Sunday, August 30, 2009

Shopping, I'm Going!

With my sister off gallivanting through Italy, Zhaina and I have had to entertain ourselves, and today entertain we did. I've been meaning to visit the nearby capitol of the Island all summer but haven't had the opportunity, until now. I usually prefer to attack Vathi on my own, but I figured if I gave her all the rules of the city ahead of time maybe, just maybe we'd be okay, just the two of us. So in the

car ride
over I repeated "you have to stay by your mom, you have to be good listener, and you don't touch anything!" what felt like a zillion times. And what do you know, it worked! Zhaina was such a big girl in the big city today!

We shopped walked, and walked, and walked and walked, and then we had


Unfortunately since lunch was last on our to-do list we then had to walk back to the car. By this time in the day the sun was blazing and humidity was at an unusual high. Our entire walk back along the harbor was beautiful, but scorching. Finally when I saw the beast car in the distance I felt relief, however momentarily, because Zhaina then announced, "MaMa, my legs hurt!" So we took a break from all that walking and took some photos by the sea.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

She's off on a big Adventure

I sacrificed my mid-day siesta today to see my sister off to Italy.

She's one lucky duck to get to backpack from Venice to Rome and all-over in between for the next couple weeks. Zhaina said she wanted to go to Italy too, but I had to break the news to her that we weren't invited. Then she said that we should go ask Papu for some more money to buy some tickets. A pretty advanced thought for a 3 year-old I think, but still I had to tell her no, Melissa gets to do this alone.

And then just before Melissa left I asked her one thing; to bring us back a present (nothing crappy) wrapped in 50 Euro bills. That should make up for us missing Italy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sailing to Samiopoula

This past weekend a few friends and I took a local boat trip to a nearby private Island by the name of Samiopoula (literally meaning "small Samos"). I've been twice before but I think this year was my favorite visit. Zhaina was the only child on the boat and so of course was revered by all. And not to say she didn't deserve the attention, I mean, she IS pretty darn cute.

We spent the day playing in the sand, eating snacks on the beach, honing my Racketta skills (I'm improving exponentially I must say), and enjoying the waves of the sea. Oh and of course we took out ample time for photo ops.

But my all-time-most-favoritest part of the day was on the trip back to Pythagorio when the Captain of the boat announced that we'd be anchoring in an alcove to go swimming! After a brief hesitation I stripped down to my bandeau bikini, handed Zhaina off to Chelsey, climbed up on the boat railing and dove in!!! I was the only female on the boat to dive from where the men were diving and Zhaina couldn't have been more proud. I surfaced the water to hear her clapping on the boat and yelling "Bravo MaMa!!!"

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

the Beast

When reading about all our traipsing around the Island this year, you might be asking yourself, "how are they getting there?" To be sure, we are not paying a taxi. And we defenetely are not walking. So how are we getting to that "other beach" you ask?

By Beast, that is the Mercedes; diesel style.

At the last minute before I left the States I stopped by AAA and got myself an International Drivers License. I wasn't sure I'd use it, I've had this license in the past, but I thought to myself, "just in case." Well for a last minute thought it has turned out to be a Godsend. Me and my license have got us all over this Island this summer. Okay, it may not be glamorous, and sure the windows don't roll down (and for sure there is no air) and it weighs about a million tons, but it's free and it goes. Most Greeks (and some Americans even) cannot believe I know how to drive a diesel stick, and I secretly revel in the shock on their faces as I drive on.

Now that I think of it, it IS getting to feel more and more like home here every year afterall.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Me as a Barista

I had big plans for another blog, maybe something like a cookbook, but not exactly. Maybe something like a story but including lessons on how to be a "good eater." Maybe I don't have time. This will have to do for now...

For an avid reader of mine I will share one of my best. And as a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur I can guarantee this coffee is my best.

This recipe calls for an esspresso machine so if you don't have one, run out now and get yourself one, you need one, I promise you'll love it. (but if you're in a bind try using instant coffee but I cannot promise it will be as delicious).

Iced Latte

1 or 2 shots of esspresso (depending on the pick-me-up neccessary)
1 1/2 t sugar (for medium sweetness)
1 ice cube
fresh milk (as opossed to condensed milk, which is the coffee milk of choice in Greece)
bendy straw

oh shoot, I forgot to mention, you'll also need a hand mixer, so while you're at Target pick up one of those too.

collect your esspresso shot(s), sugar and ice cube in a glass, froth with hand mixer, add milk to the brim of the glass, insert bendy straw and sip away!!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Everyone loves a party! Well...maybe not Zhaina.

It's been all fun and games around here, with little time for anything else.

It all started with a big celebration in Pythagorio last week when the archbishop came from Athens to give a speech (which was strangely followed by fireworks and a concert the next night). We had mini-donuts and and cotton candy, and even a parade. I'm not sure exactly what we were celebrating, but it sure was fun! Look and see how much fun Zhaina had! Okay, so maybe she wasn't such a fan of the fireworks, but we sure thought they were spectacular!

Then this past weekend we were so lucky to get to go to a rock festival in Ireon. The Stranglers were playing and we shook our groove thing all night with only a break to buy a T-shirt Melissa had been eyeing up all week (photo with Melissa wearing T-shirt inserted here, via imagination). We met up with Dad after the concert and reminisced about the old days at the Cove where they played only good music but all the girls were ugly. Okay, maybe only he reminisced and we just listened, he always has been a good storyteller. Wish you coulda been there too!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Let there be Light

Location: Panagia Spiliani Monastery Samos, Greece
Do you ever have that moment, that feeling when you somehow become transported into another realm? You are awake and aware of what is going on around you, but you somehow feel, hear, and smell things that you cannot neccessarily see. This place, Panagia Spiliani Monastery in Samos, makes me feel differently, it makes me feel lighter, stronger, and more centered. While inside the cave I always whisper, afraid to startle the souls I feel along side me. And although I'm not usually a graceful person, I find myself tip-toeing around, careful not to make a sound. My trips inside the cave are rarely long, as I feel I can only visit stay in this dream briefly before it might shatter. At some point I must exist, but find myself lucky enough to be greeted by the setting sun.
Lighting a candle for those I love

Hesitating at the Virgin's door.

Seeing the Light

Upon exiting, basking in the twilight sun.
Where do you see the Light?

The Old Man and the Sea

Even in his mid-fifties my dad is as competitive as ever. On a recent trip to another beach* Papus Yiannis challenged all stragglers* to a game of Racketta. As we all took our turns he would call out, "watch this!" followed immediately by hurling the ball back at the other player at warp speed. In his mind I suppose he thought he was showing his fans (ie the stragglers) his immense talent at playing Racketta (a game I've now been playing for weeks and still am not sure of the rules) but in reality was mearly gathering pity for his opponent from his fans (ie the stragglers). Yet still somehow it was one of my favorite moments of the summer.

*see "I got a pocket, got a pocket full of Sunshine"