Rob and a team of afloat trainers from MSC were scheduled work days on USS Mount Whitney http://www.msc.navy.mil/inventory/ships.asp?ship=128
While the men were conducting ship inspections, Linda joined the other spouses that had accompanied their husbands to the seaside port of Gaeta, Italy in daily exploration and sightseeing.
HOWEVER: Rob and Linda experienced a setback when three hours into their six hour flight that was taking them to Germany, where they would catch a connecting flight to Naples, their plane was forced to return to Newark due to navigational failures. Although everyone was grateful for a safe landing, fatigue and disappointed made it a difficult start of this adventure
However, after a night in Newark, they were once again were on their way.
When they finally arrived at the charming family run establishment known as The Rock Garden Hotel, http://www.pensionerockgarden.com/en/ , they were pleased to welcome Rob’s sister and niece who traveled several hours by train from Milan, to spend the first few days with them.
After a typical breakfast consisting of rich Italian pastries and cappuccino, Rob and his colleagues would walk to the ship.
Since Gaeta is a seaside vacation destination for Italian families, Linda and her sister-in-law and niece joined the throng of pedestrians schlepping to the sandy, crescent shaped beach, and rented a beach umbrella and two beach lounges for 15 euros.
The Mediterranean Sea, was refreshingly clear and and free of seaweed and jellyfish.
The calm gentle waves made body surfing pleasurable and relaxing.
It is not hard to explore an old European city and not be able to visit historic Sanctuary of Montagna Spaccata.
An early morning hike up split mountain did not disappoint, aside from the sweeping panoramic vista views, there is a sacred historic treasure worth the effort.
The walk between the split mountain ultimately leads to a tranquil view of the Mediterranean