Their long awaited trip to Italy had finally come. Laura knew this was a trip of a lifetime for her and her family. How often does a family of 5 have the opportunity to see this part of the world, or for that matter how do they manage to plan it around all of their schedules?
With 3 kids, aged 11, 14 and 17, and their activities including baseball, dance recitals, marching band practice and work, it was a miracle pretty much analogous to the parting of the Red Sea as far as she was concerned! Bags were packed, schedules were cleared, and off they went on their adventure.
Their trip began in the Northern region of Italy; Milan, Venice, and Verona. They took the train from city to city and visited all the popular places of interest and even went on a gondola ride at night. They worked their way down south and hit the beautiful cities of Bologna and Florence and eventually made their way to the Amalfi Coast. So far, 2 and 1/2 weeks into their 3 week trip and everyone seemed to really be happy for the most part. Sure, there were food mishaps, power struggles here and there, and personality conflicts which is common when families spend long amounts of time together. But overall, it was turning out to be a memorable trip. When they planned it, everyone did research and gave their input. The goal was to cater to each person’s likes and interests and she and her husband were hoping that at the same time, to open minds and hearts to new experiences.
The one thing that they all wanted to do, was to explore the Blue Grotto on the Island of Capri. They read that when the sunlight passes through the cavity it illuminates into a breathtaking color of blue and purple. Funny, she thought, some of them wanted to see museums, a few of them wanted shopping, her youngest wanted pizza all day long, but they all wanted to experience the natural beauty of this grotto!
They took a boat tour of the surrounding area which got 2 of the kids a bit seasick and Laura began to wonder if this was going to be worth it. But, as soon as they transferred to a rowboat and entered the small opening into the grotto (they had to duck their heads it was so small) it was a completely different atmosphere; calm, cool and peaceful. The colors were out of this world. They were on their final leg of their vacation and she was so glad they saved this tour for last. Suddenly, in the bluish-purple cast of light, she stopped looking at the scenery. Instead she turned away from the views and gazed upon her husband and children and she felt as though her heart would burst. Of all the amazing things she had seen in the last few weeks, nothing could compare to what she saw at that moment: her family. With all of the craziness of their day to day lives and the struggles of marriage and parenting, she still wouldn’t trade it for anything. She realized more than ever that her reason for being was right there with her; and moreover, it didn’t matter where she lived or vacationed, her “home” was wherever her and her family were. She knew that she would remember this moment forever, and carry it with her for the rest of her life.
Then, suddenly, her 11 year old uttered sheepishly, “Mommy, I don’t feel so good,” as he proceeded to vomit in the water. She threw her head back and laughed as she thought, At least he leaned over the edge to avoid throwing up in the boat!
~Well, what did you expect? For goodness sake! This is supposed to be a comedy blog! 🙂