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Laiki Time

This past Saturday, we went to downtown Chania to check out the laiki. This is THE place to go for the freshest of fruits and vegetables, not to mention cheeses, rabbits, clothes, and whatever else you may need. The smells are just wonderful! This time we went with our friends Melania and Richard, who afterwords took us to a wonderful bakery. Click on the photo below to enjoy the rest of the photos!

Morning at the Laiki

Saying Goodbye

I have not been looking forward to this time, but knew it would eventually come. Our great friends, Harry and Kristie Hansen, are PCSing to Virginia. They will be flying out tomorrow, so in honor of that I put together the below slideshow/video for their last night at the chapel last night.

Being part of an overseas military community can be very hard as friends come and go. While you sort of get used to it, there are some friends that you meet that you just don’t know how you will get along without. Harry and Kristie – You have been great friends and family to us during our time together here. The last year and a half have flown by and I can’t believe you guys are leaving already. Thank you so much for sharing this time with us. We will truly miss both of you (and I don’t quite know how to tell Annie that Miss Peabody is leaving!). May God continue to bless you both and others through you.

More Cretan Traffic

Most days, we get some pretty good traffic in our quiet neighborhood:

We’ve lived here for over a year now, but I still love watching the sheep wander around the roads. It is amazing to see how timid these creatures are (and really, really stupid), but how well they know the voice of their shepherd. There is definitely a lot to be said for knowing the shepherd’s voice.

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!

A Day in the Water

Yesterday we spent a wonderful day in the ocean. It was our first trip out where we snorkeled off of the kayaks. We launched off from Marathi Beach and paddled around the water for a little bit, doing a bit of snorkeling in a couple of spots, then paddling over to “Rabbit Island” for lunch. After lunch, we paddled about 50 feet or so from where we ate lunch and snorkeled some more. Click on the picture below to see the photos we took; not too bad for a sub $100 underwater camera.

Kayaking and Snorkeling

I also shot a little bit of video:

In total, we spent about 4 1/2 hours in the water and really had a blast. As for snorkeling off the kayaks, it was fantastic. Getting in was so much easier than we thought it was going to be. Hopefully we’ll get to do a whole bunch more of this over the summer! Here’s to life in Crete!

A Good Day

We had a great day today hanging out at the old harbor in Chania. I had heard that the RAF Red Arrows were going to be in town flying as part of the weekend’s Battle of Crete festivities. So, I got the crew up early this morning so we could head downtown and make sure to find a place to park. We wandered around the harbor for about an hour before the show started, but it is always so beautiful down there – and really, even more so in the morning when it is a LOT less crowded. After the show, we wandered some of the old streets of Chania – definitely the kind of thing you picture when you think of Greece. Well, enjoy the photos!

Battle of Crete

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:

Moving In

Hello everybody! For those that have been tracking us through email and Facebook, you will know that we are finally moving in to a house here in Crete. Yes, that’s right – after 2 weeks in a hotel in Germany, 3 months in a hotel here, we are finally settling in to what is going to be the Barker house for our stay here on the beautiful island of Crete (however long that ends up being). The movers dropped everything off on Monday and we have been busily unpacking everything since then. The house here is MUCH smaller than the one we came from in Germany and we thought we had gotten rid of enough stuff before moving here, but apparently not. When the movers were unpacking everything and putting it into the house, one of them joked that while we had 10 crates worth of stuff, we had a house big enough for 5! Fortunately we are finding places for just about everything, though a few of the items we brought will get turned into firewood instead of getting put together. Oh well, probably didn’t need it anyways, right?

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This past Saturday I sent Ginger downtown with Kristie to find a dress for a Christmas party at the CO’s house. Oddly enough, I had to prod her to go shopping! Can you imagine that?

Once mom was off, the boys and I hopped in the car with Harry and headed to Aptera. This was our first historical outing, so I was pretty excited. Harry provided the navigation and since this site isn’t that far away, we quickly arrived and hopped out of the car. There was no better setting for the day’s outing; right on the top of a hill looking out over the ocean in all directions.

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Moving Out!

Well, it is almost that time. We are now just 2 days away from our big move to the island of Crete. It has been a very long process to get this done and now that the time is upon us, it is just now starting to hit us that we are actually moving. We have been in Heidelberg for almost 6 years now and have really developed quite a few relationships that we are really going to miss. This has been Gavin’s only home; it is where he was born back in 2004. Needless to say, there are a lot of things that we are going to miss about this place.

First and foremost, our friends Roy and Krystal (along with Zach, CJ, Kallee – and don’t forget Bella!) are going to be the hardest to leave. They have been there for us so many times that we can’t even begin to count. We love them tremendously and know that they will forever be a part of our family (hopefully we’ll find a way to get them over to visit us in Crete). When I imagine what friendships should be like, I know that what we have with them is a perfect example. If you guys are reading this, we love you tons!

We will also be leaving our church family behind, though we know that we will still remain a part of the church for a long time to come. Ken and Danine, along with the rest of the Klinner family have also been a big part of our family and have been a huge encouragement for us. For those that didn’t know, we have been the children’s and associate pastors at the church for a while now. We have come to know the true meaning of fellowship there and have been privileged to be a part of an international church body. For those that are curious about the place, it is Victory International in Heidelberg, Germany. If you are ever in Heidelberg and are looking for a church home, they would love to have you!

Anyways, after today we have one full day left here in Germany and then it’s off to Crete. Exciting times are ahead of us and we hope that everyone can continue to share in our lives through this site.