Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Catching a Daydream ~ That Greek Stone House

 
Dream Catchers ~
Ornamental hoops, woven with intricate designs and feather tails ~ their purpose:
 
The good dreams know how to pass through the dream catcher,
slipping through the outer holes and slide down the soft feathers
so gently that many times the sleeper does not know that he/she is dreaming.
The bad dreams not knowing the way get tangled in the dream catcher
and perish with the first light of the new day.
                                                                           -- Dream-catchers.org
 

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DreamCatchers on sale in Stoupa, Greece
Hello, or Yassis, as we say in Greece.  Seems I have been away from the blog for a bit of time, doesn’t it? That’s because we’ve been busy for the last few weeks chasing that daydream of owning a home in Greece. In fact we were back there to seal the deal on a purchase. You might even say, we were there to catch that dream.
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IMG000Regulars here know that we began the home search two years ago. We’d decided that The Mani in Greece’s Peloponnese would likely be the place; if we ever did take such a quantum leap.
 
We were serious enough this spring that we spent a good deal of our time there with realtors.  However, as I told you, we came home without a plan to go back any time soon.


 
 
DSCF0954 What I didn’t mention was that a week or so after our return home, an email from a realtor about a particular ‘stone house on a hill’ that we’d visited ~  one with a view, and a small olive grove, surrounded by gardens, set the wheels of serendipity into motion. . .

 

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Messinian Bay – The Mani, Pelopponese

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Approaching Athens airport

In a short whirlwind month after receipt of that email, an offer was made and accepted, we’d sent a down payment, and our airline tickets were purchased.

We raced around gathering – and packing -- the required documents (including certifications of income, work/retirement, citizenship and marriage) to obtain Greek tax identification numbers and open a bank account; both are prerequisites to making such a purchase.

Following our return in late June, we ‘hit the deck runnin’ as they say, getting all that legal and banking ‘stuff’ accomplished.

Those things are done in The Mani’s big city, Kalamata (yes, same as the olives – they are grown in the surrounding area). So we had an added benefit of getting to know that town’s charms as well as get the process rolling.

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View from our hotel - Kalamata, Greece


IDSCF0022n fact, I must digress a moment and tell you that we were in Kalamata the night Greece won its soccer game and advanced in the World Cup series playoffs.  Cars and people filled the streets after the televised game ended at 1:30 a.m. celebrating as if they had won ‘The Cup’ itself. A parade of cars stretched for miles, horns honking, flags waving, cheering, singing. . .from our hotel balcony we had quite a show. What a celebration it was!

During the daytime we’d tick off our list: met with an accountant and then our attorney, our realtors, the tax people and bankers. Both sellers and buyers have plenty of paperwork requirements, it turns out. While we stood in a long line at the tax office, the sellers arrived and waited in another line for other paper work related to the sale.

Just ‘a document’ was needed but it would be there in a few days, so we moved from the city to the village of Kardamyli, the place we’d spent several days last spring. It was closer to ‘the stone house on the hill” anyway.

We’d met the owners last spring and went out to visit and get our ‘operating instructions’ for the house – its plumbing, electric, water as well as to take notes on olive harvest – a rather fun-sounding task we’d need to return for in late November. They were busy packing up belongings to ship back to their home in England, to where they were returning.

We began our research: finding the area’s grocery stores, furniture stores, the water office, the phone store, where gas stations were located, how to pay electricity, nurseries and garden companies. . .the days went rapidly but we managed to sneak in a quick road trip as we waited for the July 10th closing date. . .

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. . .but sometimes catching dreams isn’t as easy as it sounds or as those dream catchers make it look.  Our daydream chase took some interesting twists and turns. I’ll continue our tale next week on Travel Photo Thursday. That’s it for today so head over to Budget Travelers Sandbox for more travel inspiration.  Thanks to all of you who continued to make regular visits even though we were somewhat out of touch while in Greece. Your notes, comments and emails were appreciated.  See you soon~

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46 comments:

  1. Oh my, you do know how to create the suspense of a thrilling page turner, Jackie!! Okay, I'm back here next week, same time, same blog!;)) But, I have the distinct feeling that your particular dream passed through the hoop and into your lap!

    Have a wonderful day!

    Poppy

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    1. We did have some interesting twists and turns develop, Poppy, as that daydream worked its way toward the hoop.

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  2. Love dream catchers, and they immediately caught my eye. Beautiful view from your hotel in Greece - gorgeous!

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    1. Thanks for the visit today Jo. I am with you, I love dream catchers and as our time in Greece - chasing that daydream - came to an end, I couldn't believe that I happened upon this display just footsteps from the real estate office.

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  3. Congratulations! It sounds like your dream really is going to come true - so inspirational! Thanks for sharing, and I'm looking forward to reading more next week!

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    1. Thanks for the visit today Molly. . .hope you do return next week. I'll tell you then whether we caught that daydream. . .

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  4. How exciting. Next you shall have to write a book about the experience. I'll be back for sure, I want to know all the details.

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    1. Glad to know that you'll be back Jan. It was a summer to remember. Thanks for the visit.

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  5. Ohhhh, you've got me on the edge of seat with suspense wanting to know WHAT HAPPENED NEXT!!! :-)

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    1. And soon you will know. . .whether we caught this daydream or not. . . Thanks much for the visit!

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  6. How exciting! You made me want to read backwards and forwards!

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    1. I can guarantee, Irene, that it only gets more interesting. Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment - always appreciated!

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  7. What a perfect title with Catching a Daydream and we are so happy and thrilled for you Jackie and Joel! Congratulations! How very, very exciting...this is like right out a movie :)

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    1. As I said at the end there is a bit more to the story about elusive daydreams; sometimes you think they are caught and then. . .
      Thanks for your visit today you two are favorites here!!

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  8. My, my, my......here's hoping hard you caught that dream!!!!

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    1. Daydreams can be slippery little critters, even when you think you've got them nailed down. Thanks for the comment today Marlys - see you back here next week for the rest of the story~

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  9. I'm really hoping that the house and olive orchard are yours. How exciting! I knew you enjoyed Greece but didn't realize that you were considering becoming residents. Full-time or as a vacation home? I can't wait to find out what happens next.

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    1. No the plan has always been just a vacation home; a base for further explorations in Greece and other destinations in Europe. . .something closer than Seattle. Of course almost everything is closer than Seattle, right? Thanks for visiting. . .

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  10. What happened?!? I'm very intrigued...

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    1. Next week I'll tell the rest of this tale. I appreciate your visit and interest. Thanks much for the comment!

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  11. Hello Jackie and Joel
    Congratulations and wishing you good luck and happiness in your new home. This is all very, very exciting and so much to discover and see. I am thrilled for you.
    Helen xx

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    1. Well Helen, sometimes daydreams can be quite fickle and hard to hold on to. . .tell you more next week! thanks for the good wishes and hope you'll check back for the rest of the story. . .Hope you are well and having a good summer!

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  12. Jackie and Joel I am SOOO excitied for you. I hope you caught your dream I really do. Can't wait for next installment. I do know from experience that doing business in Greece is very long and arduous and you need Patience with a capital P. But what I also realised is, it's like it for everyone - not just foreigners. Fingers crossed for you
    F xx

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    1. Oh Francesca, of all those who commented today you've come the closest to reading between the lines. You've hit the nail on the head with your observations. . .I know you'll appreciate the rest of this story. Hugs to you! Jackie

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  13. Super! I love it when a plan comes together. Particularly in Greece. Fun story. How do you say 'welcome home' in Greek? :) Lucky you!

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    1. As I said there are many twists and turns to this story. . .some we certainly never expected! Hope you'll return for the next installment. . .and thanks for stopping by today!

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  14. Sounds like the dream is turning into reality, Jackie! Congrats on your persistence. Greece will be a blast!

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    1. You never know about those daydreams, Marcia. Some slip through and some don't just like the Native Americans knew so long ago. Thanks much for the visit today!!

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  15. Now that's some kind of dream. I love it when people actually walk the talk - so a huge congrats and I can't wait to hear more. It sounds so utterly & impossibly romantic. Invite some travel bloggers in November and you'll have your grape harvest looked after.

    Now how many months of the year are you planning to live there? I can hardly wait to hear more.

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    1. Greece in the early spring and late fall for a month or two would be just right. . .not too hot or cold and before tourist season. Our story does have a surprising (at least to us) twist or two to it. . .I'll conclude this chapter next week. Thanks for the comment and visit, Leigh.

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  16. You have me, Jackie! Waiting impatiently for the "rest of the story".

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  17. And you shall have it next week, Kay, I promise. Thanks for the comment. . .

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  18. I am so excited to hear more! First, I'm hoping that you have caught your dream. But also, it makes me think that my own similar dreams might actually be realistic. More.... please..... soon....

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    1. We maintain that you must always have a daydream of something exciting out there in the future, so you hold tight to that dream, Cathy! Sometimes they really do come true.

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  19. Jackie, you can't leave us hanging in suspense like that! I was having goosebumps when I read about the July 10 closing and about to rejoince the realization of your dream...then I read the twist and turn. I hope it's the ending we hope for. It sounds and looks beautiful where you are. Oh, I can image the massive energy of the World Cup celebration. Anyway, I await the next episode of this post.

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    1. 'You did catch it. "Twists and turns" is a key phrase to the way this tale ends. More coming soon. Thanks for visiting today!

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  20. I do hope that there is an olive harvest to attend in November!

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    1. There will always be an olive harvest in Greece, that is for sure Nancie! And from the stories we were told, it sounds like a ton of hard work but equally a ton of fun!

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  21. How exciting! Congratulations to the two of you, Jackie. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the story -- and all the following ones of your time spent there in the future.

    That must have been quite something having to find out where and how to do all those things. It reminded me of when we we moved here from Australia four years ago. And in this case, we had no language problem. Even so, the problem is that they often do things in a different way. And by the way, do they do the paperwork for you in English?

    I must mention Kalamata, and it's not because of the olives. I might have told you on some other occasion that back in Sydney, we used to buy Kalamata figs, which were very special because they were light coloured and just semi dried. Watch out for the ones in cellophane, tied with a yellow ribbon. They're delicious... as long as you like figs, of course.

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    1. Yes and no to your question about translation Andrew. Our tax ID number is one a totally incomprehensible paper - I know which is the number and I know it was signed and stamped - therefore it is real. And I can totally appreciate your observation that language isn't really the difficulty it is just doing things in a different way. . .what a learning curve! Oh and we did get a chance to taste those figs and I am SO hooked on them. We had some 'homemade' ones at a friends and they were sprinkled with oregano - I'd never have thought of that as being compatible.

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    2. Glad you managed it all, Jackie... and that you found the figs!

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  22. Oh no, I am on pins and needles and it is only Monday!!!

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    1. Thanks much for your visit, Heather. Especially when you must still be busy settling in to your new place. Look forward to reading more about it!!!

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  23. I am glad to hear that your dreams became reality - sol jealous!

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  24. Welcome back and congratulations! What a way to make your dream come true and such an ideal setting too. Looking forward to reading more about your new home. Thanks for the inspiration and reminder that it may take awhile but dreams do have a way of coming true.

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