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SUMMER VACATION SERIES: Local family experiences the wonders of the ancient world in Greece


Davisson and Marie Edmond, with son Ethan, enjoyed gelatos while touring the Greek island of Santorini.

Dr. Davisson Edmond met his wife, Marie, a registered nurse, while the two were working at Regional Medical Center. Davisson, a native of Haiti, moved to Fort Smith, Ark., after medical school in order to finish his residency. He then settled in Alabama. Today, he and Marie own Family Health and Wellness Center in Oxford.

When they’re not busy running their medical practice, the couple share a love for travel — which they especially enjoy experiencing with their 7-year-old son, Ethan.

“We’ve seen lots of amazing places,” Marie said. “France, Italy, England, Spain and Costa Rica, to name a few.”

Last month, the Edmonds traveled to Athens, Greece. “We were inspired to go to Greece because it’s so rich in history and culture, with countless ancient ruins and temples,” Marie said.

Especially the granddaddy of ancient ruins: the Acropolis in Athens. “It was breathtaking,” Marie said. “We also visited the site of the first Olympic games, and went to Delphi to see Apollo’s temple of the oracle.”

On the southernmost coast of Athens, they took a dip in Lake Vouliagmeni, which is part-saltwater, part-spring water and considered a mineral spa with healing properties. “There’s even little fish that exfoliate dead skin from a swimmer’s body,” Marie said. “Ethan called it ‘Nibble Lake.’”

The family then boarded a cruise ship that took them to Turkey, with stops at Greek islands along the way.

First port of call was the island of Rhodes. The Edmonds had an opportunity to behold the remains of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: the Colossus of Rhodes, a statue erected in 280 B.C. but destroyed in an earthquake some 50 years later.

They also had a chance to relax with some beach time. “The water was crystal clear,” Marie said. “But the sand was brown and very hot.” In fact, the weather itself was hot. “Hot and humid!” Marie exclaimed. “Always sunny, no clouds.” They walked in the heat for miles each day.

The cruise also docked at the islands of Mykonos and Santorini. Both are known for their narrow streets, fashioned from stone, and white-washed buildings. One area of Mykonos is known as “Little Venice,” with shops and restaurants along the sea line that are usually crowded with tourists.

Santorini was Marie’s favorite. “The atmosphere was amazing,” she said. “The houses and churches are all painted white and blue. It’s so picturesque.”

On the island of Patmos, they visited the cave where, according to the book of Revelation, St. John the Apostle was exiled. They also toured a monastery that bears his name. “We only had a few hours there,” Marie said, and then it was on to Turkey.

“In Ephesus, we visited the ruins of the Old Town and saw the Library of Celsus,” she said. They were also able to see yet another wonder of the ancient world: the temple of Artemis.

The Edmonds enjoyed many delicious meals aboard the cruise ship, but also sampled regional fare. “Davisson says he travels to eat,” Marie said. On this trip, octopus, tzatziki and moussaka were his favorites. “I loved the feta cheese and the baklava,” she said. “And the dolmades, stuffed grape leaves.” (For little Ethan, it was pizza.)

To remember their Greek adventures, the family brought home souvenirs: Shot glasses for Davisson’s collection and Christmas tree ornaments for Marie, as well as rocks from the beach, figurines and a bottle of Ouzo.

Next up for the family will be a trip to eastern Asia. Destination: Tokyo, Japan.

Donna Barton’s column appears every Sunday. Contact her at