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When my husband and I started taking sailing lessons I knew it was a matter of when, not if, we would own our own sailboat someday. And that day came just last year. But I was already expecting our first child when we bought the boat. So that meant a whole new set of parental decisions and child proofing lay ahead.

Actually the decision to own a boat factored into our recreational plans as a family. I grew up camping in Montana and my husband grew up around boats in Connecticut. So we both wanted to continue a tradition of spending quality time in the great outdoors as a family. But sailing is the new path we chose together. Neither of us knew how to sail until we started taking lessons. And for me it was also my first introduction to boating, which included everything from learning the rules of the “road” to safety. Not to mention a brand new appreciation for wind direction and speed.

George is already being exposed to boating. He got his first infant life vest as a Christmas present last year when he was just barely a month old. And now that he weighs 18 pounds he can wear it somewhat comfortably and join us on deck. The life vest has taken some getting used to, it is something akin to the scene in the movie A Christmas Story where the younger brother falls down in the snow and can’t get up due to the ridiculous number of layers he is wearing. In the life vest George can’t move his head easily and it pushes into his cheeks when he sits on in my lap. It would be funny if I didn’t feel bad for him! But learning about boat safety is all part of his boating education. And right now he is so squirmy, he definitely can’t be on deck without a personal floatation device (PFD). As he grows he will be more comfortable in his infant life vest, hopefully. (No we aren’t bad parents but the life vest did come off for the photo below while we were at the dock.)

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In case you find yourself in the market for an infant life vest, or PFD, you do have several choices online from sites such as REI, West Marine and others. BabyCenter.com has a helpful article on infant boat safety: “When Can My Baby Go On a Boat?

We are currently using an infant life vest purchased from West Marine.

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Happy boating!

A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to have a chance to visit Greece for 2 weeks with my, at the time boyfriend, now husband. There are so many things that I can tell you about that trip, but today as I was walking through the grocery store deciding what to have for dinner, I strolled by a large display of watermelons, and was instantly transported back to Greece. Watermelon, or Karpouzi (CAR-POO-ZEE) in Greek, is a staple in the Greek diet. While in Piraeus, we stayed with Steve’s Theo (Uncle) Spiro and his family. Every night after dinner, Theo Spiro would eat almost half a large karpouzi.

Karpouzi (watermelon) is a low calorie and nutrient packed treat

What I know now is that not only is this a great dessert choice, it is choc full of valuable vitamins, and antioxidants, such as the free radical neutralizing, lycopene. It is rich in vitamins, C, A and B. It also is a good source of thiamin, potassium and magnesium. Giving it many added benefits when it comes to energy production (thanks to vitamin B6). And according to some studies, reduces the risk of developing various diseases such as heart disease and some cancers, such as colon cancer, reduces the airway spasm that occurs in asthma, and can alleviate some of the symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Watermelon is a nutrient rich food. Because it has such a high water content and only contains 48 calories per cup, it delivers more nutrients per calorie than many other fruits.

It also turns out that eating carrots is not the only way to protect your eyesight. Fruits, like watermelon which is also rich in beta-carotene, are just as important. Eating 3 or more servings of fruit per day may lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), the primary cause of vision loss in older adults, by 36%, compared to persons who consume less than 1.5 servings of fruit daily. (Source: Archives of Ophthalmology) Curious how much fruit makes up 1 serving? See my previous post here: Getting your 5 a day

It has also been associated with numerous other health benefits in recent studies. According to one study, there may be a link between eating lycopene rich foods, like watermelon, and drinking green tea and a man’s reduced risk of getting prostate cancer. (Source: Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Jian L, Lee AH, et al.)

The benefits go on, and on. I guess Theo Spiro, who is also a Doctor, is on to something. So if you happen to wander through the produce section and see some fresh watermelon in stock this season, stock up! Karpouzi for everyone! And for us, a little walk down memory lane of our trip to Greece as we feast on karpouzi for dessert tonight!

Karpouzi at a beachside cafe in Naxos
Karpouzi at a beachside cafe in Naxos
Scenic and breathtaking Oia, Santorini
Scenic and breathtaking Oia, Santorini

Two and half years ago I married the love of my life. And along with that I became part of a Greek family. Life has a funny way of sending you all kinds of surprises.  And learning about my new family’s Greek heritage and lifestyle is a wonderful adventure!

It occurred to me that not only do I have insight into Greek family life, but also Mediterranean cuisine, culture and travel. I started this blog with the plan to write about my new Greek life and to share images and stories along the way.

Thanks for coming with me on my journey!

© 2017 The Accidental Greek Allison Creative