Thursday, December 26, 2013

Sparkling Finish to Greece

One of my favorite Nathan & Nora photos; and yes, she is wearing
socks on the beach. There was quite a breeze this day.
We spent our last couple of days on Paros doing absolutely nothing. We had yet to spend any time at all on the beach just outside our hotel's front door. Clearly a horrible situation that had to be remedied. After having visited almost every beach on the island in our circuit exploration, we were happy to find our very own beach to be our favorite. The hotel directly across from the beach had set up lounge chairs with tables and thatch umbrellas, and we set up camp on one set. In Europe, renting a chair and umbrella for the day is very common. Back in Italy, 10-20 euro for the day is the going rate. Imagine our surprise when, after about three hours of beach time, a man from the hotel showed up and somewhat apologetically informed us that we needed to pay for our use. Three euro per chair. I cannot even get a Coca-Cola for three euro, so I call a chair and umbrella on a beautiful, Greek island for three euro a win.
Clear, gorgeous water
You may remember the photo from our beach lounging, one of the very view I blogged while in Greece:  Don't Make Me Leave
We spent the beach time alternating Nora care so that the other person could take a nap and/or read, fully relaxed. Because I had grown used to a daily walk through the village (in addition to our nightly walk), I took a couple of hours each day to wander around at lunchtime, stopping for gyros and dessert to take back to the beach. I don't know why, but I could (and did) walk down the same lanes, through the same shops, along the same port, every single day (twice a day), yet it always seemed new. Possibly because the pace was so unhurried. People were friendly and often wanted to stop and chat. Having the baby was a big draw and opened so many doors for conversation.

We celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary on our final night, picking a garden restaurant we'd passed a few times but not yet visited. Upon finding out we were there for our anniversary, the owner brought us glasses of champagne. And as day turned to night under bougainvillea vines and table top candles were lit, the lights went out in the restaurant. Utter silence reigned for just a moment, then out came the owner with a dessert topped with sparklers, lighting up the darkness in celebration. In my wildest of dreams I could not have imagined a more perfect ending to an ending - our last big vacation before returning to America.
Anniversary Night - 17 Years!

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