A little honesty and then a trip to the Popeye Village
It’s a little of this and a little of that and then we top it off with the Popeye Village
It’s been really difficult to keep up with this blog lately. So much has happened around the world and also in our little world. Scott returned from a very long time away to say goodbye to his only brother and then have to quarantine in the UK and Dubai before coming back into Malta. It felt like months but I guess it was just a little over three weeks. Death is overwhelming thinking that someone you love was here and now is not anymore and never will be again until you meet them on their side. It’s a tough concept to come to grips with for sure. Our house, though still happy and full of joy, does have a somber feel to it at the same time. I think Scott and I both have those moments when reality sets in and we find ourselves saying “I can’t believe it. I just can’t believe it’s real.”
Knowing that we can’t see any family this year for Christmas is a little bit sad, too. I bought all my family gifts and mailed out boxes last week hoping they will get there before Christmas. We knew we were not going back for Christmas but did have high hopes of getting the boys out here for a few weeks which isn’t possible.
There is a verse in my favorite Christmas song “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” (video above, I highly suggest you play it as you read this part) that says: “through the years we all will be together, if the fates allow” and every year when I listen to James Taylor’s version of it (my most favorite version of that song) and that line comes on, I think of my Uncle Al who I used to love seeing at Christmas. He would play guitar while my mom would sing. The family would gather around to hear them. My mom was one of ten children. Christmas as a big deal every year as a child. Her friends probably don’t even know that she has the voice of an angel. She always has. One of my old boyfriends who heard her sing used to say “she has the golden vocal cords”. When I used to hear that particular song, I think about how through the years we would always come together at Christmas to my Aunt Renie’s house who has served Christmas morning brunch ever since I can remember. Every year is the exact same menu: one lasagna with mushrooms, and one next to it without. Salad, and potato chips, a veggie tray and lots of fudge and seven layer bars and anything else fun left over from her neighborhood cookie exchange. It has to be close to 40 years. Those were the days and it made me love Christmas the most out of any holiday.
Once I married Scott, we started going to Ohio every other year, on the years when Scott didn’t get to have his boys for the holiday. When they were much younger, we used to bring them with us. And then little by little as we grew older and had families of our own, it wasn’t the same to drive to Ohio, and instead it became Christmas at our house. Last year in our house on the south side of Georgia my mom, sister, nephew, the boys, and Scotts family including his mom and step dad, his brother and his wife and his two daughters all came to Christmas brunch at our house. It was a full house and felt truly special and full of the magic of the holiday. This year, even if we were in the same place hosting the same brunch, all the people that were there last year would not get be now. This year for this Christmas we would not all be together, nor will we ever be again. The fates did not allow it to be. Christmas with family will never, ever look the same as it did just one year ago.
On another note, it has also been one of the most heated times in history. The US Presidential election just happened. It’s a mess. Please do not leave any comments on this blog pertaining to that one single sentence, either. I have written so many more sentences and deleted every one of them. Watching how much hate is running through the hearts of people all over the place has been very sad to me. I feel so ashamed as I read comments and watch such hateful behaviors of people I once had a great deal of respect for. It just all becomes too much. It’s a sensory overload for a sensitive person like me to watch people literally turn into monsters and become the very thing they accuse the other side of becoming. It’s pretty intense and I am so grateful to be here and not directly in the war path of what is surely to come to the states.
I have been to several places in Malta since my last blog post and I still share photos mostly on my My Malta Life Instagram, but writing and trying to reach people right now, I feel the disconnect between all of us. I want to be excited when I post that I went to the Popeye Village. It meant a great deal to me to go there. My dad was such a huge fan of Popeye, I saw the original movie in the actual theater with him. The way that life twists and turns and spits me out living not 20 minutes away from that place that never looked real to begin with is a journey I never saw coming but am so very thrilled to be on. The water around the village is beyond belief. The blue of the water, the clean water, the high rocks and the little houses that were never removed after construction for the movie is surreal. It’s timeless. It’s simple. It’s stunning. I felt so at peace being there.
So let’s go there for this blog. I present to you the Popeye Village. It is about a twenty minute drive from our house and I DROVE BY MYSELF to get there!!! Driving is still scary but tomorrow will be my third driving lesson. I’m doing it and I’m facing the ridiculously narrow roads with no stop signs or lights, just roundabouts everywhere. It’s totally freaky, but I’m making it happen. And I drove myself and the girls to Popeye Village where we met up with Gareth and Barbara and another sweet woman from the company, Anna, that I was asked to keep secret as a surprise until Daddy got back and realized she was in Malta. I did not post pictures or stories until we were all back here together and I could let the cat out of the bag that one of our favorites had arrived.
This was the first scene walking into the town of Popeye Village. Everything that was in the movie is still in tact. They even have a little movie theater where they serve you popcorn and show a little film about the making of the movie. They also had a stage and a play with the main characters.
Olive Oil singing on the stage
The girls with Popeye and Bluto
But the real delight was the water itself. It was insane! Like a hidden paradise that only a few have ever seen in real life!
I took a few videos so you could really see it, too.