Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Weekends are for (mis)adventures

Rainy weekend, slightly under-the-weather kids... what better time for a Phantzi family outing, right? :-) 

We probably would not have done another trip, except that one of Terry's coworkers who lives in Librazhd lost her father last week, and so his office-mates organized a condolence visit to her family on Saturday. 

It was definitely a sad occasion but we thought it might be nice to extend the journey for ourselves, anyway, and go on to Lake Ohrid which we love so much. We rented a car and caravanned with Terry's coworkers as far as Librazhd, visited the family (I kept the kids in another room since they were pretty rambunctious after 2.5 hours in the car), then went out to lunch just our family while the rest of the group headed back to Tirana.

So then we had to decide what to do next, and we decided to go on to Pogradec, on the opposite side of the lake from Ohrid city in Macedonia. In the photo below, you can just make out Sveti Naum at the far left end of the green spit of land, just over the border in Macedonia. 
Here's a bit more of a close-up (the white rectangle at the left is the border crossing checkpoint):

 This is the hotel we stayed at; our room was on the top floor, at the far right in the photo. It was pretty nice.
And it had a playground! Valerie was not a fan of the taxidermied wolf in the outdoor cafe area that we had to walk by, but the playground itself was a hit.

On Sunday we drove across the Macedonian border to visit Sveti Naum again. 
That gray dome beyond the man on a bicycle is an old concrete bunker. There are a lot of them close to the border.
 We think the peacocks were in mating season because they were shrieking and displaying their tails quite aggressively!

 We had some of the worst hamburgers I've ever tasted just before heading out to drive back to Tirana. That didn't stop Terry from eating two!

Despite the bad food and rainy weather, the kids did really well on the drive there and back. Gabriel was definitely not feeling really great, but he took it all in stride. It was nice to get home and back into our routine. Oh! And then, we did this!

She loves it.


Becky said...

You know, as foriegn as your life looks, your children remind me that things are so much the same ;) All kids get antsy after a 2-3hr car ride, lol.

Anita said...

WoW, you did the haircut!!!!! I've been thinking about that ever since I read your other post where you showed your haircut and said V wanted one too! I was going to find it and finally comment with all things child-haircut-related! Well, never mind, you already did it. What I was going to say (from my past mistakes) was not to make it too drastic, and also to let her make the final decision. I know it's hard not to get your own feelings involved in your children's hair. I have always chopped and chopped away at my kids' hair totally disregarding their desire for long hair b/c it makes my life easier if it's short. But now I have given them their hair back. I do suggest bang trims to keep it out of their eyes, but we are on the same side with that (they want short bangs too). In fact, Lotus just cut her own bangs yesterday. She finished up before I could get to her to help, and then I resisted the urge to even them out. She had taken care of her own grooming so I didn't want to discourage her by "fixing" it. Ok, I'm going to show Solana the pictures now!

Solana said...

OMG, that is so cute [Valerie's haircut]! She doesn't look too happy in that picture though.