71. Family-time @ Lavinia

17 July, 2021

Alicante, July 10 – July 18, 2021

We’ve been looking forward to it for almost two years…and finally our kids are here, and our little Liv! The first time they see Lavinia in real life. To be honest, it made me a little nervous…

Last month we had a full house, full of wonderful guests, Dutch, Belgians, English and even Americans for the first time. Nota bene on the 4th of July they arrived. True to Wim’s style, he played the American national anthem as we enthroned them to their villa. The tone was set for the rest of the week. The atmosphere had been good for several weeks. We laughed a lot, very relaxing! Midsummer night we celebrated at the pool, all wonderfully together, stretched out on the self-made palette furniture with a real night-swimming. The fresh pizzas, baked on a pizza stone on the barbecue, were quickly brought in and enjoyed. Until late in the evening we enjoyed the friendly, almost family atmosphere.

On Friday the loyal ‘Dobberman’ and ‘Balans’ (see blog post ‘Doberman y el fotógrafo‘) left us, and the next day the other three couples, all in one day, went back to ‘home’, to make room for… the kids. Marta and Sergio had their hands full getting the villas ready in time, and the laundry room was covered in a pile of dirty laundry. From sheets to pillows, bathrobes, hammam towels, you name it. There was just no getting through, and the ending was incalculable. Fortunately, it is always wonderfully warm here and the laundry dries visibly.

I felt both with the children and with myself that the Corona vicissitudes make traveling unimaginably complicated. Especially because they flew via Eindhoven. It took a lot of back-and-forth telephone calls to consulates, airlines and on top of that a thorough search of the official websites of the three countries involved. That didn’t always make you any wiser. The children had arranged their test long in advance, so as not to be faced with surprises. It was exciting until the very last moment. And finally everyone had their results around 11.30 pm, the night before departure! And they were – fortunately – negative. Traveling with a 5 month old baby is of course quite an undertaking in itself. Wim and I were both relieved when we were able to pick up ‘our family’ at the airport. Mama Joke said with a smile that Liv hadn’t made a sound during the entire flight, and that of all the babies present on the plane, she had been the ‘brightest’. Yes…that’s my granddaughter, my daughter and son-in-law…the very best of course 😉.

We also got to meet Tom’s – my son – sweetheart, who later turns out to be an exceptionally sweet girl. Well… mý son…

Ewout, Wim’s son, completed the group. And with the packed Lavinia bus we happily chugged towards San Vicente del Raspeig, our home. I was especially curious if they would also be enchanted by the beauty of our domain and the garden, by the beautiful view over the sea, the mountains and the city, and more importantly: whether they would also have the same feeling of home as our guests.

In the meantime, we have been able to enjoy each other’s company for several days, and Liv behaves exemplary. She is so exhausted from all the impressions, from the outdoors and the journey, that she sleeps a lot. It makes me very happy when I see Joke and Kenny – her parents – visibly relaxed, that they find the necessary we-and me-time. It couldn’t be more beautiful, could it? Wim was actually very moved when he could look his granddaughter in the eye for the first time live, in her big viewers. That sweet husband of mine…

As proud grandparents, we got to witness Liv’s water baptism in the main pool. Like a real diva she now regularly floats around in the nice warm water. Complete with sun hat, the cutest UV-protective water bathing suit, and ‘on top’ of course the colorful sunglasses. She happily kicks around or sucks on her tire, enjoying the feeling of freedom. I really can’t save you this picture…

It is wonderful to see how Tom treats his girl sweetly, occasionally flirting. It’s not even strange to see, it just gives me a very warm and happy feeling. When I see Ewout and Tom throwing balls at each other in the pool, meanwhile chatting about God-knows-what.

As a mother, I continue to hold on to the ‘caring’. I can’t help myself, it’s stronger than myself, and I notice that sometimes I pass myself again. In the meantime Wim is still busy with the accounting which is again urgent 🙁

And then suddenly on Wednesday the message arrives that Ewout’s dog has somehow ingested poison during his walk. The animal hotel called him around 11 in the morning. The situation was extremely critical, and everything needed to be sorted out very quickly. Helter-skelter Wim arranged a rapid PCR test and a new plane ticket. There was little time to lose, but barely four hours later Ewout was already on the plane, towards ‘his baby’. It was terrible to see him leave like this. Fortunately it turns out to be a strong animal, because, barely 48 hours later, he is already conscious again and he is walking around a bit – although he has lost 6 kg. We can only hope it doesn’t cause permanent damage, it’s nail biting.

The knock-out race starts, Tom’s girlfriend also went home yesterday – planned of course.

So it’s quite a bit quieter, but we make it cozy. Liv continues to steal the show, over and over again. We enjoy the peace of this wonderful week even further from our enjoyed: Our family!

As always, time flies in Lavinia, almost faster than light… From Sunday the guests start flooding in again and we are completely full in no time until mid-October!

But this holiday is one to keep in our hearts, and the memory of it will bring a smile to our faces forever…

Hasta luego,

Annemie ofte Ana


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