Monday, 2 August 2010
I am sitting at my MacBook beside my open dining room door watching a mid-summer Geneva rain gently water my thirsty coral geraniums. A lovely breeze cools my cheeks. I am pondering how to justify with words the beauty, peace and attachment that our fifth (yes fifth!) visit to Levanto brought us last week.
My Levanto, for that is how I feel now. I intimately know its' glowing colours, the smiles that greet my ernest attempts at Italian conversation, the smells of garlic and rising dough mixed with salt air, the tastes of prosecco and pesto, the crunch of the sand that inhabits every part of our apartment and which I sweep out of my bed before falling pleasantly exhausted into it every night.
Lucky us spent our beach holiday this year again with our wonderful friends Marc, Nat and their Labrador Ben. Joining us this year were her beyond-charming parents whom we all referred to as Mamie and Papie. J was particularly charmed by them (attached as he is to grandparents). Their attachment was cemented when they insisted on keeping him for an evening all to themselves. While Marc, Nat, C2 and I had an evening of Morettis and Margaritas, they had an evening of brioche con gelato for dinner followed by a dessert of gelato. Seriously what kid wouldn't be in love?
You reveal a lot when you holiday with friends. Either you get each other or you don't. This week was not the easiest parenting week. I continue to find age seven a wondrous journey down a bumpy road. Marc and Nat don't judge, they just get on with it and love us in spite of our efforts or because of our failings. Friends doesn't come close to covering it, Marc and Nat are the family we got to pick.
Did an amazing 3 hour hike from Levanto to Cinque Terre village #1, Monterrosso al Mare. Absolutely stunning gnarly, hot coastal walk - unforgettable! Particularly the self-made entrepreneur about an hour and a half into our hike who beckoned with "mineral water and organic lemons". Translation: reused plastic cups filled with tap water and a half a lemon for 2 euros a cup. We paid for the privilege of repeating this story in perpetuity.
J discovered cliff jumping this year....be still my heart. He watched with fascination teenagers climbing the large pile of hardened lava on our beach and launching themselves into space. He immediately determined this was the thing for him. No beach football or volleyball for my boy, nope it's extreme sports all the way. Everyday, he ventured a little higher. C2 kept watching that he could clear the rocks below while I covered my eyes.