Winter exile – part 9 – Lavagna Relaxilating

TLDR – Shifting from power touring mode to relaxing mode staying in Lavagna for a while to let the kids recharge.

Slowing down for a bit

We’ve been running the kids pretty hard for three weeks now. Averaging about 20,000-35,000 steps a day walking the cities seeing things and exploring; basically wearing them out everyday. They’ve not complained much but we can tell it’s starting to take a toll on them. We’ve decided we’re going to give the kiddos a break and stay in Lavagna for a week and not do much touring. We’ll play in the play grounds, do home work, watch some movies, play on the beach, and maybe take a day trip to cliff city or Genova if they are up to it.

First day out and about

When we left this morning around 0900 it was 7 degrees out; not super warm not cold enough to annoying dressed properly. We went for a walk over a bridge to the next town along the coast, Chiavari, to visit a playground in a small park / square in the center of town I found scanning satellite maps. Brilliant playground, setup like a castle with slides and climbing things. We hung out there for a while then found the large Conad grocery store for some food. We shopped in the warmth picking some treats and food stuff afterwards we walked back home. At home We had some lunch and naps.

Castle Park – we’ll end up spending loads of time here

I went into the girls room to nap while everyone else finished Ralph Wreaks the internet. After the movie finished Maddex and Mila took over the TV providing mom, Khaleesi and Roxi the opportunity of joining me in bed for a nap. I made it about half hour, mom and Khaleesi made it an hour or two and Roxi made it three hours. While the girls were sleeping I took Mila and Maddex to the beach to play for a bit at the playground and in the sand. When the other kids all finally woke up we went back, got them and took them to the beach for some more playing. While playing We watched the sun set over the water – simple enough to watch as the sun sets around 1700.

Climbing thing by the beach
The oldest playing in the sand

After the beach we came back to our flat where I cooked some nice salads for dinner. Lettuce, grilled onions, carrots, olives, celery, yellow pepper, and Kebab meat. Good healthy dinner followed by the Never ending story to complete our first recharge day.

Watching the never-ending story

While tucking Maddex into bed he got super concerned about the rope he found and played with at the beach. He feared it would be taken out to sea by the tide and lost forever. After tucking in the rest of kids Maddex and I walked back down to the beach and rescued his rope in the dark. Thankfully it was still there above water.

Day two – relaxing

The plan for today is to do what we did yesterday/ last year. It’s Jan 1 today; brand new year. 0933 and we’re back at the castle park again. This time we all wore gloves and jackets. Much nicer experience, properly dressed for the 8 degree cold; much better dressed then the day before. Along the route to the castle park we passed another park but it has a busted ladder leading up to the core slide. We ended up skipping it a bit disappointed.

At the castle park Maddex spent most of his time with his rope. At first he tied the rope up to help the smaller girls climb up the castle. Then he tied up and used it as a swing. The kids played for about half an hour then we walked around town a bit to explore and find the source of the minute long church bell ringing to announce 1000. We were home around 11 and started bringing out random snacks for lunch while the kids watched a show.

Pulling Mila up the ladder with his rope

Full of snack food Michelle and Roxi went for a nap. Roxi still has a slight fever and is digging the 3 hour naps. While Roxi was napping with mom I took the other three kids to the beach where we stacked rocks and played in the sand for a few hours. As the sun was setting we took off for a grocery store for some milk and other random bits for dinner. At the shop we found some still warm baggets. We picked up for dinner. Mmmm fresh bread covered in butter.

The kids found a fourth to fill up the teeter totter
Result of a few hours of stacking rocks with the kids
Sun setting at the end of a rock jetty

About an hour after the kids went to bed we heard one of them get out of bed and walk down the hallway. We guessed it was Roxi as she normally gets up and needs a snuggle. Who ever it was went to the bathroom, had a pee then walked back to bed without coming in to the living room to talk to us. Asking in the morning it was Roxi. This might be a huge turning point for her..

Wednesday train ride to Genova

Last night, before bed, Michelle booked us an 0815 morning train ride to Genova. We were fed and out the door by 0750 walking to the train station. We took the train backwards one stop and changed to a different train that skips our stop. Turns out it stops at the next town over next to the castle park we’ve been playing at every morning. Next time we book a train we’ll check the other train station and save the backwards trip.

Waiting for the train to show up as the sun comes up

Made it to the city and noticed a huge arch thing on the other side of what looks like a park. We walked over there and the kids played hide and seek around the arch for a bit while we worked out a direction to walk. I found what looked like a big playground in a park so we walked up hills and stairs along some no car streets until we made it to the park.

Big huge arch thing in the middle of the city

Sad face, the park was locked. We walked all the way around it making sure it was closed. We saw a man walking inside of the park but no open doors. We meet plenty of people annoyed the park was closed and we met one man with his son who told us where a better play ground was about 15 minute walk away by the water. Ok, we can walk 15 minutes for a playground and a bonus view of the sea. Upon arrival at the new park we found it too was locked. – Genova is letting us down.

View of the city near the park we could not get into
Another view on the walk to the other park that was closed

We walked down a few hundred stairs back towards the center of town for a McDonald’s to feed the kids lunch. They hardly ate anything and we some how ended up buying 5 happy meals vs 4. Another let down. From McDonald’s we went to flying tiger cafe because we’ve never been to a Tiger cafe and Michelle might want coffee. We found the cafe was also closed. At this point we’re annoyed, let down, and near the train station; we give up. We’re now on a train heading to our castle park.

Walking down a few stairs

Where we played for an hour before stopping for food and heading home. We watched a show, played and napped the rest of the day not leaving again. This relaxing thing is getting hard core.

Thursday – Walking the beach

I was frying myself some toast this morning to put fried eggs on top of for breakfast. Went to crack the egg and found no eggs. Guess we forgot to pick up eggs at the store last night – sigh. Instead of eggs I had cheese and camerelized onions on my toast; not too bad. Knowing Michelle would want eggs I set off for the store while she was still sleeping and left Mila in charge. Maddex says “why are you not leaving me in charge“.- Mila answers “I am the mom. If I need help you can help me Maddex, we can be a team

Yup they can handle it, and they did. Next to the Correfour I was shopping at could be found a slowly setting up farmers market thing like we ran into Sunday when we arrived. Might have to come back here shopping later for things and socks.

Michelle was awake cleaning the kitchen when I arrive home and all of the children were still alive – good work Mila. After breakfast we set off to find some socks and walk along the beach. While we were in Genova yesterday we had a high wind warning in the area. When we returned home Michelle noticed the cloths drying on the patio outside were mostly missing. We found some underwear and socks on the street in front of the house while walking to the beach this morning – We can see some other clothing around the building but are not able to work out access to the areas.

No luck finding socks at the farmers market place setup by the grocery store we walked to on the way to the beach. Walking on the beach this early meant walking directly into the sun trying to walk blinded. We managed well enough and did not run into anything. We stopped at a few of the large stone jetties and “parkour” jumped over the rocks to make it to the end. Even Roxi was jumping rock to rock yelling parkour.

Girls at the end of the rock thing

On the way home from the beach we stopped at a play ground and let the kids play. Michelle and I sat in a park bench and asked the kids who they thought our favorite kid was. They each said me then explained why and how we spoil them the most. – I believe this means we are doing something right.

Two parents doing something right

Back at home we ate random stuff again cleaning up left overs then started in on Series of Unfortunate events. We made it about half way through an episode when the internet cut out and asked us to pay money. It looks like the owners are running a pay as you go internet setup and we ran out. They can come by later tonight and hook us up with something else. Without a show the kids are displaying how tired they ares screaming all over the house falling apart – joy.

Crazy kids indoors sparked us to head back out and play at the castle park. On the way I let the kids blind fold me and direct me. About half way there after running into Michelle again we started running the blind fold through the kids. Anything to entertain the kids, right? We made it about 20 – 30 minutes at the park. The kids kept hurting each other and coming over to annoy us. Our park rule is generally once someone screams we leave.

We took a longer walk route home along the river. Maybe Tomorrow we’ll come back here and walk up the river until we decide to turn around. Explore and see what’s up river because it’s there. The kids Coloured, Momma wrote, and I cooked dinner in our tiny dinning room kitchen place. After dinner our internet was working again so we took in some more Series Unfortunate Events. We have 2 episodes left, those based on The End, the last book in the series.

Family all working in the kitchen

The rest of the pictures


Roxi learning how to dip an oreo in milk
slide at the castle park
Airplane park near the beach
Watching a show in the living room
Climbing as the sun sets
Mila and built all of these – go team
Maddex bring in some heavy stones to stack
Maddex was making sure his stump would not turn over
Longest Bank name ever
We found a Block Buster in Genova
Purse explosion all over the side-walk
Not sure what this fish is eating
Not a good parking spot
Don’t see much sand on this sea front
We chased a balloon down 100+ stairs down a few streets around some corners before we caught it
Snacking on some cookies
Napping on the train
Sleep signs
Left for a few minutes to cook and came back to the kids in odd positions
The best knife in the kitchen – travel cooking is a challenge with all of the odd tools
We are on the third floor, the wall is atleast 20″ thick
Running down the beach
Maddex checking out the water
Roxi between our morning rock stacks
Michelle trying to look like Mila



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