Day 17: Saturday August 7th, 2004 Read Short Version View Photos

Short Version Instructions: Only read every other paragraph.

We woke up and went to the best breakfast buffet of the whole trip, then left the hotel at 10:15 to catch the water polo games at the pool, the first of which was at 10:30. We got the car and drove to the pool, getting mildly lost, and upon arrival the parking lot was nearly empty. No big deal, we thought, this isn't a very good game anyway.

Thumbs Down: Driving to the pool for no reason We go inside to find two teams stretching and two boy's teams scrimmaging in the pool. This certainly wasn't right, so we go back to the board with the schedule on it, and the only games start at 3:45, not 10:30, which was the practice schedule. Aggravated, we decided to find a nice beach instead. We drove back to the hotel to pick up our suits (but stupidly forgot our Portovenere goggles), and drove for about 45 minutes south, finding a number of nice but crowded beaches. We settled on a private beach which cost 7 euro each to get in, but it was very nice. It had a lot of people, but was far from crowded.

Thumbs Up: Private beaches Jessie, Alan and I swam well Bekki rented a chair and an umbrella (total cost: 13 euro) and read. We swam way out to the buoys you're not supposed to go past, went three feet past them just because we could, swam along the rocks, near a grotto, then slowly back. Jessie and I stayed in the shallows playing with fish while Alan did another lap to the buoys and back. We were in the water for about an hour total. Prunified, we got out, showered off and went in search of a McDonald's, which Jessie was craving. Luckily we had seen one an exit away from our hotel, so we headed there.

Thumbs Down: Having to pay 10 cents for
each ketchup and sauce at McDonald's
After an unsuccessful attempt at the McDrive, we went inside, got our orders all messed up anyway then proceeded to chow down. Bekki and I ended up with two McChicken meals (instead of one) with Coke Light, an apple pie, a 9 piece chicken nuggets, a cheeseburger and a Fanta. Jessie somehow ended up with a McChicken meal too, although she didn't order it, along with a cheeseburger. Alan got fish sticks, some burger, fries and a strawberry pie, which had very little strawberry inside but a lot of cream, which was officially uncool.

Within half an hour we were back at the hotel, with plenty of time for a real shower and rest. We met at 4:45 and headed back to the pool, where there actually was a game going on. The first game we saw was Great Britain vs. Ukraine, which we didn't really care about, so Jessie and I each played our Game Boys for the duration of that game. The second game was Netherlands vs. Russia, and I somehow got assigned to videotape the games while I wasn't looking, so I took care of that for that game and the final game of the semifinals, Greece vs. Germany.

We headed back to the hotel and decided to eat at the hotel restaurant, which had been moved from the panoramic rooftop location to the second floor while they were remodeling. We were the only ones in the restaurant for most of the night, but it was early. I had spaghetti in tomato sauce with green beans in it and a filet which turned out to be far too dry. Alan also had a filet which wasn't too dry, and Jessie had caprice (surprise surprise), a mixed cheese plate which we all shared, and had also ordered the filet which they promptly forgot about but eventually brought after some not-so-gentle prodding. Bekki, Jessie and Alan all had the tiramisu for dessert while I dined on water. We headed up to our room and packed for our departure for Rome the next morning.