Hello again! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. We laid low at home, enjoying time together as a family and doing lots of reading. I inhaled this novel over the weekend, which is masterfully written and partially set in Italy. We also visited the beautiful Casa delle Farfalle (Butterfly House) on Sunday afternoon as a family, eating a picnic outside first and then admiring butterflies in the greenhouse afterwards.
Picking up where I left off last time… a few weekends ago, after our wonderful lunch in a castle, we had an evening and a full day left of our family getaway. We drove into the pretty coastal town of Cefalu in northern Sicily and found our apartment, which we’d rented through AirBnB. We love renting apartments and skipping hotels mostly because we feel like we have a much more authentic local experience and because they are usually more affordable and practical with little kids. We rented this great apartment just across the street from the beach. Center of town, three bedrooms, balconies over looking the ocean, a full kitchen… and all for less than any decent hotel room I could find.
Other than Sunday lunch, I packed all the food we’d need for the weekend in a cooler, and that also streamlined our travel with little kids. There are really few things more stressful in life than a delicious dinner in a great restaurant that you can’t enjoy because it’s past your poor kids’ bedtime, especially if the only person to blame for that stressful situation is you!
On Sunday evening and early Monday morning, we explored the beach near our house. I loved the old city wall filled with apartments along the water.
This cutie is 9 months old now and loves to go on walks. He starts hyperventilating with excitement if he sees the Baby Bjorn. If you set him down in order to put on the baby carrier, he will inevitably believe he isn’t going on a walk after all and will burst into a heartbroken storm of tears.
After adventuring on the beach and a break for Gil’s morning nap, we vacated our apartment and headed out on a walk up La Rocca, the steep cliff towering above the city. The walk was immediately beautiful, and we felt miles away from the beach as we ascended into pungent pine forest.
View from partway up La Rocca.
Gil is in his element, Lena is taking a welcome break. I was a total dummy and only packed one baby carrier, so Lena had to walk up the whole way. She let us know this was not her idea of a good time…
… so this happened towards the end, and this is definitely her idea of a good time.
Break for lunch after the ascent. We were surrounded by ruins from ancient Greek and Roman times. (P.S. I married the best-looking guy!)
Looking up the coast of northern Sicily towards Palermo.
The view straight down the cliff was of the main cathedral (which we visited right after our hike) and the stunning blue of the Tyrrhenian Sea.
I spent awhile helping Lena walk along a rock wall as Elliott (and Gil) took pictures of the view. Lena’s wearing Saltwater Sandals, the one pair of shoes that I bought to last her all summer long for every event (weddings, beaches, hikes, play dates, and Sunday services). Because they are white, waterproof, sturdy, and made of beautiful leather, they were the perfect choice!
The view through an old window in the ancient ruins.
A pretty kitty we found at the end of our hike. We wanted to take her home!
It’s a little hard to see in this picture, but three kids were sitting on three different balconies talking and helping each other with their homework!
Walking through Cefalu after our hike.
We found the cathedral with La Rocca looming behind it.
Cathedral and a cute girl in a straw hat.
And pistachio and chocolate gelato. Not a bad end to a lovely trip!