We’re back from dropping Uncle Keith at the airport. Liam and I have been standing on the terrace waving at a few planes that took off at the roughly scheduled time… I’m sure one of them was Keith’s!!
Keith had the opportunity to come to Europe on business, and squeeze in 48 hours with us before hopping on a plane back to Canada, and we made the best of a short time together. The most important thing, for all of us, was that he get to spend some quality time with our little Liam, as this was the first time they’d actually met in person! We did our best to show Keith some interesting and beautiful places, that Liam would also enjoy. And by heading a little further away than our local playparks and beaches, Liam could catch cat-naps in the car.
Keith arrived on Thursday evening while Liam was still asleep, and after playing 5 minutes of shy on Friday morning, Liam was tagging after him, saying “Uncle Keef, Uncle Keef…” and then telling him every obvious thing that popped into his head. “I have a car”. “I had a bottle” “I have blue underpants” “Uncle Keef slept on sofa” “Hi Uncle Keef”. And not really allowing Uncle Keith to chat with mummy and daddy directly, as Liam wanted to be the center of Uncle Keith’s attention.
And he was.
And so, after breakfast and a bit of fun opening Liam’s new presents from Uncle Keith, and Grandma and Grandpa Woolley (thank you for all of Liam’s prezzies everyone!) we piled in to our tiny little car and headed west, to spend the day in Italy.
We took the scenic route to get to the highway, showing Uncle Keith the stretch of road high above the coast that we drive regularly to get between Monaco and Nice (although I don’t imagine he really took it all in as he was quite engaged with Liam in the back seat).
About an hour and a half later we arrived in Finale Ligure, a charming seaside town on the Ligurian Coast of Italy. The town of Finale has a lovely, tree-lined seaside promenade, dotted with fountains and playparks and restaurants, and one street behind is a beautiful pedestrian street with typical italian shops and trattoria’s. The weather was baking hot as we’ve been experiencing a heat wave for the past week, so we after a wander along the seafront, we ate lunch in the shade of the pedestrian zone. Uncle Keith ate a fantastic looking asparagus pizza, and Liam was happy to share from mumma and daddy’s pasta. In fact, Liam did a good job eating as much of mumma’s baby squid, clams and mussels as he could get his hands on. He won’t touch a tomato or a piece of fruit, but he has no problem with eating an entire baby squid with it’s tentacles hanging out of his mouth. Hilarious!
After lunch we had thought to go for a swim in the sea, but the public beaches were chock-a-block packed, so instead we headed into the walled city of Finalborgo (just 5 minutes away) and took a wander to look for an ice cream shop. The town was in the midst of a medieval festival, and although they were still setting up the stands, we were able to watch some of the performers practicing their swordplay for the evening’s performance. But no way would Liam hold out until the town became lively again.
On our way home, we picked up a kilo and a half of fresh ravioli pastas for dinner, and some freshly grated parmesan cheese, and we feasted like kings at Casa Ferguson!
Liam was still in good form on Friday evening, thanks to a decent snooze in the car on the way home, we after dinner we all took a bit of a walking tour through the old town to see the night market, and then along the waterfront before heading home.
Saturday morning was a bit groggier! But we’d promised Liam a swim in the sea, and Keith was interested to see Cannes, so this time we headed west!
We took Keith out for a drive along the Massif Esterel, which is a stunning coastal red-rock mountain range, just past Cannes. The drive, about 30 km of the prettiest views we’ve ever come across, is dotted by spectacularly rugged little coves with clear blue water, and towering red cliffs on the other side of the road. And at the far end is a large horseshoe bay in the town of Agay, with family friendly red-sand beaches. Which is where we took Liam for a dip in the sea, and a play in the sand.
But Liam tired quickly, and wanted some lunch, so at 12:30 we packed up and headed back into Cannes to find a beachside restaurant for lunch, and then have a bit of a wander, looking for souvenirs for Keith to take home to his family.
But by Saturday evening, the full days were starting to wear on Liam, and by bedtime he was an overtired little monkey and the bedtime routine was a tearful disaster. But in all honesty, he was an absolute champ for the whole 2 days, and he had a grand time. By this morning, he’d forgotten all about how upset he was at bedtime the night before. I couldn’t be more proud at how well he held out for all of the activities.
Poor Keith had to suffer the heat of a South of France heatwave while he was here… but mother nature had a grand surprise last night. A major storm whipped up out of nowhere, with lightning flashing all around us, and very quickly the sky opened up with a torrent of rain that we hadn’t seen since we’ve lived here. It was a great show, and although it’s baking hot and sunny again today, it’s far less humid than it’s been over the past week. And Liam slept through the whole thing without a peep.
Thanks for coming to visit us Uncle Keith!! We hope you had a great 2 days in our little corner of the world, and that you took some great memories of sights, and food, and Liam anecdotes to take home with you. I’m sure you’ll be happy to get home, back with your own family.
Getting to know each other on the terrace at breakfast time, bonding over a bubble gun.
Liam giggles as Uncle Keith tries to eat the bubbles.
Thanks for the bubble gun Grandma and Grandpa!
Both of them napping in the back seat, on the way to Italy.
Mumma queues up to buy us all some awesome foccacia, fresh out of the oven, dripping with olive oil.
Catching a ride on Uncle Keith's shoulders!
Ooooh!! How much did he LOVE the yellow motorcycle!?
Uncle Keith amusing Liam with his funny faces.
Really, he was amused.
All the boys.
Will Liam eat the tiny baby squid, tentacles and all?
Oh yes he will!!!
Family portrait in Finale Ligure.
Practicing swordplay for the Medieval Festival around the walled city of FInalborgo, Italy.
Enjoying, and wearing, his chocolate ice cream.
An evening walk along the waterfront in Nice.
Uncle Keith shows Liam how to make footprints in the sand. Daddy builds awesome sand castles.
STOMP STOMP STOMP!!
Getting Liam's toes wet!
And then chucking him high up!!
Liam wanted to try to swim on his own. Not quite ready for that I think!
Enjoying lunch at a beachside restaurant in Cannes.
Sleeping? Or just pretending?
Walking in front of the Palais des Festivals, where the red carpet Cannes Film Festival events take place every May.
Bye Cannes! On our way back to the car.
Back home, some drawing with Uncle Keith.
And then helping Uncle Keith with his luggage at Nice Airport.