Room with a View
One of our family’s favourite places in the entire world to holiday is Greece.
I started going when I lived in London in the 80’s. My husband and I honeymooned there, and over the years we’ve returned many times with our two boys.
We are extremely blessed to have wonderful old friends there who graciously share their slice of heaven on earth with us during the summer.
I will readily admit I’m not nearly clever enough to comprehend what has happened with the Greek economy. I haven’t spent any time in Athens in several years, other than to pass through the airport, so I can’t speak to what the atmosphere is like there now. All I can say is with the perfect weather, azure skies and sea, food one dreams about for the rest of the year and lovely, hospitable people, Greece simply can’t be beat as one of the most beautiful summer destinations in Europe.
And I wasn’t kidding when I said it was a little slice of heaven…
and the food… O M G
Can you hear the song of the cicadas??
“Welcome back, Relax. Welcome back, Relax” (I speak Cicadian)
Their constant refrain, an audible perfume that instantly awakens your sense memory.
I adore Greek salad, and it’s never quite the same anywhere else.
Except perhaps Vancouver, with their large Greek community, they know you never, ever add lettuce.
(substitute “quelle horreur!” in Greek here)
It’s not an exaggeration to say there isn’t a smidgeon of their property that isn’t utterly divine. The family patriarch has a passion for design and attention to detail that knows no bounds. Every time we come home from visiting I am so filled with inspiration.
It gets my husband very worried.
But it’s not just the ambience…
Did I mention the food yet?
My friend helps herself to a serving of their house-made mango sorbet.
Do ya think they know our boys like sorbet?!
FYI, no dieting in Greece. It’s against the law.
Besides, everything is fresh, fresh, fresh so who cares about caloric intake?
Just a quick aside-how do women in Europe get away with wearing lashings of jewelry with their bathing suits and look so chic?
Something I’ve yet to master. Mine gets burning hot, covered in sunscreen and looks like I’m trying way too hard.
But I digress…
Don’t get the wrong impression-it’s not all about food, drink, lazing about and angsting over my aquatic jewelry quotient.
Some of us manage to get pretty damn sporty.
Younger Son wake boarding in Porto Heli (where Aman Resorts has just opened the “Amanzoe”-though we didn’t go see it)
My ridonkulously adorable god daughter heating up the courts with her style.
Older Son’s girlfriend “C” or, as she is now known “The Donkey Whisperer” working her magic.
Younger Son getting some “air” on the soccer pitch
There are grapes to be picked for making wine…
Books to be devoured daily by The Boyfriend of The Donkey Whisperer
Cocktails to be mixed.
But I won’t be disingenuous, there’s a mighty high degree of relaxing going on in Greece.
Just as it should be on one’s hols.
The outdoor breakfast table before the first hungry morning shift ambles in.
Breakfast eggs hot off the …ah… super fresh
and that Greek yoghurt, honey & figs right off the trees with a great cappuccino
I’ll have a little glass of chilled retsina with that please
Even the bougainvillea looks so much brighter in Greece than in California.
Home-made pastries for desert.
Remember…worrying about calories-a Felony in Greece
Sometimes we can even bring ourselves to leave our friend’s property, and tool about the islands
This pretty sailboat was in a bay we stopped in for lunch one day.
Where of course I had to order my regular. And those teeny, tiny little fish sprinkled with salt and lemon that you munch like french fries.
Gone before I could get a pic.
Pulling into the port of Hydra in the late afternoon.
Fresh squid/octopus? (difference??) hanging outside a tavern on the island of Spetses
Another one of our favourite spots to eat is a centuries old house in the hills where the proprietors, a lovely couple, make the food in their house kitchen and serve it outside on their porch.
So charming and authentic. Is this not what traveling to distant lands is all about?
Not a Starbucks in sight.
And to cap off the day with a cocktail while the sun slinks behind neighboring isles…
It just doesn’t get any better than that.
But why do the summer holidays always have to sneak by in the blink of an eye??
I hope YOU are enjoying a languorous August!
Happy Days xx SP