PARADISE

The property where we stayed was named "Paradise," and it's actually not much of an exaggeration at all. Forget the proximity to "our favorite beach ever," it also had gorgeous landscaping, beautiful views, a very kind and attentive staff, and our own little house with our own pool and garden. We'd walk down the pathways to the main lobby area a couple times a day and Everett and Alice would shoot off running through the bougainvillea, leaping off the steps and walls. For some reason Everett called the ramps "rails" and yelled it out every time he ran up them. The more we tried to correct him, the more he insisted they were called rails. So eventually we gave up and would call out "be careful on the rails!"

 All the food here was amazing, and we finally got the kids to eat something other than yogurt and watermelon. This is where they both fell in love with Souvlaki and Keftethes. Alice also fell in love with a very friendly Cretan man, which was a little embarrassing and a lot entertaining for everyone. After dinner, when the waiter brought the grown ups the traditional after-dinner drink of Raki, they'd also bring shot glasses of juice for the kids so they didn't feel left out. It was a really cute touch and very sweet, and they absolutely loved another opportunity to do cheers ("ya sas!").

In the morning and evening we'd sit among the olive trees and gaze into the mountains or off into the sea, the scent of pine in the air.  

  If we weren't at the beach we were hanging out by our little pool. Alice didn't want to get in the water, but she loved hanging out in her "foaties," running around in the grass, filling her bucket with water and pouring it out, throwing the ball, and making us dive into the water. 

It was really nice to have some privacy, too. No matter how loud, rambunctious, or naked these two got, we didn't have to worry that we were bothering anyone. 

Downtime included leaning all the pool toys against the light posts to make "sculptures," watching Bolt on loan from the hotel (which they both loved at first glance), or just simply climbing up and down the steep, open, metal, spiral staircase in our house, probably purely because they knew how dangerous it was and that they weren't supposed to.