the arancini ball).
Home time and bed time after a bit of reading and screen time. Oh yes, and balloon play time. The balloons cost €1.40 and the kids had a great time with them this morning and again tonight. Good investment even if we are polluting the planet.