Monday, August 25, 2014


Summer 2014 has been mild, to say the least. When we were in Italy, someone there said it was the coldest wettest summer in 40 years. We concur- at least for the past three years! While we typically spend most of the summer in swimsuits at the lake or river, those days have been far and few between. The kids wind surfed this summer but in wet suits while we watched the satellite weather system to see if the next storm would hold off. In a desperate push for sun, we recently flew to Crete for a weekend of sun. We are back, happy, slightly sun burnt and dreaming of a return trip.
We stayed in Platania, a thirty minute drive from the airport in Chania. We promised the kids nothing educational and thus we sat on the beach and played in the waves with nothing else. We broke that promise slightly as we took a boat cruise to Saint Theodore Island. A guide was telling us Crete facts but we couldn’t hear much between his accent and the sound of the motor. We did learn Saint Theodore Island is uninhabited except for one day per year when locals are allowed on the island for religious ceremonies. I didn’t quite catch the whole story but a cave on the island looks like a beast with an open mouth and offerings are given. We stopped the boat and everyone snorkeled for awhile. We saw starfish and yellow coral and schools of tiny fish. The boat’s diver brought up bigger fare; large starfish, lobster, an octopus. The kids held the octopus as it squirted black ink all over Tori’s foot. The diver also said a local delicacy was sea urchin innards. Tori gamely tried some. So did Adam, though he spit his out and is still turning green when we talk about it.
One evening we walked up a hill to the town’s old church. We passed a museum to World War II’s Battle of Crete. Though tempted we walked on to the restaurant recommended to us. We sampled the kalitsounia, a sort of dumpling with cheese, spinach and mint. We loved it. Even Tori, who has been on an only goat cheese diet it seems for most of the summer, is a convert. With views of the ocean and beaches below, we all felt happy. And oddly homesick for Hong Kong with its similar heat and ocean views!
Our final day was all beach. The kids loved body surfing in the waves. We watched the kids getting tossed around on bigger and bigger waves. The next thing I know I see Tori coming out of the water with scrapes and blood all over her stomach and the red/no swim flag going up. But Tori is smiling. It looks like a shark bit she says with a laugh but Adam and Royce were not laughing. They quickly helped her with water and a towel. Adam ran back to the room for the first aid kit he bought at boy scout camp. He has used the kit three times this summer- all on Tori’s various sporting daredevil injuries. He’s got the helpful scout part down. Still some work to do on all the other parts of the scout oath; clean, courteous, thrifty, to name a few. But there’s hope.


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