Wednesday, June 6, 2018

On an Island, Together, Again . . .

Just popping my head in to share a few photos that will make it clear why I'm not finding much time to post. Family takes priority this week. . . Also, the Wifi here is unbearably slow -- fine for checking messages and doing some research about the area, but it's not keeping up with making my photos available to Blogger.  (In fact, I had these photos uploaded yesterday, but then couldn't get back online to finish the post!)

Enough with the excuses/reasons -- I'm going to write a few words about these photos and then try to "Publish" -- the signal does seem to be stronger in the morning.  

Top photo, Son-in-Law used the outdoor wood-burning oven to roast meat for dinner -- one night the three chickens, as you see above; another evening, a pork shoulder.  The logistics of planning, shopping for, and sharing preparation of meals for eleven people constitute an important element in bonding our family together, this week and ever. So happy to be part of a family where the men do so much of the feeding. 

Below, these two cousins are six months apart, and it's been so much fun to watch them become instant Best Frenemies, as my daughter puts it -- they concoct elaborate games together, often around themes involving Frozen, and then they conduct equally elaborate negotiations about who gets to have or do what and for how long -- and when the negotiations collapse, they can squabble like siblings.  Here, they're sharing Younger Cousin's colouring gear while dinner prep happens. . . 

And nearby, an aunt ( our daughter-in-law) chats with her niece. . .
One of my favourite pics -- The Italian Cousin extends her love to her baby cousin whom she wants to hold at every opportunity, and then is so tender with him, gently drawing her cheek across the top of his head or pressing it against his, lightly kissing his forehead. . .
Not gonna lie. We've taken the kids on outings to see nearby towns, climb hills to old fortresses; back home, we've played hours of beach ball polo in the pool with them and indulged games of hide-and-seek. . . but a few times, they've nestled on the couch with a movie on the computer, a bowl of chips nearby, and just chilled. Can you guess what they're watching? Hint: Those dolls are called Elsa and Anna, and check out Blonde Cousin's dress. . . .
Here's a full-on view of that dress -- doesn't everyone pack some Formal Disney wear for their Croatian (or any!) Vacation?
View from the other end of the terrace where Blondie's Mama snuggles her new nephew
I got the little guy all to myself a few mornings. Just me and the sunrise and the Adriatic . . . not bad. . .
The last photo is one of so many I wanted to load up for you -- photos of our wanderings on foot or by car. I'm trying to do some of that on Instagram, and of course I'll share more once I'm on a better signal again (and for weeks after we get home, I'm sure). I included this one just for the sense it offers of the chance we've had to get out for some time with each individual family. So special to have this time away from regular surroundings, the different context freeing in some ways, but also concentrating the attention on each other. Something about walking on ancient cobblestones alongisde old drystone walls that insists on the slow approach being important. . .
So much more I could Show and Tell, but I'm anxious about getting this post out while the signal is passable. Cross your fingers while I click "Publish," and we'll see if it works.  Wave hello in the comments if you have a minute -- I might not be responding to them all, but I'm definitely reading them. 


  1. I'm so happy that you and your family are enjoying at Hvar-so many precious moments,pure joy...
    I'm not going to write about all the natural beauties :-)
    Your grandchildren are adorable,all together and so tender to the little one....precious...,and their blond and dark heads together ( only the redheads are missing)-beautiful memories!
    Your SIL is a Masterchef! Did he make his roasts in the open oven,in an iron pot, covered with the lid and than with live coal from all sides,even from the upper side (like "peka",in croatian)?
    Enjoy the rest of your stay with your family!

    1. It’s so beautiful here, Dottoressa. Your country has so much to offer.
      Yes! That’s exactly how my son-in-law did the roasting. I’ll have to tell him the word for this technique.

  2. You are obviously having the most lovely holiday & , though I’ve always enjoyed keeping busy in far away places , the little ones are grounding you & forcing some important relaxation & soaking up of atmosphere . Your Instagram has been reminding me of the trips we had to that area , a lovely mix of deep blue sea , lush greenery & limestone . The shiny limestone cobbles made me quite nostalgic . Not so sure about ‘Frozen’ , my sisters granddaughters sang the song for what seemed like hours one Christmas & I was very close to grumpy point . I’ll pass on the chicken too & stick with the Persian veggie platter . Apart from that it looks perfect .
    Wendy in York

    1. You’re right-having the kids here means an easy excuse for slowing right down. Not to mention the beach, the pool . . .
      I’m with you on Frozen; just don’t find much appeal in the music, but the girls love belting out “Let it Go” and they are intrigued by the relationship between Anna and Elsa...

  3. Nothing better than a big family vacation! Enjoy!!!!
    (That baby is yummy!)

    1. Thanks! He’s pretty cute, isn’t he? (I might be biased😉

  4. Looks wonderful, Frances. And great to have the men doing so much of the cooking. Your daughter had her father as a model for the best kind of man to marry:)

  5. Wow! What a rare and wonderful treat to have so many of your family sharing such an exotic holiday together! Memories being made and cousin bonding occurring-so prescious! The kids are growing so fast- wasn’t that baby boy just born? And look how big he is now. Frozen seems to have captured the fantasy life of children all over the world. Even my young grandson at one point was belting out “let it doe” with his beach towel royal robes trailing off his shoulders, when normally he would be playing with trucks In the sand pile. And the DRESS-well of course it would be needed for high tea with your cousin in Croatia!! Revel in every moment, Frances. I think I will be adding Croatia to my bucket list!

  6. What a fantastic time you are having! It seems like the perfect family holiday. Thanks for taking the time to post.
    Suz from Vancouver

  7. This looks idyllic. When my mother and stepfather were in Santa Barbara, we'd all descend on that house, and those are some of my children's happiest memories.

  8. So lovely! Looks like the best family vacation with lots of just chilling.


  9. Absolutely love viewing your idyllic family time in such a magnificent setting! What a dream! Enjoy every single minute! Precious memories are being built...
    Charlene H

  10. So lovely. It's a pleasure to see your family connecting in such a beautiful place. Coincidentally, blonde cousin and I have on the exact same dress right now.(Okay, not true, but I kind of wish I did.:) Enjoy your time. x.

  11. Hello, What a beautiful family! I'm particularly smitten with "blonde cousin" so tenderly holding the baby. I enjoy the natural style to your writing. Thanks for make it accessible.


  12. Waving hello. :)

    A lovely post. I'm glad you persevered.

    I've never been to Croatia, but will be there in July for only a couple of days. Everything I hear about the coast is that it's magnificent, and your photos make that description appear to be true.

    Keep enjoying yourselves.

    Ann in Missouri

  13. So glad to see that you had the wonderful family time you had been looking forward to. Hope you could lay back and just enjoy it. All the best for the days ahead.

  14. Dear Mater,
    I have just discovered your blogs Mater Reads and Mater Writes. My sister, who lives in San Juan, Puerto Rico follows the blogs and told me about them. I quickly discovered we have much in common (daughters/grandchildren/ travel to Palm Springs, Italy, Croatia.) Teaching English lit at university and on and on. I also think you might enjoy my last two published books. The last is a mystery set in Sicily and Alberta. (It is as much a literary novel as a mystery.) My second last one is a memoir that includes a visit off the coast of Croatia, an exploration of the history of the area, and an account of my mother's life. I am reaching out to you, because I have enjoyed your writing about your family and your trips. And I connected with several of your reviews. I look forward to reading more of them. best, Caterina

  15. Wonderful! and that is a special time with family together, both exploring, negotiating the daily necessities, and precious downtime.


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