Thursday, June 28, 2018

A Year Without Greece...almost

We left Greece exactly one year ago. We are happy in Bangkok, but there's a lot to miss about Ελλάδα

Earlier this year, Phil had a work training in Frankfurt. We decided to make a brief detour back to Greece. We saw a few new things, visited some old things, and spent time with many of our friends. I've finally sorted through the photos, and thought it would be nice to mark our departure anniversary by forcing you to scroll through them. Everybody loves a vacation slideshow.

I've presented the photos with minimal captioning, due in part to the fact that I've already told you about a lot of these places, in part because I don't live there anymore so I don't feel obligated to tell you about these places, and in part because it almost physically pains me to see these places. Greece is so beautiful.

On the beach in Kantia.
George, a resident, told me that, "Everywhere else in Greece it is raining, but here the God's have an umbrella."


Poppies and olives in Argolis.

Goats on the road in Argolis.


Beautiful port town in Argolis.

Hiking to Franchthi Cave.

Franchthi Cave, first occupied in 38,000 BCE.


Coming back from the cave.


Hiking on the point near Ermioni. 

Hiking on the beautiful point near Ermioni. 

HIking on the unbelievably beautiful point near Ermioni.

Still hiking on the unbelievably beautiful point near Ermioni.

Starting to wonder what the actual town of Ermioni looks like, if this is what the point looks like, while still hiking on the unbelievably beautiful point near Ermioni.

Ermioni.

Poros island.

Temple of Poseidon on Poros island.

View from the Temple of Poseidon on Poros island. 
Still on Poros.


Still on Poros.

On or near Poros, actual location was not archived. Whoops.

On the way to Methana.

Hiking on Methana volcano. 
A shot of our unsolicited Greek farm dog guide on Methana volcano.


A portrait of a volcano, specifically Methana.

View from the top of the volcano.

View from inside the volcano.

View of the unsolicited Greek farm dog guide who rock scrambled with us all the way to the top of the volcano.
He also ran ahead of us on the way down, and made sure we got back to our car.

Dogless view from the top of Methana volcano.

Phil in front of the furnace.

Breathtaking Greece, near Methana.

Future award winning photography, probably. Also near Methana.

Rainbow over Tolo from a beach in Kantia.

Memorial shrine in Sounio.

Temple of Poseidon, Sounio.

More from Sounio.

Monastery on Mount Parnitha.

Sun in the pavement at the monastery.

Kid in a tree at the monastery.

Park of Souls, Mount Parnitha.

Hazy view of Ελλάδα on the way out of town.
We have one more year in Thailand, and a lot more to see. It's been a different post from Athens, and I will miss it differently. I wonder how long it will take after leaving here for us to come back here. This seems like an excellent opportunity for some gambling. Anyone want to start a pool?

Thursday, June 7, 2018

What's In My Jug?

Orchids!
Purple orchids!

In spite of appearances, today was a difficult orchid day. In addition to my jug bouquet, I purchased two beautiful new purple orchid plants for our balcony. We didn't need them, but I wanted them. Before I bought them, I asked The Kid if he thought we should get them. He yelled, "NO!" I bought them anyway, because what does he know.

On the way home, as I was juggling two bags of produce, two orchids, one orchid bouquet, and one kid, the kid tripped and fell. I bent over to pick him up, and snapped the orchid spikes in half. When we got home, I dejectedly stuck the broken, blooming spikes in an old Coke bottle. I went to the balcony to hang up the now-flowerless orchids, and realized my orchid dealer hadn't put on the plant hangers. I fought with a roll of fishing line for more time than I should have, and was eventually able to jerry-rig a hanger that probably won't blow away in a storm.

That's the only flower that was spared. 

They would have looked so good in the garden (though, I can't lie, I love the way they look in that bottle. It's like something you'd see in a freakin' aspirational lifestyle magazine).

After the dust settled, I held a small memorial ceremony for what could have been. 

Snapped too soon.
Gardening is hard. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Lately

Good Afternoon. I just scraped the paint off our landlord-provided coffee table with my fingernail. I didn't know that was possible. I also tripped in slow motion over a cord, fell down, and pulled my laptop to the ground. I'm just sitting on the couch now. Sitting and typing. Nothing else is going to happen, right?

It's been a while since we've told you about everyday life, so let's have another "Lately." We'll start by updating you on the Christmas Card Challenge, which has been humming along nicely since our interference (See: HERE).

It's delightful to wake up in the morning, and see a bunch of your cards on the floor. 

Yesterday, we received another Christmas card. It managed to evade the post office for six months. For fairness sake, it's probably too late to include it in the Challenge. What a bummer. An unintentional June Christmas card is a real feat.

Here's what's been going on lately, broken down by category, and in no particular order.


Events We've Celebrated:

  • The Kid's birthday.
  • My birthday.
  • Finally finding something to give Phil for his birthday (which is upcoming).
  • Our anniversary.

Phil gave me this German gummy hamburger as an anniversary present. I hid it on a high shelf, and just remembered that it's still up there. I pulled it down, and took a bite out of it. Now I want a meat hamburger.

Food We've Eaten:

  • Mangosteen
I have a hard time describing this fruit. It's very, very good. It's both sweet and tart. It's sort of a grapey mango nectarine texture. 

  • Snickers Oats
It was a lot for one candy bar. Peanut butter and peanuts and nougat and oats and caramel.

  • Thai donuts
They tasted like deep fried vanilla cake. They were so good, but so rich. 

  • Rambutan
It's a koosh ball on the outside with a big, mild grapey thing inside.

  • Pad See Ew (or phat-si-io, or pad siew, or ผัดซีอิ๊ว)
I purchased this from a place that was listed in the New York Times as one of the best places for street food in Bangkok. Three different people sent me the link. I felt obligated, but it was in the New York Times for a reason. Yum. 

  • Disappointing Watermelon Popsicle
I was so full of hope when Phil took this photo. I thought it was going to be exactly like the Pirulo popsicles I loved in Greece. This was much, much sweeter. Sad.


Things We Saw:


  • A pretty place to walk

There's a path between Benjakitti Park and Lumphini Park. There's a lot to see on either side. This mosque was to our left.

These flags were to our right.

  • An extremely accessible and active construction site
The Kid would really want me to show you this. That's the Golden Mount (Wat Saket) in the background. I have more photos of that, for another day.

  • Big, lounging monitor lizard
My initial reaction is always, "ALLIGATOR!!!!"

  • New money
Rama 10, the current monarch, is on top, and Rama 9, the late king, is on bottom.

  • A really expensive Bangkok sky bar
That blue thing dangling above the trees is Dinner in the Sky. It's a popular thing in a lot of cities. They feed you nice food while you're strapped into a rollercoaster-like chair, and suspended on a platform by a crane.

  • Songkran (Thai New Year)
This is just a photo of decorations. My phone was encased in a waterproof plastic holder for most of the holiday, because I didn't want it to get sprayed by passersby. Songkran is essentially a nationwide water fight. It's delightful. I'll tell you more about it sometime, because I really dig it.


Things We Did:
  • Went to Lumphini Park (not pictured yet)
  • Went to the Grand Palace (not pictured...yet)
  • Found a wonderful bakery (not pictured, okay?)
  • Visited Golden Mountain (not pictured/get off my back)
  • Went to a national park (" ")
  • Traveled to Phuket and Khao Lak (" ")
  • Family-wide haircuts
Here's Phil's. He hated it, and went over it again later with his clippers. Mine is probably pictured somewhere. I love it. I haven't cut my hair this short since high school. The Kid got his very first haircut. It was traumatic, for me. We went to one of those kid haircut places where they sit in airplanes and watch TV. Because Thailand is a highly service-oriented culture, there was another person in additional to the stylist whose entire job was to distract The Kid.

  • Garden rescue
My hibiscus plants looked terrible, so I moved them into bigger pots. I spent three times as much for the soil and pots as I did for all three of the plants combined. It was not worth it financially, but it's the principle of the thing.*

*you hear this a lot when somebody's suing someone else. "It's the principle of the thing!" Which, to attorneys, means $$$$$billable hours$$$$$

Look at these poor suffering creatures. They've been doing exponentially better, though the aphids have hit them again hard this past week. Stupid aphids. 

Weather We Watched:


  • This is just a way to justify my extensive collection of cloud pictures.







Misc. Bella:

She's still neurotic and thriving.

Look what she's reading!

Unposed, I swear.

I can't remember why she was giving me this look, but it was definitely a look. I didn't just catch her at a weird angle.
More later, as always, in perpetuity.