Home is Where we Hook-up

July 7, 2007

Mom’s gone back to Bishop

Filed under: Travel,Travel in Europe — Heligypsy @ 12:36 am

On Thursday morning, July 5th, we took my mom to the Athens Airport. Her visit to Greece had come to an end. I’d hoped to get her to write as our “Special Guest” once again, but as happens so easily, we just ran out of time.

I really enjoyed watching her absorb the life and imagery of being in Greece. I absolutely remember what it felt like to see, smell and hear this country for the first time. It took several days for the graffiti to blend a bit better into the background. Mom is horrified with graffiti anywhere, and here it was especially upsetting to her. She was pleased to note that the ‘taggers’ might have some respect for the churches and the ultra clean metro stations.

The fact that Oleander is cultivated in mass as an easy to care for decorative shrub was shocking to her – and I don’t know if it was the time of year of my previous visits or what, but I don’t remember seeing nearly as much as is around now. Our across the street neighbor has a palm tree and a “Christmas” pine tree growing side by side, that really tickled her. The bougainvilleas were a special treat, especially when found growing on one of those bright white washed stuccoed homes, with the classic dark blue painted doors. For the first time in both our lives, we’ve seen pistachio trees, full to the brim with pods of the tasty nuts, almost ready for roasting.

The fact that we endured a heat wave for a better part of her trip turned out to be just something to put up with. It meant a little less sightseeing, and a little more exploring of our own little neighborhood. One night we ventured to get out of the apartment for a walk and ended at the local park, teeming with kids of all ages, laughing and playing – it was just the sort of image she’d hoped to catch, real life in Greece – not just touring around old rocks. She got a kick out of walking to the grocery, produce, bread shops, and having her hair done in a little salon one block from the apartment.

I asked her what her favorite thing of the trip had been. The day trips to both Hydra and Aegena Islands ranked at the top. With a whole lot of sitting around with gorgeous views, cooler temperatures and island breezes, I was not surprised.

And now for the food reviews. She tried so many foods here, and enjoyed most everything. I shared some grilled calamari with her on a beach in Marathon, and she said that for the first time in her life, she could say squid was actually good. We ate meats on sticks, gyros and lots of tzatziki. She tried moussaka (lasagna type dish with eggplant), bifteke (beef steak patty with hard cheese), bulgatza (custard filled pastry) and even took a sip of ouzo with me on the island of Hydra. The main plate consumed while here was, of course, the Greek Salad. There is probably no other dish that is such a simple combination, but can come in such a variety.We could have a 10 minute conversation about what ordering a Greek Salad might mean. Sometimes it will be served on lettuce, other times it may have sliced egg (only once did we see that). One time it was served WITHOUT olives, we didn’t like that one, ha ha. As many ways as there are to prepare the salad, there are equally as many types of feta cheese. Not being a big feta fan, my mom was pleasantly surprised when twice she ate a salad with ‘soft’ feta, and announced that as her favorite. She went as far to say that, had she known how good the cheese was going to be on one particular salad that she’d offered to share with me, well, she would have fought me for taking any more of the feta than I had. We ate well, and healthy – and with all the walking and stair climbing we did (at the very least she did 200 stairs a day), I think her scale is going to give her a good reading….and she was excited at getting home to ask for the new number!

The apartment was empty without her, and I was even a little lonely that Thursday she left. I know she takes with her some great memories, some cool pictures and a time between the two of us that we will both cherish forever.



  1. Wonderful, I loved hearing about you and your Mom’s time together. I can’t believe she is on her way home (or home now). It seems that you both just left Bishop. I am going to have to be a “special guest” on borderlinegypsies?
    I can’t wait till September. What about visiting Istanbul? Just a thought, Becky Taylor was saying that her daughter was in Greece for school and spent some time there and loved it. You know I’m going to have this hugh list, and what ever we do I will love it. You know, Lindsey and I are easy that way.

    Comment by Debbe — July 7, 2007 @ 11:52 am | Reply

  2. It’s terrific reading about your time with your Mom. Your food reviews are making me hungry 🙂

    Comment by JennH — July 9, 2007 @ 6:14 pm | Reply

  3. You are so lucky to have such special memories of you and your mom. Glad you could have that time together! Sooooo lucky! Glad your having fun! Wish I were there! But what would Freddie’s ever do without me? LOL 😉


    Comment by Bonnie ;-) — July 9, 2007 @ 7:19 pm | Reply

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