I went under general anesthesia for the first time when I underwent ear surgery in late August at Mass Eye and Ear. Twenty-four hours afterward I felt good. I figured the worst must be behind me and thanked my stars that I'd tolerated the general so well. Next morning I woke up (surprised and) feeling awful - way worse than the day before. Turned out it wasn't a linear process like I'd expected. That learning curve pops up before me often this week as we cope with jet lag. It all went so very well the first day we were here in Crete - everyone so exhausted from the (nearly) sleepless redeye, to say nothing of the prior 10 weeks of nomadic and dad-less life, that we just crashed and slept 12 solid hours. Woke up "on schedule" in the Greek timezone, ate our three meals at the normal times, and figured we'd kind of sail through. Nights 2, 3, and 4 have proved me notably wrong - again. Good, then worse, then better is evidently a thing. Duly noted.
Sleepless nights and crying, disoriented kids at night notwithstanding, the transition's gone pretty well. I'd initially been a little nervous to fly solo with the four kids internationally for the first time, but the drama surrounding my ear and getting clearance to fly reduced the flying concern a good bit. By the time we finally flew, it kind of felt like the easy part. Individual TVs on the international flight - what they call "personal entertainment"- was a saving grace. And the other saving grace was my awesome husband flying up to Athens to meet us for our six-hour layover before our flight to Crete. In the forty-five minutes between landing and meeting up with him we a) had a vomiting episode at the very moment that we were getting our passports stamped by the customs official (that'll go down as a family milestone, I'm sure), and b) watched every last fellow passenger pick up their luggage off the carousel and finally, ours nowhere in sight, went to Lost and Found line to see what the heck happened to ours. Good news: I'd been misinformed; ours would meet us in Crete. Phew! So after wading through all that, I was tense - and grateful - when we entered the terminal to find that blessed and much-missed man standing there waiting for us. These photos were his (as I dozed for much of the layover time):
We got to the house we're renting within a half hour of landing on Crete, bags thankfully in hand, and found it looking just like the photo my husband had sent us:
The kids swam in the pool twice between our arrival at 6:30 and when they went to bed at 10. The next first two days were full of moving things around the house and trying to get unpacked (I should say "more fully unpacked" since my husband had done a bunch of it) and create order. Toys, TV, and pool for the kids. In the evenings we all went together to drive around Chania, the town we're in, get ice cream, do some food shopping. The most interesting thing we've run into so far is a freezer section full of wrapped octopuses at the local super market chain. We of course bought one and grilled it up for part of tonight's dinner. Salty; not a fave.
My husband's been like a tour guide for us - taking us around, pointing things out, impressing us with his small talk in Greek with vendors, introducing us to the butcher, Dmitri. Today he took us to one of the local beaches where we delighted in the warm, clear water and sandy bottom. (Up next: snorkeling.) It's all been so helpful; it does make me thankful that - in spite of the craziness of our time apart and even the extension caused by the Great Ear Escapade - we had him go ahead.
There's been a lot of change all at once and a lot for the kids to take in; this of course is the nature of an international move... Not speaking the language, not reading the alphabet (well), not remembering that you can't flush toilet paper down the toilet, not being able to figure out all the crazy light switches in our house, not knowing what foods a) you can eat (given gluten), and b) your kids will willingly eat, even if they can eat them. And there are observations about the people and the landscape and what we're seeing so far of the area, which hasn't yet been a huge amount. I'd never call myself a "travel blogger," and at the end of this run of posts I probably still won't, but I'll sure enjoy playing around with it and giving it my best shot.