The white cliffs of La Scala dei Turchi (Stair of the Turks) and traveling with adult-aged children in Sicily

The white cliffs of La Scala dei Turchi

"My one goal for this vacation," I told Stéphane looking him squarely in the eyes to ensure that I had his full attention, "is that we're all still talking with each other by the end of it. If that means we miss seeing some of the sights in Sicily, so be it."

People approach vacations with different expectations. Over the years, I've come to realize that Stephane views them as a time to bond, to spend each and every waking moment together. That's fine when it's just the two of us, but I wasn't sure how our 27 year old daughter and 24 year old son would cope with intensive daily doses of Mom and Dad. Even though we have spent holidays together and traveled in various familial combinations, it had been seven years since the four of us had embarked on an extended vacation together. We're all strong-minded people accustomed to traveling the world on our own. How would we manage, I wondered?

Stéphane and Sara sharing a moment on the beach

"Has mom talked with you yet?" I overheard Philippe ask Sara while we were still in Paris. In an attempt to avert any problems, I had taken each of them aside to explain that they were free to explore and have their meals whenever they wished. The only set times that they had to be with us was when we traveled from one town to another.

Much to Stéphane's delight, the "kids" were enthusiastic about all of his plans. The only dissenter was me. When he informed us that we would have to depart from Marsala early in the morning to have enough time to visit the white cliffs before going to the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, I asked if it was necessary to cram so much into one day. Couldn't we simply omit the Scala dei Turchi, the "Stair of the Turks" on the southern coast of Sicily from our itinerary?  

Philippe playing around during one of my attempts at an artsy photo

I've got to admit that I'm happy that I was unanimously overruled. Resembling the White Cliffs of Dover, the Scala dei Turchi is a spectacular formation of marl accessible by layered stairs that shouldn't be missed. And, best of all, we're all still talking to each other!

The white cliffs of La Scala dei Turchi
The white cliffs of La Scala dei Turchi


  1. And it is an Artsy shot, Mary Kay - with Philippe's silhouette standing at attention or otherwise! So glad you got the Sicilia bug, it's hard to shake, non?

  2. Oh I thought the two posts ( with Maria Grammatico) were together. Anyway, what I said before. The photos are stunning and very clever. Love Denise.

  3. Beautiful! I must admit, I've never particularly thought about Sicily, but you're really selling it. Sadly (not really), I'm already all booked up for holidays this year, but I'll file it away for the future!


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