It would not be a complete travelogue if I didn’t mention that this was the most amazing birthday week of my life. I am not a huge “celebrate my birthday” person and I prefer not to note it on social media in general. That is not to say I don’t embrace my day of birth because I do like to spend the day doing things I’ve always wanted to do. When I turned fifty, it was mid-week and I took the day off work to cross off a long-time bucket list item to visit the home Edith Wharton lived in in Lenox, Massachusetts. That day was pretty cool too. But back to Greece.
Yoga for beginners
It was infertility that first attracted me to yoga many years ago. A flyer in my doctor’s office promoted a class for people struggling to get pregnant. I would have tried just about anything back then so I timidly showed up to the home-like studio with nothing but a brand new mat and worries about the myriad problems keeping me from conceiving. It was gentle and peaceful and I felt better for going but I was pretty sure it wasn’t going to help me get pregnant so I stopped going after a few sessions. I eventually became pregnant and he’s about to turn thirteen! It wasn’t easy but that’s a story for another day.
Free Time Fun in Amorgos
You might find it curious that I’m on my fifth day of blogging about a yoga retreat I attended in Greece and I have yet to mention much about the actual retreat. This would be the main event of the trip and I don’t feel equipped yet to tackle it. I’m also in Florida right now and the journal I kept for the week is in New York and it’s crucial to retelling the story. The retreat is the star of the show.
So today lets talk about the extras: what we were up to in our free time. The Spa at Aegialis was pretty darn amazing and Lana and I decided to make a visit on our second day there. I made my massage appointment for the following day and Lana was interested in trying out the silk-like ropes that were hanging over the indoor pool. One of the brochures showed a woman balancing while completing some kind of impossible (to me) acrobatic move and Lana was determined to give it a try. I volunteered to be her cheerleader and videographer. She gave it her best and I think she did pretty awesome but we found it was going to be impossible to immitate the maneuver.
Yesterday I mentioned the absolute badassery of the morning buffet at the yoga retreat, but food in general is a serious endevour for the Greeks, or at least that was my impression from my brief time there. Meals are far from the fast food culture of America where 20 to 60 minutes might go into the preparation of a meal which is then devoured in 10 minutes. Food was a celebration on this trip and meals lasted between two and three hours (except for the breakfast buffet where you could linger as long or short a time as you wanted). And Aegialis went a step beyond by growing much of their fresh produce which was offered at each meal. Continue reading “Greek Food”
On the Island
The balcony of our temporary suite
Amorgos is breathtaking. We didn’t realize the extent until we woke to the bright sunshine and gentle Aegean breeze the next morning. Having arrived in the wee hours of the morning and after taking turns showering, (there were now four of us sharing a suite until our regular rooms would be ready later that day) we selected our beds and were ready for some serious sleep. The other two girls, like us, were college friends and we were immediately comfortable in each other’s presence. We had all suffered through a long day of travel and it proved to be bonding.
Getting to Greece
On July 17th I left my family in Dewey Beach, Delaware and drove 6 hours to my home in upstate New York. I had been on the road for a week and a half, first stopping in Williamsburg, Virginia for a week at a resort we had bid on in a live auction a few months earlier (before my plans for Greece were made). There were only a few hours in between to do my laundry and pack for Greece and I was certainly cursing myself for not leaving Delaware sooner. But I wanted to squeeze every minute out of our annual family beach trip.
After a few hours of sleep, I was back on the road, this time north to Montreal. My friend and co-pilot by my side, the tune’s of XM’s Yacht Rock radio bringing us back to the memories of our youth. The three plus hour ride passed in a blink as we reminisced and talked excitedly about the trip ahead of us. There were still many hours between us and the promised views at our resort in Amorgos, Greece, one of the furthest islands from the mainland of Athens where we were flying into. It was actually closer to Turkey.
Doing hard things
Last time I had them checked, my lungs were 82 years old. I see a pulmonologist and one of their favorite things is to have you blow into a machine to test your lung function. Take a deep breath and then blow out hard. Really hard. And keep blowing until you think you are going to pass out. Repeat three times. Definitely not a favorite test of mine.
On the outside, I look completely normal, though. At least I think I do. But the truth is, I can get winded from a flight of stairs. The other truth is I like to be active. I want to go out there and capture the world, see everything there is to see and do it all too. Two weeks ago I was in the most beautiful place I have ever visited, a small Greek island surrounded by the amazingly blue Aegean sea. The beauty would take your breath away.