As we prepared for our wedding, countless people told us we should travel before having kids before it is too late, they warned. In some cases they were right. The past ten years were a blur of soft food and diapers and Costco errands. What no one ever told me was that the second honeymoon would be even better than the first, WITH three kids in tow!
As we braved the beaches of Cinque Terra on a blustery Spring day, the memories of being there just with my husband on our honeymoon, came flooding back. I remembered sitting on the same rock we were now standing on, talking about our family and what it might look like someday.
I remembered trying the amazing seafood and Genovese pesto that turns everything to gold. I remembered dreaming with him, 12 years ago, about this very moment. This moment when our kids would be drooling over gnocchi smothered in pesto. At this moment when the waves crashed and they squealed to the very boardwalk, we sauntered together as newlyweds. This moment when they craned their necks to try to see around the cliffs to the next village that was hiding, protected by washed-out trails and beached water taxis.
We saw a different side of Cinque Terra than we saw on our honeymoon because our children bring out so much in every path they cross. Whereas I received a slap on the hand for touching the produce during our honeymoon, my children received free clementines! At the very same beach where we were scolded for using beach chairs that belonged to a hotel, my children were treated to gelato “on the house.” The very same gallery artist that would not negotiate with me on a painting I just had to have on our honeymoon, beckoned the children into the store for candy and a lesson in painting!
As we drove the harrowing road from Monterosso to San Remo, San Lorenzo, and eventually to Alassio, we talked about how much MORE fun it was to travel with our children. Why? Because they bring us OUT every second into whatever is happening. They JUMP into the culture in a way that we never would without them. They are fearless and ferociously curious and because of that people envelop them and teach them and drown them in dolce!