Green countryside, wonderful pen friends and Culinary delight in France

Leaving Crete was quite sad for me, so having three days in France was one of the best ways to leave. When searching for flights many months ago, I was excited to find a very cheap charter flight on Transavia airlines direct to Paris from Crete. Getting to London was cheaper via Paris with the train to London, than flying directly there.

imageI have a pen friend in France called Eric Marmot, we have written to each other for many years and have lived quite parallel timelines of life events. We are a similar age, he and his lovely wife Annick were married the same year as us, Annick and Eric visited us in Australia during their honeymoon, their oldest daughter Joanna was born the same month as Yasi and Toby, and their youngest child Tomas was born a month or so after Kalika. We don’t write all that often now due to busy family lives, but we keep in contact. I was really excited when Eric invited us to stay with him whilst visiting Paris. imageThey live in a stunning country home about an hour out of Paris in beautiful French countryside. Starkly different to Crete. There were rolling green meadows, flat and very fertile farmland, thick forest with tall trees and lush green lawn. I was ever so pleased that despite the challenges of languages our kids were friends instantly. Ours hadn’t seen a trampoline for 15 months, and played on it nonstop.

imageTomas was a great soccer player and that kept he, Toby and Emilio amused for hours while we sat on the patio in glorious sunshine sipping French champagne and devouring delicious French cheeses. imageAs I was helping myself to more and more cheese Sandy said to me, “I’ll love you whatever size you are” – I didn’t quite know how to take that!
Annick and Eric were incredibly relaxed and accommodating despite the imposition of 7 bodies and numerous bags in their 3 bedroom home. Staying with them was a culinary delight.

They are amazing cooks, incredibly calm and love filled parents and as champagne connoisseurs we sampled some ‘real’ champagnes accompanied by cheeses and breads that make your mouth water to think about. The kids thought all their Christmases had come at once when they were served chocolate milk and THE most amazing chocolate croissants for breakfast each morning. The calmness of Eric Annick and their child’s ( and possibly the late nights) meant all our kids slept in until about 9 am – unheard of!
imageA wonderful tradition that I will take away is that of ‘apperol’? When dinner is almost a ready, spending 1/2 an hour drinking champagne with delicious nibbles.
I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart for an amazing 3 days together.


I am not someone who loves to drive, I had heard many stories about the difficulty of driving in France, so we wanted to catch trains. Since we have such a large family, train travel in western countries can be mega expensive if not a little slow, not to mention lugging big bags with kids in tow. Once we googled train prices we found it would be half the price to have a car for the 3 days we were there. So we made a deal; Sandy ‘the calm driver that she is’ was to tackle France. And I would drive in England. She was amazing despite crazy motorcyclists and mergings from all around. imageOn the morning we left Paris, we took a wrong turn of the Peripherique (ring road) looking for a petrol station to fill the rental car on our way to Gare du Nord, and before us loomed the Arch de Triumph. This is a major unmarked perhaps 10 Lane roundabout that many rental companies will not insure you to use. She manoeuvred her way around this driving challenge without even getting stuck, and then we found a petrol station with toilet (we were all absolutely busting after 2 hours in the car in busy traffic) and proceeded to tour past the Moulin Rouge to the train station – with all the pent up energy ending with a slight family meltdown. Needless to say we purchased more chocolate croissants for the train trip under the channel and made it to the train with literally a minute to spare!
One of my favourite moments in France was when we were in the car waiting for Sandy and the big girls to return from their One Direction concert (at 1 am), Kalika and Yasi were so excited. Yasi gave me the biggest hug and said ‘Thanks baba, you’ve made all my dreams come true’. It was priceless.

By Baba Miliking


Yasmina’s blog 21/6/14

imageWhen we got to France my first impression of Paris was that it was very beautiful and green – when we were in the sky we saw the Eiffel Tower.
When we got to our friends’ home, which was hard to find, they were very welcoming and very nice. There were lots of flowers to be seen and it was a very nice home. It had a big back yard with a trampoline and swings.
Next door there was stables for horses and they were very beautiful horses.
The mum is called Annick and Eric is the dad. Their two kids Joanna and Thomas were very nice and playful. It was fun staying with them.

imageI got tickets for my birthday to see a One Direction concert – it was awesome and deafening. I went with my sister Kalika and my mum. The gates opened at 4.30pm but One Direction came on at 8pm. At 6.50pm there was a support band and they were really wild – they jumped up and down on stage all the time and one of them was wearing a ball gown. imageI was very glad when One Direction came on – it was so awesome how they just ran on stage and started singing before you even knew it. The first song was ‘Midnight memories’ and then after the first song the boys were talking for about 10 minutes about how much all the supporters have done for them over the last four years. imageEvery time they spoke a word of French the crowd went wild. They sang lots and lots of songs – my favourite was “Little things’. It was funny when Liam and Nile were singing in ‘Little things’ – the crowd went really crazy. I also liked ‘What makes you beautiful’ – the last song of the night was ‘The best song ever’.

It finished at 10.30pm and it took ages and ages to get back to the car from Stade de France which is a big football stadium. It was packed walking to the station and when people were walking out they were in such a hurry – I really don’t know why. We almost fell down the stairs to get to the Metro because they were pushing and shoving. We got to the car where baba and the other three were waiting. It was 12.45am by this stage.

It was one of the best moments of my travels so far. I loved it.

By Yasi



Zoi’s blog 21/6/14

I think France is very beautiful. After we got off the plane we went to the luggage area and got mum and dad’s backpacks.

imageOur friends Joanna and Thomas had a trampoline and lots of dolls and I liked playing with them. Everyday for breakfast we had chocolate milk and chocolate croissants – it was yummy.

By Zoi




My impressions of Paris and our friends that we are staying with:image

– I think that Paris has a lot of traffic








– Our friends are nice and friendly – they are Eric & Annick and their children Joanna (my age) and Thomas (Kiki’s age)
– They are fun, one of them speaks good English – that’s Eric the dad
– Paris is also very touristy around the parts we went to

– The Eiffel Tower is much bigger than I thought and I thought it was a black colour but it is actually a bronze colour

– Paris is a very interesting place with lots of tourist sites

– P.S Did you know? About a painting of a woman called ‘Mona Lisa’??? Well there was a King who brought the painting, he lived in a castle which is now a museum called the Louvre. Once one of the employees of the Louvre fell in love with the woman that was painted and stole the painting and hid in it under his bed for three years!!! Now it stands back in the museum.


imageOne Direction was awesome.
I loved hearing the music but it was so loud. I was so pleased I got to go with Yasi and mama.

By Kiki


Ios Island Adventure

This is an old blog that the three youngest kids wrote about our wonderful long weekend in Ios. It is often difficult to keep up with the blogs and it’s been sitting on my ‘To do’ list to upload for a while – however the kids have written it below as if it had just happened. I hope you enjoy it. Ios (and especially Meltemi Diving School) is such a special place and we highly recommend it if you’re coming to Greece. Enjoy!


Ios – by Kiki

We got a bus from Agios Nikolaos to Heraklion on Saturday morning and then caught a ferry to Ios. It went to three other places as well – Santorini, Ios and then Paros and last Mykonos. imageWhen we arrived we went onto a little bus and then to Far Out resort. We put our stuff away in the little huts – us big kids in one and the others in the other one. imageAfter we got our bathers on we went to the pool and swam and swam and jumped off the side and off the little bridge. It was so much fun. Then we lay on the chairs to dry and when the hammocks were free we ran to lie on them. There was lots of arguing over which hammock to be on because there were only three. When the people who were on the hammocks got bored the two others would run for the hammocks.


For dinner we walked around the beach to the opening of the best Restraunt on the island called Harmony which had delicious Mexican food. We met our friends Jason and Katherine – the scuba diving instructors and the two others who work with them – James and Lynne.
By Kiki
imageI like the ride I went on with baba and Yasi. It was called a Heaven ride. We had to wear a life jacket and we sat on a blow up green couch and we had to hold on. There was a rope and pulled by a boat with three people on it. There was also three people on the back – Yasi, Christos and me.
When we put our thumbs up the man driving goes faster. When you put your thumb down it means slow down. We didn’t tell the man to slow down, just to go faster. I loved it when we went over the waves and when the boat turned. At the end we jumped off the floaty thing and we swam to the shore where mummy was waiting,

imageI really liked the pool. It was great. We swam and jumped and we swam at the beach as well. It was lots of wet fun. We played at the beach and we buried Toby and we went snorkelling off the rocks. I like snorkelling. I think that’s all.
By Zoi




imageI liked snorkelling because you could breathe underwater and I saw wonderful rocks and a daddy sea snail and a baby octopus. Also a fish and a sword fish and a half fish on the ground and some little fish. It was very cool. imageThen I got out and dried myself in the sun. I found some gold rocks. Then we all went to the pool and I loved snorkelling so much that I snorkelled in the pool as well. It was a wonderful island. We gave the snorkelling stuff back to the diving school. The owners there are called Katherine and Jason and also James and Lynne. They are our friends and live in Greece on a boat. imageJason let me drive his boat. We love Greece. Then we got ready to leave and got our bags, we washed the sand off us and had a shower and I made a Mohawk hair style on me. Then we got onto a van that took us to the boat station. We got on a big humongous boat that took us to Heraklion and now we are waiting for our bus to home. Goodbye love from Emilio.



Mad Aunty Desley

imageWe were so lucky during our time in Crete that we could have not just one but two special visits from our wonderful friend Desley. Such a fabulous friend who was really the seed in initiating my bowen class in Crete and she made so many friends that love and miss her dearly. imageOur times we spent with fellow Bowen Instructor and best friend Antonis Xiroudakis was just so brilliant and always full of laughs. We came to be known as the ‘3 Stooges’. Both times she visited she looked after the kids for 2-3 days so Sandy and I could go away – very spoilt. She just fitted in so well and became a part of the family. The kids affectionately call her ‘Mad Aunty Desley’ and this is what they had to say:


imageThis is the second time that mad aunty Desley has come to visit us in Crete. She brought us some packets of loom bands and we have been busy making bracelets. She sometimes looks after us when mama and baba go out. Last night she took us out for pizza at our local pizza shop called ELA – the man who owns it is called Apostoli and gives us kisses and chocolates every time we walk past on the way to gymnastiki and swimming. By Yas
imageAunty Desley is very funny and she makes up jokes and plays pranks. She got me some sunglasses and a white t shirt for my birthday. She didn’t come to iOS with us because she wanted to have a quiet weekend and she got quite seasick on a boat a few weeks back in Australia. She’s fun to have around. By Tobes



imageAunty Desley bought me a big I cream and a little ice cream and a bracelet. I had a nice time with her and I love her by Zoi






imageHello Desley came and we were looking out for her – then we gave up and then baba called out to us and then only ran to the door and opened it and we followed. We ran to Desley and jumped on her and almost made her fall over. Then we got her up to our apartment and she gave us sim a the lion king and a pirate movie on DVD. Then Also we got ready for bed and Giannis – one of baba’s students came over to do bowen on some of us. The we read a book called the famous five. And that was Desley’s first night. By Moochie

imageWith Desley we went to someone’s house and her name is Joelle and she is French but she’s been in Greece for ages. We went for a walk in them out is s. It was Desley’s first hike ever. It was very very fun because it wasn’t too hard and you could just run up the rocks. For dinner we had lentils soup made by Joelle. It was awesome having Dessie visit and it is nice to have her around. My favourite thing about her is everything! Goodnight Desley – kalinikta in Greek.
By Kiki




Sandy’s Israeli and Palestinian musings

Israel and the Palestinian Territories blog
imageI came to Israel and the Palestinian Territories with a fairly naive understanding of the current political and social situation on the ground. I had studied the Six Day War and some of that period of history (1967-8) at either university or school, I can’t quite remember. I had even won a trivia night question on the dates of this period of the Israeli/Arab conflict back in 2000.
Let it be said from the start, the perspective we gained was not from the typical tourist experience. This in itself is quite a concern as we went to places and did things and heard things that the average tourist would really have very little chance of accessing. Hence how do alternate stories get out?
Therein lies part of the problem; public perception is that the conflict over land is a conflict between two equal and opposing forces. This perception is so far from the truth. I do not follow any organised religion, I do however believe strongly in a great spirit, a creative energy that connects all beings and things… So this is not a religious discussion for me. What I want to share is observations and information from my visit, of people. First and foremost people of the earth, not of religions or races or cultures…. These are my perceptions of the dynamics of power, and the impacts on lives of women, children and men.
There was an agreement of a ‘green line’ – a division of land that was agreed upon (sorry can’t remember when). In Israel and the Palestinian Territories a very large concrete wall is partly erected and in the process of being erected. See some photos of this below… Reminiscent of the Berlin Wall. The obscene reality is that the agreed upon green line for the wall is not being adhered to much at all. The Israelis are pushing out the wall to claim more land, all the fertile land owned by Palestinian families is being cut off from owners; families land/income and livelihood and people cut off from medical services.


The pushing of the wall is reducing every opportunity for the Palestinian population to maintain any self sustainability or independence. There is a definite systematic reduction of choice, opportunity and self rule for the Palestinian people. I really loved the examples that Christos shared earlier so I won’t repeat them…
I do want to add one… Of a family in the West Bank…. They had productive farm land that the Israelis built the wall right next to. I can’t remember the details however I think the documentary we saw showed 3 times over several years, the ripping out of trees and crops that the Palestinians planted and lived off the income of, claiming more and more ‘no mans’ land each time…
So instead of more stories, please think of this tree below. I happened to glance at it as we ate our sandwiches in a busy square after visiting Christ’s birthplace in Bethlehem. Look at the inscription.
imageI pray for humanity and the earth. May insight and wisdom in the form of respect and tolerance of diversity spread it’s peace very very soon…

Now on a more personal level… We stayed with friends Carolyn and Martin from Melbourne. Yiayia asked one day, how we all knew each other. As Caro and I spoke we realised the multiple levels of family connections. Caro and my parents knew each other, I went to kinder around the corner from them, we went to the same school although a year apart, we were at uni and in a political team together elected to the student union, our grandmas knew each other, and then there is the Martin connection; he was one of my cousin’s best mates at uni – my cousin Michael lived with us, so I first knew Martin by his nickname ‘Chook’ – Michael’s wife Wendy’s sister is actually married to Caro’s first cousin…. So the connections are multifaceted and meant to be.
We holidayed with these guys when they were working in Kosovo. We were visiting Greece and both our families made wild journeys across the borders to meet in Ochrid, Macedonia. That was a tale of epic juggling of young kids, Carolyn putting on a memorable ballet performance in an ancient Amphitheatre-like ruin, and parents that were determined to explore.
Thank you Carolyn and Martin. What you have given of your hearts and souls to us on this trip and to the displaced and threatened people of this world through your work is astounding. Your children are remarkable, their personalities, and knowledge and love is palpable… We can’t wait until you return to Australia and when you venture abroad for work again, we will meet with you again for more family holidays.

By Mama Miliking


Samaria Gorge and Water Park Adventure

Water park

imageWe went to a Water park called Aqua Plus. Before it I had to go to the bus station to give my soccer coach a card and a present. imageI wanted to thank him for the year of soccer that I had training three times a week and playing a match on some weekends. My favourite thing about soccer was the last game I played against Neapoli because I played well and got a goal that I thought was the best one for me for the whole year.

imageAqua plus is a water park which is known to be the best in Greece. We went with some friends – Manolis, Alex, Isabelle and Nicki. The whole day was a birthday party for Yasi and Kiki and me but we went later than our actual birthdays cause it wasn’t hot enough for it to open early in May.
It was amazing – one of the most coolest rides is called ‘Tsunami’.

You have to climb up high on a water slide that has two sides and you go down on a blow up tube as if you’re riding a big massive wave. Another ride is called ‘The Dish’ I think – you go down a water slide and you end up in a dish like a bowl and you go round and round until you come out of a hole in the bottom and the water is 1,75m deep.

It was so fun to share the rides with friends – I liked going on the ‘Crazy river’ with Alex and Manoli most. On the crazy river you start going down a water slide in a blown up tube and you can hold tubes together which I did with Alex – so much fun.


imageAfter the water park we drove to Chania to get ready for Samaria gorge. Samaria was very hard – a long walk and complicated – it was much different to any other walk I had done – it was very long and quite steep going down. imageIt felt really good once I had done it – it was just really fun because it had lots of rocks to climb on and I love rocks cause they are so fun to go up onto. My muscles were very very sore at the end and the soreness lasted for about 2-3 days. Even though I wanted a Bowen my dad was busy and only had time for a few short moves on my knees – so I ran it out at soccer training and swam it out. They feel much better now.

We’re on a plane now and left Greece which is sad but I love planes and now getting excited about Paris but that is another story and not for me to tell. Bye for know.

By Tobes

imageSamarai gorge is the biggest and longest Gorge in Europe and it’s been a National Park since 1962. It really is such a delight to walk along despite the physical challenges. There are so many natural changes in the landscape along its 18km from the start of the walk at Omalos to where the gorge meets the Libyan sea at Agia Roumeli. The area is remote that there are no roads to Agia Roumeli so when you finish the walk you can only exit by ferry unless you plan to walk the 18kms back uphill. I did this walk by myself in September last year when we first arrived in Crete and couldn’t really envisage the kids doing it. However 10 months is a long time in kid language and they had fallen in love with a few other gorges in Crete so we thought – ‘hey let’s give it a go’! I was so proud with how the kids went and how much they actually enjoyed it. Such a beautiful family day together and a great way for us to say goodbye to this beautiful island of Crete in our last week of living here. So glad we did it.
Baba MiliKing

imageSamaria was the longest walk I’ve ever done – I was running ahead some of the time. It was just fun.

imageMy legs weren’t sore at all – even though it was the longest walk I’ve ever done. When we got out of the park baba & mama let me have an ice cream because they were so happy that I could do it.
By Moochie

imageIt was nice putting the water in my hat cause it cooled me down. It was such a difficult walk for my legs but I did it and I was pleased when I had a drink of water at the end and some chips.


By Zoi





Samaria Gorge was a very long about 18kms from the mountains to the Libyan Sea. What I think was that if I’m on a short walk I often get more tired but if it’s a long walk I don’t really feel I’m tired.

imageThe walk was very rocky and the first part of it was very steep. There were lots of overhangs and the most beautiful river over ever seen in Greece. The best part of the walk was the beginning when it was a little bit fresh and we were just climbing down the mountain with the sun rising – we started very early. The ice cream at the end was humongous and delicious.


imageThen we had a swim in the iciest cold water – it was refreshing. imageimageWe caught a ferry to a little town called Hora Sfakion and stayed in a small hotel. In the morning we drove to a place called Spilli (we all thought we could spill our drinks here) to meet Antonis – one of dad’s best friends from Bowen. It was fun to see him again and we will see him in Australia in January. He’s very funny and laughs very loud.
By Yasi






imageSamaria was awesome but it was a very long walk with packs on our back. When we got to the sea it was refreshing to get into the cold water. I liked the walk – I liked everything but getting to the end was the best part. My legs were so sore the next day but now they are fine – mum’s still hurt.

By Kikibelle


imageMy legs were sore for two weeks. So proud of the kids. The hordes of people couldn’t take away from the beauty of the place.

By Mama Miliking


Mad Aunty Dessie comes to Crete – Again! By Dessie herself

Well here we go …….

Arrived Thursday via Brisbane, Melbourne, Abu Dhabi, Athens, Heraklion then on to my other home – Agios Nikolaos.

imageOne day to rest then off to climb a mountain with the MiliKings near Chania to meet Joelle (Bowen family) and Lopez. I had never rock climbed or experienced a mountain before – it puts a new meaning to the song ‘Aint no mountain high enough’. Their was snow on the caps and I was proud of myself for conquering amazing fear of heights. What about those goats! It was like listening to a symphony of bells.

imageThen back down to Joelle’s paradise for sleep over, amazing Cretan food and a sing song with Lopez. Donkey riding with the kids and a fab yurt the Milis slept in. I slept in the resident caravan with Joelle & Seleni (that’s the dog) – funny! Thanks Joelle for a great experience.




imageOn the way home a lunch stop at the famous Store 311 cafe in Rethymno – home town of beautiful Bowen buddy Antonis Xiroudakis part of the 3 Stooges.


imageBack to Agios Nikolaos for Greek cooking lessons and drinking Ouzo with Vasiliki (Christos’ Mum).




Thanks Vass you are beautiful, the food was great as well.

Walking the children to school each day became a highlight – never a dull moment. In fact sleeping in the kitchen suite was a hoot in itself! – especially living only with a cat in Australia.
Saying good morning 8 times over and having someone ripping into clean their teeth while sitting on throne was a hilarious event that eventually became the norm. Keeping in mind there were 9 of us in a two bedroom apartment – but that’s what you do in Greece – love it!
imageMy adventures daily revolved between school, swimming and Gymnastiki – not to mention the many coffee’s at the Irish convention – ‘Bits and Bobs’ – Valerie’s tourist shop – where we would all congregate to discuss life, passion, the universe and maybe how many wines we may have sampled. Thanks Girls – Valerie, Sandy, Dara, Nicky, Jene and Iro and of course Orion the dog. Thank you also to Iro for the beautiful healings and introduction to ‘White time healing’.

So now it’s Wednesday which is market day. Our week ritual started first with a coffee with my beautiful Christos and Sandy took us at least an hour to make a list and sample the Bougatsa (cheese and spinach pie). Then off we go with Yiayia (the name that Sandy gave to her cart) to buy the freshest fruit and veggies, cheese and olives – Yummo!

imageYasi and Toby had their birthday while I was there and we had ice cream at Dodoni – it’s unbelievable how a whole cafe can revolve around ice-cream – every kids’ dream. Definitely only for special occasions. Not to mention the delightful screaming from Yasi when she opened her One Direction DVD which I bought from Australia – knowing that she’ll be going to the concert in Paris with mum and sister Kalika.

imageToby was just as impressed with his too cool sunglasses and white T-shirt. To my amazement all these children share their clothes with love. What a beautiful teaching.





imageChristos saw my competitive side when we went to Heraklion to watch Toby play soccer. Same rules as hockey. Christos couldn’t believe how much I was into it. I’m so competitive with my sport.

imageKalika became my resident Greek teacher correcting me with all my attempts. I started off saying calamari when I meant kalimera (that is good morning).





Zoi and Emilio delighted me everyday as we still looked for those dolphins (on the way home from school) that never seemed to appear – we did see some nice fish though.
Emilio constantly hiding my toothbrush and toothpaste in the Ouzo box. Whatever else I had missing I found in the most unusual places. Thanks Emilio. And thank you to my little Zoi for her helpful hands pegging washing and also for introducing me to miniature strawberry heart ice creams from Melissa Cafe – which often interrupted her lunch but it was so much fun.

imageSandy is an amazing person who taught me how to juggle life in many creative ways. When all else seemed to be coming undone just her presence could put things together in a heartbeat. Thanks so much for the late night cuppas and wines at Tutu cafe – when Christos was working and we had to be out of the apartment. We solved the problems of the world. Girl power!


imageNow what about my friend Christos – thank you for bringing me back to Crete. We never made the conference but thanks for letting me co-teach your amazing class in Crete. What a fantastic opportunity to broaden my skills in another culture. The village Laconia – where we had module 7 – was an experience in itself.

Thanks to everyone for the cooking – sitting down to a late lunch feast was a great end to each day. Big shout out to Christos for teaching and inspiring some excellent Bowen Therapists to paver he way for Bowen to grow in Agios Nikolaos.

imageOur two bus trips to Ierapetra were sensational. While I so busily sat on the beach or shopped Christos saw his clients – but then we always wound up with a delicious lunch and an odd wine only to sleep all the way back to Agios Nikolaos on the bus.

imageOur Bowen meetings in Heraklion with my buddies Christos and Antonis were crazy and enlightening to say the least. Antonis taught me how to eat traditional snails – that was a first. We didn’t see much of Heraklion – we just sat and talked and ate and drank ouzo and laughed till we hurt. Unforgettable.

imageWe had an awesome day in Agios Nikolaos when Antonis came to visit us. We shared a ‘Yiayia banquet’ of fish chowder, stuffed peppers and Greek salad saturated with olives of course.


Lots of fun with the kids, a beautiful dinner at Gargadoros – which has the most amazing outlook and food. It was also Yiayia’s last night (after a two month stay) before leaving for Northern Greece. Miss you and miss your cooking. We can still hear the laughter and banter between Antonis and Yiayia. So fun.
imageKaraoke and pole dancing will never be forgotten – Christos was silly enough to put our name down for ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and I’m sure no one will ever forget it. There were scratch marks on the ceiling from trying to reach the notes. Even the DJ said ‘I imagecan’t believe your going to try this’ – I just laughed and said ‘We’re Aussies mate – we try anything’. I said this whilst swearing at Christos under my breath – thinking ‘I can’t believe we are doing it either’. Not to mention my mate Christos singing ‘Karma chameleon’ – one lady at the bar said to me ‘that guy with the hat has just restored my faith in karaoke’. Had my first experience with pole dancing at another bar on the way home. Could probably have hurt myself if we stayed longer. Left while I was ahead.

imageJean (who is Australian, Kiwi, English lass living in Agios) introduced me to the many bars that I didn’t know existed in Agios. Thanks for the many laughs and my introduction to salsa. I think my legs are still platted and my glutes are imagelooking great. Thanks Jene and Kursheed Irani (Bowen therapist from Australia) for teaching us some moves that made us look good – I’m sure I’m going to continue in Australia. So much fun.
I will miss the early morning swims in the beautiful beach. Freezing cold. And the perfect days of lying on the beach soaking up the Cretan sun and reading my books.
Last day now in Athens with Christos – have ticked off all our traditions.
imageWine at the airport (even though it was 10am)
imageCoffee and ouzo and late breakfast at Athens beer bar.
imageShopping for hat (tradition that I buy Christos a hat each time we see each other – no shoes this time thank goodness).





Spritz overlooking the Parthenon on the roof top of the Gand Bretagne hotel (almost needed a loan to pay for them) – we used the toilets so it made us feel like they were worth the money.
Now on top a the biggest hill in Athens (waiting for that sunset we missed last time) where our beautiful Greek friend Antonis recommend us to come.

We are actually right now waiting for the sun to go down – drinking margaritas – and we are three hours early – last time I was here in October Christos took far too long deciding what shoes he was going to buy and we missed the sunset! So this time we are here early – but I still might miss it cause I’ve had two margaritas – could pass out waiting! Ha ha!not to mention we still have to get back down the hill in my slippery shoes.

Thank you to the Milikings for a fabulous holiday AGAIN. Love Crete, love Greece, love all the people I’ve met. Bye for now…….I’ll be back!

PS – I’m going a serious detox when I get home!

By Mad Aunty Dessie

(Late edition after an incredible surprise by gorgeous friend Antonis)

Ok – the last night in Athens we have just watched an amazing Sunset at the Sky Cafe thanks to our friend Antonis for the heads up on where the best sunset viewing place is. Then we get a taxi to dinner at a place Antonis also has recommended. When we arrive, Christos shares that our Greek friend has organized to pay for our dinner as a parting gift – he had left for Istanbul on an earlier flight that morning as he had a Bowen course to attend.
As we are ringing him to thank him I hear a voice saying beside me ‘Can I help you?’ – When I look up he is standing beside me laughing with squeals of delight and Christos chanting ‘But you are in Turkey !!! From a Facebook post we had read earlier in the day!’ He even went to the effort to post a photo from Istanbul with the location of Turkey! Very sneaky! Perfect perfect twist to finish my stay thank you so much Antonis – You are amazing and funny I sooooo love surprises and that will be counted as one of the best. We finished a beautiful meal and wine with the three stooges together in Athens – just perfect!

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Our new plans – by Tobes

imageI was the first one to write a blog about all of our plans before we left on this trip. However the plans have changed. Our original plan was to go back to Australia via South America and stay there for a year or so. Now the plans have changed and I reckon it’s a really really good new plan. Travel plans always change – sometimes they can be bad changes and sometimes good changes but this is one of the really good ones.

Here it is:

From the 11th of June we have only got 9 more days left in our home in Crete – Agios Nikolaos – on Friday the 20th of June we will fly from Heraklion to Paris. We spend three days in Paris with baba’s pen friend from when he was a kid. In Paris I’m looking forward to seeing the Eiffel Tower and some of the city though I haven’t really heard much apart from the Eiffel Tower. I’m looking forward to having French fries, French fries, croissants and chocolate croissants and soft white cheese, and then more soft white cheese – which I really love. Then we will catch a train direct from Paris to London which goes through a tunnel under the sea.
In London we will see our uncle Chich George and Vuina Sally. In London I want to see the Queen’s palace and my aunty said she might take me to Wimbledon. I also want to see Big Ben and the London eye but we probably won’t go on it because it’s so expensive and there’s lots of other free things to do. I wonder if we’ll get to have a meal with the Queen or play with Prince George – he he he!
We also plan to go to Legoland with our friends and their mum Penny who my dad went to uni with. We are also going to see my mum’s friends that she met in India and their oldest daughter Kiran is my mum’s god-daughter.
After we spend another day saying goodbye to Chich and Sally in London, we are taking a train to Belgium and then going to camp with our cool friends from home in the King valley. They are from Holland and we have known them for about 4 years. Their names are Werner, Corina, and the kids are Finn and Luna. We met them at Dook’s annual paddock party when we were all wishing we had brought a ball and their boy Finn came over with a ball and we started playing and made friends instantly and we’ve been friends ever since. Werner was even Kalika and Emilio’s soccer coach once.

This is a map we made baba for Fathers' Day and has been on our wall - the red lines are land travel and the blue lines are air travel

This is a map we made baba for Fathers’ Day and has been on our wall – the red lines are land travel and the blue lines are air travel

They will be going home to Holland in early July so we are going to spend 5 days or so camping with them somewhere in Holland.
Our next destination is Toronto but we are flying out of Brussels on a brand new airline that we haven’t been on called Iceland Air. In Toronto mummy is going to do a course. It’s a course about how to deal with children and help their souls grow in a healthy way. She’ll probably use it with us I think but also with her community work.
The course is about a week first up and baba and us kids will probably go camping in Canada somewhere and also start homeschooling. From the time we leave Crete we are only getting 3 weeks summer holidays from doing work when all our friends here in Greece get 3 months – but we have to keep up and be ready for school in Australia.
When we meet up in a weeks time with mummy we will go to the magical land of America and hopefully drive from Niagara falls to Chicago via the very famous city of New York. I’ve always wanted to see New York because of all the monuments and my baba has been there a few times and he comes home with the most amazing stories. It’s his favourite place in the world.
My dad did one year of his university years overseas in Chicago so he’s got lots of good friends there – especially a guy called Kirk who we met in Australia. I think we are going to stay with him. After about a month mummy is going to go back for another nine days of the course in Toronto which I mentioned before. I think we will stay in America with baba (because it costs a lot to move 5 kids across borders) and possibly do a road trip to see some friends in other states. We also might visit some famous national parks in the heat.
There’s a possibility of going to Peru to see some friends there and help build some houses for poorer people. We might also visit our sponsor child in Bolivia – her name is Luz.

I have been to 27 countries in my life up till now

I have been to 27 countries in my life up till now

We’ve just found out some of the most exciting news on this trip so far – that our aunty Jenny Gigga is going to come to America for our last month in October and have a little road trip with us from our friends’ house in Houston to Los Angeles and then we get to fly home together on the same plane – I don’t know who is going to be luckiest enough to sit next to her. I hope it is me but sometimes because we’re oldest we need to sit by ourselves on another row. So that’s the plan of the end of out trip overseas – looking forward to getting back to see my friends and cousins and play pool & table tennis at my grandparents house in Somers.

By Tobes