Good times. Good vibes. Good company.

17 December, 2016

Looks Like Home, Feels Like Home (Crete, Day 1)

And so, tears in my eyes but with a million beautiful memories, summer in Denmark came to a close and we were off to Crete!! Mads had come out the day before we were to fly out to pick up me and all of my accumulated luggage, hang out a bit with Mama, say a quick hello-goodbye to Mormor and Morfar, and off to Odense we were!

After having re-packed everything for the trip, separating everything that had to be schlepped to London a week later from the bits and pieces to bring on our island holiday we all headed off to his Farmor's for dinner.  Heading home early, bellies stuffed, we tried to sleep a few hours before getting up at a startling hour to head to the airport in Billund to begin our next journey.

The trip kicked off with two rather large bumps in the road, unfortunately.  Firstly, Bo & Helene, Mads' sister and her partner were unable to join us in the end.

Upon making it to Crete, we encountered issues with the hotel regarding our rooms.  On our past two holidays together, even with us all having paid the same price and having booked together our rooms have always varied in quality (some with an ocean view and two beds, others with a Queen sized bed and a balcony out to a wall) and given the size of the hotels, being put in rooms on opposite ends isn't always practical.  To avoid both of these issues this time around, we'd informed the travel agent that we wanted rooms close to one another and on the same "level" of quality, so to speak.

Due to "overbooking" on the hotel's part, they decided to "upgrade" us to family rooms.  You got that right.  They'd decided that some of us would live together during the holiday.  Not that there's not plenty of love to go around but a married couple, single father and daughter, and a young couple--all with vastly different desires on vacation--some who get up early, some who may wish to stay up late etc. etc. this simply wouldn't work.  Thankfully, one good thing came out of the unfortunate situation that occurred before leaving Denmark.  With two less people on our booking that had made it to Crete, we all got our separate rooms, still those "upgraded" family suites they'd spoken of.

The only catch? We might have to be moved to different rooms during our stay.  Thankfully, upon consulting our travel agent the day following, they were not allowed to do so and although a few days later, we were called into a meeting in the reception regarding the topic of a room change -__- However, alls well that ends well (minus my getting up early to read up on legislation regarding package travel, contracts, and our rights with no more than a cup of coffee to process the first 40 pages on)!!

Once we got some lunch and had the room situation sorted out we all met by the pool to kick off the holiday as it was meant to be kicked off--in bikinis, in the sun, drinks in hand.  Once we'd unpacked and consumed yet another wonderful meal, we decided to explore the immediate area a little by the dimming light of a breath-taking Cretan sunset.  The beach, naturally, was our first destination.

Every since the moment I caught a glimpse of the red rocks, mountains, and desert looming below us as we prepared to land, I couldn't help but see mass amounts of similarities between Crete and Arizona.  By the time our bus circled around the bend of the mountain in our final leg of the trip to the hotel, showing the town beneath us, surrounded by the ocean, I let go of those immediate comparisons for awhile.  Arriving at the hotel, noticing its pueblo-like architecture, continuing even into the bungalows we'd be residing in, the comparisons continued.  So many of the flowers and plants present (Buganvillas and Prickly Pear Cacti to name but two), never mind the stunning 35+ degree temperatures and the mass amount of pools...I think it's safe to say I felt right at home!

Growing up in Arizona, one of the best, world-renowned things that came with the territory was the spectacular sunsets we would get--specifically around Monsoon season.  Though I've had my fair share of stunning sunsets since leaving The States six years ago, the one we experienced on the beach in Crete that night is one of the only I can commit to memory well enough to be able to even compare to those back in AZ.  I was absolutely blown away by the beauty of the colours that filled the sky as the sun snuck quickly behind the distant mountains, leaving a sense of absolute peace and calm in the small city we were meant to call our home for the next week.  The light-posts giving off a glow in the distance, along with the few houses along the coastline, adding to the scenic view as the waves crashed against the shore.  Breathless.

Even with it a rocky start, standing there on the beach, the sand finding its way into my open leather sandals, I let the beauty consume me, momentarily forgetting about everything else...and really, isn't that what we all go on holiday for?


Don't mess with a girl and her Tzatziki!!


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