just saying...#15

...encouraging and allowing creativity teaches us to think out of the box.

Alva is really interested in the creative stuff Ohad and me do. I guess simply because he sees us do things that we like and make us happy. One of those things is taking photographs. After a few days in greece and seeing us busy with our cameras (we opted to take our two old canon compact cameras instead of the DSLR camera), Alva said he wanted to try as well, so we obliged. We first told him how delicate cameras are and Ohad taught him what a photographer would NEVER do (let the camera touch sand, drop the camera, leave it out of sight in some place and walk away, etc.) then we showed him where the on/off button and the shutter is and told him that he needs to look at the screen to see what's in the frame. We told him that we usually take pictures of things that are interesting to us and that he should take pictures of whatever is interesting to him. From that moment, he didn't wanna give the camera away anymore, he was very careful to respect the instructions of what a photographer would NEVER do and was extremely proud and happy when he saw the pictures that he took all by himself. I love them. For me, they are the funniest, coolest shots from our holidays. Here is a small selection (omitting the 50 shots of the house door, bathroom door, chairs and beds / the 20 shots of me talking, yawning, and rubbing my nose /the 28 pictures of Ohads feet and hand in the sand)...

Abba swimming...

The baby in ima's belly and abba

Camera the other way around

Greece #2 - Family holidays on Serifos

I was literally counting the days to return to Serifos, our beautiful cycladic gem island, and to meet Carolina and stay at her Yellow Side B&B again. This time, we visited Serifos as a family and both Ohad and me were wondering how it would work out to be on an island with a 3 year old for a week, without any entertainment except the beach and some donkeys and goats. Honestly, never would i have imagined that it would be so perfect. Alva was very excited to fly, stay in a hotel in Athens, take the metro and the ferry and finally stay at the Yellow Side.

We prepared him weeks before, telling him over and over again what would happen, what we would do, where we would stay. Over time, we found out that mentally preparing Alva for big events and changes long in advance is the best way to keep our family balanced and synced. A minimum of surprises and a similar schedule every day fits us best. So we thought it would be a good idea to try this routine recipe during our vacation as well. Straight from the first day on the island, we figured out the best everyday schedule for the week. Get up at 8:00am, having Carolina's amazing breakfast at 9:00am, then beach time till around 2:30pm (every day a different beach though), nap time till 4:30-5:00pm followed by cake & coffee and play time then at 6:30pm going out for one of the amazing greek restaurants and 8:30pm bed time for Alva. We kept this consistent during our whole stay and it worked wonders. You might think it is boring and doesn't sound like fun but i am convinced that this helped us having no frictions, everyone knew what's happening right now and what would happen next, we could concentrate on being together and appreciating each others company instead of getting lost into figuring out about the most exciting program for the day. 

At the beach, we read some books, collected stones and made some sand paintings, Alva climbed trees and learned about letters and numbers (his big interest of the moment).

The only surprise we had is that there was no ferry to Athens on the day we planned to get back (we were not prepared to the off season ferry schedule) and we ended up taking a cabin on a night ferry one day before, which was a big and cool adventure and gave us a whole day to get around Athens and enjoy this fascinating favorite european city of mine.

Thanks Carolina for this week of perfection, we will be back for sure!

The Yellow Side links (click on bolded text to open link) - facebook ::: airBnB ::: and on instagram @theyellowside

Greece #1 - Serifos and the Yellow Side B&B

Sometime last spring, we decided to make a late honeymoon in Serifos, Greece. We picked this island mostly because Ohad has been there a few years ago and always told me how beautiful it is. I had never been to Greece before and always wanted to visit, so it sounded like a great plan. And we were so right!

The island is a bit more than 2 hours away from Athens by ferry in the western Cyclades. Serifos is also called the island of the 1000 churches, although there is "only" about 300 of them. If you count that there is about 800 people leaving the whole year around on the island (the rest of the remaining 800 people are leaving during winter time), that makes 1 church for every 2.6 inhabitant, oh and i forgot to say that the island is 75.21 square kilometer big...You got the picture, lots and lots of beautiful white little churches with blue roofs. Till the 1960-ies, the island had busy iron mines. Then they probably shut down quite suddenly because on the southern part of Serifos, where the landscape is reddish-brown stone, there is rusty cars, bridges, rails and machines laying around aging slowly. I climbed up the hill to explore some of the ruins closer and was amazed to find some leather pouches and tools on the floor and wondering how fast the workers must have left to leave everything behind. On the top of hill above the port is the Chora - the traditional village, nested in the rock. When the sun goes down over Serifos, the last rays are always staying there a little longer, illuminating the Chora and making it shine while everything else is already welcoming the night.

Serifos is beautiful. But in the end what made our holiday truly amazing was Carolina and her Yellow Side B&B (link is in the bolded text). Her house is overlooking the bay and the harbour and has a small 2 room dependance, where we stayed. Everything about the Yellow Side is bright and warm and welcoming. The place is filled with calm good energy. The house is swallowing the sunlight and breathing with the waves. In the morning, Carolina makes delicious breakfast for her guests on the porch of her house (including the best lemon cake!). A lot of the things on the table are homemade or from local farmers that produce so much good stuff, like honey, chili, olives, cheese, capers, herbs, fruits. 

We rented a scooter and laid on the beach the whole day, just swimming, collecting beautiful stones, reading and doing nothing. Dolce far niente. Exactly what we needed. Yes, we are spoiled brats ;-)

Here are a few pictures for you: