A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: OhanaNomads

Wow almost back to Big Island

Time flies when your Illinois

overcast 40 °F

Well some how we just passed almost 3 months again. We have been grounded at the house that I grew up in outside of chicago. The kids have been taking all kids of classes. Leo can now ice skate ( very useful for a hawaiian, ha ,ha.) He is swimming . And he got to be part of an offica l soccer team. Marley got to take some swim lessons and her adorable ballet class. Things are winding down to the last week till we get to return home finally!
Its been a long summer and fall. We have been gone almost 6.5 months now. We thought about continuing to travel and make our way back to crete and then India ,but when I brought it up to Leo he was not having it at all. Anyway, it is really exciting thinking about going home. We are so blessed that our home is still in the same condition that we left it too. A lot Of our close friends and family either can't return to their homes cause of the lava or they lost everything entirely. I feel so much for you all and am sending you all love and blessings!
I am so blessed that our family didn't have to experience any of that. It was kinda dramatic not knowing what was going to happen from the other side of the world. Mostly we didn't have internet either so we were kinda removed from it all mostly.
Anyway, most of our favorite things about home have shifted or don't exist anymore due to the lava swallowing them up. Like the amazing geothermal warm ponds, Ahalanui Park. What a loss it was one of the most magical swimming holes that I ever knew. All our childrens birthday parties were celebrated there or nearby at pohoiki ( which is also mostly not there) This is all speculation as I am not actually back in hawaii and haven't explored what is there and what isn't. Some places are just known that they aren't there anymore. Apparently though at pohoiki boat ramp there is a new huge beach and a new warm pond there. I think the old warm pond at pohoiki might still be there. We are really missing the fresh fruit, the coconuts, the bounty ... the fresh avocados that you find when you take a walk down the st. I am missing the quietness. My mom lives next to a train and you get used to it, but boy is it loud! I can't wait to hear the frogs, the whales and feel the trade wind breeze. We are definatly ready for some warm weather. It is starting to get blistery cold here in Chicago. The kids have learned to wear lots of layers. Put on gloves , hat, coat before heading outside... The leaves here are gorgeous. The bike paths are really fun too. We have been taking lots of awesome rides! There is an amazing bike path just next door to the train. It goes super far all the way to wisconsin. Anyway, its funny how when you have access to internet everyday you don't find the time to blog about your trip. I guess since we haven't been so nomadic the last few months It hasn't been as exciting!
It has been so nice spending time with mom, david, arielle, maia all the family here. Leo has made some really sweet new friends! All in all it was a great experience for us to settle for a second and wait for the lava to cool down! ( literally) There hasn't been any activity on kiluaea and it is totally time to return home! My only wish is that we were leaving tomorrow!!! I can't wait to see CocoLuna our dog! She is going to be so happy to see us!!!!!

Posted by OhanaNomads 22:28 Archived in USA Tagged il wilmette Comments (0)

Serdinia, Sardegna

a short lived farm stay

sunny 86 °F

Well the whole reason we had come over to Italy was because we had arranged to wwoof on this farm in serdinia Sardgna. We took a ferry boat over from Napoli and then took a bus to a small village called Serdiana. There we were picked up by Christina a nice women who we were going to work with. She drove us to her farm and we met her and her family. When we arrived she started to mention that her husband was quite sick and the kids were just getting over being quite sick... I thought oh great what a fantastic start to this experience. There had quite a beautiful piece of land and all the structures were hand made from straw bale construction.
There were growing lots of pears, apples, quince, figs, blackberries and a big garden. On their farm they breeded horses and had about 7 of them. They also had a big flock of sheep which they milked each day and made cheese from their milk. The children were quite adorable , Rue, and Blu. Rue was 7 and Blu was 4...
At first it seemed really fun and we enjoyed it . We set up our tent and were ready for the adventure of being in a new place and looking forward to being grounded and working on a farm for a minute . Its very hard working travelling constantly with the little ones. They are very adaptable, but moving around with our heavy bags and then babies to carry is very challenging. Also now we are in Italy and I don't exactly speak fluent Italian. I'd say I'm pretty good at faking it, but its a lot easier in Greece for me where I am almost fluent.
Immediatley I jumped right in and offered to help in the kitchen. I felt like I was constantly working on this farm. The next morning we woke up early to help them at like 6am... It was hard as our children sleep in a bit and our camp site was super far from where we were working. I ended up just taking Marley with me cause I didn't want her to be scared. It was kinda hard to get anything done with a crabby , tired marley. Eventually we ended up picking pears and that was close to the tent so when Leo finally woke up we were nearby to help. It was fun and games for a couple of days by almost immediatly our kids started getting sick. Just runny noses and trouble sleeping, but everyday was getting more and more uncomfortable and dirty. They didn't really have running water and they were washing their dishes with old coffee grinds... Actually they weren't washing the plates they used they would eat and them tuck them away in a drawer leaving whatever leftovers was left and then pull out the dirty plates for the next meal. It was quite gross. The 7 year old always seemed quite upset about this and would refuse to eat till she rinsed her own dish off... I made sure to wash our plates... Anyway, we all smelled super bad by the 3 or 4th day and it was really hard to be there... We were living on a diet of bread, cheese and salad.
It was cool to get to help make homemade sheeps cheese and bread with there pizza oven. But we were kinda starting to feel like prisoners on this farm.
I was told to do the cooking so at least I was able to cook things that our children liked... They had told us from the beginning that they had not had many good experiences with people staying with them and that we would do a week trial and then go from there.... The communication was very hard as I thought I was going up and beyond untill one day I was told the opposite.
Leo kept asking us when we were going to leave and every night he would wake up screaming. It really wasn't a place that was serving us in any way. Sunday finally rolled around and he hadn't had a single moment away from the farm. I was running out of snacks for the children and they decided to take us on an outing to their friends pool. thank god as it was so hot and so dirty and we really needed a change of scenary. We passsed a really nice day with some friends of theirs we made homemade pasta together and ate a nice huge meal. Swam in the pool, played music... It was fun! Then we got home and I mentioned to her that we would probably have to take a day off the next day to go get more supplies for the kids etc. She got all angry on me and started telling me off that I was a problem that I didn't do anything etc etc etc. It was kinda nuts as literally all I had done while i had been there was help. Anyway, she failed to mention to me that she didn't consider cooking and cleaning help. It was kinda nuts... It was a good gift from the universe as we really needed to get out of their anyway. I only want to be in places where we are treated best! This was not one of them!
So I told Aaron about our crazy conversation and we decided we would pack up early the next day and take off to somewhere... We had no plan but we knew that we could not stay another day there. I was worried that we would all get sick if we stayed longer. We had no access to internet so we just packed up and walked out to say good morning and had all our bags on us and she said where are you going and we said we don't know but its not here... We were planning to walk to town but thankfully she offered us a lift to the town to catch a bus or something... We got dropped off at the wrong stop and sat for a while well many people tried to tell us we were in the wrong spot... finally a nice man grabbed us and said get in my car ( in italian) So we got a lift from him to the train stop. That was easy enough . We took a train to Cagliari the main town got off and went into a cafe for some food and to use internet and i literally it was like pulling a straw out of a hat deciding on what to do now. I ended up deciding on going to this adorable country mountain/sea town called tuelada.
Actually I had called this camp ground there and they guy said he could pick us up from the bus stop so it seemed right. Unfortunaley when we finally got there he came to the bus stop pulled up and said I can't have you stay anymore good luck.... So here we were again stuck with no place to go.... I told the family ok I'm taking a walk I'll be right back. I found a hotel up the way that had availability and it was kinda reasonable. We didn't really have a choice at this point as it was starting to get dark. We were stoked to have a bed and a shower.
Tuelada turned out to be a super cute town and very close to amazing beaches... Not that we need to see any more beaches after being in Greece for 2 months... Anyway, we liked it so much we stayed a couple nights... Every night was super fun there was a plaza that had music and dancing and a fun kids park...After that we took a bus to another town called Igelsias. Which was very cute too. We stayed in a cute airbnb next to a ancient castle. It was fun. Now we are in another place called Torre Grande. We took a train and a bus here and have spent a few nights and will spend a total of 5 nights here relaxing next to the sea... After the bad farm experience and being on the road so much it is nice to be grounded in a home with a kitchen and having some sort of routine.... We have been chilling all morning... taking a big nap and heading to the beach in the late afternoon. Then coming back to the airbnb eating dinner late and then around 9/10 taking a walk and getting gelato and going to the park... We are taking it super easy cause in a few days we fly to Venice and that will be a very busy/city part of this trip... We are winding down to our last few weeks in Europe for this moment... Its been fun, tiring and mind opening!
I am so glad that we are out of Greece right now. I guess there are some major fires happening there. I just got word from my close friend Athina who we were staying with when we first arrived that the fires were less then 1 k from her house... So glad we didn't have to experience that and that we are in another place. I was wondering the other day as the air quality seemed very bad and it didn't make any sense casue we are in the countryside... then Aaron told me about the fires... Our poor mother earth is hurting so bad!!!! Untill the next entry! CIao Bella!!! I'll be sure to get some gelato for you!

Posted by OhanaNomads 15:22 Archived in Italy Tagged sardegna Comments (0)

benvenuto toItalia

Napoli, Pompei and Sorrento

sunny 84 °F

We finally made it into Italy. After a very hectic night staying in Mykonos we are finally in Sorrento Italy. Mykonos is a very busy place with lots of car traffic and lots of tourists and mostly people are there to party and shop... Not really what we are into exactly... Anyway, we explored the chora( town) got the children very tired and got some not so restful sleep.
The next morning the guy from the airbnb was kind enough to give us a lift to the airport. We got dropped off at the Mykonos airport which is just as small as an airport in Jamaica or something... not much there... We got on a flight and flew to Napoli ( NAPLES) ... I had been warned from a few that it was a huge city but I really had no idea what we were getting into.... I had booked us an airbnb slightly out of the center near to the Pompeii ruins... I thought it might be more quiet? Not exactly... It was very challenging for us to find the spot. We spent a bunch of time at a pizzeria trying to get on the wifi to figure out how to find this spot... Eventually after many hours we figured out how to find the train station and then the girl was kind enough to meet us at the train station and walk us to the airbnb...
We were overwhelmed with all our bags, the 2 little ones and all the noise from the traffic and city life... Coming from being in Greek islands the last 2 months it was a lot of over stimulation... It was sure nice to be in an airbnb for the night as we were able to make our way to the grocery store and make a really nice homemade authentic dinner... The fresh pasta here is incrediable!
We had a kinda restful night and then had to be out of the spot early so we ate breakfast, packed up our bags and made our way to the train station. We had been warned by someone the day before that there was supposedly going to be a train strike... We got to the train station and waited about an hour with a big bunch of people. Of course as usual this lady was very attracted to the children and struck up a conversation with me... She was very kind and spoke very good english! Eventually her sister appeared and then they called the train station to see what was going on and they informed us that yes the trains were on strike and that this was going to be a typical Italian day... The trains weren't going to be running for many hours.
I had already booked us a hotel room in Sorrento so we had to find a way to get there... The girls were so kind to call their father have him pick them up on his moped and then she returned with her car to give us a lift to the bus stop...
We are always so blessed with kind people helping us in the moment that we need the most help! We are so blessed and guided by the universe...
Here we were back in front of the pompei ruins in the most touristy spot you could imagine... I was walking back and forth trying to speak broken Italian and figure out a bus for us to get on... After about an hour of this we found ourselves boarding a bus one way to Sorrento...
The ride was amazing through tunnels and mountains and green valleys... It was amazing to be out of the city finally and we felt way more at home!
We arrived to Sorrento and had to transfer to a local bus to make our way up the hill to our hotel Villa Igea. The hotel was nice and simple, but I sure prefer to be in airbnbs. I like having a kitchen and extra rooms while the children sleep I can actually do some work or write and not disturb their sleeping... I am literally sitting in the bathroom on the floor right now trying to catch up on internet things cause in a few days we will make our way out to the deep country and probably won't have internet for a while... if I was in an airbnb I could have a kitchen and extra rooms, maybe a balcony...
I am sad to hear that back in the Big Island one of out favorite swimming holes the warm pond has been taken by Madame Pele ( the goddess of lava) I'm sure something beautiful will come out of all this chaos, but it saddens my heart to think all our lovely memories of the spot are only the past and will no longer be possible... I'm really trying to stay present in out travels and where we are, but I have to check every now and then to make sure my farm is still ok and that my friends and family who are still there are hanging in there! Love you Big islanders!!!!!!
Anyway, We will pass a few relaxing days here we might try to venture out to the amalfi coast, but we might just stay here and relax on the beach... and eat lots of Gelato and pizza.
The children and Aaron got to experience their first Italian Gelato experience OMG it was special and I'm sure there will be many more of those in the next few days! I love Italy so glad to be back here...The food is soooo amazing! Fresh pasta, homemade gnocchi, and the gelato... Aaron said he could live here which is great as that was the point of our travels to see other possibilities of places we would love to live or spend more time! Thanks for reading I'm sure there will be more soon!!!!

Posted by OhanaNomads 00:54 Archived in Italy Tagged and sorrento pompei napoli Comments (0)

And now a small holiday in the small cyclades islands

Kofonessia, Amorogos and Naxos

sunny 100 °F

Yia sou ( hello is greek)
After an amazing stay on our first farm in Crete we made our way into the small cyclade islands. We started off in Kofonessia. This is one of my favorite places in all the world. It is made up of 2 islands pano Kofonessia which is the upper island and cato kofonessia which is the lower island they are about 10 minutes away from each other by a small fishermen boat. When I used to live in Greece 10 years ago I used spend lots of time on these islands crafting out and making all my bags and stuff and then I would head to the busier more posh islands and sell all my stuff...
There is literally nothing on Cato Kofonessia except for lots of goats... We were camping right on the beach and waking up to the amazing sunrise everyday. The beach we were on was called Nero which means water in Greek. There is a small well there and the goats come and visit each day to drink water...IT was an incrediable and challenging experience. It is definatly a totally different experience being alone on a deserted island and taking care of children on a deserted island... There is a lot of planning involved as you must bring all the food and water that you want with you, there is no fresh water to shower or rinse off with... There are no shops or grocery stores on this island so if your hungry you have to get on a boat and make your way up to pano kofonessia if you run out of food...
My old friend had his wedding there while we were on the island, so thee was lots of company of old friends of mine... It was very nice to be in a simple place and the children were stoked to be on the beach all the time!
WE spent about 10 days camping on this island and for this time around that was plenty of time... We were very ready for a shower and to eat at a taverna by the last day... We actually ended up leaving a day early because I had a very strange thing happen to me... I was hangin out on the beach and a fly landed in my eye... All of a sudden my eye was swollen, red and super itchy and very uncomfortable... It felt like thee was something inside of it... Good thing we decided to leave the next morning cause after a shower and looking in the mirror I realized that I had tiny, tiny worms in my eye... It was very scary and horrible feeling... I went to the clinic right away and they washed my eye out a few times... now it has been about a week and my eye seems to be back to normal... I literally got about 12 tiny worms out of my eye, 10x smaller then the size of a piece of rice... So lets pray my eye is all good...
Next, we met up with my mom and her boyfriend and they really wanted me to go to a doctor so we all ended up on Naxos island together. I had asked a bunch of locals where the eye doctor was and literally as we were trying to find his office I bumped into him and asked him if he knew where the eye doctor was... he said it's me... and rushed me in and looked into my eye was a microscope and confirmed that yes he could see a few tiny worms... He didn't seem that concerned about it which made me feel a lot better about it all... He prescribed some eye drops which my friend Charlie who is also an eye doctor said wouldn't really do much. However, now my eye seems to be all cleared up and i'm not feeling the worms anymore... Not something I would wish upon anyone ever... I'm very grateful it was me and not the children having this experience!
So now we are on the very touristy Island of Naxos staying in a vacation rental for a few more days before we begin travelling again... We are going to be taking a ferry boat in a few days to Mykonos and just spend one night there and then the next morning we will be flying out to Naples Italy... From there I have booked a few airbnbs have we have a few days to pass before the ferry boat will take us to Sardinia Italy...We will be going to Sorrento and Pompei before we take the ferry boat... Once we get to Sardinia we will be picked up by a family that has 3 children and we plan to work on their farm for the next month or so... It will be a breath of fresh air to be grounded again... traveling every few days is very tiring and I'm looking forward to being grounded and working on a farm again!!! Alright I will keep updating as things get exciting again!!!! thanks for following us!!!

Posted by OhanaNomads 00:41 Archived in Greece Tagged naxos kofonesia Comments (0)

a snake and a mouse

omg

sunny 84 °F

The other day we woke up and i went into our kitchen to make breakfast and i found the craziest thing. there was a snake trapped in the mouse cage. I guess we had caught a mouse over night and a snake saw the trapped mouse and thought " what an easy meal" . So Leo was very excited to find a snake in a cage. We kept him in there for a couple hours and checked him out... eventually some friend stopped by and just as we were about to release the snake the strangest thing happened. The snake recognized that he was too fat to get out of the cage because of his fat belly from the mouse. So he threw up the mouse and left the mouse dead in the cage and slithered away from out of the cage... it was amazing... don't think we will ever see that again!

Posted by OhanaNomads 08:59 Archived in Greece Tagged in a snake oh cage my... Comments (0)

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