When Lilly was just in my belly for 12 weeks, Jon and I got the news that she'd probably have Down syndrome. She was just beginning to show in my belly, as I processed this news, and the one thing I thought in my head at the time was: I can't wait to travel with her. I'll take her all over the world. I literally pictured, at the time, a grown up Lilly with me and some suitcases, waiting to be jet set.
A bizarre thought, perhaps, but I think it speaks to what Lilly has shown us. Take the unexpected and turn it into amazing experiences. So many times during this Mediterranean adventure I was in happy tears, amazed by what we were doing, what Lilly was experiencing. The kid has done more at 5 than I have in my entire life. And it's not that we've just picked her up and plopped her here and there - it's that she loves to travel. She totally gets the specialness and appreciates all that we're doing. It blows me away.
Malta. Somehow, we snuck off the boat with the earliest excursions, and were walking through Malta before it was even announced where the gangway was located. (We heard the announcement a block away.) We were the very first people talking with the taxi stand guy about where we wanted to go. We decided on 3 hours, going to the Blue Grotto (which was on my checklist), plus I said I wanted to see a village and go to a playground with Lilly.
The driver was very friendly, telling us all about the local news in the area. The scenery driving around was amazing - the architecture was unlike anything I'd seen. We got to the Blue Grotto by 9 am, and another Disney family was in a taxi behind us. All of us loaded into a small boat (which accommodated about 8 people total) and for the next 20 minutes or so we explored the caves and water. Lilly LOVED it - she kept saying sweetly: "I like boats!" like 100 times. The pictures don't do justice to the scenery or the way she loved it (I have video that's better but too lazy to upload right now).
Next, we went to a "playground" which ended up being Playmobile's sponsored playground - right next to a refugee camp in a sketchy area. In my head, I was hoping we'd go to a playground on the beach, New Zealand style. This was not it. Lilly went on the slide a couple times, fell in a yellow green weird looking puddle (totally gross) and we left.
Then, we went to a "fishing village" which starts with an M but I have no idea how to spell it. There was a market set up by the water, and next to it was this statute of a boy and a dog. Lilly loved it, oddly, and sang "Tomorrow" from Annie about 3 thousand times. Her hands were black when we pulled her away finally.
And, lunchtime. There were about a dozen restaurants with seating by the water, and we picked one that had fresh fish (caught that morning) for Jon, and pizza for me and Lilly. The food was super fresh, and the pizza not bad. The bees and flies loved our food though, which got annoying.
After lunch, the taxi brought us back to the boat. We napped and then were ready for dinner. Dinner was with our new friends, and we had a great time, and then went to the High School Musical dance party. Again, we didn't get to bed until midnight.