Our last week of Miloš’ vacation was spent in his hometown of Crikvenica, Croatia. It’s all the way up the coastline, just a little below Rijeka. (For a map, click on THIS LINK.) Also – just a little helpful pronunciation help. The plain letter “C” is pronounced with a TS sound. (Just like the sound in PIZZA!) So let’s say it together: “tsreek-ven-eet-sah”.
We took a bus from Split that Sunday and had a very long and uncomfortable trip back. All day. The bus’ air conditioner was not especially strong, and our seats were on the side that got all the sunlight. Lots of sweating ensued as we tried to get comfortable and get some sleep.
We eventually made it back, and Miloš’ mom picked us up at the bus station. We were actually going to be staying with my friend Sonja – she’s my roomie in Vienna, but her family also happens to have a house in Selce, which is part of the Crikvenica area. Miloš’ mom drove us over to her house, and we got ourselves settled in. It was so awesome to see Sonja again! She is a really great friend! 🙂
Even though we were staying in Selce, Miloš obviously wanted to spend the short time home in his actual hometown area. So we headed over to the Crikvenica side every day. (About a ten minute ride.)
One of the best parts of being in Miloš’ hometown was that we were able to get around everywhere with his scooter – it made everything SO much easier. Plus, the scooter’s just plain fun!
There are a lot of beaches here. A LOT! Several times, we went to the one main sandy beach in town, a few times we went to the nude beach on Kačjak, and we also went to the nude beach below Selce. I’d say my favorite is that really pretty cove beach out on Kačjak – minus the creeper perv, of course. A bunch of times we played picigin in the shallow area of the sand beach. Basically you just hit this little ball back and forth – sort of like volleyball style – without letting it fall in the water. I kind of suck at it. Although we had a few good volleys going there a couple times, most of the time I just couldn’t jump high enough or far enough to hit it. The rest of the time we just played around in the water, or laid out snuggled on our towels. At the cove on Kačjak, we had a nice spot to sit on the rock cluster that is out in the water just a bit. From there you can just look out to sea while feeling the breeze blow across your face. And jump off into the crystal clear waters. We also liked to walk the path up on Kačjak, since this peninsula is set up high on cliffs that look out on the water. There are fabulous views all over the place.
One of our trips out to Kačjak was to take some pics before swimming. To try to capture some shots for the “My Best Summer Moment” Coke contest that the Coca-Cola Facebook page was running. (Alas, we didn’t get squat from the contest.) But we had a fun time taking the pics. I even wore the cute Coke shoes that Miloš got me for a few of the shots! There are not many people out there that you could consider bigger Coke fans than myself. *As I take another sip of my Coke…* (I’m still working on a big Coke photo slide show of Miloš and I drinking Cokes all around the world, set to music, and hopefully will get it to the Coke people at some point – hey, you never know what could happen!)
Twice that week, we went to our favorite restaurant in Crikvenica – Burin. We had gone a bunch of times back in the off-season while I was there, before Miloš had to leave for the ship. The food there is SO GOOD, plus the customer service can’t be beat.
We also tried out a place called Zrinski. We had wanted to check it out in the off-season as well, but they are closed up during that time of year. We came here for our last-night dinner, and it was great. We had a lovely table on the patio in the corner. The menu was really impressive as well.
Most days we grabbed a quick lunch at a little snack stand near the beach called 55. They have really excellent french fries – seriously good. I think most days I just had french fries for lunch. Miloš usually got a cheeseburger or a pressed turkey sandwich.
Every night, we went out in Crikvenica – to the bars and pubs. We drank, we danced, we sang, we made some new interesting memories… 😉 It was fun hanging out with Miloš’ friends and getting to know people better. Each group we hung out with made me feel really welcome. Most nights Miloš and I headed home as the sun started to rise. A few times, we stopped to enjoy the dawn on a bench by the sea.
Of course one of our days, we had a nice big meal over at Miloš’ grandmother’s place. Both his mom and grandmother put together a great meal, as usual! 🙂
Honestly, ALL our time together was beyond great. Just pure happiness. Smiles, laughs, awesome adventures. I couldn’t imagine anything (or anyone) better.
But of course, when you are having a wonderful time with the one you love, time flies by in super fast motion. Pretty soon, it was the next Sunday, and Sonja and I needed to leave for Vienna. She had to work the next day, and we were road-tripping it back together. (I would be staying in Vienna for a few days before flying back to the USA.) And Miloš had an early flight the next day, so we were both essentially leaving at the same time. I got most of my crying out of my system that morning when we woke up and were still in bed. Just enough to make my face puffy for the whole rest of the day. :-p
Sonja and I left around noon, after dropping Miloš’ big suitcase off at his grandmother’s place.
But Miloš and I parted with the attitude of looking forward to the next time. Being apart doesn’t get easier – it gets harder – but you kind of feel like you have the skills to make it through – since it’s only temporary – and you know you’ll be together again soon. You still miss the other person like crazy, and we make full use out of our smart phones and our computers when it comes to keeping the connection strong even when we’re not physically together. This time more than ever, the feeling of being so happy at finding this amazing person, who is just right for me, was stronger than my feeling of sadness at our parting. More of my tears nowadays are happy tears. Neither of us is perfect, but we really seem to be perfect for each other – it’s such a wonderful awesome feeling.
Right now we’re in the midst of our three month stretch apart, though. He gets here to the States after he’s done his cruise season in mid-November, and we’ll have a full month together until he goes home a few days before Christmas. I seriously can’t wait. Then after that, it won’t be long until I head over to Croatia myself in mid-January. For those of you who get to be with your significant other on any kind of regular basis – count your blessings and never take it for granted. Never ever. Realize how truly lucky you are. Hopefully we’ll reach that next level of luckiness sooner than later. 🙂