I felt a little bit like Cinderella after the ball. I woke up from my peaceful slumber in the Romanos resort king-size bed to a screeching alarm clock at 7:00 am. I ran my fingers through my hair and fumbled around the floor for my shoes in the dark room. I’m sure I woke my aunt up when I accidentally knocked my bag on the floor, but she was kind enough to pretend to sleep right through it.
It was going to be another busy day at the golf course. This would be my last Sunday with the Scholarship kids, so I wanted to make it a memorable day for them.
“Now guys,” I told them last week as they grumbled through practice, “you need to get all the practice in you can this week. Next Sunday we’re going to have a 3-hole golf tournament!”
“With prizes?” they wanted to know.
“Of course with prizes!”
I was sure I could scrounge up something…
Upon my arrival at the golf course (after a pleasantly brief commute), I realized that my plans were going to be seriously fouled up. The Dunes was booked solid. All morning. There was not a single gap in the schedule for my Scholarship kids to sneak in 3 holes. Uh-oh.
Thankfully, my wonderful assistant was full of bright ideas. Fifteen-year-old Adam (Nicky’s son) was instructed to help me out and suggested we set up a few holes at the short-game area. The Dunes Course has a beautiful short-game facility behind the 9th tee box that often goes unnoticed. Most people assume it’s another golf hole! The triple-tiered green set up perfectly for a 3-hole tournament. Adam and I raced around, setting up tee boxes for the kids and pins for them to hit at. The distances were totally manageable, too.
Then came problem #2: how to get the kids out to the short-game area.
All of the buggies were being used by the rather frazzled staff. I was determined not to load them with any more work, so I told the kids, “Alright, we are going to do this the real golfer way: we’re walking!” Out I trudged, carrying my bag for the first time all summer, followed by a pack of twelve-year-olds. We hiked across the street, under the bridge, and down the ninth fairway. The kids did not really like the prospect of walking, but it gave them time to get excited about the idea of a tournament!
I sent them off the “First Tee” in groups of four and watched in amusement as they attempted to repair their ballmarks and keep score. Everything took longer than expected and the last group did not finish in time, so I told them “Great job! You are all winners!” and let them keep their scorecards as their big “prize”. It was difficult saying good-bye to some of the kids– they had been the most lovable and consistent part of my summer.
The rest of the afternoon was filled up with lessons. Renee sent several of her Greek friends my way with their families in tow. Put a golf club in the hands of a Greek and they are hooked!
I finally managed to make it home and change my clothes. Just seconds after I got out of the shower, though, I got a call from Tony inviting me back to the resort. He was going to have a little business meeting with my Aunt Renee. Would I care to join? I begged fifteen minutes to dry my hair.
Now, Tony and Georgios have quite the lineup of cars: the Mercedes van, the Mini Moke, the Mercedes convertible… But it was still quite a shock for me to see Tony pull up on a BMW motorcycle.
“Hop on!” he said, laughing as I attempted to do so in a dress and heels. We zoomed off, me clutching on for dear life (and praying that my mother would never find out). After a casual meeting with Renee, Tony went to leave.
“Are you free to do something later?” Tony asked.
“Oh, I’m not quite sure yet. We’re working on a few things.”
I shrugged and told him to call me. Renee and I set off for Da Luigi, the Italian restaurant on the premises. We joined Takis and his family for fun pizza dinner. I ended up at the “kid’s table.” It felt slightly appropriate, as I consistently felt a little “out of my league” around the resort folk. We had a lovely time chatting about Justin Beiber and Twilight (they are very big Edward Cullen fans in Greece). When all that was left was the crust, I made my way back to the adults.
“You’re welcome to spend another night with me, dear,” Aunt Renee offered.
Just as I was about to accept, my phone rang.
“Excuse me a moment!” I said, as I picked it up. “Hey Tony, what’s up?”
“I think we’re going to have a little party on our yacht tonight. Would you care to join us?”
“Yacht? Tonight? Yes!”
I had to break the news to Aunt Renee that I would not be joining her this evening, as I had an engagement on a yacht.
Tony picked me up again, this time in a normal car (or almost normal, it was still a Mercedes). We drove to the harbor in Pylos. I could have spotted our yacht from a mile away. Blue lights outlined the lower deck, shining bright against the perfectly polished surface of the vessel. I took off my heels to walk the gangplank, then spun around to admire the deck and windows.
“Take a look around,” the Captain offered, opening the cabin door. Leather couches and mahogany cabinets lined the main room. Downstairs, three bedrooms took up most of the space. I shook my head as I took in the beauty of it all. We climbed up to the top deck, where Georgios and Rima were waiting. Several other friends came and we danced and laughed late into the night. Nobody seemed to mind that we were staying in port; the lights of Pylos were a sight to see themselves.
It was nearing 2 am and the party was dying down. Another large boat, not really a yacht, but a large motorboat nevertheless, pulled into the harbor.
“Eh, Nikos!” Tony yelled to the Captain of the other vessel. They greeted one another and spoke rapidly in Greek. Greek is about 60% words and 40% hand motions. I tried to interpret Tony’s gestures and waves and determined that the Captain was inviting us aboard his ship.
“There’s a big beach party at Davari. Want to check it out?” Tony asked us. Davari beach was the “coolest” beach in the Bay. We all said “Sure!” and (quite literally) hopped aboard the new boat.
We reclined on the bench seats as Nikos sped off across the Bay. The sea spray flew from our prow as the boat skimmed across the water. I couldn’t help but look up at the night sky, dusted with a liberal amount of stars.
We arrived at Davari in a short time and pulled up to the small dock. Now, this new boat was smaller than our previous yacht, but it was still a big boat. It was incredibly humorous to pull up to this dinky dock and tie off, then step onto the boardwalk in heels and brightly patterned outfits. The rest of the partygoers had long-since stripped down to bikinis and board shorts. Many were wet from night swimming. We mingled a bit; Rima and I attempted to dance some, but the crowd didn’t catch on. I had never been to a party where I had felt so overdressed and out of place. We made the most of it, though, and jammed to some Western rock hits before heading back to port.
Tony and Georgios dropped us off back at home. Rima and I were both spent, but couldn’t help giggling at the memory of people’s expressions at Davari when we pulled up in our swanky boat. We fell asleep within minutes, dreaming of the High Seas and of home…