Thursday, April 27, 2006

c'est la balle!

sometime after the vienna trip, but before the sweeneys arrived, lucas said his first word! "ball". It is so cute, and he says it not only when theres a ball nearby, but also when he's excited about anything. We think it's just great that this word is both English and French at the same time, and philippe says "c'est la balle!" means something is really top notch.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

the sweeney visit

caldera at night
tricia and kilian came friday starting the greek holy week. the first thing we did saturday was to pass through the monastiraki markets before we headed into ancient greece.. the ancient forum and the acropolis. after that we walked through anafiotika and plaka, had dinner in a rooftop taverna. sunday we went through kolonaki and then up to the top of lykavittos hill. and lucas fell in love with our friends, they were very easy around the baby and practically best buddies the whole time. warm as family.

on monday, we woke up before the chickens to catch our fast ferry to santorini. when we arrived at noon, we picked up our rental car and headed off to the hotel. i dunno what did it, but maybe the rocking of the ferry and then the narrow winding roads with philippe still adjusting to the new clutch, i got woozy. i was okay after we stopped so i could sit on solid earth, and breathe a couple a deep breaths. once we got to our hotel, we ran out on to the balcony to see the "beautiful caldeira view",, and it was that. just as gorgeous as all the postcards. santorini is an island that was made from a blasted out volcano in the mediterannean, and it uhas many different strata in the rock. from many eruptions over the past zillion years,. although its been about a hundred since the last one..

we saw in three days, not necessarily in this order: megalohori, a small village where we tasted wine and 'lost' philippe for an hour. the red rock beach, where we did some rock climbing with the stroller to get to a beautiful red and black sand beach. we took a fascinating walk through the ruins at ancient thira, above a beautiful black sand beach (where we stopped briefly in search of coffee).. on the way we found some amazing spanakopita at a bakery for a snack, and later for dinner the seafood worshippers had their enormous platter of octopus, squid and fish with heads, and our table was practically on the beach... which was very nice. oia, a spectacular little village that easily gets top billing as 'the best place to watch the sunset'. tricia and i took a very nice 20-30 minute walk at twilight from imerovigli to our hotel in firostefani. the whole walk was on the many-tiered footpath that runs between the cliffline and the houses and hotels there. so many good views, so many cute houses. every patio scene could have been a page ripped from a glossy home decoration/patio gardening book about how to decorate in greek style.

as a side note: i'll add this wonderful spanakopita recipe
it's super good, we found this in tricia's bust magazine.

mix in a big bowl:
1 lb fresh chopped spinach
1/2 lb crumbled feta cheese
4 eggs
3 cloves chopped garlic
1 finely chopped onion
olive oil, salt & pepper
fresh parsley & dill

2 sheets phyllo dough, regular pie crusts will do in a pinch.

oil up yr baking pan,
put in a sheet of dough in the bottom
dump in and spread out your spinach mixture
top it with another sheet of dough, sealing the edges
bake for an hour (375f)

lucas was such a good traveller that...
we also took a scenic drive up to ancient delphi. it was gorgeous! i was not prepared for such a treat. the weather was cooler, because we were in the mountains. the wildflowers were out in full show, and the ancient stuff was interesting. and they did a good job of illustrating how it was back when it was in use too.. something a lot of ruins are desperately lacking. we also stopped for a delicious dinner in arachova, a quaint little mountain town before heading back to athens. back in town, we caught the good friday church service where they parade around a symbolic coffin and cross and candles, went to the archaeology museum, and walked around plaka/monastiraki again before we had to start saying our goodbyes. and happy birthday to tricia!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

sweeneys in greece

while im preparing the blog blurb, go see the pix ... the much anticipated sweeney visit to athens, santorini, and ancient delphi all on ph&bb pix! and there's also april lucas pix up now.

again... with the coffee!

icelandic-germanic friends

katharina (sweet preggy!) and her husband bjorn came from iceland on the way to hydra. they were both just glowing in anticipation and we had a ball hanging out, and going on walks. and in the same time julia came too, in order to make the rounds in halkida, and visit with katty.

lucas loved having alll this attention, and really knows how to endear himself. he also got lots of really neat toys. including a pickup truck made of wooden blocks and a darling little "weisse schaff" from julia.. and an iceland tshirt and a floppy dog from katty.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


me at the hundertwasser museum.. my favorite part of the trip to vienna.

before i get started, there are a lot of new pitures up now - about 30 for march on "lucas pix" and another 50 from vienna on "ph&bb pix", make a coffee and sit down a spell... (and auntie doris: please dont hurt your neck!)

in vienna, the streets are lined with huge neoclassical buildings.. the sidewalks are smooth and wide and the curbs low which makes them perfect for strollers. the people are also polite.. something i am unaccustomed to living in greece. the sidewalks here are crowded, uneven, and motorcycles park on them.. but i digress.

the highlights of our trip were: seeing the hundertwasser haus, and kunsthaus wien (the hundertwasser museum), the secessionists (viennese art nouveau movement), amazing cathedrals and parks, long walks, the GREEN danube.. i thought it was supposed to be BLUE!.. having dinner with eric our friend from athens who just moved back to paris. lunch with manolo, this was my first time meeting manolo, a college friend of ph, what a neat guy.. i left that lunch feeling like i really met somebody special.. and on top of that the food was good. and a dinner with vincent, ... a colleague & really nice guy who has a little girl 6 months older than lucas and living in toulouse.. we met him the first time in san francisco a few years ago.. and with him we had coffee at the frauenhuber, where mozart performed in cafe society.

and we only saw krish for one hour... when they arrived in vienna they went to a museum & dinner instead of seeing us... a huge disappointment, but what can you do?

lucas is a great traveler, he was perfect the whole time and really seemed to enjoy it actually. the only hitch was that he was waking up every 2 hours at night, i guess because we were bothering him -in the same room? , or maybe he needed reassurance?, but at least he went back to sleep easily each time. he loved the austrian food, and we only lost one pacifier. Posted by Picasa