Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Greece with Kids: Rabbit for Lunch, Cheese for Two, and We Traumatized the Children on the Road to Meteora

Day 01 is here and here.
Day 02 is here.
Day 03 is here and here.
The first part of Day 04 is here.

And here's what we did after that!

After tromping around Delphi all morning, we stopped for lunch before we headed down Mount Parnassus. My daughter ate rabbit:



I ate the cheese plate for two:

Technically, I shared this with the rest of the family, but still... I ate a lot of cheese.
My other daughter had--surprise, surprise!--the pasta. Rather than think of her as a picky eater, I prefer to pretend that, just as I enjoy eating Mexican food wherever I travel so that I can experience that place's take on my favorite cuisine, Syd longs to taste every possible interpretation of spaghetti.

She did also consume her weight in cheese plate, at least...

As we drove northwest up the mainland, the landscape that we'd become used to, with olive trees as far as the eye could see--



--gave way to--



Sunflowers! As far as the eye can see!



They're grown for their seeds, and I have never seen anything more beautiful in my life.

You'll notice that the sky was really hazy on this day; it's not smog, but airborne sand from the SAHARA DESERT!!! So as I'm taking photos of Greece, I'm also taking photos of the Sahara--it's like two vacations in one!

We had to book it to Meteora, so didn't have time for many stops (we did stop at a gas station that stands on the spot where the Persian army camped before the Battle of Thermopylae, so that's something...). So of course you might think that once we arrived, a certain little kid would be tired and ready for a nap.

Hey, let's ask her. Little Kid, are you ready for a nap?



No? Well, let's go swimming, then!

After one last evening of swimming in paradise, we got cleaned up and headed over to a party hosted by our tour group. There was going to be wine, and traditional Greek music, and they'd hired a traditional Greek dancer, and we were going to get to dance, too! Sounds exciting, right?

Some of us thought this sounded exciting. Others of us did not.
The kids actually had a wonderful time on this trip. They loved being with us, the adventure of traveling, seeing the sites that we've been reading about for a year. There weren't a lot of complaints about the hiking or the heat (and their presence made sure that I couldn't complain, either--can you imagine if the kids had heard me complaining about the heat? It would have been a free-for-all of endless complaints until the end of time), and they didn't even seem to notice that there weren't any other kids in our tour group to hang out with. They were generally right behind our tour guide every time she led us around a site, avidly hanging onto her every word. They had their own hotel room every night, where they went to bed right after dinner, and were up and getting dressed when we came in to wake them up every morning.

And you'd think they'd have a wonderful time at this party, too. Traditional Greek music! Traditional Greek dancing! A special dance just for the ladies!



This is right before Costas began to kick his leg over all of us sitting on the floor. It was awesome.
But no. Watching their mother enjoy traditional Greek dancing seemed to have stunned even the more even-keeled of the children:

She is drowning her sorrows in sour cherry juice.
And when their mother got up to dance, too?

Oh, Lord. Her face!

I, however, was having a marvelous time.
Matt took this photo of the children actually comforting each other, they were so traumatized by my joy:



Even at dinner, everyone in our tour group was still all aflutter from the fun of the dancing, and we all chatted excitedly to each other as the wine continued to flow. To the children, this was not much of an improvement over the horrors of watching adults dance:





Whatever. Matt and I had a fabulous time:



Our tour guide actually came over to check on Syd; she was looking so miserable that Militsa's happiness alarm went off somewhere across the room, and she suddenly appeared at my shoulder, asking the source of Syd's distress so that she could fix it:

There's lamb on the buffet, and fava beans, spanakopita, tomato salad, and eggplant, so of COURSE she's eating pasta and white bread for dinner.

Alas, I had to inform her that Syd's misery was nothing that could be fixed, but instead resulted from having to watch adults party--most specifically, having to watch adults DANCE (insert shudder here).

This is Militsa informing Syd that there won't be anymore dancing on the trip.
It's important, though, to savor even the most uncomfortable moments in a new place, because in just twelve hours, we'd be touring the breathtaking monasteries of Meteora. In just 24 hours, Matt and I would be sharing a pint of Solo while waiting for our fish and chips order to be ready. In just 36 hours, we'd be on a plane to Zurich.

And in just 48 hours, we'd be home!

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