Together, we stood on the train platform in Santa Marinella. Roo’s bedtime had been and gone, so we took turns putting him on our shoulders and walking the length of the station. The sun was setting and the warm air lingered, only just long enough for the ocean breeze to offer gentle relief from the day’s heat.

We stood there on that platform while the sun drank deeper and deeper from the ocean and Italian conversations filled our ears. The train arrived and we sat facing one another with Roo having a seat to himself. His little body, beyond tired, not knowing what to do. Thankfully, he decided cheek and laughter, while attempting to converse with an old Italian man across the aisle from us were his best defence against the sleep in his eyes.

Fields of green blurred outside our windows as we stared, helpless, at the blue of the ocean, and in the eyes of our magical little boy.

We spent the day in Santa Marinella with Eleonora, Kevin and their beloved Vincent. We were picked up in Kevin’s Defender and I realised we were already on the same page (Defender’s are a very big deal for me). On the edge of the ocean is a yellow hotel. It’s been in Ele’s family for generations and is beautiful beyond description. Kev runs the restaurant and Ele runs…well, everything.

Kesh and Ele had just about everything in life in common and without really meaning it to happen, Roo and Kesh stayed the whole time I shot. Hours past our scheduled finishing time, we walked to the station with plans of going back the very next day.

And we did.

Kevin cooked the best meal of our whole lives and we swam the day away with Ele and Vincent keeping us company. Honestly, these days were some of the best of our whole trip.

Music: Electric Feel by Wild at Heart