Much confusion for our 5 year old over what is a birthday and what is a party. In this case, Harry’s birthday was definitely his party, he told us. So we had a party for 6! The gift was an amazing first day in the Amalfi Coast, in a tiny village called Praiano. Super friendly and quaint, dramatic and dreamy, the houses cling on like barnacles to the sheer cliffs.
The drama started on our first night, having just got the kids to sleep at their new Italian bedtime (9/9.30pm) a big fire started in the house in front/below us. Probably nothing we thought initially, but the smoke billowed up and the flames licked up to the top of the roof. I started planning an evacuation, the owner turned up and even the locals called the police! But it turned out to be a false alarm, just an illegal bit of burning off in mid-summer. “Kill them”, yelled out one of the neighbours!
The next morning as I hung out the washing, Jemima drew in some admiration from the same neighbours. Before too long we were offered tomatoes from her garden, which were lowered down by pitchfork with some fresh basil. It went beautifully with a fry-up for breaky on Harry’s birthday morning. Much more friendly!
We had a fun morning on the tiny, pebbly local beach, skimming rocks, and exploring on a kayak the local caves. Soaking up the calm atmosphere of the Med with its great people watching and even better super-yacht watching, interspersed with watching the local fishermen tending to their tiny rustic boats. Getting the kids home was to be our biggest challenge of the day, and it only happened with a competition of guessing the number of steps back to our retreat – 417!
So the party itself…dinner on a clifftop, with beautiful prosecco, seafood and pasta. The plan was to head home for cake. For the first time ever this one was not home-made, but ordered from a restaurant, having sampled a piece the night before (which Harry declared to be the “best cake in the universe”). But soon after ordering the bill, the restaurant music turned into an Italian happy birthday song and out came cake for Harry, so the whole restaurant started singing and clapping for him! So dinner was followed by a cake entree and a cake main course! Super fun and entertaining. Could be a while before Harry celebrates another birthday in the Amalfi Coast.