house on the beach, kids in the water

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Ever since we arrived in Sicily two years ago, Elliott has dreamed of one very specific thing:

“I want to go on vacation to the beach… somewhere where you can stay on the beach.  Not drive to the beach, not walk to the beach.  On the beach.”

We live on an island, so you wouldn’t think this is very hard to do.  However, we’ve looked extensively, and vacation rentals on the beach are not common here in Sicily, especially in the height of the summer season (late July through early September).

We wanted to go on one final vacation with our dear friends the Arthurs, who will be leaving in just two weeks.  (Gulp.)  Knowing that a house on the beach would be perfect for this vacation with six kids, Elliott took matters into his own hands and searched high and low.  He finally found a place that was actually on the beach (!)… but they would only rent it for a week at a time, not a long weekend.  Elliott, being Elliott, negotiated and bided his time, and pretty soon we had ourselves a vacation rental on the beach… and for a full 100 euro less than their weekend asking price, too.

(Elliott, I know you know this, but I love you.)

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view of the beach from the stone steps up to our house

The house was just right for two families and lots of kids.  There were three bedrooms, two bathrooms, two kitchens (!), and two extra rooms that we used as bedrooms as well.  The house also included a lovely shaded patio connected to the huge blue-and-white tiled kitchen.  We ate all our meals on the patio and otherwise spent our days on the beach with multiple trips back for nap times, water, snacks, sunscreen, and missing children.

Would you like to stay there yourself?  Here’s the listing if you’re interested!  (That company also owns several other beach-front villas in that same area.)  For Sigonella folks, it’s about a 2-hour drive south of base, located on the southeastern tip of Sicily near Pozzallo.  The beach is called Granelli Beach.  The natural curve of the land forms a large cove that keeps the water shallow for about 200 feet and the waves small… perfect for a vacation with kids.

But anyway, enough details.  Here are some more pictures of our long weekend with friends!

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Eden (2 months) and Gil (6 months) chilling on the patio.

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The morning/afternoon sunscreen routine.  Frequently overheard conversation between Josh and Rebecca: “I will do anything rather than put sunscreen on the kids.  Anything.  What can I do for you besides that?”

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Air mattress as a raft?  This was a sort of brilliant move on Josh’s part.  So brilliant that I saw other people doing the same thing later that afternoon with their own air mattress.

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Lena loves Baby Eden and wants to hold her, admire her, and play with her all the time.

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For all lovers of Gilbert Blythe… does this photo remind anyone of this?
(Hint: “Anne, I’m sohwry.“)

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Elise and Eden

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Inspiring read for the weekend.  Highly, highly recommend this book.

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A downer of the weekend: this poor guy was almost never happy for very long on the beach.  Our guess is that it was the bright sun; his blue eyes just couldn’t handle it.  We borrowed some baby sunglasses from the Arthurs but that only helped for a little while.  Oh well… he did enjoy swimming naked like the other Sicilian babies.  Can’t blame him!

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These two… seriously.  Gil literally lights up when he sees Lena.  And vice versa.  I love how they love each other.

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This calm, quiet water — knee deep for about 200 feet — was just perfect with kids.  Refreshing in the mornings and warm as bathwater in the afternoons, with gentle waves and no pollution whatsoever, it might be the overall best beach I’ve ever seen in Sicily.

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Lucas and Lena are the cutest little 2-year-olds together.  They get each other laughing so hard… mostly Lena laughing at whatever Lucas comes up with next.

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Ciao ciao, Granelli Beach!  Hope to see you again soon!

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12 Responses to house on the beach, kids in the water

  1. Joy @ Caspara August 1, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

    That looks like it was a wonderful time!! I love living in Hawaii, but we still have to walk to the beach. *sigh* Such hardships!! ;-)
    Where dd you get your swimsuit? It’s adorable!!

  2. Steph @ meet.make.laugh. August 1, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

    This looks like such an amazing trip!!!!

  3. GrandMa Margaret August 1, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    What a wonderful time you are having. I actual live about 4 miles from Crescent Beach, which is about five miles south of St Augustine Beach. I have more time for myself and I hope to be able to enjoy the beach more. That is one of the few pleasures we enjoyed as children and teenagers, was going with our cousins to the beach.
    Love You….. Grandma Margaret

  4. Eden August 2, 2013 at 5:07 am #

    How cute is baby Eden! (I’m not biased or anything.) … and ALL the kids. Poor Gil. Looks wonderful.

  5. Rebecca Arthur August 3, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

    I laughed to myself when we packed all the kids in the car and realized they hadn’t even put their shoes on for 3 days! Bliss! We are going to miss you guys sooooo much.

  6. SingingDrJosh August 3, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

    Thanks Elliott for finding the super spot!

    That being said, either Granelli Beach is located below some hole in the ozone layer or our sunscreen was expired. My skin is still REALLY ITCHY.

  7. Melissa August 5, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

    Becca, the picture of Elliot and Gil is AMAZING! I hope you frame that!

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