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First trip to Menies Beach

I’d first read about Menies Beach when we were here before, but reading that it was at the end of a fairly long bumpy, rocky, dirt road, I didn’t want to take either of our cars there. Now that we’re back and I brought my Jeep with us, we finally had the opportunity to check out the beach. It was about an hour and a half drive to get there, but it gave me some off-the-pavement time, which I sorely needed. Below is a short clip of the journey to the beach.

This also gave me a chance to play around with GoPro Quik, so you’ll have to forgive me for the video itself. Hopefully I’ll get better with time… Anyways, enjoy the video, while we continue to rough it here in Crete.


Hard Choices

I hate making important decisions. I don’t even like deciding what I’m going to make for dinner or which t-shirt I’m going to wear today. It’s not that I want to make everyone happy, it’s that I’m certain that there must be a “right” answer. Making the right decision has a satisfying emotional signature embedded into it.

Decisions that have a great impact on others tend to invoke a paralytical state within me. I find myself running cost-benefit analyses and analysing endless potential outcomes. Fun. Stuff.

Pair this decision-making method with a short time frame in which to make the decision and you get teeth grinding at night and long, stressful days at work. Then you add in a little bit of nostalgia and a dash of expectation. This created a mess inside my head! But, to be honest, I was too busy at work to entertain thoughts about the “big decision.”

Of course, there were nights when Matt and I just laid in bed staring at the ceiling. Neither of us capable of falling asleep, as a combination of doom and excitement overtook us. We engaged in the “What ifs” of cyclical tail chasing. What if . .. What if . . .

Make a decision. Don’t disappoint the people you love. Make a decision. Don’t disappoint yourself. Make a decision. Opportunity is knocking. Make a decision. Yes. No. Yes. No.

We made a decision, because there was one that had to be made. Just like getting dressed in the morning or having to feed my family. You just have to make the decision. Everything else will fall into place. Life will go on. It really will.

The end result of our upheaval and chaos has led to our return to Crete.

We’re back baby!

Making global decisions,

Decision Diva

 


Longest Paddle Yet

This past Monday, I set out in my kayak to go from Marathi Beach to Stavros Beach. Both of these are on the Akrotiri Peninsula on the northwestern part of the island of Crete. It was to be my longest paddle yet and the first time I’ve not had to go out and turn around and come back to the same launch point. There was only one good place to stop along the way – in fact, it was a really nice, secluded beach accessible only by boat. The only problem is that once you get around the most eastern point on the peninsula, you get the pleasure of smelling what I can only express as a highly concentrated geep (goat/sheep) urine/feces smell. No joke! It just so happened that the little beach I stopped at must be somewhere near Ground Zero. So, while I did hang out there for a few minutes, I didn’t linger as long as I would have had the wonderful aroma not been there.

After that, it was a long paddle around to Stavros. The scenery was gorgeous and being pretty much the only one out there (other than the odd fishing boat) was very nice – though being a beginning paddler, it is nice to know folks are around in case you get into trouble. Fortunately, I didn’t have any problems and just enjoyed the morning. I only wish I had actually eaten something before starting out – my energy was definitely waning there at the end.


Going Kayaking

Okay, not yet – but I hope to be tomorrow morning. A couple of months ago I picked up a couple of hard shell sea kayaks from the base MWR auction and have been dying to try them out ever since. Well, today I have the kayak loaded up on the car, have my wetsuit and other cold weather kayaking gear ready (though with today being 74 degrees, not sure I really need it), and am all ready to hit the water bright and early in the morning. I’m pretty sure with tonight being New Year’s Eve I will have the water all to myself. Translation – since this is the first time I am trying out the sit-inside kayaks, I might end up in the water a few times trying to get in. So tomorrow is a good day to be without witnesses!

* Oh – and it just wouldn’t be Greece without a picture of one of our neighbor’s goats watching me load up the kayak!


Athens trip – Part II

Following where I left off at the first post, we finished up at the museum and headed back to the hotel to wait for Harry to arrive. Once he got in (after going through the exact same fiasco we did with the train!), we walked up the street and hopped on the metro headed towards the Parthenon. Now, generally when people think of Greece, they either think of one of two things – the island of Santorini with it’s white washed buildings with blue roofs and doors (hopefully we’ll get there this summer) or they think of the Parthenon. After all, the Parthenon is something most, if not all of us learned a little about in school. So getting back to our adventure, it was pretty exciting to be on a metro in Athens heading down to the Parthenon!

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Athens trip – Part I

A couple of weeks ago, we took a 4 day trip to the Greek mainland with our friends Harry and Kristie Hansen. On Friday morning, Ginger, the boys and I flew up to Athens and hopped on a train to take us downtown to our hotel. The lady at the ticket counter explained something about getting off at one point and transferring to another train. I wasn’t too sure of what she said (very thick accent), but we headed off to the platform anyways.

After about 8 stops, I just knew that the next stop was going to be the one we needed to get off at and transfer trains. So, the stop comes up and… we keep on going. The train doesn’t stop because the stop I wanted to get off at was currently being built. Oh well – off to the next stop! We get off at the next stop and waited for about 30 minutes for the next train to come in on the other side and hoping that was the train we needed to get on, we hopped aboard. We knew we needed to get to the “Larissa Station”, but that was about it. The train went deeper and deeper into Athens and we really had no idea if we were on the right train or not, but since none of us was interested in hopping off a moving train, we stayed on and enjoyed the ride. When the train finally stopped, we looked out at the train station and didn’t see any signs other than “Athens”. We decided it was a good time to get off and get our bearings.

We crossed the tracks and went into the train station. After looking around a little bit, I finally found a sign for Information and quickly headed in that direction. I asked the guy how to get to the Larissa Station and he gave me a strange look and said I was standing in it. Okay, so I definitely felt like the dumb tourist, but we were where we wanted to be so I got over that quickly.

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Life, Death, and Miracles

And it all happened right here on the beautiful island of Crete. A couple of weeks ago, some friends of ours were taking out the trash (in the rain no less!) when they heard a noise coming from under some palm fronds by the dumpster. They looked around and found 2 baby puppies, still with their umbilical cords and wet from birth. Unfortunately, newborn puppies are often left by dumpsters here, but that’s another story… Fortunately, for these two cuties, someone rescued them!

Last week at our Wednesday night church service, they brought the puppies in with them looking for a sucker, uh… I mean volunteer, to take the puppies from them until they were big enough to give to the folks that wanted them. Our friends, in the meantime, were heading back to the states and the husband works all day so couldn’t be around to feed the puppies all day. So, you can see where this story is heading, right?

The next night, we picked up the puppies and brought them home with us. That’s when our little adventure began! I get the night shift with the pups, usually feeding them around 9 and 12 (and sometimes 3 if they don’t sleep through), then the early morning shift, and Ginger gets the day shift. The first morning I was up with them, I was feeding the puppies just like I had done the night before. I fed the little one (who cries the loudest and the longest) first, then fed the bigger girl. Tristan came in the room just after I had finished feeding her. It was then that I realized the puppy was not moving and just didn’t look right. I picked her up and she was completely limp – no breathing, no little puppy heartbeat, NOTHING!

Great, I have the puppies for one day and I kill one! I couldn’t let that happen without a fight – especially with Tristan sitting there in front of me, starting to look a little teary eyed. I grabbed the little puppy, pushed a few times on her chest, then stuck my mouth over her mouth and nose and gave her some air. After a few repetitions of this, she started to spit up some milk – then more and more milk. But, thanks to God granting me a miracle, she started breathing again and moving around. WHEW!!! Fortunately, she has been fine ever since!

Afterward, I did some research on the Internet and found out that I had probably fed her too much – I think the extra went into her lungs. I was under the impression that they would be like people babies and quit eating when they were full. Guess not! I won’t be making that mistake again. And Joanne, if you’re reading this – the girls are fine… now!


Gavin Learns to Ride

In December, when our household goods arrived and were unpacked, Gavin decided it was time to ride his bike without training wheels. It wasn’t dad that taught him (we tried before in Germany, but he wasn’t ready yet), but his big brother Tristan. Nothing like having a big brother to help you out. This is the result: