I have been experiencing a lot of wanderlust recently. I get bouts of it every now and then having had the good fortune (and determination) to travel often enough growing up that it feels like an itch that needs a good scratching every couple of years. It was the best decision of my life to move west. I have always suspected that I was solar powered, and living in the land of sunshine suits me well. UCLA has felt like home from the minute I arrived dripping sweat from biking in from mar vista, with 4 law books in my backpack, 45mins late for class. I got my school picture taken instead. And now that it is ending, I desperately want to run off to a wild place. Thailand, the Philippines, Kenya, who knows. Africa and Asia seem to be calling to me. Even more so because we have yet to honeymoon.
Running off is still a bit far off in the future, so in the meantime I am feeding my wanderlust food from past travels. There is a comfort to sitting down to a meal that recalls a place for you fully, letting the memories wash over you. Easter was the perfect occasion to revisit beloved Greece.
Easter in Greece is beyond compare. The air is thick with the smell of lamb roasting throughout the day, children run around cracking blood red eggs, everyone is a little tired from the revelry and religious processions the night before, there are plates laden with potatoes, saganaki (fried feta) and kalofagas (baked feta) and delicious Tsoureki Bread. Desert is an ode to honey and phyllo with baklava, loukoumades and galaktoboureko. For me, it took place on the island of Lefkadas for which Lafcadio Hearn was named after and in turn my brother was named after. The island was gorgeous, the food magnificent and a stranger passed me on a long walk as I sat by the beach and brought me flowers upon his return. Oh beautiful Greece.
I tried to recreate as much as I could and as a one woman show it became quite epic. I had to skip out on desert, but with the spread I think I was forgiven.
Both our families are back east and we very much want to start making our own traditions out here. It was such a joy to spend this Easter, our first Easter surrounded by friends. The O’Malley’s have permanent seats at our dinner table and I wouldn’t have it any other way.