3 months after that e-mail we met for the first time - and talked non-stop for 11 hours!!
5 months after that e-mail we had our second date, and I realised the perils of being with a professional chef over the Christmas and New Year period! He worked in a hotel then, and worked every single hour God sent for nearly two months solid. Lucky for him, I was kind of enough to forgive this and agree to a second date ;-)
10 months after that e-mail, he moved in.
By the time a year had passed, we were living together, engaged and planning our wedding.
Two years after that e-mail we were expecting our first child, married, and on our lovely honeymoon in Crete. What a whirlwind!
We had a fabulous time in Crete, although we had originally been planning a much more elaborate tropical honeymoon in the winter (Lara, due in February, put paid to that!) But we got just what we wanted, and needed at that stage: a laidback, relaxing holiday; lovely people and delicious food.
I would happily holiday on Greek islands for the rest of my life, they truly having everything you could wish for in a holiday. There is so much capacity for relaxation and being 'busy doing nothing', yet also the opportunity to seek out watersports, big nights out, historical and cultural adventures, wildlife and much, much more should you require it. And then of course there's the delicious food...
Following a delightful first holiday together the previous year in Santorini, we opted for the mountainous villages on the north coast of Crete for our honeymoon, with several villages within walking distance, the sea in sight, the beach accessible, and everlasting sunshine. Just magical!
We would dearly love to take the girls there, and know they would have an absolute whale of a time. I've had a look round at some family-friendly hotels and resorts, but recently had recommended to me the stunning Reef Oasis Blue Bay Hotel. Complete with 2 kids' pools, a playground and fun activities, not to mention being close to the beach, this place sounds just perfect for young families.
The nearby small town of Agia Pelagia boasts a number of restaurants and tavernas, as well as the necessary facilities of supermarket, cash point etc, and has a lovely sandy beach, witth other small sandy beaches used mostly by locals within a short distance. Only 20km from the airport at Heraklion, and 25km from the ruins of the Minoan palace at Knossos, this is an ideal location.
If you do go to Crete you really must visit the Palace of Knossos. A lot of people get annoyed by the amount of restoration work which was ill-advisedly undertaken, but if you have a good guide book and look beyond this, the sheer scale and history of the place is still incredible. My already history-fascinated eldest daughter would love it!
But perhaps most importantly for busy, knackered mummy is the appeal of this place:
Oh yes, the spa part of the Blue Bay Hotel definitely appeals to me!! Just chilling out in that luxuriously relaxing space yes, but even better if I could have a few treatments too - would one a day be asking too much?!