Combining the best of both worlds (in the mind of my seven-year-old), the kids and I took the train down to the beach Sunday. Liam had labored over his subway map the night before (and on every night since we got here), so he knew exactly where to go. I decided to drive us to the Metro station instead of taking the bus, and I was pleasantly surprised to find ample parking…in a dodgy, puddle-filled dirt lot…but still. Parking! Apparently Sunday is the day to drive.
Anyway, we took the blue line to Syntagma, then followed the signs to the tram. Up and across the street, and bam, there’s a tram at the station right now! Hurry, hurry! We just made it…then realized we had no idea if we were going the right way! As I studied the map, I noticed a young woman across from me doing the same. She turned out to be Margaritta from Moscow, and while her English was superb, her navigation skills were about the same as mine. Liam assured me we were on the right train…without a doubt a guess, but a good one. After a pleasant chat with our new friend, the beaches started to come into view. Awesome! With a fussy, hungry toddler in hand, we bid Margaritta adieu and got off at the first promising-looking beach we could find.
We laid down a towel on the warm beach — lots of tiny pebbles instead of sand at this one — and the kids had their much-needed lunch break. I took Violet’s shoes and socks off and walked her down to the surf. She squished her toes in the tiny pebbles as the small waves lapped her toes. A couple of sharp squeals led me to believe the water was too cold, so I bundled her back up on dry land. What I love about the beaches here in Greece are the views of the mountains in the distance. It was hard to tell if they were part of the mainland or if they were islands. Some of the smaller ones were obviously islands. Liam, my little encyclopedia, mentioned that his teacher said there were something like 6000 islands in Greece. I can believe it!
Liam had his heart set on taking the tram all the way to the end of the line at Voula, so we packed up our stuff and hopped back on the tram. We passed more beaches, huge sail boats parked near the track, summer hotels closed for the winter. Finally, the tram stopped and everyone got off. This must be it!
Now here was beach sand you could put your toes in! So we did. All of us. This beach had a huge pile of seaweed between us and the surf, so we just stuck to the sand. Liam tromped around us while I tried to divert Violet’s attention from putting every stick, seashell and rock into her mouth. Liam’s first experience at the beach was at Betheny Beach, DE when he was about 18 months old. He wasn’t too interested in eating sand by that age, so this is a new experience for me. I’m going to have my hands full this summer with Violet I’m sure.
Before we left, Liam asked if he could take one more run around in the sand. Thirty second later he was crying and carrying on about a cut foot. Sure enough, he’d scraped it a bit on a little rock. It wasn’t even bleeding…but when has that ever mattered? All the way to the tram, Liam complained how he HATED the beach, how he was NEVER coming back. I told him he can hang out in the hotel room with daddy while Violet and I go to the beach this summer. Daddy doesn’t like the beach, either. We’ll see how long he holds this particular grudge. This kid has a long memory…but he’s also very fond of making sand castles.