Sunday, November 17, 2013

back home

we got home monday night, 29 hours after waking up in Vamos, Crete.  it was brutal... but i'm happy we went and happy to be home.  for the transatlantic part we were on Lufthanasa, which is the most civilized and comfortable (well, comfort is relative) of any airline i have flown... the attendants actually *attend*,  food and drinks are complementary (ALL of it), they bring warm wet towelettes before a meal or snack, there is a monitor at your seat and choice of many movies to watch *free*, so other than i can never sleep on planes, that was the best part!

can't write any more now.  need to go back to bed and see if i can get to sleep.  since thursday, both of us have had flu-type badness which i am sure we picked up from some of the thousands of people we traveled with... in planes and airports.  there was almost a chorus of junky-sounding croupy coughing  all around us.  been chugging down the Emergen-C since i got back, but guess it didn't help.  and now that i've been just lying around in bed and on the sofa for 2 1/2 days i cannot get to sleep!  will try again.

more photos and stories later.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

return of my sunny day mojo!

after two days of grey days with rain, wind, thunder... stay inside kind of weather... BIG change!!
lots of sunshine... happy me!

today we went with Valerie and her small boy, Lou, to a nearby restaurant we had not been to til

a traditional wood oven where they bake bread and other dishes

wonderful food.. this is the lamb with myzithra

salad with greens (rocket greens on top), other veggies and esp. pomagranite seeds and olives

they also had display cases with ~very~ old pieces like an old record player. and a singer sewing machine probably one of the first made.

if it seems like a lot of food related posts, well... it is because so much of social life revolves around
the table and sharing food and drink.  it is a communion of sorts and solidifies friendships and connections... not just here, but all over the world!

and tomorrow we pack up and get ready to leave fantasy island.  i would really rather stay here if
it were remotely possible.  i do not want to go back to our fucked up political system, school and
mall shootings and unbelievable horrors.  ok, i will stop.  politics all over the world are messed up.
Greece is no exception and i am living on fantasy island here without much connection to reality.

so ttfn and see ya on the flip side.

celebrating the 3rd birthday of Iris

 isn't she beautiful!?  Elena and Toine had a party to celebrate... kids, adults,good fun, good food
made it a most enjoyable evening!  Maria, the mother of Toine, was here from Holland and enjoyed every moment!  her aunt Aida (Elena's sister) was here from Athens.  and many friends from in and
near Vamos.

  Iris's Oma from Holland made 2 delicious Dutch apple pies.

 Iris with aunt and oma

    and the food... beautiful and delicious

Elena's mom made these yummy phyllo, greens and cheese.

 Iris on her new bicycle (loved it!) with Oma cheering her on.

very good birthday party!

Thursday, November 07, 2013

walnut husks - impromtu yarn dyeing

a week or so ago when we went looking for oranges with Elena, we stopped at a park in Stilos
and picked up some old dried up walnut husks, brought them home and soaked in water, then
heated, simmered and let the pot sit for coupla days, poured the liquid off the husks, then put in a ball of light yellow yarn i had with me.  left it to sit and soak for a few hours, then heated for awhile,
cooled overnight and love the result.  hadn't done walnut dyeing in years.... this was fun!!

is the mojo gone?

and suddenly, our good sunny weather mojo has run out!  we braved a strong wind last night to go for something to eat.  during the night the wind picked up speed and included hard rain, big thunder and lightening.. and it continues today, minus the thunder and lightening.  cancelled our plan to take the bus to Kalives, shop around a little and have dinner at Christos' taverna.  time is getting short.  friday is the last day left to do that trip.  tomorrow is Iris' 3rd birthday and a party is planned at Elena and Toine's.

monday was our second excursion with Valerie, this time to the west and south.  stopped at Milia and had a look around and lunch.  then to Paleochori one of the southern-most beaches on the island.  nice drive... lots of goats on the hills and along the road.

Milia is an ecological self sustaiining village in the mountains in western Crete.  it was established
at the place of a former village, and only just in the past few years have they added electricity.
they live in austerity, simply and ecologically.  all the preserved fruits, olive oils, wines and raki
were produced there in Milia.

we had lunch there (very good), relaxed and talked for awhile.  below is the view from the
deck of the reception building... quite beautiful!

a rainbow over Paleochori.


i don't know the name of this flower, but love the color and shape.

we went to a place just outside the center of town.  there was a small church there with these
frescos.  don't know the history of the church, but it is old.

       here's St. George, seen frequently in church paintings.

        this was taken under the center of the ceiling.

     thanks again to Valerie for a wonderful day of adventure and excursion!

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

and the wonderful-ness just continues....

the best calimari i have EVER eaten!  tender, sweet and left me wanting more!  this was from a 
meal at the end of a spontaneous day/outing at the beach on Sunday, Nov 3rd... a beautiful
sunny, prob about 70F.  we were having our typical morning long wake-up period... Jim was
reading and i was on the balcony knitting and listening to a book, when Berend came by to
ask if we wanted to go to the beach with the usual group at Georigioupoli, then go to Lake
Kournos to eat.  great beach... the "season" is over and the beach was almost deserted.  there
was a wonderful play area for the kids and grass to play on... or lie on, tables with palm frond
umbrellas  and comfy chairs.

Maria, the mother of Toine was here from Holland.. so 9 adults and 3 very lively kids.

Lake Kournos is the largest fresh water lake in Crete.  i had only seen it from the highway
high above, and had no idea there was beach and an assortment of tavernas overlooking
the water with well-outfitted play areas for the kids.  i love that the culture here so includes
the children... they are an intregal part of any party and not suffled off to the side.

Berend, Toine and me at dinner.

Berend does love his raki!

then back to Berend and Gina's for sweets, coffee and more wine and raki.  Maria was in her
element reading in dutch to both these littles who both have dutch fathers who speak only
dutch to them (their moms are both greek and speak only greek to them).  how great is that,
to be bilingual from the very beginning.

another unforgettable day... ah, fantasy island...

i really don't want to go home.