Since the flight deal we got to Italy left out of Miami, we stayed there for a night each way. It’s kind of nice to break up the travel days and it helps with jet lag as well.
We went to the beach of course and Cara has decided she’s “really not a beach person.” She hates the feeling of the wet sand, hates the dry sand because it gets everywhere, hates the cold water, and hates that there might be sea creatures just out of sight. However, she did get soaked and covered in sand so we had to do the whole wash-down-with-bottled-water/clothes-change-under-a-blanket-in-the-parking-lot ordeal, further solidifying her hatred of all things beach.
The next day before heading to the airport we took a drive to the Everglades in search of alligators. We found a flock of vultures, a turtle (nicknamed Turtellini), many crickets THE SIZE OF RATS (nicknamed Killer Natures), and finally a baby alligator! Who knows where the mother was lurking.
For lunch we stopped at the Robert Is Here fruit stand/petting zoo where Rob finally got to eat his much beloved guanabana fruit he had on his mission. The rest of us tried it and couldn’t stomach the nondescript flavor and clam-like texture. No thanks. But he was in heaven.
We also stopped at a little outdoor market area, but it was completely overrun by a jeep rally. It was SO hot and humid and SO loud and not at all enjoyable. Oh, well.
When we arrived back in Florida after driving manually around Italy for 2 weeks in what the kids named The Ultra Mega Toaster, we got to drive a huge, super quiet automatic mini van without a roundabout in sight. We were all in American-relaxed-driving heaven.
The next morning, we were all wide awake at 4am so we walked 5 minutes to the beach and watched the sunrise. This is seriously the one type of situation where this would ever happen with us, so we took advantage of it. We loved watching the dramatic clouds gain more and more dimension as the light changed colors. It would have been so romantic if…you know…kids weren’t in tow.
Rob and Nate went back to the beach after breakfast while I stayed with the girls at the pool. The boys loved going out further and floating in the gentle swells of the sea and talking about killer shark scenarios.
As a side note, every time Rob and I tried to get a selfie together on this very unromantic family trip to Italy, the kids bombed us big time thinking they were just being crazy hilarious. Okay, it was a little…I’ll give them that.