March 16th found us on the small island of Naxos, Cyclades Islands, Greece. Our ferry from Santorini was delayed by more than nine hours due to high winds that had raked the island for the entire time we were there. That meant that we arrived at our apartment in Naxos at around 3:00 am. So for Meg’s birthday we slept in to around 8:00. Meg had breakfast in bed partly because that’s how we celebrate her birthday, but mostly because the kitchen was in our bedroom. The kids made a mini birthday banner and showered her with gifts: komboloi, bracelet, chocolate and earrings. We spent the morning wandering the deserted streets of Hora (the main city). We strolled along the port. We unsuccessfully tried to walk across a narrow breakwater to see the unfinished temple to Apollo on the islet of Palatia, but the wind kept blowing waves over the walk path. So instead we investigated the quiet paths and sidewalks leading around the Kastro, an old Venetian fortress that is now mostly homes, shops, and ruins. Every turn of the walkways provided quaint, romantic scenes. It was enough for us to have to strike the word “quaint” from our vocabulary for several weeks. It’s everything you would expect from romantic Greek island vistas. We stopped at the town square and shared hot chocolate, lattes, and cheese pies at a local sports taverna.
After a brief nap in the afternoon, we grabbed Leah and went back to the Kastro and successfully made it out to the island where the unfinished temple to Apollo stands. The wind was still howling, but the lighting was magnificent, so we took gobs of pictures of the stormy sea. It was then that we met an elderly fisherman on the calmer harbor side of the island. We had been watching him fish in the fading light of the evening when he rowed up to us and offered to take the kids into his boat for a picture. Being the cautious parents that we are, we quickly helped our kids into his boat and said goodbye. It wasn’t until he had rowed away that we even thought to ask him his name. Takis was very kind and said that he would take them to Piraeus, about six hours away by ferry. He was great! The kids loved it. We have been so blessed by the warmth of people we have met on this trip.
Megan then got to make the call for dinner so we headed back in to the town center and ate Pizza Montreal. We figured it had to be good since it has been in business since 1962. After all, it’s even older than Megan by five years. We had a hilarious time ordering our meal. It’s a family business, and this night had grandma and grandpa cooking, daughters and husbands serving, and grandkids Emma’s age kicking soccer balls beneath our feet. And when they were unsure as to whether or not we understood them, they would repeat themselves over and over, louder and louder. We all smiled a lot, and the pizza was great! Happy Birthday Megan!
Happy Birthday Megan!