Sunday, June 25, 2006

Ady's first day on the lake

We had a bunch of fun this past week. It sure has been nice to be back into the normal swing of things since getting back from Greece. Eric is never completely in his comfort zone unless he is working and Hailey loves being back to the house where her and Ady can do so many fun things. Ady’s new fun thing to do is take walks everywhere and anytime she can. We thought it would be great when she started walking and sure it is, but man we cannot keep her in one spot. She just walks and walks and walks. Speaking of walking this past Saturday, Hailey’s mom and dad and her two brothers Spencer and Austin finished a huge walk. Grandpa and Grandma Smoot were called to serve as “Pa and Ma” for a Mormon Pioneer commemoration trek. They were in charge of their own family of ten and walked about 40 miles in the middle of the desert for 4 days. They are required to pull handcarts and there is no cooling of water and minimal food. The point is to help you get a better understanding and respect for the pioneers that settled the Utah Valley.
Adyson went on her first boat ride (GALLERY) this week and got to go with Christa and Breanna Smoot (her aunts). Hailey and I watched Christa and Breanna for a night while their parents were on the trek. We had a fun time as always and all of us went out on the lake for an evening ride. This was the first time getting the boat in the water since storing it for the winter and we felt a bit embarressed as we sat in the marina of the lake with a dead battery. Luckily we found some guys that helped us jump the battery and we were off. We went out with some good friends of ours from our ward named the Lindahls. Adyson absolutely loves water. She loves the hot tub, the pool, the bath, the streams, the shower believe it or not and now she loves the lake. We loved seeing her in the life vest and just smiling and jumping up and down. She hasn’t learned that she can’t throw stuff out of the boat though. I think she lost at least 2 toys into the lake.
Hailey and I have always been good at keeping her covered in sun block whenver we go outside. As a matter of fact just 2 weekends ago I had her at a pool for about 2 hrs one saturday and she didn’t even get a hint of red. Well on saturday when we went to meet Hailey’s parents at the end of the treck we didn’t expect to be waiting for them for so long and Adyson was outside with no sunblock. Don’t worry she is fine, but as you will see from the pics in the gallery, she got really pink and it was actually pretty cute, though we thought for sure she would not be sleeping and it would be way painful. Luckily for us, as always Ady proved to be a “super child” and she wasn’t even phased today at church. Hailey and I did have to explain that we are not negligent parents however.
This coming saturday we are celebrating her 1st birthday since Jim and Sue Kandell are going to be in town and so is Aunt Lisa (Eric’s Sister) with her son, cousin Easton. We cannot wait.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Home safe from Greece

Well we have safely returned from Greece and both Hailey and I survived being away from Adyson for the week. We are so grateful that Grandma Smoot was able to watch her. We are bit scared Ady might get bored at our house now that she has become accustomed to having a houseful of friends to play with at the Smoot house.
If you have not read our daily logs from our Greece trip just click on the travel link under categories on the right side menu and you can see what we did day by day. Greece is definetely one of the most beautiful places we have ever been or may ever go. We have looked at the pictures since returning and just get frustrated because there is no real way to capture the beauty other than to just go there. Imagine waking every morning and walking out onto your own private villa patio and leaning over your fence looking straight down off a cliff and into the bluest water of the mediterranean sea! The weather was perfect, not too hot and never too cold. We had the best food ever and are now addicted to Greek Food. We stayed on the Island of Santorini just a few miles out of a little village/town called Thira. We are not sure if we will ever go back but sure would love to. If you are ever planning a trip of a lifetime, Greece is definetaly one to think about. We wont go into a bunch of detail here since we have logged it all into the travel category which you can also find by clicking here. DONT FORGET TO GO TO PREVIOUS ENTRIES when at the bottom of the page if you want to see all we did.
We have recently posted some amazing pictures we took in greece so go to the gallery and view them there. Remember once in our gallery you can go to slideshow mode and choose the speed to watch the pictures and how large you want them on your screen. We hope all of you are doing well and can’t wait to see or hear from you soon.
The Kandells

Thursday, June 8, 2006

Town of Oia

Today we had a rental car all day and were able to drive around almost the entire island. It was so much fun, we went to the Black Sand Beach (Perissa) and believe it or not the Red Sand Beach. The black sand beach was awesome. The sand was so hot you could not walk on it without shoes, and the sand was a bunch of tiny little rounded rocks. I got in the water and it was way cold. Hailey and I have noticed the water in the Mediteranean in much colder than we are used to. We hung out at the black sand beach for a while and then drove over to the red beach. We didn’t actually lay out at the red beach, but it was beautiful.
The main part of the day we spent our time in Oia. This is the little cliff town where they filmed the movie “sisterhood of the traveling pants.” We were amazed how different this town was than the town of Fira that is much closer to our hotel. Oia is a bit smaller and less touristy. We ate a really good lunch on the roof of one of the highest points in the town and just overlooked the sea and all the cliff side towns along the way. Oh I almost forgot, the entire drive to Oia was along a thin road along straight down cliffs with no road barriers! Needless to say I drove extra slow and careful. At one point the road and the island become so thin you are practically driving on a road and on both sides you see the sea right next to you.
We finished off the night by eating dinner at a sea-side restraunt called Katina in Oia and we were so excited to have fresh fish. The sea captains were bringing in fish right in front of us and grilling all sorts of sea food over coals right in the restraunt. We ordered grilled prawns and a fish called sea brea. Well, we knew something was wrong when they brought Hailey’s shrimp and it smelled really strong of wet dog! Next came my fish and the eyes were still in it. My fish was not all that bad after peeling off the skin and bones and eating around the eyes. We just chalked this up as a fun experience and headed back to Fira for some crepes and some shopping.
Back in Fira we went back to Fresh Line, the new handmade and natural cosmetics place that Hailey has fallen in love with and then found a place in the middle of an isle that made us some really good crepes. The crepe place was fun because some drunk dude called us to come up to his restraunt and we could get anything we wanted. We quickly found out he meant he could make us any drink we could think up, but when he found out we didn’t drink he thought we were crazy. It was funny because he promised he would make us the best crepes ever, but this place did not look like a crepery. Hailey and I just sat there and laughed because this guy was taking for ever to come up with crepes. He walked to every table drinking and laughing with everyone but just kind of ignored us. We almost walked out twice but then he came through and they were the tastiest crepes we have had and we have no idea where he got them, but he did. We can’t wait til we see what tomorrow (our last full day in Santorini) has in store

Last day in the islands

We are so sad to be leaving the beautful Island of Santorini tomorrow, it has been like a dream being here. But, at the same time we got the news today that Adyson is now walking (of course she started while we were gone) so we are excited to get home and see her.
Today we did a lot of relaxing and soaking up the last rays of sun. We woke up and lounged around by our pool, then we had two massage theraptists come to our villa and we got massages. It was great, and very relaxing. Then early afternoon we headed into town to our favorite little dive place Lucky’s to eat lunch there for our last day. The rest of the afternoon we spent shopping in Fira and relaxing back in our villa. Then tonight we had out hotel get us reservations at the beautiful cliffside restaurant called Sphinx, the food was great and the views were as always abslutely stunning.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Another amazing day in Santorini

Today we got lots of sun and chilled at our pool at the villas all morning. The first day we got here it was way windier than normal and caused the weather to feel a bit cool. When we got up this morning it was amazingly calm and hot. After lying in the sun and swimming all morning we took a taxi again back into the town on Fira and walked around and had lunch. The coolest thing that we did downtown today was ride the cable car! There is a cable car you can take all the way down the cliffs to the ocean and back. What a view! We ended up talking with a few families that were all part of a cruise that was for 10 days and went all over to tons of cool European places.
After lunch we came back and relaxed and did some more sun bathing and watched a movie and slept a bit before returning to town for dinner around 9:30 pm. The normal time for dinner over here is about 9:30-10:00. We found the coolest store called natural line, which is all sorts of skin care products that are hand made and you can buy them in any quantity you want etc. Hailey and I thought my mom would love the place and it is kind of like the bodi deli she goes to in St, Johns. Anyway we cannot wait for tomorrow since we are renting the car and going all over the island!

Monday, June 5, 2006

Santorini Greece is amazing

This morning we woke up pretty early as we are still trying to get used to the new schedule. We felt like we were in a movie or something because there were armed guards, policemen, metal detectors etc all in front of our hotel. We think there was some high priority individuals there because there was a big Banking meeting taking place. Anyway I just kind of sat on our balcony looking out over the parliament building and the main square and people watched most the morning.
We headed to the airport to take our flight to Santorini. The flight was a quick one and only took about a half hour. As much as I hate flying, this flight was pretty cool, because we just flew over islands and the ocean is so blue it looks fake. Landing in Santorini was like landing in paradise. For real, this place is unbelievable. Santorini is an island that used to be a complete circleof land around water, kinda like a donut island. Well there is a volcano right in the middle and thousands of years ago in the bronze age there was a large eruption that destroyed parts of the ring of land and now it is more like a half circle. The island is full of steep cliffs that go straight down into the sea and on these cliffs you can see some of the coolest little villas that are all white washed and just perched on these steep cliffs
Today we went into the town of Fira and ate at the best GYRO stand in the city called LUCKY’S. It was awesome. Fira is so cool, it is little cobblestone streets that wind all through these white-washed buildings and it is just a bunch of tiny diners, shops, and jewelers. You have to see it to believe it. Hailey and I both agree that pictures do not do this place any justice at all. It is believed that perhaps the best sunsets in the world are found from the island of Santorini. We ate at a cliff side restraunt called Niks tonight and watched the sky turn a bright orange and fade to a bright purple by the time the sun went all the way down. We cannot wait til tomorrow. We have lots of things planned for this week. We leave here and return to Athens on Friday.
Our little villa is great! We sit on the side of a cliff and have a private couples swimming pool, lounge chairs, etc. We look very forward to just hanging out and relaxing for a while.

Sunday, June 4, 2006

Our first day in Athens Greece

Well after a very long plane ride, Hailey and I finally arrived in Athens today. Talk about jet lag. We were so tired by the time we got here that we could hardly keep our eyes open. The time difference is 9 hrs from Utah so we have some catching up to do. Once we got to our hotel in Athens, we decided to clean up and go get some lunch. We then got a taxi and went and visited some really cool ancient buildings right in the middle of Athens. It is so amazing that right in the middle of a major city, that there are these huge ancient buildings and ruins that we learned about back in school but really never paid much attention to. Hailey and I are amazed at how nice all the Greeks are. After walking around the Parthanon for a bit we took some side streets down the mountain and into town. By this time we were totally ready for a nap so we came back to our hotel and slept for about 2 hours before we had to get ready to go eat dinner. We had dinner at a restaraunt called Spondi. This place was very romantic and sat on a small rooftop and had all sorts of potted plants and gardens around it. It was amazing food. Hailey had lamb and I had filet. What we have found out about eating in Greece is that you take your time. We are not used to this since we have to eat so fast with Adyson at the house. It has been really nice to just sit back and relax and take things at a slow Greek pace. It is now almost 1 am and we have to leave to the airport at 9:15 am so we are going to head to sleep because tomorrow we fly to Santorini for 4 nights. We most likley won’t be able to get pictures into the gallery until we return but we will continue to keep posting interesting things we do each day. See ya all soon. Love Eric and Hailey