Our Greek House

Okay, this place really is the Bat Cave. Not only is there an elevator that goes from the basement up three floors to the roof top terrace, but all of the windows can be shuttered closed with one button. It took us a few tries to figure out which button. But now we’re ready for The Purge.

Apparently this is called a Smart House, which I’m gathering means it is smarter than two travel-weary Americans. The front door doesn’t have a key, just a FOB that you wave in the door’s general direction. You have to push a button to get out – I made sure James showed me before he left for work in the morning. Perimeter secure, sir! There’s some sort of intercom system and a camera set up out front that we haven’t monkeyed with yet. Hopefully no one will ring the bell.

Most of the lights have motion sensors, so they turn on and off as you enter and leave areas of the house. A little disconcerting at first. It took us awhile to figure out all of the light switches. James pressed a whole bunch of buttons on this little remote and managed to get the living room lights on, but we still haven’t figured out how to turn them off. Perhaps after we go to bed they’ll just “sense” that we’re not there and turn themselves off.

The furniture provided by the embassy befits this fancy house, but not us really. What am I going to do with a china cabinet? And a white sofa? Did they not know we have children?!

Liam loves his room. It has a sliding glass door that goes to the balcony, and an entire wall for storage. Here I was concerned we wouldn’t have space for all his toys. Though, most of the knobs for the cabinets are out of reach, so we may have to get him a step stool. In fact, I’m going to need a couple of those myself. Some of the cabinets in the bathrooms and the kitchen are impossibly high.


Oh, and the kitchen! Look, mom, at this awesome fridge we have! See, I told you they wouldn’t leave us hanging. The appliances are all top of the line, and with enough trial and error, I’m sure we’ll figure out how to work them. The ovens came with a manual…the microwave did not. The oven knobs have helpful little pictures, but the microwave is entirely in Greek. James tried to nuke something and ended up setting the clock instead. That’s usually the hardest thing to figure out! We ended up pushing all of the buttons and have more or less figured out how to operate it.

Our Microwave Speaks Greek
Our oven speaks pictogram

Upstairs we found the washer and dryer! In a random bathroom! And all the buttons are in German! We’ve got quite a collection of multicultural appliances here.

The heat also took a little time to figure out. It was freezing when we arrived (16 C, whatever that means), and James kept punching up the thermostat to no avail. This house came with a hefty instruction manual, and after pouring over it he discovered that the heat radiates from the floors. Alternatively, each room comes equipped with an AC unit near the ceiling that also doubles as a heater. Once he got those going at a comfortable 22 C (again, whatever that means), I felt a lot better. On the plus side, those nice warm floors in the kitchen and bathroom are going to feel nice on cold winter mornings.

I thought surely Liam would want to play with the elevator. But he wouldn’t even try it. He was afraid it would get stuck. So instead he kept asking me to take it while he went up the stairs. Fine by me…it really comes in handy when I’m carrying the baby. The rooftop terrace is quite spaceous, though the view wasn’t as impressive as I’d hoped. You can get a glimpse of some mountains, but it’s mostly obstructed by taller buildings. Still, when the weather warms up I’m totally getting some Barca Loungers.

In the afternoon we ventured to the supermarket for additional provisions, notably trash bags and dish soap, but we discovered all the stores are closed on Sundays. We did find one of those street cart bodegas open, and when I found these in the cooler, I couldn’t resist.


Grapes on the front, it must be white wine. Opa! Except, upon closer inspection … sip. Holy crap, that is definitely NOT wine! More like vodka. Uzo, maybe? Whatever it is, it’ll put some hair on your chest!

No internet yet, boo! It’s been 24 hours and I’m starting to feel the itch. At least James managed to hook up our microscopic flat screen TV so we could watch a movie. Liam had a scrambled egg and spaghetti for dinner. Must get to the store tomorrow. I sure hope they deliver!

Ugh, it’s 23 o’clock (Is that how they really say it? I have no idea.) and Violet is WIIIIIDE awake. Baby jet lag, oh joy. Going to be a long night.

5 thoughts on “Our Greek House

  1. Jan

    Thanks for sharing, house does sound awesome. As an ex-military wife I’ll let you know. Don’t say o’clock. It is just 23 hundred. Don’t forget to tell me if the sky is really bluer like in some photos.


    1. mandysmusings

      The sky in Athens seems to be the normal blue, and there’s so much traffic here, it’s sometimes even a bit hazy. I wonder if those brilliant blue skies you see are photos from the Greek Isles. I’ll check those out and get back to ya!


  2. Julie Weddle

    It sounds amazing! How big are the rooms, particularly the bedrooms? It all sounds very high tech! You may have to come down a peg or two when you come home to our ordinary places. Looks like you may need to brush up on your Greek. Jan says you can get an app on your phone to translate any foreign language just by taking a picture of it. You may want to look into that! You are an amazing trooper- everyone marvels at what you are going through. Just hope you can keep your sense of humor about it. Love you and miss you!


    1. mandysmusings

      The bedrooms are actually pretty big – more than we expected. They easily fit a bed, night stand and dresser. And because the kids rooms have built in drawers and cabinets, I’m not sure they even need the dressers. James and I have a HUGE walk in closet and a master bath with the biggest jacuzzi tub I’ve ever seen. And it has a shower. The fixtures are super weird. I’ll try to post a picture later. Today is laundry day, and my washer is all in German. Wish me luck!


  3. Pingback: Our First Greek Birthday Party – Greece is the Word

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