We celebrated another milestone in Cyprus – Piano Man completing kindergarten! What an amazing year for our boys. We watched them grow up so much in a culture and life completely foreign to them – being stretched in more than ways than they will ever know.
In honor of such an achievement, we met up with a few families in Piano Man’s class for dinner at Hungry Frog Park. It would also be one of the last times we would see one another before we move forward into our busy summer.
I had heard of this park last August, but I could never find this place. A friend and I tried to go for a play date a couple of months ago, but I got us lost as usual. We ended up at our usual favorite, Agios Dimitrios. But the kids were sweating away in the hot sun as no natural vegetation shaded the kids from the sun’s rays.
Hungry Frog Park/Café
However, on a nice breezy Sunday a few weekends ago, we decided to go as a family to Hungry Frog Park. Would you believe that Prof found the park in less than 10 minutes? I had passed by this place several times, I can’t believe that I completely missed the sign. I mean, who could miss a sign like this?
(Photo above: Don’t let the size of the photo fool you. A graffiti tag, advertisement, and overgrown vegetation make it to easy spot this sign from the other direction of the street. Don’t you think?)
When we turned the corner onto a sandy gravel road, we weren’t sure where to park until we saw another tiny vehicle parked down the way.
We were pleasantly surprised by the large open space. The park had all the things you usual find at a playground: a see-saw, swings, monkey bars, and a slide under a canopy of eucalyptus trees.
(Photos Above: This is how we like to relax on a Sunday afternoon. No monkey business around here. I know, I couldn’t help myself.)
The park also has a restaurant that you can sit down for an outdoor dining meal experience. I can’t say that I have been to a park that offers this kind of service. Their dinner service begins a bit late by American standards, but for Cypriot standards, beginning dinner service at 7 pm (or rather 8 pm and on) is no problem.
Golden Beirut – Lebanese Meze Taverna
Unfortunately, the kids were starving and extremely exhausted from their last day of school, so our friends recommended a Lebanese restaurant in the old city, Golden Beirut. It was located on one of the side streets off Ledra Street. Because we were the only restaurant patrons in the early evening (6 pm and on), we had plenty of seating to choose from. Meze was an obvious choice for dinner, so we ordered plenty of food to go around and even had some leftovers.
(Photo Above: Do you notice a pattern in all of our restaurant photos? We are usually the only patrons or one of two groups eating lunch or dinner.)
(Photos Above: Meze dinner. Delicious! It reminded me a lot of the meze dishes from Syrian Arab Friendship Club.)
(Photo Above: The kids were more interested in walking around the old city than dinner, so after a few bites, we took turns to let the kids explore the city. Linus wanted to join in but he got distracted and preferred play at his make shift playground.)
As it was already past 8 pm, the kids wanted some dessert, so we headed towards an ice cream shop further down Ledra Street. Our friend mentioned a playground in the back corner, so here are a few photos of the space (in dark lighting):
(Photos Above: Many of the pay-to-play places around Cyprus offer a bungee jumping section as well. Kids must love to jump on these things.)
After the kids scarfed down their ice cream, we walked further into the old city towards Faneromeni Church/Square, where all the young hipsters like to hang out. I remember Piano Man’s teacher giving a tour of this church a few months ago, but we had walked so much and quickly passed through the church that I wasn’t sure where we were half the time.
It was well past 9 pm when we got to our cars and headed home. I cannot believe that the kids had more energy than we did, and ours made it all the way home still absorbing views of the nightlife in Nicosia.