Four grown kids, six delightful grandchildren, constant, long-time partner. A retired academic, I'm adapting to life in a Vancouver condo after decades in a waterfront home on a very small (Canadian) West Coast island. Keen to discover what new priorities emerge, what interests persist, in this urban life after 60!
Family Travel/Couple Travel, Croatian Island Style. . .
If you've been looking at my Instagram feed, you'll know that we've hugged and kissed family good-bye, shed a few tears, and left the island of Hvar -- I hope to write more later about sharing a travel destination with (several generations of) family -- and about my priorities for getting the most out of the expense of such a commitment. Hint: those priorities do NOT include seeing all the major monuments. . . . But dinner together at a Konoba in the country while darkness falls and church bells ring out a competition across the valley, while cousins chatter and share tastes from their plates and coax different aunts and uncles to take them down the hill to run in the field nearby before all return to the table for dessert? That was high on the list. . . .
That's not to say that I don't like to visit some of the historical and archaeological highlights. But often my approach to these -- and luckily, it's an approach Pater's happy to share -- is simply to wander. And the wandering was a good way for us to carve out some easy couple time for ourselves. In fact, part of what made this family week work, I think, was that we spent parcels of time together, but we also went off in different smaller groups, and several mornings Pater and I walked to a nearby small town or, in the case of Jelsa, as pictured in a panoramic hilltop view above, we drove. . .
(First, shall I tell you that in one of those less-than-idyllic situations that are also part of travel, the intention that particular morning had been to visit StariGrad, but Pater wanted to fill the gas tank before we did anything else. Turned out he was wrong, though, and there wasn't a gas station where he thought there was. Some trial-and-error ensued, and I happened to glance at the gas gauge and realize that there wasn't much room for trial-and-error mileage. . . If I'm going to be honest, I might as well tell you that Pater found my response to the situation less than helpful (okay, okay, I got a bit tense when GoogleMaps showed me how far the nearest gas station was, especially when Pater took a wrong turn on the way to what was actually just a Marine Gas Station. . . . ). He told me pretty clearly just how much less than helpful he thought I was being, and I think I did a damn good job of not telling him how much less than helpful it was for the one who'd been put in charge of car transportation for the trip to almost run out of gas ("I gave you ONE job" -- were words that never passed my lips. I'm rather proud of that, I tell you. . .
At any rate, there was crossness; there might have been tears; there were sincere and thoughtful apologies, accepted eventually. . . .and we agreed to explore the small town that hosted the gas station and leave Stari Grad for some future visit (that, realistically, will probably never happen). . . then there was gelato and the climb up to the hilltop for a panoramic view, and all the way, this wandering I mentioned, through narrow, cobbled lanes, noticing that all the other tourists got thinned out as we left the restaurants and the lavender-oil vendors behind. . . .
There were so few other tourists around, in fact, that I didn't mind when Pater suggested taking my photo for the blog (see? He thinks of you when we're on vacation as well). . .
You'll note that linen does wrinkle, just as rumour has it, but I have to say that I couldn't care less given its comfort factor in the almost unremitting heat we've been (mostly) enjoying.
Just one more view so that you can see the high-low hem more clearly -- sometimes I like having that shorter length in front, and sometimes I'm not so sure. Pater's a fan, though, and I'll admit it tickles me that he still likes my legs after spending 45 years around them. . . ;-)
That's probably as much marital info as anyone needs. Let's get back on those narrow back lanes of Jelsa and see what the Wandering Couple saw. . .
We packed up the next morning, did that hugging and kissing and crying I told you about, took that now-full gas tank down some harrowing curves on some narrow roads with two-to-ten-foot drops six inches from our front tire. . . took a ferry, drove some more -- entered and left another country without (sadly) having to get our passports stamped -- and found ourselves in the sweetest little Studio Cottage. . . . Perhaps you can imagine that I'm wandering here as well. . . and that I will probably share images from that wandering with you soon.