We left our house at 1:30 pm on Thursday, July 12th and arrived at my father’s home at 12:30 pm on Saturday, July 14th. With the time change, we traveled a total of 42 hours to reach our new home. (Albeit, we did get to spend 15 of those hours in a hotel, so it wasn’t too terrible.) The trip to JFK was more eventful than I had hoped due to traffic on the Belt Parkway. With only 15 miles left to get to the airport, traffic came to a crawl….literally. We traveled 6 miles in 75 minutes. My heart rate spiked, and I began to sweat. Seven miles out the traffic opened, and Chris pulled into the airport 90 minutes before our flight. That didn’t give us much time for good-byes…actually there weren’t any. Just a quick hug and off we ran to check in. In the airport I turned around and kept saying to the kids, “Push and pull, you can do it!” The kids were each pushing a large suitcase, wearing a backpack, and pulling a carry-on. We made it to a line relatively quickly and then the tears started. Without knowing what was happening, someone had their arms wrapped around me. I looked up and saw Chris standing there. I guess he didn’t like the lack of good-bye time either!
This is a photo of the beautiful home of my father in Ikaria. We are currently staying above the garage in a studio apartment. We fit surprisingly well, and it’s very comfortable. I’ll never tire of the view from the wall of windows.
Within an hour of arriving, my father sent Elias to the bakery to buy two fresh loaves of bread for lunch. He handed him 2 Euro and sent him on his way. Rea and Zach tagged along, and they walked down the hill to the small bakery. Elias was able to order and pay for the bread, all in Greek, all by himself.
Since we have arrived, we have spent many hours at the beaches and sitting at tavernas. In the daytime we swim to stay cool. The temperatures have been near 100 daily, and the crystal clear waters are inviting and refreshing. The evenings are cooler and late at night the village gathers in the platia, or the town square for the company, a drink, and something small to eat. With nothing else to do on the island, sitting for hours takes no effort and causes no stress. Sitting and relaxing, for those who know me well, know that in America, this is something I don’t do well at all. Well, really, I just don’t do it ever! But there is something about Greece that makes the idea of “nothing” seem wonderful.