Sitting in Split’s old town, having breakfast with my Blondie (hahaha both on our computers of course!), I am still in shock that the summer season is over for us. We finished up working on Sea Princess two days ago, and we hired a car to drive from Dubrovnik to Split (which was AMAZING! And deserves to be told in a blog post all of it’s own), where we have been recuperating and sleeping! Oh the joys of sleeping in a real bed again, thanks to the wonderful Jurko who has put us up in his gorgeous little one bedroom flat. (As a complete side note, you can also stay at Jurko’s flat. Check out his Airbnb listing here.)
There have been many tears shed, many amazing meals eaten, many new bays discovered, and much to the detriment of my hard earned reputation as being a proud anti-social, many friends and family made. Which has probably been the most surprising aspect of this summer season spent sailing up and down the Dalmatian coast. I generally tend to err towards getting along with people and not necessarily creating lasting friendships. My point of view is that my cup is full. Why do I need more friends when the ones I have are already more than enough amazing in my life?! And then this summer happened and my proverbial cup is freaking overflowing. I did not expect that to happen! From amazing guests who were a sheer pleasure to host (way too many to name. Y’all know who you are!), hostesses who became family (and then their family became family! Salty girl, here’s looking at YOU), fellow seasonal workers who befriended us, fed us, docked us, sold us fresh or homemade food products, local business owners/operators who were generous and kind… I am astounded at how many people I am leaving with in my pocket. I honestly did not expect this and to everyone I have met this summer I thank you. And here are a few that I would like to thank directly.
To Robert and Sara (and your family and your NOA Yachting team): Thank you so much for being our family away from home. I am not sure if you guys know how coming back to Kaštela and seeing your faces was the closest thing we had to having a real home during these summer months. The many beers and coffees shared at BavAdria helped us to feel like we had people here in Croatia and we loved being a part of the crazy summer season with you guys.
To Jurko: Hvala lijepo for your kindness, your openess, your wonderful conversations and your bottomless generosity. For the endless Croatian words you have taught us, for your patience when the language and cultural barrier pops up, and for opening your home to us.
To Maja and your staff at Frutarija, Vis: Thank you for giving us such a beautiful space to run away to mid week every week! Thank you for always being chatty, friendly and kind to us, even when we turned up in rags and bare feet, looking like we were homeless. Those wonderful coffees, cocktails and smashed avocado breakfasts were a highlight and things that we used to get us through the week! You guys are doing a wonderful thing in a picturesque location, and it is your people that really cement the experience.
To Mario at Faraon Travel in ACI Dubrovnik Marina: Huge HUGE thank you. You saved our butts, you looked after our guests and nothing was ever too much trouble. We always looked forward to coming into Dubrovnik and seeing you wandering around the marina!
To Marko at Toto’s: Thank you for always making room for us, for feeding us when we were too tired to make decisions about what to eat, and for just being our friend and always making us feel welcome when we crawled our way up to Toto’s!
To Nicky and your amazing family at Trica Gardelin: I actually don’t have the words to describe how awesome it was to dock at Vrboska and always see you pull up on your bike! You hooked us the first time we visited Vrboska, and the whole season we never ate dinner anywhere else when we were in your neck of the woods. We felt so at home at Trica Gardelin with you and your family, you took such good care of us that we never had any desire to go anywhere else!
Of course, the above is by no means an exhaustive list of the amazing people we have met over the summer. It seemed that in every port, in every nook and cranny, we would come across more people to add to our ever expanding global whanau. From beautiful Neva selling her fruit and vege at Luka Vis, to gorgeous Eva at Laganini’s who would treat us with amazing local grappa when we came in for dessert. From Ana, who totally stole my husbands’ heart, to Vedran and his partner who ran us and our guests around Split! From the ever comical Čobi at Uvala Vinogradišce, to Baro and his family waiting to dock us and feed us every week. From the awesome hostesses we worked alongside who did so well (Marlie, Tash, Brittney, Chris, and Adisa. And I simply cannot leave out our two fab yoga instructors, Ena and Mel!), to the fabulous and formidable Marina in Korčula who was such an amazing help when the steering needed fixing. We could simply not have gotten through this season in the right amount of pieces without the help, support and friendship of all of the above people and so many more!
And, as if the Split weather is reading my mind, it begins to rain HARD as if someone up there knows just how sad I will be to leave this wonderful country and it’s people who have worked their way into our hearts.
Hrvatska, nedostajat ćeš nam. Hvala for an incredible summer experience!