Well, It Was a Nice Vacation...

I finally have a second to post. I'm not sure where to begin- the vacation or the post-vacation madness.

How about let's start with the vacation? Much nicer!

Basically, it was fabulous. As my husband described it- Nikui Rosh Totali- complete brain cleaning. No internet. Schedule was basically: AM: Pool PM: A different beach every day. One day we took the kids to a nature park and they got to hang out with animals but it was completely stroller unfriendly (hello, who do these people think come to animal parks?) and another day we took a cruise to this Shipwreck beach.

Getting there and back was a hassle. The plane ride there was at 7 am, which means we had to be there at 5. The girls were really great about getting up at 3 am and getting dressed and ready in 5 minutes. E was too- except that I forgot to change his diaper and forgot to pack a bottle for him for the wait on the security line- big mistake. He ate a lot of tea biscuits but then was very thirsty and cranky- and wet. We finally made it through check in and I was able to change him and get him a bottle before getting on the plane.

All I can say is- thank God it was only a 1.5 hour plane ride. No trips to America until all kids can plug into their own iPods or DVD players!

We landed in Athens, got our stuff. Everyone else was travelling with little itty bitty suitcases because they were going to "HaKol Kallul" (all-inclusive) resorts. Not us! Three big duffle bags for us! But we didn't actually overpack too much and only came back with two.

We got to our car- unfortunately, the car M ordered online that seemed like a "deal" online but was only a deal because it didn't include insurance (!) and was actually too small for us. He had to go back and get us a bigger one and was extremely pissed for getting cheated in about 4 different ways. So lesson number one for readers: Beware of car rental "deals". Stick with the major rental businesses and as always, if it seems to good to be true, it probably is.

So we packed the car and headed to Beit Chabad to pick up our frozen food. The GPS took forever to "Find the Satellite" and I was getting a bit nervous because I had absolutely no idea where we were and where we were supposed to go. Luckily, M printed out Google maps directions to BC and the island, so even if the GPS failed us, we'd be able to get where we needed to go. Yay for my forward thinking husband!

The kids conked out in the back seat and we found Chabad on a little street in Athens. Athens looked kind of like a depressing version of Bat Yam. The parts I saw on the first day didn't look very charming. A lot of cheap dirty stores, a LOT of cigarette ads all over the place ( no wonder 40% of the country smokes as I read in the news last night!). Anway, I made it up five flights because I couldn't figure out how to work the elevator (something about opening and closing the right doors). A very nice Chabad rabbi handed me a rather large insulated bag and a smaller one, packed with individual frozen meals, fantasically packed. I was thrilled. I paid him and he was nice enough to show me how the elevator worked.

Back in the car, M got the GPS working and we made our way out of Athens and towards Korinthos. We needed to get to Killini, on the far edge of the Pelloponese to get the ferry to the island but guess what? The GPS couldn't find Killini! It could only find as far west as Korinthos, so that's where we headed. We later found out that the GPS knew nothing about Zakynthos, our island, either. But there we managed with a map.

M was pretty exhausted from sleeping only 3 hours at night, so we had to make a rest stop on the highway for about an hour. Luckily, there are tons of rest stops on Greek highways, kind of like in America. I took the kids to the bathroom, bought yogurt for E at the gas station (Greek yogurt! Yum!) and some other snacks and we had a nice party on the grass. M slept for about 45 minutes and was refreshed enough to continue.

Here is a piece of Google maps showing a bit what the car/ferry trip looked like. Athens (Athina) is on the right and Zakynthos is all the way on the left:


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