Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Afternoon on the Arabian Sea

It is mid-afternoon on a December Wednesday.  The navigation map on our television tells us that we are beyond the mid-point in crossing the Arabian Sea; our ship, Celebrity Constellation is closer now to India than Oman.

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Our deck and view of the Arabian Sea
If you are a regular here you know that we set out last week to stretch our comfort zones by taking a cruise that began in Abu Dhabi and will end 10 days from now in the same Emirate.  I often get so ‘taken’ with the places we visit that I drop you right into the location and then many of you ask how we even got here from our rural village in the Greek Peloponnese.  So, today, as the song lyrics say, “Let’s start at the very beginning. . .”

Getting There. . .

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Our flight from Athens to Abu Dhabi
We’ve not – aside from a few cruise ports of call in the region a few years ago – traveled much in this area of the world. The Scout  had to figure out the airline we’d use as well as where we would stay until boarding the ship (we usually arrive a day early ‘just in case. . .’ and that also gives us time to explore the area a bit.)

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Arriving in Abu Dhabi we took a bus to the gate 
We flew from Athens to Abu Dhabi, a 4 hour 20 minute flight, on Abu Dhabi’s flagship airline, Etihad. There’s a daily flight between the two airports. With a two hour time difference between the two cities, our early afternoon flight got us there in the evening.

The aircraft, an Airbus 320 had comfortable seating in the economy section.  The meal (no extra cost) was one of the best we’ve had on an airline in a long time. I chose the chicken – very tender and moist.

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My meal - Etihad Airlines
Yes, that is white wine in my glass above – also free if charge.  And I sipped it while flying over Saudi Arabia (the idea of which still feels real exotic to me) and I chuckled at the fact that I was getting caught up on one of my favorite U.S. television shows, Criminal Minds, while doing so!

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Movies and television shows were available on individual screens
Maybe this exotic adventure wasn’t going to be so exotic after all!

Arriving Abu Dhabi

Entering the Emirate was simple, there were no lines at immigration. They took a photo of us as part of the entry process – slick, smooth and easy. And yes, everyone speaks English!

We had received -- several weeks prior to our departure -- a letter from the cruise line and one from the travel agency where we had booked the cruise warning us about bringing drugs –  the prescription kind – into the UAE. They are strict and e prescription drugs have a protocol set out for review and approval. We were nervous that our over-the-counter vitamins and cholesterol drugs might raise eyebrows so I had them in original containers in the carryon bag and brought only the number of pills we will consume while traveling . . .and no one even mentioned drugs!!

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Marriott downtown Abu Dhabi
We were each allowed to bring a bottle of alcohol into the country (in our checked bags) and that is the same amount allowed to be brought on board by the cruise line.  We had no problem bringing two bottles of wine. However, it was readily available at the many bars that were found inside our hotel, the downtown Marriott.

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Our Junior Suite - bigger than The Stone House on the Hill
Those customer loyalty programs do pay off!  We’ve stayed loyal to the Marriott brand and have finally reached a level where the benefits can be startling, like being upgraded to a junior suite in Abu Dhabi (we could have entertained far more guests here than our home in Greece.)

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A room with a view - Marriott Abu Dhabi
The morning after our arrival we opened our curtains to this view of the city - ceiling to floor windows that gave us a window on Abu Dhabi. But we were ready to explore further and had one day in which to do it! Next time I’ll show you some of the city’s magic. . .and believe me there is plenty of magic in this part of the world!

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Grand Mosque - Abu Dhabi
Thanks for being with us today ~ as always we are thankful for the time your spending reading our blog! We’ll be back soon with more Middle East tales and hope you’ll join us.
We are linking up this week with:

hrough My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Wordless Wednesday
Communal Global
Best of Weekend

Friday, November 30, 2018

Setting Sail on the Arabian Sea

'Bizarre travel plans are dancing lessons from God.'
                                   --Kurt Vonnegut

If that is the case, then it is time to put on the dancing shoes!

We are going on a cruise next week. Admittedly, that in itself isn’t anything too out-of-the-ordinary but the routing may strike some of you as a bit bizarre: we are cruising in the Middle East.

We had booked a similar cruise back in 2016 but got lazy and switched to cruise closer to our Greek home. We flew to Rome and sailed to Athens. But this year it is time to stretch our comfort zones.  We'll fly from our gateway airport, Athens, on Etihad Airlines, (national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) ) to. . .

Abu Dhabi

Just let that roll off your tongue: Ahh-Boo Daah-BEE. Reminiscent of the mid-century cartoon character Fred Flintstone’s call of Yabba-Dabba-Doo, just saying Abu Dhabi makes me smile!
Abu Dhabi, with a population of 1.8 million in 2016, is the capital and the second most populous city of the United Arab Emirates. It is capital of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the largest of the UAE seven emirates. This modern city can trace its history back to around 3000 B.C.

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Celebrity Constellation will be our home at sea

In doing our pre-trip research we read that Abu Dhabi has a 'more distinct Arabian ambiance' than nearby Dubai.  We’ve given ourselves an extra day prior to the cruise to do some exploring on our own. I’ll let you know if we agree with the claims of more Arabian ambiance or not after we’ve had a chance to experience both.

We’ll board an old favorite ship while in Abu Dhabi, Celebrity's Constellation (or ‘Connie’ as many former cruisers like to call her.) She’s been refurbished since we last sailed on her in 2016, so in many ways it will be like being on a ship that is new to us.

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Store display at the Dubai Airport

Dubai

When we set sail on the Persian Gulf  we’ll be heading for Dubai, the modern city that travelers who've been there tell us we’ll likely hate or love. There seems to be no in between for this ultra sleek neighbor only 93 land miles away from Abu Dhabi.
Dubai, with 3.14 million population this year,  is the largest and most populous city in the United Arab Emirates.  It is the capital of the Emirate of Dubai.

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We have booked a balcony room again as we don't want to miss any sights 

Up until a few weeks ago I have to admit the only thing that came to mind when I thought of ‘Persian Gulf’, was Operation Desert Shield, the war of the early 1990’s. Back then this part of the world was in such conflict that I didn't think we would ever -- in this lifetime -- travel here. So the idea of actually sailing on the Persian Gulf has me dancing a happy dance.

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Sea days are one of our favorite parts of cruiseing
One of our favorite parts of cruising are those lazy days at sea. With the call of the sun, sea, and a good book we easily laze away our afternoons at poolside. Mornings will be spent in the ship’s gym as we are both missing our workout routines we had back in the States so it is high on our list of sea-day activities!

We’ll have three of those carefree days as we cross the Arabian Sea heading to . .

India

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Fishing nets at Cochin, India

Our introduction to India was aboard a cruise ship four years ago. We are delighted to be revisiting two of the ports we visited then, Cochin and Mumbai, as well as adding Goa and Mangalore to the list on this cruise.  It will be a rapid-fire tour of the four as we have only one day in each port, but we’ve always considered cruising to be the appetizer of travel: we get a taste and if we like it we go back for a larger serving at a later date.

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Holy man at a temple - Mumbai, India

We’ll have a couple more sea days to rest up from our travels in India then make a stop in

Oman

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Covered from top to bottom and with bare feet I could enter the mosque

This time we’ll be heading to Muscat instead of Salalah as we did on an earlier cruise.  I have to tell you that when I talk of stretching one’s comfort zone, this is a place where we did just that!  It was hot – an intensity of heat that finally gave reality to the phrase white heat. It hurt it was so hot. And it was definitely a different culture and way of life. So much so, that we are eager to have another look at another city and see if we have the same reaction as last time.

Then we’ll sail back to Abu Dhabi and after a night on board the ship there, fly back to Greece just in the nick of time to celebrate Christmas here.

We are eager to expand our explorations of the world and this itinerary is an intoxicating blend of Arabian Nights, Lawrence of Arabia and Jewel in the Crown, don’t you think?

Again thanks for the time you spent with us today and we hope you’ll come back for more tales of travel. We’ll be back next week – hope you will as well! Until then, safe and happy travels to you and yours ~

Linking up this week with:
Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Wordless Wednesday
Communal Global
Best of Weekend

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Greek Expat life ~ The Week of Thanks-giving

Thanksgiving Day comes by statute, once a year;
to the honest man, it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.

       --Edward Sandford Martin, American journalist/editor early 1900’s

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The Stone House on the Hill - Peloponnese, Greece
Being American ex pats living in the Greek Peloponnese we are often asked how we – or if we - celebrate Thanksgiving. The American one that is; the one celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.

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Thanksgiving 2016
This Thanksgiving will be our third in Greece. 

In the two previous years we’ve joined with other American ex pats for home-cooked meals with a lineup of tasty dishes similar to those served back in the States. 

Here, since we are hours ahead of the United States, we don’t start the holiday by flipping on the television to watch Macy’s Thanksgiving parade wind through New York City; the opening act for American-style football which provides the rest of the day’s entertainment. 

(For those who missed earlier posts about our lifestyle, we don’t have a television. Even if we did, football games, if we could get American feeds, would have a kickoff between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. our time.)
  
Without Thanksgiving television traditions our celebrations with fellow American ex pats here have been centered on comradery and conversation – either tales of past Thanksgivings or tales of ex pat life -- while feasting away on what is a regular weekday for our Greek neighbors and friends.

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Autumn task of making olive twig bundles for the fireplace
Tuesday afternoon while I was busy with my autumn chore of making fire-starter bundles for our fireplace from twigs of olive branches, I was thinking of my friends in the States who’d likely be cooking, traveling or decorating at a frantic pace in preparation of Thanksgiving Thursday. I suspect there is quite a contrast between my activity level and theirs.

Then Wednesday morning instead of racing between kitchen and grocery store as I would have been doing in the US life, we went for a stroll through the old part of our nearby village, Kardamyli, and surrounding olive groves.  The most cooking I did was to start a pot of soup for the evening meal.

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A view of ancient Kardamyli
Holidays specific to the U.S. such as our Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Thanksgiving call out for celebration as they are so ingrained in our habits and culture. I can almost hear my father asking, “It would be pretty peculiar not to celebrate it, wouldn’t it?”  

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Ancient Kardamyli
Yet, when the rest of our New World is going about its regular and routine business, it does seem a bit. . . well, peculiar, using my dad’s word, to be going about a celebration started in America in 1621 by pilgrims who were giving thanks for the blessings of the harvest in their New World.

U.S. President Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving, the fourth Thursday in November
a national holiday back in 1863. 

While researching this post I found a number of countries that have their own celebrations of  Thanksgiving including Canada (second Monday of October), Germany, Japan, Korea and Liberia. The latter, Liberia, a tiny country on the West African coast, was settled by freed slaves 1820’s – 1865 and it is thought they brought the American custom of a Thanksgiving celebration with them to the new country they founded.  

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Stathi, the owner, makes dinner at the Pigi Taverna a feast any night
When you think about it, we feast quite often in Greece. An ordinary dinner eaten at one of our local tavernas is usually a feast and when gathered with friends, it always seems somewhat a celebration.  It gives rise to the idea, as the opening quote in this post suggests, that  a day of thanks giving need not be limited to a single day around these parts -- nor do feasts and celebrations.

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British and American ex pats celebrate Easter 2018
While the Greeks don’t have a specific day labeled as Thanksgiving, they do have a word that sums it up:
Thayer's Greek Lexicon:

eucharisteō
1) to be grateful, feel thankful
2) give thanks

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An autumn sunset from The Stone House on the Hill
This year we are doing it differently. No planned ex pat gatherings. No home cooked meals. Frankly, we don’t know where or what we will eat on ‘Thanksgiving’ Thursday. The unknown destination  and undecided route are among the joys of 'living differently'. (We do know it is supposed to be sunny and 70F-degrees, however!)

If you are among those celebrating the American Thanksgiving we send good wishes to you for a happy holiday and hope you are surrounded by family and friends!

There is also no better time than Thanksgiving to give thanks to all of you who’ve taken the time to read our tales.  We are so pleased we’ve gotten to know so many of you and look forward to meeting even more of you as our travel paths cross.

Wishes for continued safe and happy travels to you all. See you back here next week!

Linking up with:
Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Wordless Wednesday
Communal Global
Best of Weekend



Friday, November 16, 2018

All Who Wander (Wonder) Are Not Lost. . .

'All who wander are not lost.'
          -- J. R. R. Tolkien 

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Greek islands in the sun - roads to wander
And I believe all who wonder are not confused. They are likely – in both cases of wonder/wander – simply expats like us with enough time on their hands to indulge in such past times.

Wander – to move in a leisurely, casual way
Wonder – desire to be curious or to know something

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The path to Mystras
We’ve been doing a bit of both this fall and in thinking about it, we’ve not been alone in pursuing wanders and wonders. Within our small circle of expat American friends here – all of boomer age -- we have a couple who celebrated a birthday by spending a week wandering the backroads of Tuscany on their own. Another duo is off on an Arctic Circle cruise and exploring Northern Europe. Yet another couple has left this week for Egypt.

‘Little by little, one travels far.'
        --- J.R.R. Tolkien

Like us, they recognize that this chosen lifestyle is a launch pad to new adventures on this side of the Atlantic.  Flights to new destinations in other countries take a matter of hours instead of days; the costs of such flights are affordable.

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Wacky, windy roads in the Peloponnese
For closer to home trips we head out on the wacky, windy roads that make up the Peloponnese or board Greek ferries to explore the many islands that make up this new adopted country of ours.

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Hopping a Greek ferry - a favorite wander
All of us retired boomers have the time to wander and wonder but actually giving ourselves permission to do it seems somehow tied to expat life.

Often times wonder and wander are what we discuss when ex pats gather for long-leisurely coffee klatches, a drink at sunset or meals together.

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Wine and wonder-lust/wanderlust
It was over breakfast recently that a fellow expat chuckled as she said she’d spent the better part of a Saturday reading up on the Amendments to the American Constitution.  “I’d probably have never done that back in the States, but I did over here.”

Today I wandered away from writing this post to research J.R.R. Tolkien after I came across a few quotes of his to use in it.  I wondered why I hadn’t read more by him before. This Englishman, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, best known for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, was not only a writer but poet and philosopher and a university professor.

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Roads to wander in the Greek Peloponnese
'It is not the strength of the body that counts, but the strength of the spirit.’
                      -- J. R. R. Tolkien

Don’t get me wrong, we expats still have plenty of daily chores to do and sometimes living in a foreign land makes for even more chores than had we continued our comfortable lives back home.  (Sometimes those chores make us  ‘wonder’ why we wanted to ‘live differently’ in the first place.)

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A garbage stop is a routine chore around our village
Yet, there’s no one among the expats we know that hasn’t recognized the fact that someday the adventure will likely end or at least change: ages, health (mental and physical), and even Greek ex pat requirements may require us all to change our approach to ‘living differently’.  But until then, we’ll continue our wonders and wanders.

'All we have to decide is
what to do with the time given us.'
        -- J.R.R. Tolkien

That’s it for this week from The Stone House on the Hill.  For those back in the States we wish you a happy Thanksgiving week and to all of you, our thanks for the time you’ve spent with us.

We sincerely hope your future wonders and wanders take you to some delightful places. We’ll be back next week ~ hope you will be here as well!

Linking up this week with:
Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Wordless Wednesday
Communal Global
Travel Photo Thursday – 
Best of Weekend

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Athens ~ a bit of grit and a bit of glam

“Travel and change of place impart a new vigor to the mind.”
                                        -- Seneca

The quote above reminds me that it is time to get back to writing about travel, the topic that gave birth to this blog in the first place.

It seems we focused most of the last year – with a few carefree intervals – on downsizing our life and shifting residences from one continent to another. While it’s been an amazing process it has cut into travel. . .the kind that provides new adventures and packing suitcases, not moving boxes.

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Acropolis from the Electra Palace Hotel roof bar/restaurant
Now that we are settled on both sides of the Atlantic, it is time to hit the road again on this side ‘of the pond’. Luckily a couple of travel-enthused friends from Canada gave us the nudge we needed to pack the bags and head to Athens for a rendezvous with them last week.

Getting to Athens from our house can be done in a number of ways. In summer season, there are flights between Kalamata and Athens, but this time of year you either drive, take the public bus or hire a shuttle. We set out on the 3.5 hour road trip in our trusty Hi, Ho Silver, our Toyota RAV.

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Traffic jams were routine in downtown Athens
Since neither of us like downtown Athens traffic – The Scout is the driver and I am the navigator -- we park at the Airport, (some 33km or 20.5 miles out of town) and take the airport shuttle bus to the heart of the city. We get in a bit of sightseeing while someone else does the driving.  Traffic on the weekday afternoon we arrived was bumper-to-bumper – it took the shuttle bus twice the normal time to get us into the heart of the city.

Athens, capital of Greece, had a population of 4.1 million at last count in 2012.

Since we moved to Greece we have been guilty of treating this town as being one from where we depart its airport and return to pick up our car. As other travel enthusiast friends commented, “Once you’ve seen the sights (Acropolis, for instance) what else is there to do?”

Well, let me tell you with only the three days we had in this city we didn’t have time to do all that we could have, which means we’ll just have to return there again – hopefully soon! And we didn't even get to any of those famous sites!

A Bit of Grit and a Bit of Glam

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Big cities and graffiti seem to go hand-in-hand
Like all big cities Athens has a gritty side.  Graffiti and street people. However we saw similar amounts of graffiti in Rome and Lisbon  - if not more - and far more homeless sleeping on sidewalks in Honolulu than we did in Athens.

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Street art is taking over graffiti scenes
As for that graffiti. Some wise city folks are working to turn that destructive art into an attraction by encouraging street art. An enterprising street artist named Sophia now leads street art walking tours. But it is really quite easy to find many examples by strolling the streets on your own as we did.

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Spotted a couple blocks from Syntagma Square

Athens is the UNESCO World Book Capital 2018 and has put together a year-long program of events celebrating the written word.

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High-end shops line the boulevards of Athens

Window shopping kept us entertained as we strolled the areas surrounding Syntagma Square. We are talking high end shops. . .Paris’s Champs Elysees had better take note – this place just might offer a bit more glam these days than do the storefronts along that famous Paris boulevard!

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The decade's old  Zonar's CafĂ© between Syntagma and Kolonaki district
Much like Paris, there’s no end to sidewalk cafes – perfect spots to spend a couple of hours in contemplation, conversation or people watching.

Athens at more than 4,000 years of age claims it is the birthplace of Democracy, Philosophy, Theatre, Music and Poetry.

It is when the sun goes down that Athens comes to life – restaurants, cafes, coffee shops and bars were filled and the pedestrian streets were crowded with shoppers and those out for their evening stroll.

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Spotted on Ermou Street near our hotel
We followed the advice of another traveling friend (and the Michelin 2018 guide) and dined one night at 2 Mazi in the Plaka district, an easy four blocks from Syntagma Square.  The food and wine pairing was perfect, a distinctly modern touch to Greek favorites. We’ll be recommending it to all who visit Athens in the near future.

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2 Mazi is worth a visit
Several places where we tried to have a glass of wine, were completely booked and required reservations. I’m no longer worried about Athens being able to recover from the economic collapse a decade ago. She’s back and maybe better than ever.

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You'll need a reservation here 
It seemed we barely touched the surface of all that Athens has to offer. We certainly made note of some places that will tempt us on a future trip. Maybe next time we’ll bring some fancy ‘big city’ clothes and dine at the King George Hotel. . .instead of just walking through it as we did this trip.

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King George Hotel restaurant
And we’ll make it a point to check out the performing arts. . .especially after having happened upon this performance as we walked past a theatre one afternoon.

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Not all dancing is to Zorba's theme song in Greece
We divided our stay between two of the three Electra Hotels that are located within walking distance of Syntagma Square. This Greek hotel chain (with one property in Thessaloniki as well) has developed their properties so each has a rooftop deck with enclosed space and open air seating for drinking and/or dining. . .and breakfast buffets are included in the room price.

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Breakfast with a view at the Electra Hotel
After this 'taster trip'  I’d had a plan to come back and see the city decked out at Christmas, but you know The Scout and The Scribe can be unpredictable when it comes to travel. Our plans changed just yesterday.  I’ll tell you more about our upcoming December travel adventure soon -- for now just know it is set in the Middle East!!

Thanks for your time and we look forward to having you back with us again next week when we’ll take you on another Peloponnese road trip to a destination we haven’t yet decided upon yet. But I know we are going somewhere! (Isn’t that a great way to travel? Or do you need to have your travel plans set out in advance? Let us know in the comment section or shoot us an email – as always we love hearing from you!)

Linking up this week with:
Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Wordless Wednesday
Communal Global
Travel Photo Thursday – 
Best of Weekend




Friday, October 19, 2018

The new chapter begins: Life at the Lake

“Life is not just the passing of time. Life is the collection of experiences and their intensity.”
                                                    -- Jim Rohn

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River walk downtown Chelan, Washington
It isn't so much about the travel as it is about the time spent in a place. And it isn’t as much about the place as the people who make up your world. Travel, time spent, people and place all contribute to our collection of experiences.

These aren’t new insights for us, but they’ve come to mind often during the month that we’ve spent in the U.S. Pacific Northwest.

In the last couple posts about the purpose of this trip – to replant our roots in the U.S. -- I’ve been focused on the 'facts and figures' of ex pat life - making a case for having a foothold 'back home'. Truth be told, though, there's an emotional side to the story as well:

P1090306 This October has been an almost mirrored reversal of our activities last  October when we boxed up our U.S. life and moved to Greece for a full-time ex pat adventure.

Back then we put our U.S. life, in a manner of speaking, into a storage unit; a place we quickly came to call ‘the morgue’. (You can probably see why from the photo). Coupled with our downsizing efforts, it became a  climate-controlled somewhat morbid reminder that we are boomers who have a much shorter road ahead of us to travel than we once did.

While we were eager to pursue our daydreams – a pursuit we heartily recommend – leaving one life for another does pack a wallop of emotions. Closing one door to open another can be tough.

Opening Another New Door

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Wapato Point Lake Chelan, Washington State
But in our case, by closing a door we've opened two new ones! We are now at home in Greece most of the year and at home – for a bit of time each year  -- in Manson, Washington. The door has closed permanently on the ‘morgue’ and we’ve got a whole new lifestyle to live.

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Lake Chelan from The Butte, Washington State
The weeks we spent moving into this new lifestyle had been a good reminder of how blessed we are to have special people at both ends of our horizons.  Long-time friends, those we refer to as our 'friend family' back in the U.S. welcomed us with get-togethers, offers of accommodations and help with moving chores. We had others make the trek to Manson to welcome us to our new life there.

Meanwhile back in Greece we had a cadre of relatively new friends who've become equally special to us, who stepped in to keep an eye on our life there. We were extremely grateful to them and their efforts when the ‘Medicane’ (Mediterranean hurricane) hit our area of the Peloponnese only days after we arrived in the U.S.

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"Life is the collection of experiences" and friendships

”Time is not measured by the passing of years but by what one does, what one feels and what one achieves.”
                                     -- Jawaharlal Nehru

Life at the Lake

There is no doubt about it, we will again be 'living differently' as we plant our roots in both a Greek hillside and a small village in Washington State. While we are eager to return to our Stone House on the Hill, it is good knowing we also have a Life at the Lake.

I promised you a home tour last week so come, take a look at what we've been doing the last few weeks to create that new life:

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The Scout on the front deck - sunset over the Cascade Mountains
We are as settled as one can be after three weeks. Thirteen days after the moving van had pulled away, we emptied our last box. (Our downsizing had worked – we were surprised to have a number of empty cupboards and shelves.) The walls seem rather bare.

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Shelves and not boxes are much better displays of memories
This home – in keeping with our downsizing emphasis – is smaller than our Kirkland home yet it is larger than our Greek home.  It is also a 'boomer home' a rambler built one level. As a result, it feels very spacious. In fact, it feels downright enormous!

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The amazing change - old things do fit in new places
The Manson house is furnished with many inherited items belonging to parents, aunts, uncles and friends who are no longer with us. Others, like the items on the built in shelves, were collected on our travels. All of these were considered ‘life treasures’ and spared the discard or give-away down-sizing efforts last year. Now they’ve come together in new spaces so we have a wonderful hodge-podge of  mis-matched furniture and memories of  people and places; our collection of life experiences.

“Learn to appreciate what you have, before time makes you appreciate what you had.'”
                                                          -- Unknown

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Guest bedroom is ready to welcome friends
We’ve got a guest room and the welcome mat is out.  There are more than 30 wineries and vineyards now in the Lake Chelan AVA so we hope our wine-loving, lake-loving friends will make the journey to see us while we are in residence.

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Using those Greek 'do-it-yourself-' talents we've developed to make our bed
We used some of those skills we’ve developed in Greece to set up the master bedroom. We'd discarded our bedroom furnishings last fall. Using those 'do-it-yourself-skills' we've developed in Greece we met the challenge of assembling an iron bed frame. By downsizing, old pieces got new homes. The rattan furniture in the photo had been in our family room and with no family room now, it went to the bedroom. It was souvenir we bought ourselves and had shipped to the U.S. from Bangkok, Thailand some 30 years ago. We are glad we didn't part with it.

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The Chelan Room - the den
A third bedroom has become a den known as the 'Chelan Room' as we’ve filled it with furniture and photos collected by The Scout’s family who came to this area a century ago.  His grandmother (who may have provided his travel genes) traveled by ferry boat up the Columbia River to arrive in Chelan. For those familiar with the area, they homesteaded an area now home to Bear Mountain Golf Course.

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Washington State's Columbia River
“. . .your soul knows when it is time to close a chapter. . .’
                              -- Unknown

While the quote is apropos, we think the soul also knows when it is time to start a new one. Thanks for being with us as this chapter begins.

As always we appreciate the time you spend with us and we’ve also appreciated all your comments cheering us along in this new twist to the journey.

Safe travels to you and yours and next week - if our travels go according to plan - we’ll be writing from The Stone House on the Hill!

Linking with:
Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Wordless Wednesday
Communal Global
Travel Photo Thursday – 
Best of Weekend

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