It has been a rough few months for us, so we escaped for a few days to the sea! Our old friends, Angelo and Christele, are in Sardegna visiting family, so we took the chance to visit them even though it meant we would be FORCED to enjoy the Mediterranean paradise in summer – sigh. The things we do for friendship. While we were there, our other friend, Elena from Milan, was there with her family but on the other side of the island. It was a crazy two-hour drive to get to her, but it was nice to see her and the family again.
The last time we were that was in June 2005 when these same friends had a church wedding there. A LOT has changed since then. Namely, five new little people have come into our lives, and we are all really tired
Having been feeling a bit depressed about food lately, I think going to Italy is possibly the best therapy I could have chosen. Italians love food, they do it well, and they process very little. Every restaurant we went to had absolutely no issues with gluten-free food. They all offered gluten-free pasta if I wanted pasta, plus the ‘second’ dishes were mostly all gluten-free since everything was made fresh. I ate a lot and LOVED it. I rediscovered my love of good food.
As my friend Sarah reminded me, the slow food movement did start in Italy, so I should’t be surprised. Fortunately, Angelo and Christele follow this philosophy in their own cooking as well, so when we had dinner with the family, it was also amazing – young goat, ratatouille, simple pasta sauces (with my special pasta), simple salads. For breakfast and lunch, we had a lot of fruit (it was hot), prociutto, salami, cheese, bread for them and GF crackers for me. The seafood, was AMAZING. I think I will have to save up all of my seafood eating for Italy because I was kind of losing my flavor for seafood that isn’t terribly good in land-locked Germany.
Ok, enough about food (but seriously, AMAZING). We fell into a routine pretty quickly: breakfast, beach, home for a rest, dinner, bed. Pretty simple; at the end of every day, Matthias and I were wiped out but happy. We stayed in an apartment that was just around the corner from our friends, but it wasn’t the best place for small kids. It was actually the same place we stayed in 2005, but I remember it seeming a lot more relaxing then… wonder why. So, our strategy was to get the kids out of the apartment as much as we could. It was a crazy, but energetic week. We had a blast. The kids really enjoyed the energy.
All of the kids played pretty well with each other and on their own at the beaches. I would have loved to have more time to catch up with Angelo and Christele, but having five kids under age 7 around makes that kind of tough. It was really nice just to be with them again though. Good friends are like that. We hope to actually be able to have conversations again in a few years.
We would like to make Sardegna and annual thing, so we need to start looking for a better place to stay with the kids. I like the idea of having a place that we get to know on vacation where the kids can settle in and chill on days when we don’t feel like running around. I may start working on that this week (because my actually ‘to do’ list feels a bit overwhelming to deal with). Some years, we can overlap with friends again.
I am so happy we went. I was was pretty nervous heading out considering how little energy I have had, but apparently, this was just the kick in the butt my body and spirit needed. I never would have guessed that I had that much energy in me. I credit the food. Did I mention it was AMAZING!?
I uploaded a bunch of photos here, but I’ll post a few here too.
This is us waiting for the airport shuttle to pick us up. I am thinking, “I really don’t know if I can handle this.”
Fast friends. The kids remembered each other from December when they first met, and they got along really quickly
The first beach day! Clair’s arm bands only lasted a few hours, and they never went on again the entire trip. She refused to wear them because the other big kids didn’t. She started getting braver in the water.
We are, seriously, the palest people on the beach
Our vacation neighborhood.
We spent a lot of time chatting and playing with kids on the terrace with Angelo’s family. Lily keeps asking for Nonno.
This is the view from my favorite beach. Angelo practically grew up here, and there aren’t many tourists. The water is super calm so the kids can play well. Plus, you can dive off of a pier, which is always fun.
A little time was spent in town having espresso and ice cream
Il Fungo – the mushroom rock formation near Angelo’s home. When we would get lost, we would start looking for the giant mushroom. The view from it is amazing.
Lunch with old friends next to the beach!
Four days in, and things finally caught up to Clair. sleeping during the day is almost unheard of for her. Lily was passed out on the next towel too.
Enjoying friends and home made wine from Angelo’s dad. It was a BIT strong but tasted great.
This is me with the typical number of children attached or in my vicinity. The second photo is a rare sight of me without children close enough to be in the photo!
We went to dinner at a fancy resort on the last night. I don’t actually remember much because the kids were insane (we started dinner around 9:00 PM, and they had been going strong for a few days – so not really surprising). I wrangled the kids as much as I could so Matthias got to enjoy a bit at least.
At the airport with the filthiest children in the world (who rolled on the filthy floors just to make sure they were totally disgusting). it was not my proudest parenting moment. As I sat down in my seat on the plane, I realized the the combination of Lily and me was repulsive! I was a bit ripe from being out in 95 degree weather all morning, and Lily had apparently decided to poop again somewhere between the terminal and the plane. As we were on a small commuter plane, there was nothing I could do about it. Plus, she passed out on me (continuing to sweat) for the entire flight. The guys next to us was coughing now and then, and I am pretty sure it was because we made him gag – like I said, proud parenting moment.