Family Summer Nights
Updated: Nov 9, 2019
I love everything warm: warm food, warm drinks, warm sun and even better: dry, warm air. Being from Belgium warm air is something we only ever so often experience.
To me warm dry air feels like a hug. But the best moments to enjoy that particular warmth is after the burning sun went down.
Evenings are for make-up
I bet I'm not the only one always looking forward to those warm evenings. Every hot country I've ever visited seemed to get alive after sundown. People would put on make-up, change bikinis for flirty dresses and put plaits in their kids' damp hair.
I love that atmosphere. Everybody outside, friends meeting up, lovers kissing, kids playing. People having dinner, going for drinks and putting their kids on the merry-go-round.
Sunsets are amazing too, especially over an island in the distance or falling behind a high mountain. When visiting Brela this year we were treated to stunning sunsets. The beaches of Brela being so wide and full of playgrounds made them the perfect place to just sit on a blanket and enjoy the sun and some couple time while the kids played.
So we sat together watching the sun moving ever faster down as the sea got closer. At that moment it felt again like those very first dates: stolen looks and searching hands, silence and both in awe ... But then a 7-year old starts nagging to go and get pancakes. You tell them to wait because the sun will be down in a second but both you and your spouse already know the magic is gone.
Okay, since romance is sparse after getting kids lets find some other stuff to do after sundown.
"At that moment, it felt again like those very first dates: stolen looks and searching hands ... But then a 7-year old starts nagging to go and get pancakes. You tell them to wait because the sun will be down in a second but both you and your spouse already know the magic is gone."
No flirty dresses but sporty tenue.
Every mom will get it: you put on a nice dress, go to a restaurant and before the main course arrives you will already have at least one stain. Off course next to you sits this beautiful woman with a bright and spotless white dress (even though she just finished her chocolate moelleux).
Well forget about the stress! You can easily have fun in a tracksuit, bikini and bandana (no need to even wash your hair).
Who hasn't seen them ... the photos on social media of brave men and women sea kayakking at night! Well ...
I'm not that brave! Images of me holding on to my daughter while some sea monster tries to grab her away from me come up really vividly.
But we decided to try anyway. In Croatia there is this beautiful lagoon. The water isn't very deep but it is very clear and it has hardly no waves.
The company we found takes matters one step further than just 'plain' night kayakking. They send you kayakking in the total dark. Lights are under your boat so you can easily see the fish swimming (they swim to the light) and there is one big light at their shop for you to navigate back to.
They give you some instructions to paddle to a nearby island with quite some wildlife. The sea was beautiful and I actually felt really distracted from the dark and possible drama. Ellis, who was in a boat with me, just couldn't stop screaming and pointing at fish swimming up to the light under the boat.
We got wet and had fun, the warm air dried all of the warm water splashing around and back on shore we were wet, happy but most of all hungry. Totally worn out and not dressed as the fine people getting ready for life after sunset we just got pizza and fell asleep really early.
In Morocco we booked a sundown camel ride through the desert. A nomad met us with eight camels, enough to take two families on a tour. The tour ended in a glamping tent camp where we had dinner and spent the night.
Getting up on a camel is a rather exiting business. You don't jump on top of them like you do with a horse but they kneel before you so you can get up their backs easy. Just hold on firm when they get up because it is easy to fall off.
The walk with the camels is silencing, even to a 7-year old. All of a sudden no more cries for pancakes, nothing but pure relaxation left.
Right before the moment we were halfway asleep, not out of boredom but because there is something utterly relaxing about sitting on a camels back with nothing else to see but a big yellow-orange range of hills, the nomad stopped and got us off of the camels.
Everywhere around us were beautiful dunes and while walking around, the sand made crackling noises under our feet.
For the kids it was like Disneyland! The biggest sandpit they've ever seen.
Playing with the sand, rolling in it, sandboarding, running down the soft hills and falling down.
In the middle of the tent camp was a low Aladdin-inspired table with herb tea and cookies.
While the girls were playing in their fairy tale wonderland Daany and I had our little romantic moment: dirty and dusty in ugly clothes but content, relaxed and most of all ... HAPPY