Yesterday I wanted to hibernate. The ex hurricane Bertha came to visit earlier in the week you see, unceremoniously crashed through our front door, stomped all over the country side with big hob-nailed boots, and gave us a great big smack in the face on her way out again. This is all figuratively speaking thankfully and our little McMansion on the hill remains weather-proof. The flooding to the surrounding area was quite dramatic though and the weather was more winter than mid-august. Unsurprisingly, conversation turned to holidays. The grandparents decided to kidnap our children for the night, so with the rain battering the windows in a vain attempt to enter our cosy house and the wind whipping down the street as if it were in a rage, glasses of red wine were filled as we reminisced over some old photo albums. (Is that not just a typical sign of middle age when red wine, photo albums and a cosy sofa is classed as an ideal night in?).
We started off with our wedding album, laughing at the drunken antics of our guests and trying to remember if that was great-aunt Sue or second cousin third removed Shirley with the flamboyant hat. Then we moved on to our honeymoon album. Two weeks in glorious Sicily that seemed like a lifetime ago. A perfect holiday where I wished upon a falling star (yes, really!) from a boat within view of Stromboli’s nightly show of erupting power…that was when I wished for parenthood.
We vowed to return to Sicily and promised ourselves we would spend our next holiday exploring Italy. I’d spent an odd, slightly disjointed summer in Tuscany as a student, waiting for the travel bug to bite and wondering what all the fuss about Inter-railing was about. I’m more of a destination person, enjoying the journey has always been an issue for me. So I promised my new husband that I would take him to Tuscany. I would show him the towers of San Gimignano, feed our souls on the art of Florence and fill our tummies with pasta, pizza and gelato. But that wish I made upon a star during our honeymoon came true, so we now have 2 little people to cater for on any Italian adventure we embark upon. I’ve looking into camping, touring around Italy with a smart tent and eating pizza in front of a camp fire every night. But Hubbie has decreed that self-catering holidays are banned (LOVE HIM!) and he’s not so keen on the camping aspect either…I can sort of see his point. Holidays with young children are only a true holiday if they include some aspect of luxury we’ve discovered. Otherwise the cooking, the negotiations and the daily peace keeping just feel like you’re at home. But without the home comforts. Somewhere like Villa Pia would be ideal for our Italian adventure though. All inclusive, child friendly and in Tuscany. Perfect. They even offer cookery courses for the kids – how perfect would that be? We’d return from 2 weeks of Italian sun to the kids cooking us some Italian cuisine. My 8 year old foodie would be in heaven, while the 4 year old could exhaust himself on the trampolines. Meanwhile, I can’t stop imagining myself lying by this pool, something cold and sparkling in a glass within reach and a pile of trashy novels…well, a girl can dream.