It was the summer of 2011. We were visiting friends in North Carolina one weekend for a lovely wedding on the beach. Our strong-willed, opinionated and hyper-inquisitive children, a boy and two girls, were, at the time, 10, 7 and 6 respectively. My gorgeous, though Chicago-tough and Sicilian-sassy, wife and I were at lunch with the kids at a little seaside café the following day. A late morning ocean breeze puffed through the eatery’s open bay windows, filling our nostrils with that salty pong of damp sand and faint sea life, forecasting a beautiful day ahead.