That Time We Went to Positano… Part 3 — Livin’ La Dolce Vita

In lieu of 7 Quick Takes this week, I offer you the conclusion to That Time We Went to Positano…

If you haven’t read part 1 or 2, start here.  

So there we were, walking towards Fornillo Beach…

Fornillo Beach

And, though, there was a pedestrian walkway leading down to the beach, we took a wrong turn and found ourselves walking through a tunnel cut into the rock, past another grotto to Mary, and into the front lobby of the Hotel Pupetto.

Um, how exactly do we get down there?
This path looks promising…

Not sure how we managed to end up in a hotel, but it was quite fortuitous — it offered a great little beachside restaurant with drinks and food and a lovely view.

I highly recommend grabbing a bite at the beachside Il Puppeto Bar after a long day of playing in the sun.  You might even watch your kids play on the beach while you share a lovely bottle of Italian prosecco with the man you love.

Beautiful views while you have a bite to eat.
Lovely dishes with squid and octopus and other yummy seafood.

Fornillo beach is especially ideal for parents with littles — the water is calmer, the beach is quieter,  and it’s a pleasant place to spend a few hours.  Just sit back and enjoy watching your kids run around and play.

The beaches of Positano have the very unusual characteristic of having no sand whatsoever.  In it’s place are lots and lots of rocks.  At first, I wasn’t sure if I would like that — but it offered some unforeseen benefits — like no sand in your food and less “gritty” mess everywhere.

Somehow, my baby still managed to get himself covered in teeny-tiny rocks that look like sand, but the rest of us felt far less “gritty” at the end of the day — plus the rocks were really fun to stack.

Stacking rocks can be incredibly relaxing…
Maybe not as relaxing as  floating on rafts in a blue-green sea…
Soak it up kids…

I feel like I must warn you, be prepared to find loads of little rocks in your baby’s diaper by day’s end — and frankly all the little ones’ swimsuits.  Not sure how they get there — but they do.  Hey, it just might explain a sudden change in moods if they go from completely happy to incredibly crabby in a short time.  🙁  You’re welcome.

Hmm, what are these things?
I wonder what they taste like?…
Hey mom and dad, free food as far as the eye can see…
After a day of sampling rocks, I can now confirm that they don’t taste very good — and they are filling up my diaper at an alarming rate. 🙁

While I sat stacking rocks with the littles, John decided it would be a good time to explore the shoreline with the older kids before the sun went down.  At one point, I looked far out along the craggy coastline and caught a glimpse of someone who looked suspiciously like my oldest boy — diving off a small cliff!

But I knew that couldn’t be one of my children, because my husband was with him and he would never be that irresponsible….

Out of curiosity, I put my camera into telephoto mode and zoomed in to confirm, that yes — that was one of my children!  And then I saw another familiar looking figure jumping off the cliff…

That’s one of my daughters!…Why, I oughtta… 🙁
And there goes my 8 year old 🙁
And my oldest… 🙁
And now they’re climbing back up to do it all over again. 🙁 🙁 🙁

Ahh, yes — such a husband thing to do.  John was doing his job of teaching our children to take calculated risks, while I was doing my job of praying that they survive.  The complementarity of the sexes in all its splendor.  🙁

Good thing I had some of this with me…

Italian Prosecco — serves many purposes.

Needless to say, they all survived and it was time to get cleaned up, go to Mass, and take our evening passeggiata — a traditional stroll around town that involves gelato, street performers, perfumed breezes, and watching the sun go down.

Time for our passeggiata …
And the sun began to set on another beautiful day…
Lovely night….

And then it was off to bed and another day to look forward to — and a birthday, too!

I brought a few little gifts from home.

And the birthday cake was provided by — that’s right, Collina’s.  Love that place!

So pretty — Collina’s even wraps with style.
Happy Birthday!  So grateful she’s a part of our family — that girl!

And to switch it up a bit, we decided to walk up to the center of town and have the best lemon sorbet around.  That lemon sorbet became a favorite for everybody — especially after our hikes in the hot Italian sun.

Best sorbet in town!
A girl and her sorbet.

And a funny thing happened.  If you have read about our time in Rome, you will remember I was recovering from major dehydration.  Well after one of our  coffee/sorbet breaks, I grabbed a large water bottle behind me and began to chug it down — I know, very unladylike of me.  🙁 — which was great, because it’s so very hydrating.

Until I realized that it wasn’t my water bottle!  No, mine happened to have been grabbed by one of my kids who was drinking it on the other bench.  This was a perfect stranger’s bottle of water that I had just chugged down!  Argh!

Don’t forget to rehydrate after that coffee!

I was trying desperately not to google “diseases contracted by sharing water bottles” — it took everything in me to not do it.   I know — I have a problem.  🙁  Everybody had a good laugh at the crazy germaphobe — that is, until I ran off without explanation to the little market down the street.

I was in search of anything that might kill the germs and disease I may have contracted by drinking from that water bottle.  It was so tempting to be that woman drinking directly from a bottle of wine before noon on the steps of the market — instead I decided to be that woman drinking a bottle of apple cider vinegar on the steps of the market.  Small victories in the crazy department.  🙁

Off to kill some germs!  A woman on a mission 🙁

And then I figured that as long as I was there I should pick up some wine, cheese, olives, and other basics for our apartment.  Oh how I miss grabbing a huge chunk of parmigiana and paying a couple bucks for it.  And the olives, meats and produce were so fresh and delicious.

I could live off of the food in that market for the rest of my life — it was so good.  And don’t get me started on the beautiful, insanely cheap Prosecco!

Fresh fruit, meat, olives, and wine…
I literally ate this stuff three times a day.

And then it was off to enjoy our last day in Positano.  We hit some shops and found nice mementos of our time, went to the beach, and ate really good food and enjoyed great final moments as a family.

Positano is especially known for ceramics and lemons — an abundance of both.

Of course we had to have our last sorbet — and I finally noticed the sign that had been behind our heads for the last few days.  I stepped in for a closer look and realized that we had been breaking most of the rules during our stay.

Kind of glad I didn’t see the “no eating or drinking”, “no disturbing the peace or screams”…  it made for a more relaxing time.

I never noticed that sign before…
Whoops! No eating, no drinking, no disturbing the peace or screams….glad I didn’t see that until the end.
More food – I know,it’s enough already.
Last look at that lovely church!
Last fun at the beach…
Last lovely walk…

You know, I’ve learned a lot from the Italians.  They understand the value of food, family, and celebration with the people you love.  They get it.  Coming from a culture in the United States that seems to over-emphasize the value of work and productivity makes this lesson even more crucial for us to learn.

Yes, maybe we could teach the Italians a bit about the American work ethic —  no doubt, there are extremes on both ends of the spectrum.  But virtue lies somewhere in the middle of the two and I’m grateful for that reminder to find balance.

We have to look up from our work every once in a while, and just enjoy the good things in life. If you don’t, you will lose the joy of this amazing life — and that’s not doing anyone any favors.

As  St. Teresa of Avila said, “From sour-faced saints, Good Lord, deliver us”.   Going to Italy reminded me of that — and I’ve returned home with a greater determination to celebrate the simple things in life and the people I love.

So here’s to the things that really matter…

Big Sisters….
And little sisters…
Big Brothers…
And Little Brothers Acting Like Big Brothers
And Babies….
And families, who can’t for the life of them get everybody to look at the camera at once….

The Italians loved and welcomed our big, crazy family.  Which is why it seemed so strange to see posters all around Italy urging Italians to celebrate “Italian Fertility Day” by — well — making babies.

I didn’t get it at first, but apparently the Italian birth rate has dropped so tragically low that they are slowly losing something they greatly value — family — and it’s drastically changing the make-up of Italy.

And I’m not trying to be judgemental, because I get it — kids are a lot of work — and if I wasn’t surrounded by bunch of big families that have shown me the beauty of this life — I’m not sure if I would have had 6 kids either — so believe me, this is no judgement!

It’s just me begging and pleading with the Italians to have kids — a whole bunch of them — because the world needs Italians to teach us about how to live and celebrate family and enjoy the good things in life.

Please Italians — keep having beautiful Italian babies — we need you! We got to witness this baptism at Mass in Positano.

And I’d be very, very sad if my kids would not have the opportunity to experience all the beauty of the Italian  culture with their own kids.  I really would!  So please, please, if there are any Italians reading this — go make some beautiful Italian babies because the world just wouldn’t be the same without you! 🙂

And so the sun began to set on our time in Positano.  As they say, all good things must come to an end.  We said a prayer of thanksgiving for this amazing time and looked forward to the next family adventure.

Said a prayer of thanksgiving as our time came to an end.
The sun began to set on our last day in Positano…
Finding our last pieces of sea glass.
Lovely last evening.
Thanks for the beautiful memories..

Linking up with Kelly.

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2 thoughts on “That Time We Went to Positano… Part 3 — Livin’ La Dolce Vita

  1. So beautiful. This ‘holiday/working vacation’ sounds idyllic. How did you ever manage to capture the beauty in every picture? Did you take a million photos or do you have a stellar camera?!
    Did the kids eat octopus? Did they like it?
    Did cousin John jump of the cliff? I’m sure he did. You never speak of kids being picky eaters or complaining…any drama you’ve left out.
    Please keep writing- it is lovely! My mom and I will ask…’have you read Moira’s blog yet?!’ Thanks for letting us share in your love for family and your adventures! I look forward Lent 🙂

  2. Hey Julie!
    First of all, we take a lot of pictures — maybe a couple thousand every trip — between the two of us. John has an iPhone 7 which takes pretty great pictures and my iPhone takes only mediocre pics so I have a canon g9x which is really good at portraits/close-ups of kids and night shots,but not great at landscape, etc.. So between the two of us, we manage to find some good shots (and lots of not-so-good shots).
    John was the first to jump off the cliff to make sure it was safe — so I guess that’s a good thing — though not sure how we would have managed around Positano if he ended up in a cast 🙁
    The kids ate and liked octopus — they were pretty adventurous. We do have a few picky eaters, but they’re is always pizza and pasta wherever you go in Italy — so that solved that problem.
    As far as drama — I have to say that Positano was a truly blessed time, but I think that was because God was going easy on us there after all the craziness of the first week of our trip.
    There is always drama/fighting amongst certain kids in our family — so yes! — that happens while we travel — but I do think that they are so busy with all the new sights and sounds that they are less inclined to fight while we travel.
    Honestly, kids are pretty flexible when it comes to traveling — I think the burden and exhaustion lies mostly with the parents. I tend to prepare for family trips the same way I would prepare for a marathon — exercise, eating healthy, etc… because I know it’s going to push me to my physical (and mental) limits. But so worth it!
    And it doesn’t hurt that God gave me a sick sense of humor and I actually find our craziest moments to be some of the funniest moments in the end.
    Love your comments Julie!

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