Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I've hung up my dress-for-success clothes, and pulled my domestic "genes" out of storage.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Best of the Weekend and Happy Birthday!



Hi, everyone!
So glad to see you here at Best of the Weekend,

where we celebrate the BEST of YOUR creativity!
 I look forward to seeing what you bring to the party each week.
Here in the Goo Shoes household, we're having our own little celebration 
for Junior Goo Shoes' birthday! 
He's turning 16! 
He's super-excited because he gets his driver's permit.
I'm still trying to wrap my brain around that...yikes!

**************** 
Best of the Weekend is looking for some new co-hosts.
We would LOVE to hear from you! 
Let me know by sending an email to
mstoodygooshoes36@gmail.com

****************  

We feature all kinds of posts -- 
 recipes, home decor, DIY, gardening, travel, whatevah
so link up your best stuff! 

Bloggers: Remember that we each select our own favorite posts, 
giving you a better chance of being featured each week,
so be sure to check out Ginnie and Cindy
to see if you were featured on their blogs.
And...we'll each be pinning our features to a 
Pinterest "Best of the Weekend" Features board!

Non-Bloggers: There are hundreds of fabulous ideas collected here each week;
just click on the links under the thumbnail photos,
and you will be taken directly to the blog post.  

All of our features are pinned to our Best of the Weekend board!

Follow Cindy Eikenberg (Little Miss Celebration)'s board Best of the Weekend Features! on Pinterest.

************
We'd love it if you would follow your co-hosts...

This week's most clicked link was:

I Wanna Live There Wednesday from Simply Vintageous

My features for this week are:  

Black Onyx Bundt Cake from Living The Gourmet

Bacon Caramel Kettle Corn from Kleinworth and Company

Airbrushed Blossom Cookies from My Cookie Clinic

Painting A China Cabinet from Karen's Up On The Hill

Let's see what you're bring to the party this week!



Thursday, August 27, 2015

Capri: A Travel Journal - Our Trip to Italy (Part 5)

Capri, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy

Ms. Toody's Travel Journal: The Amalfi Coast

(This is the final installment of our recent trip to the Amalfi Coast. You can read Part 1: Naples here; Part 2: Sorrento here; Part 3: Positano here; Part 4: Amalfi and Ravello here)

Day 7 - Positano to Capri
We are sad to leave Positano. Despite all of the stairs, Mr. Goo Shoes and I would like to have another night here. At the same time, we are excited to see Capri, which has been called one of the most beautiful places on earth. Supposedly, it's where vacations were invented a couple thousand years ago by Tiberius and his pals. Or something like that. 

Our luggage gets a ride with the porter to the ferry dock; we walk the 300 steps down. I'm carrying my backpack which weighs about a thousand pounds because I don't want to risk putting my camera or laptop in the suitcase that the porters take. 

Capri, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

It is blazing hot down here, and I'm figuring out where to stand, so that when I faint from the heat, I won't fall into the water with my camera. 

There is about one square foot of shade at the edge of a bench, and we snag it.
I try some reverse psychology while we wait:
I'm not hot-I'm not hot-I'm not hot. I'M SO FREAKING HOT. As luck would have it, the ferry is a half hour late.

In 30 minutes, Capri comes into sight. We wait on the sweltering dock for a hotel assistant to come and collect our bags. We are to look for someone wearing a hat with the hotel name, and a...shovel? We can't figure out what this means. No one shows, so we find a luggage porter who will take our bags to the hotel. We catch on immediately that Capri is more pricey than Positano and Sorrento, because the cost is €12 per bag, vs. €10 in Positano. 

Capri, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Like the other places we've been to on this trip, Capri has an upstairs (top of the cliff) and a downstairs (sea level). An open-air taxi whisks us "upstairs" for a mere €35. Ouch. Later, we will figure out that the easiest and most economical way to get up and down the cliff is via the funicular. 

Capri, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Capri Town, like our previous destinations, is pedestrian-only, so the taxi can't take us all the way. We have to find the Hotel La Vega, which is tucked away from the main square, on our own. It takes only 10 minutes, without, miraculously, any wrong turns.

Capri, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

The room is beautiful...the nicest of our trip. Everything is crisp white and navy. And the view! Nothing like Positano, but very peaceful with its position overlooking the pool and the sea. 

Capri, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy

We eat lunch at the hotel restaurant, which is poolside. It's a hoot listening to the "beautiful people" at the next table, who clearly seem like the types who flit from Monte Carlo to St. Barth's to Capri every other week. The more I stare at them, the more I'm wishing I'd changed out of my sneakers. Their pool outfits are equivalent to what I'd wear out on a Saturday night.

Capri, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy

It's a five-minute walk down a pretty alley to the main drag, Via Camerelle, and for a minute, I think I'm on Madison Ave. in New York. Every designer store under the sun is here...Gucci, Valentino, Moschino, Tod's, Eres. I look in the windows, but I'm not going in to browse if I can't buy. That's not fun, that's torture. 

Capri, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy

The main square, Piazza Umberto, is tiny, as squares go. More fancy shops, and a bunch of cafes. I hope I find some affordable shops!

Capri, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy

Capri, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy

Just off the main square is a beautiful colonnaded terrace overlooking Capri.

Capri, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy


Capri, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy

Ah, and there's the funicular -- a bargain for €1.80 per person. I'm relieved to see that it runs on a track down the mountain, and is not, as I thought, suspended in the air like a cable car. I walk away humming Funiculi Funicula!

Capri, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy

Once off the square, there are lots of reasonably priced shops...yet, I am overwhelmed by all of the options, and can't make my mind up as to what to buy. A pair of handmade sandals? More ceramics? Costume jewelry? It must be the heat. I'm afraid to commit, because tomorrow I might see something I want more, and there's only so much room in my suitcase. I take it all in, for now, and keep mental notes of where I want to come back to. 

Capri, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy

Just when we think we've seen all there is to see of Capri Town, I notice little alleys off the main square. A sign says they are ancient walkways. We meander down these for awhile. They lead to residences and restaurants. 

Capri, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy

A great discovery is the walkway between Tod's and the Gran Cafe (via La Botteghe), which is lined with shops and cafes. My head is spinning in a good way. IMHO, this is the best shopping street in Capri. Although my Euros with their excellent exchange rate are burning a hole in my un-chic shorts pocket, I still don't purchase anything, and time is running out. 

Capri, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy

We eat dinner at Ristorante Il Giranio, about a 10-minute walk from the hotel, but the steep walkways  make it feel further. The setting is stunning, and we have our first view of the Faraglioni - the trio of rocks jutting out of the sea, which are one of Capri's most noted landmarks. First course is excellent; our second courses are just okay. Dessert doesn't disappoint (more about the food we ate here). The walk home seems shorter on full stomachs...oh, wait, it's because it's downhill.

The bed is so comfy...sleep comes easily...and then...rrriiiinnnngggg! It's Junior Goo Shoes calling from camp at 4:00am to let us know that "Tribal" broke (that's camp's color war)...and they're all so excited, they just had to call their parents...and oops -- he forgot about the time difference.


Day 8 - Capri Town and Anacapri
The hotel breakfast is nothing special, but when a huge seagull swoops down on a table and steals cheese off a woman's plate while she's sitting there, her screams add a great deal of excitement to the meal. She asks everyone if she over-reacted. Me? I think she was quite calm compared to how I'd have reacted, which makes her feel better. I'm glad to help. And go figure, I stopped bringing my camera to breakfast because 63 photos of croissants and cappuccino seemed like enough. Darn. 

Capri, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy

We try to make arrangements for a "giro" (boat) tour around Capri, but they are booked for today. Instead, we go to Anacapri, the other village on the top of the mountain. We opt for the bus, but question the wisdom of this frugal decision as it is not air-conditioned, and is packed with people. The 10-minute ride is terrifying. We are zipping around the winding roads at the edge of the cliff. I feel like it's payback for gloating over the fact that we didn't find the Amalfi coast drive to be scary. 

Capri, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy

Anacapri is quiet compared to Capri Town, which is flooded with day-trippers. It is oppressively hot, and as much as I want to check out the shops, it's no fun with sweat dripping down my face and back. I'm even too hot to take pictures. The only thing to do is find a shady place and eat. I think we are in Anacapri all of an hour.

We take a taxi back to Capri Town, which is scarier than the bus ride. The driver whips around the bends, and I feel like I'm on an amusement park ride that goes faster and faster around the curves, until it suddenly comes to a halt. Phew. We made it. 

Capri, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy

I'm determined to have a great meal in Capri. I survey my Facebook friends for recommendations, but they don't come through. Reluctantly, I turn to Tripadvisor again, hesitant after the La Sponda debacle. I decide on the #1 restaurant in Capri -- Ristorante Da Tonino.

We have no trouble getting reservations, because at 7:30pm, we're eating about two hours earlier than most everyone else. I'm aware that it's about a 20-minute walk, but I ask the concierge if it is a difficult walk...a steep walk. "No, no, no, not steep," so off we go. 


"Not steep" to someone who has lived on Capri for their entire life is like "not far" to someone who lives in the boondocks, and thinks it's no biggie to drive 50 miles for milk. It is WAY steep -- lots and lots of stairs -- and takes at least a half hour (more?) to get there. 

Capri, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy

Although I remember to bring directions with me, they are hard to follow, and we ask many people if we are on the right path. Finally, the restaurant appears like manna in the desert.

Capri, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy

We're drenched with sweat, and don't think we're ever going to cool off, but somehow we do, and by the time the incredible bread basket arrives, we're in better spirits. Finally, the food gods have responded, with a perfect meal from start to finish, and service to match. It's the best meal we've had on vacation!

It seems to take no time to get back down to the hotel, as it's all downhill from here. We notice, as we walk along, that most of the restaurants are just starting to fill up at 9:30pm.  We are clearly old fogeys.

Day 9 - Capri

I couldn't sleep last night. The darndest things keep me awake. I am worried that I'll be too hot in my bathing suit on our giro tour... that's how hot it is here. It seemed like a great idea to buy one of those "miracle" suits to look ten pounds thinner, but it's so tight, I can't imagine how I will survive in the heat wearing it under my clothes until we get on the boat. I'm convinced that I will pass out somewhere between the hotel and the dock. I have got to buy a two-piece before that boat ride. I don't care what it costs, or how I look in it - I'll wear a tank top over it. 

I grab the first bikini I see; it fits and it's on sale. Hmmm...I don't look half bad in it. Mr. Goo Shoes says I look great -- bless his heart! There's still no way I'll take that tank top off, though. 

It is stifling hot as we walk through town to the funicular, which is super-crowded, but in a few minutes, we are down at sea level. There is a completely different vibe here than "upstairs." I wonder how many day-trippers only see this part of Capri, and never venture to the top. We grab lunch at a cafe before heading to the dock. 

Capri, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy


Capri, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy

We meet our captain, Giancarlo, and set out on our private tour. I forget to take a picture of our giro, but it looks like this.

Capri, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy

Okay, just kidding...like this...

Capri, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy

Giancarlo asks if we want to go to the Blue Grotto, which is a must-see, but when he tells us that the wait is 45 minutes to get in, we decide to skip it. Our boat ride is only for two hours, and time is money. Giancarlo says, "Don't worry. I show you the green, white, and coral grottos." Sounds good to us. 

Capri, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy
Green, white and coral grottos

The sheer size of the cliffs are staggering, and there are caves everywhere.  This is clearly Capri's best side.

Capri, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy



Capri, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy


Capri, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy

We see the lighthouse (top left), Tiberius' cave (middle left), Napoleon's forts (bottom left), Little Boy of Capri Waving statue (top right) the Natural Arch (middle right), and Sofia Loren's former house (bottom right) . 

Capri, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy

The "crown jewel" is the Faraglioni, which don't look like much until we get up close. 

Capri, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy

Capri, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy


The boat ride ends all too soon. We agree that it's the highlight of our stay in Capri. We also agree that three nights in Capri was two too many.

After last night's hike, we eat close to the hotel at Le Camarelle. The row of outdoor tables covered with canopies and colorful glasses is picture-perfect. The food is less so -- we have a great pasta dish, followed by a fair second course. After 10 days on the Amalfi coast, if we would have stuck with just pasta and dessert, our food experience would have been much better. 


Capri, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy

Day 10 - Capri to Naples
Today is our last full day in Italy. On the one hand, it went so fast; on the other, it seems like we've been here a long time. I'm not ready to leave.

I do one last lap around Capri in hopes of buying something. I go back for another look at a necklace I considered, but leave without it. I know even then that once I get home I'll regret this; still, I don't turn around and go back in. At this point, I'm just too hot and sweaty to care. How is it that everyone else looks so elegant in this heat? I am the only one wearing baggy shorts; the only one wearing sneakers; the only one with frizzy hair, and the only one sweating like a pig. I have not mastered that chic Capri look. 

To cheer myself up, I finally go into the bakery, R. Buonocore, that we've passed dozens of times over the past three days. When I hear someone raving about the Caprilu Limone, I buy a few, and a custard-filled lemon tartlet, too. The caprilu are amazing, and clearly one of the best things I've eaten in Italy. Why did I wait till the last day to try them? I bring the rest back to the room, and Mr. Goo Shoes and I have a little feast, before checking out of the hotel. On the way to the funicular, we stop and buy a few more for later. 

Capri, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy

Soon we are on the ferry; it's like a 747 on water. In 50 minutes, we're in Naples, heading to the Hotel Excelsior...right back where we started 10 days ago.

We've got the afternoon to kill, and now we can see a little more of Naples. We walk down through the Piazza del Plebiscito...

Capri and Naples, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy



Capri and Naples, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy

Into the Galleria Umberto...

Capri and Naples, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy

Up and down the streets; in and out of shops.


Capri and Naples, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy


At dinnertime, we head back to the pizza place that was closed when we first arrived ten days ago...Da Ettore, which is supposed to be one of the 10 best pizza places in Naples. The eggplant parmigiana is excellent; the pizza, delicious. The house wine comes in a cute ceramic pitcher with the name and address of the restaurant on it. I HAVE to have it! 

Capri and Naples, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy

Mr. Goo Shoes calls the waiter. "My wife would like to know if we can purchase one of these pitchers." The waiter says, "No buy, just take!" We insist on paying, but he won't let us. He comes back with a bigger one, and says, "You pick which one you want." I feel greedy going for the bigger one, so I take the smaller; and besides it's the one my wine came in. I love it...and it makes me happier than anything I could have bought. We leave him a big tip.

It's a beautiful night, so we take one more walk down by the water; I pose for a last photo in front of the La Fontana dell'Immacolatella. 


In the morning we're off to the airport.

Capri and Naples, Italy: A Travel Journal | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #Italy

Ciao, Italia! Till we meet again! 


Resources
Hotel La Vega (Capri)  
Ristorante Il Geranio (Capri)
Ristorante Da Tonino  (Capri)
Ristorante Le Camarelle (Capri)
Marcello's Boats  (Capri)
R. Buonocore (bakery - Capri)
Hotel Excelsior (Naples)
Ristorante Da Ettore (Naples) 


Naples & Pompeii: Italy Travel Journal - Part 1

Sorrento: Italy Travel Journal - Part 2

Positano: Italy Travel Journal - Part 3

Amalfi & Ravello: Italy Travel Journal - Part 4

Ten Must-Eat Foods In Italy