My parents arrived for a visit on Sunday. Unfortunately, this also coincided with about 10 straight days of rain here, but oh well! On Tuesday, our parish of St. George's here in Panorama organized a day trip to the Monastery of the Holy Forerunner in Serres, and we decided to go along. Pelagia had the "day off" in order to go work -- she had volunteered to help a friend paint her house.
The parish had a full bus of about 50 people, and we tagged along in our car. The rest of the group left early in order to stop for a coffee along a lakeside, but we met them at the monastery at about noon. The sisters, of course, remembered the babies and were happy to see them again.
The whole group of us went into the church and the babies got to venerate the icons, which includes one wonder-working icon of St. John the Baptist, and they got to wander around a bit. Above, Benjamin is walking down a side aisle of the old stone church.
In the back, I showed Benjamin how to light a candle and then gave him one, and he lit it by himself.
Here's Benjamin just outside the entrance to the church. In the background, you can see the frescoed outer entrance to the church.
All three of the babies love water. Here Benjamin found one of the constantly running fountains that comes from the mountain stream.
Outside the bookstore and museum, the babies stopped to smell the basil plant. Then Fr. Alexios came out with a present for them all -- icon bracelets.
Here are the my parents and the three babies at the entrance to the monastery, which dates to the 13th century.
After the monastery, the group headed down the hill to a quiet, picturesque square of restaurants located alongside the waterfalls at the end of the mountain stream. There we had a nice, traditional Greek lunch. After we ate, we took a walk outside with the babies so that they could see the small waterfalls up close. In the photo below, our table was right behind where I'm standing, inside the glass panes. That way, we could see when they brought the desert, which is about the only thing that could tear the babies away from the water. They were only too eager to wolf down some revani and kataifi with ice cream.
Pelagia took a break from her painting work to meet us back home and put the babies to bed after an exciting adventure. Here, Benjamin was having great fun getting a ride in a bucket.
For a few more photos, click here.