Ames and I took a day trip from Modena up to a town called Erice (pronounced with a ché). It is a lovely, preserved castle town atop a gorgeous hill that overlooks stunning beaches and the expansive sea beyond—that is, when the fog is not literally covering it like a blanket. All we could see was our hands (and a few cats) in front of us as we walked through the maze of cobblestone streets. There were interpretive signs that pointed out the landmarks in the distance, and that explained the unparalleled beauty of the vistas from the castle walls in which we stood. We sighed with faint laughter as we stared out into a blizzard of white. Still, I found that the streets had a certain charm about them—empty, fog-filled, cats scurrying from one side to the next. We hurried up to the vista point in the sputtering rain to see the white shadows of the castle walls before heading back to the car and twisting down the mountainous road to find a wine tasting room on our way to the white cliffs of Scala de Turchi (where we subsequently froze our shorts off and realized we wasted 12 Euro on suntan lotion.) Our consolation prize? The most delicious ‘straight from the sea food’ meal from a little hole in the wall next to the fisherman harbour. I wish I took a photo of the octopus they brought out as an appetizer. I had to have Amy cut it up into slices for me, as I couldn’t bear to slash that cute little purple creature in front of me. We really had no idea what we ordered—the menu was in Italian, and although I can usually muster my way through menus in any language, we just threw our hands in the air and said, “Si!” and waited to see what arrived. We must have made a good impression however, because our waiter ended up charging us for only one of the two meals, and he brought us a massive pitcher of Limoncello on the house! We tipped him more than we should have (or, exactly what we wanted to!) and dashed out through the rainy skies back to our tiny ‘cuatro latas’ car & back to Modena, where we finished off the night with a few more bottles of Sicilian wine, lots of laughter, and little girl snuggles.