Another great weekend for the books!! We played hooky on the Friday so we could drive up to northern Italy (Piedmont region) and join Dan, Elaine, Scarlett and Isobel for the last day of their summer holiday. Can you believe it’s been a year-and-a-half since Liam has seen his cousins?? Not about to pass this opportunity up!
We were lucky to find a nice little ‘agritursimo’ (B&B) in the region, about a half hour from where they were staying — not bad for last minute plans during peak season. Our plan was to set out by 8 am (which would be more realistically closer to 9) and then arrive for lunchtime, but we were delayed by a few factors out-of-our-control, and we ended up finally arriving, checking in to our B&B and having a quick coffee, and then driving over to find Dan & family in the small hilltop town of La Morra closer to 2pm. They had just finished lunch, and we grabbed a snack at a small bar in town, and took the kids to the playground for a bit.
Now being further north, and in the rolling hills of the vinyards, you would expect it to be cooler, but it was a good 5 degrees hotter than it was at the coast, and daytime temperatures easily topped 35 degrees celcius! But despite the heat, the kids were full of energy, and SO HAPPY to see each other!
Scarlett immediately went into ‘big sister’ mode and took Liam by the hand and walked with him everywhere we went. He kept looking at us, saying “my cousin is protecting me!” Adorable. Loads of adorable that day.
To escape the heat of the afternoon, we headed back to the gorgeous hotel where they were staying, Castello di Sinio — a restored medeival castle turned luxury hotel — high on a hill surrounded by vinyards. Okay, everything in that region is surrounded by vinyards…
We all relaxed, enjoyed cool drinks in the shade, and just let the kids play — it was by far the best day of the weekend. The kids played endless games of hide and seek, dancing & somersaults in the garden, and just ran about having silly fun. Three very happy kids. The hotel staff probably weren’t quite as happy, but oh well! Can’t wait until October when Sarah, Ross and little Meg come over from New Zealand, and we’ll be able to get all four Ferguson kids running about together for a whole week!!!
Dan & Elaine had made dinner reservations at a lovely restaurant (at the top of a hill overlooking vinyards of course) just outside of Serralunga. We were the first to arrive as we were dining so early, and there was a small terrace area where the kids could play when they tired of sitting at the table. Food was good, company was better — and the kids had a great evening and managed to not annoy too many other guests. 🙂
Liam immediately fell asleep in the car on the way home — he was beyond tired and begging to go to bed — and he stayed sound asleep until morning… when he woke up quite angry and upset (and crying and shouting and hitting at mumma) until he came to his senses and calmed down. We think he was just freaked out to be asleep in the car one minute, and then wake up in a strange room, strange bed the next. He was also quite cross to have not had any bedtime stories….
The kids abandon the idea of pick-up-sticks, and start to make shapes! Clever kids!!
Liam LOVES the skid steer loader wobble-ride in the playground -- doesn't care how searingly hot it is!!
The Ferguson train heads back down to the cars to head to the hotel for cool drinks.
Liam and Isobel having a dance in the garden.
Liam shadows his cousins and learns to play hide and seek without shouting 'here I am, Raawr!!"
Getting pretty tired!!
Sunset in Serralunga.
Arriving at the restaurant for dinner.
What a view!
The kids find a quiet place to play cars while waiting for their dinner.
The Ferguson brothers.
Fabulous food, fabulous view, fabulous company.