My eyes still start filling with tears when I think of the lovely week I’ve recently spent with my daughter Emma and niece Sophie. The tears are springing up because I miss their company lots now that they have gone back. I miss having them around the apartment, giving the place an air of lively youthfulness. I miss hearing in turn, their laughter one minute followed by complaints of sore sunburn from too much sun exposure or where carelessly applied sun cream didn’t quite reach!
Both Emma and Sophie have demanding jobs in the UK, working long and often unsociable hours. Emma is a Senior Account Manager in a thriving and busy Advertising Agency and Sophie is a Gymnastics Coach at Liverpool, where many of the elite British Gymnasts train. They were both in dire need of a holiday before they came to Crete, with rest and relaxation top of their priority lists.
So on the days I was selling – Wednesday, Friday and Monday – Emma and Sophie were happy to sunbathe either on the beach in Almyrida or on the Roof Top Garden of the Almyrida Residence Hotel. Here the sun beds have deep and comfortable pads on them, the infinity pool is free of any screaming kids and they can happily fall asleep after a lovely lunch and maybe an afternoon cocktail or two. Oh what bliss! On Thursday we visited Georgioupolis beach for the day – always a favourite with all my visitors – and had fun playing Canasta at Mike’s Oasis on the beach.
On Friday I left the beach much earlier than I would normally, in order to go to a July 4th – American Independence Day celebration Party at the home of my American friend, Jeff and his girlfriend Shanna. Because they were staying with me, Emma and Sophie were invited to join in the festivities too. The villa is situated only a short walk from my apartment, right on the edge of the coastline, with stunning views over Almyrida Bay, Souda Bay, Akotiri and the White Mountains. This is a truly stunning location with a fabulous infinity pool that really does merge with the sea when you look at it. So it was lovely to arrive there early in the evening, enjoy a couple more daylight hours and then watch the beautiful sunset. We ate traditional American barbequed burgers and beer bread – which tasted like cake! Jeff organised a spectacular fireworks display but for me, the best part was Ray’s disco, with the music giving real atmosphere to the party. I couldn’t stop myself from dancing to almost every tune Ray played, especially as it was so breezy high up on the coastline there, keeping me cool while I quite literally danced the night away!
After the party, young and with what seems like boundless energy to me – Emma and Sophie wanted to continue their evening and so walked down into Almyrida to enjoy a few late drinks there. I, on the other hand, was content to collapse onto my bed exhausted from all that dancing! We all had a nice long lie in on Saturday morning, after which Emma and Sophie took themselves off to the pretty poolside of the Emerald Hotel and bar for a few hours while I stayed at home and happily pottered about the apartment. Late that afternoon we went into Chania. I had to hang some pictures up in Jenny’s apartment first. Then I met up again with the girls for a wander all around the Harbour and cobbled streets with pretty boutique shops. We had dinner at a delightful outside restaurant set among old ruins after which I drove back to Almyrida at around 11.30pm, to catch the last hour or so of the Dutch football game in Captain Jack’s. Emma and Sophie couldn’t resist the temptation of playing the giant Jenga game there and we were all amazed at how tall they were able to build the tower before it crashed to the floor!
Following another late night of drinking and frivolity, all we wanted to do on Sunday was to relax, which is exactly what we did on one of the quieter beaches in Kalives. There is a lovely restaurant on that particular beach where we had lunch. We didn’t get back until after 8pm so decided to have a barbeque and remain at the apartment for the rest of the evening.
When I’d finished selling in Almyrida on Monday, we all showered and then returned to Almyrida for the evening. There was a saxophonist playing at the Almyrida Residence Roof garden so we decided to have a couple of pre-dinner drinks there but enjoyed the ambience so much that we decided to stay for dinner as well. It was a lovely venue for our last evening together. All too quickly the time came to take Emma and Sophie back to the airport – a journey I never look forward to. Back at home, the apartment just seems empty and lonely without them and for the last two days I have been feeling a little lost and sad. I miss Emma so much and a week is just not long enough. Oh well, thanks to skype and modern technology in general, we can at least keep in touch regularly.