Tuesday, January 22, 2013

girls' getaway to Taormina

Welcome back from MLK Day weekend, everyone!  Hope you kicked back, relaxed, and enjoyed the weekend wherever you are.  We laid very low here at home other than a couple of hikes into the valley and some evenings with friends.  And we twiddled our thumbs and waited for this baby to come, but... he's staying put for now.  Oh well!

I've been wanting to share these photos with you from now two weekends ago.  It all started when I woke up on Saturday morning and saw an email from my friend Emily, who was on her way to Florence with her family and wanted advice about flying with a runny-nosed toddler.

I turned to Elliott and sighed, "We don't travel anymore!   We used to go somewhere every few weeks but now we just stay at home.  Which is fine with a baby due any day, but... I miss it."

"Well," replied my husband, with a twinkle in his eye, "what if I told you that you were going on a trip today?  That your friends are whisking you away for a girls' weekend in Taormina?  That you are going to spend the whole day shopping and eating in nice restaurants and getting a massage at a spa... and that you're staying overnight in a hotel there, too?"

Umm... whaaaat?!

But he wasn't kidding!  My friend Bethany had secretly arranged to take her two pregnant friends--me and Becca Arthur--to Taormina for a little last getaway before both our babies are born.  (Becca is due in May with her fourth child, a girl!)  Bethany had arranged the whole agenda herself and would be picking me up in about 2 hours.  Time to pack my bags!

We spent the whole day just as Elliott had promised: wandering around the beautiful Sicilian town of Taormina (which I have blogged about before here and here), eating delicious food, and browsing through stores that we would never enter with our rambunctious toddlers!  It was a beautiful gift of a day with two dear friends.

We shopped for pottery in our favorite artist's studio.

Fruit made entirely out of marzipan!  Better to look than to eat.

I love these hand-painted tiles for each profession!  I am "la mamma," Elliott is "il veterinario."

Mini cannolo with pistachio cream.

Cool design idea: display your wine bottles on old roof tiles.

Sicilian ceramics.

Becca and me at lunch in a lovely little restaurant overlooking the water.

 Later we ate granite at our favorite little shop.  We chose mandarin and raspberry.  So fresh and fruity!

The photos ceased after this as we left Taormina to drive to our hotel, where we relaxed that evening and all got amazing massages.  Later we went out for dinner, but unfortunately at this point I was starting to feel ill.  I had no idea why, but then around 1am I woke up and made a beeline for the bathroom to upchuck.  Sadly for me, the stomach virus (which has been ravaging our whole community these past few weeks) appeared to have struck at the worst possible time!  I took this photo from bed in our hotel room the next morning as I tried to keep a cup of tea down and read a book while Bethany and Becca enjoyed breakfast downstairs.  

Bethany got a call from her husband that morning and learned that her own two boys were also losing their breakfast from the same bug!  Oh well... it was home and into survival mode for our two houses for the next couple of days.  An adventurous end to a relaxing weekend!  Thankfully it didn't dampen the spirits or mar the memories for me.

Thank you so much, Bethany, for arranging such a fun weekend for us! 


  1. How fun!! Too bad it had to end with you being sick. I think stomach viruses have a knack for coming at bad times.
    I kept checking your blog to see if the baby had come yet! Oh well, very soon! :-)

    1. It seriously does! I was like, "Today, stomach virus? TODAY??" But yes.

      I think we'll have baby news pretty soon... hope so, anyway! 39 weeks tomorrow...

  2. I thought for sure I'd check in this morning and see your sweet babe boy. Oh well. :) I'm praying for you. What a special surprise this weekend must've been! I hope everyone's feeling much better these days. The flu's making its way around our neck of the woods too. Thankfully it was short-lived. Enjoy Lena these days.

  3. Such a sweet thing for your friend to do!! And that cannoli made my mouth water....

  4. WHat!! this sounds so amazing and fun and wonderful!!

  5. What an incredible surprise! :D mini-getaways are the best! feel better...

  6. How fun to have a complete surprise, and one so beautiful in every way (well, almost!). Your photos are so full of color and life. So glad you could go.

  7. I was remembering our day in Taormina. Glad you got to enjoy the massage BEFORE the illness. Hope you're all better now 😊💗.

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  9. Blessings on the days ahead.. enjoy your days on beautiful Sicily.. I cherish my memories of there over 50 yrs ago..

  10. Blessings on the days ahead.. enjoy your days on beautiful Sicily.. I cherish my memories of there over 50 yrs ago..


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