Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Cefalu and Wedding Eve Dinner in Tusa ~ August 19th

We had a goal to get up and around earlier to miss the crowds but not so early that it would be tiring. So we got up and walked the streets down toward where we had seen a playground the night before that was closing. The night before we had tried to take Thomas in there but an old man was closing up shop and would not let us in. This day was open and Thomas had fun walking around and meeting some other little kids. They were chatting with him in Italian but it was like he couldn’t really tell the difference. He really liked having other kids playing with him and I think it reminded him of his siblings. We first got a coffee across the way from the playground.

Then we went for a stroll around the area. 

We walked to a few historical sites that we had made note of that wanted to see. One being these large wash basins. The wash basins are fed by the natural water from a stream. Kyle washed his hands in the water and many people were getting into the little stone openings. It was nice and cool down there, it’s the only surviving artifact from Arab invasion of Cefalu. This area was really close to where we were staying. Cefalu is so small that everything is really close to each other so our walks were basically circles or just taking different streets that we hadn't taken before. We walked around some shops looking for souvenirs and finally found a sticker for our luggage. We got new luggage last Christmas and our goal is to put a sticker on it from each place we visit. So far we only have one from Florida last April.

Then we had lunch at a restaurant that Patrick and Penny recommended. It is off the road but you walk through the restaurant to the back and there is a whole big seating area right next to the sea. It was so pretty sitting next to the water and it was a gorgeous day. We had a seafood sampler platter with little fried sardines, some fish, shrimp, more fish, and the stuff in the middle is this mixture that we have had before made of eggplant olives and tomatoes. Then we split a pizza, of course, because you have to eat pizza every day in Sicily. The bathrooms were really nice and I changed Thomas in the woman’s bathroom with the changing table but the changing table pretty much came up to my armpits, I wonder how short people would use it. haha


Next we walked to the cathedral near our apartment that we’ve been wanting to go into. The sign had said no shorts so I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to go in. I just stood near the entrance and Kyle walked around looking at all the statues and art work. 

Then Thomas fell asleep in the stroller so we found a gelato CafĂ© and had some more coffee and use their Wi-Fi to FaceTime the kids. 

We needed to kill some time before we met at the train station for the shuttle bus at 6 o’clock to take us to the “rehearsal dinner”. So we walked over into the non-touristy part of town but at this time of day everything was closed. We discovered that the closer we got to the beach the more shops were open and we found a little supermarket where we picked up some cream a day pistachio, bruschetta, and snacks. 

Then we walked out to the beach and got some great pictures of all the umbrellas in a row. As you can see the beach is pretty packed with vacationers. Then we walked back toward our apartment and did a little shopping along the way. I got a dress for the next day and we got a bag to carry with us so we wouldn’t have to wear our backpacks. Then we got ready to head to the shuttle.

The shuttle bus was about a 45 minute to an hour ride east along the coast to a town called Tusa. Antonio‘s family lives in Tusa which actually has two parts: Tusa on the ocean and Tusa in the mountains. For the “rehearsal dinner“ we met at a hotel in Tusa on the ocean. I use quotes for rehearsal dinner because in Italy they don't really have a rehearsal, but Katie put this on for everyone that traveled for the wedding. I really enjoyed it and it was so wonderful to visit with family. 

When we got there the bus driver backed up they large charter bus up the hill so that he would have to back up down the hill. 

We arrived and the weather was not looking good. The hotel staff had set up the food outside and then it began to sprinkle and the wind was pick it up. We could hear the thunder and see the lightning in the distance and we’re hoping for the best that it would avoid us. That was not the case and the storm hit us and we thought that it had caused the awning over the food to break because then people were rushing the food inside. Later they were discussing that the workers were starting to take the tent down before moving the food which doesn’t make sense to us but it seems that Italians work in that way. As Patty said if you go to an Italian grocery store think about the obvious place to find something and then look in the complete opposite direction and that’s where you will find it in an Italian market. 

So the party got moved inside, which was fine, Thomas really loved walking around. This was the first level ground had been able to walk on since we arrived. Our apartment is small and flat but the area right outside our front door is a complete slope and all the streets of Cefalu are sloped. It was a pretty wonderful evening because a few people were so excited to play with Thomas they gave Kyle and I a break to just visit and relax. At the end of the day we loaded back onto the shuttle bus and headed back into town where everyone was staying. Luckily on the way home they took the highway which in the dark was safer. We were a little worried how this big bus was going to make those windee, small curves of the seaside road in the dark.


Thomas' new best friend: Penny. 

Katie giving a thank you with her hubby: Antonio, his dad and her brother, Anthony (who stayed with Antonio's family for a month last summer). 

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