A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in. ~Robert Orben
In the early hours of Thursday morning four tired travellers stumbled through their front door, ready for the sweet and familiar embrace of their beds.Well, two stumbled through the door, hauling the luggage and two slept soundly in the buggy.
And what did they dream of? Italy. Italy and more Italy.
For the past 2 weeks we have been holidaying in our little spot in Italy with nothing to do except absorb.
Oh how I love to absorb - this is just one of the many things my mother has taught me to do well. Not wanting to miss a moment, capturing them and locking them away safely in my Italia Memory Bank which is becoming very rich indeed!
There was lots and lots of absorbing to be done.
Absorbing our surroundings - the familiar sounds and smells of the village.
Hearing the soft scrape-scrape rhythm of outdoor brooms sweeping the areas of pavement just outside front doors.
Mamma's calling out for the whereabouts of their children.
Senora's telling off their husbands, their voices bouncing off their tiled floors, out onto the cobbled streets.
It is such a lovely contrast from the constant noise of traffic on the roads and planes overhead in London...
Absorbing watching our boys soak up their part of Italy and embracing it and all it has to offer with open arms.
Absorbing seeing them practically become celebrities in the village.
There's something about the sound of rain outside that always makes me want to bake... and so for the first time in our nearly 6 years of owning our home in Italy, I baked. I baked and I baked.
I managed to conquer our temperamental gas oven and I made cookies and cakes, their fragrance filling our home with sweet comfy goodness. I am pleased to report the baking was a roaring success so I happily dished out the cakes to neighbours who we have befriended. Nothing cuts through the language barrier quite like food. Where our grasp of the Italian language fell short the baking certainly made up for it!
Aside from the baking, the other thing I put my efforts into while it was raining was a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle. Now, I haven't done a jigsaw puzzle for years and I had almost forgotten my love for them until I saw one in the supermarket for only 10 Euro and I just had to get it!
And so for the next 2 days Austin and I laboured away on the jigsaw any spare moment we could get and ended up staying up until 1:30am finishing it off. WARNING: Jigsaw Puzzles are very addictive!
In the morning after only a few hours sleep I went downstairs to take a photo of our many-man-hours-masterpiece and was greeted with this sight...
Fortunately the remaining days were sunny and warm with clear blue skies - and when handed days like these on a platter it really would be rude not to make the most of them so off to the beach we trotted armed with umbrella, towels, sunblock and a chilly-bin full of fruit, snacks and cold beer. Oh yeeeeeaaaahhhhh.
For Beni he became a little sand-bug as he crawled around in the sand, discovering it's texture and eating it. As you do...
Our friends live on the top floor of this building
It was so great seeing the 3 year olds instantly rekindle their friendship even though they haven't seen each other for a year. And the wee bubba's spent their time crawling around putting anything and everything in their mouths (who needs to hoover when there's teething, crawling babies in the house!)
I felt normal.
I felt good.
Especially after a generous portion of vino rosso which ended up being compulsory in order for the adults to cope...
Later that afternoon, as our plane lifted off Italian soil my Italia Memory Bank was filled to the brim.
I am thankful, so very thankful, for an amazing family holiday we were blessed to be able to have and for the ease at which we can just 'pop over' to Italy where I feel, this time, I definitely left a bigger piece of my heart.