One of the themes of our return to the beaches of the Corleone family was facing our fears. Or put another way, we learned that when life gives you jellyfish, make jellyfish salad.
We started off on the wrong foot. Packed and prepared early, got to the airport with plenty of time to make our flight to Rome, only to be told we were a day late. I hadn't looked at our itinerary very carefully.
After some tears and fears ("The airline won't refund, the campsite has surely given our trailer away, and every hotel on every beach within five hundred miles has got to be sold out!"), we convinced the nice butch lady at AlItalia to help us. She got us on a flight the next day.
The next day started out well enough. The other employees of AlItalia honored our quasi-legitimate rebooking, and we made it from Vienna to Rome, then on to Palermo. Then: 'Oops, sorry, one of your bags was put on a later flight to Palermo. Or maybe it was Milan.'
Eventually our other backpack arrived. But we had missed the last bus to our destination, a tiny village two hours away from Palermo. Anette talked a taxi driver into taking us to Menfi for 100 Euro. By the time we arrived some ninety minutes later, this fee had been adjusted for inflation to 120 Euro. I didn't mind the fare hike so much because I was busy looking around our camping village. It was dark already, but I didn't see or smell any trace of ocean anywhere nearby. Anette had booked it online. Had we committed two weeks to a hot little shack two kilometers from the sea?
No. A nice young man showed us to a roomy trailer with a refrigerator and a stove. We got the kids into bed, drank one large, very cold Morretti apiece, then Anette crawled under the covers, too. The campground seemed peaceful but strangely empty. It was a beautiful, cool summer night. I took a walk...and a hundred meters down a paved path, I stumbled into the Mediterranean.
Everything seemed peachy until the next morning. V woke up early, so I took her down to the beach.
Jellyfish everywhere. And not the cute, zoologically-interesting ones, but the ones that make you go "OWWWW!! Something is burning through my upper thigh!"
My vacation flashed before my eyes.