I’m baaaaack. I think. Okay, so my body is back, we’ll see if my brain is back. I’m going to go back in time to recount my trip to Greece.
Here’s a shot Megan took from the plane on our way to Greece.
Here’s what my little Greece journal says about my first full day in Greece:
“22 March 2008
arrive in Athens @ 8:ish in the morning. gather luggage, find Globus bus – head to Athens.
After checking in to the hotel, a bunch of us head to the Plaka. We walked 7 or 8 blocks to the Metro, bought tickets and found our way to the blue line. Transferred to the red line. The Plaka is the touristy shopping area near the Acropolis. We shopped and ate at a restaurant. (I had greasy Spanikopita).
We met for drinks @ 6:00 and to meet our Tour Director, Constantina. (She told us to call her Dina.)”
Here are some details that I omitted (maybe because I was still very jet-lagged, we’d just flown over 16 hours in a plane, with a very fast transfer in New York. That’s a lot of sitting).
When we got to Athens, we learned that one of our pieces of luggage had taken a side trip to France. The girl whose luggage had gone on walkabout, seemed completely unfazed by the situation. In fact, she seemed rather happy about it. Apparently she hadn’t wanted to carry it around the airports because it was a dufflebag with no wheels. Instead, her luggage got delivered to her hotel door.
After spending all that time on the plane, we boarded a tour bus and rode for another 45 minutes to get to our hotel, then proceeded to wait for over three hours to get keys to our rooms. Many of the adults headed to the bar to buy coffee. We all camped out in the lobby/bar area as we waited for our rooms. The kids were restless, but also jetlagged, an interesting combination.
After a little flurry of excitement when we got keys to our rooms, we ventured out to the Plaka, which is Athens’s equivalent to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. Very colorful. One woman carrying a hand-embroidered table cloth kept trying to thrust it into people’s hands in order to get someone to buy it.
At 6:00 pm, the whole group headed to the back dining room. There was ouzo for the adults and juice for the kids. Most of the kids wanted to try the ouzo. That was an interesting situation because the legal drinking age in Greece is 17. And in Greece, they didn’t really seem to care how old the kids were as long as there was an adult in the group, they wanted to serve the kids drinks.
The ouzo was strong and I was feeling extremely tired. I drank some and then realized my mistake as my head started sliding towards the table while trying to listen to Dina. She really wanted us to understand what the week was going to look like and not many of us were capable of taking information in at that point. Most of us had been up for over 24 hours and here we were in a foreign country, although most people spoke English.
My roomie and I headed to our room. We sorted out who would sleep on which side of the bed (turns out I always sleep on the right side of the bed, and she always sleeps on the left, so it worked out perfectly that way). We’re both neat freaks when it comes to hotel rooms, so we didn’t get on each others nerves in that respect either. I couldn’t have asked for a better suited roomie.
In the morning (after the 6:30 wake up call), we got up, packed our bags, had them outside the door by 7:30 and headed to breakfast.
Breakfasts were particularly enjoyable. We sat and talked and laughed and ate each morning. It was a touchstone. A place to talk about what was coming up, and what had happened the day before. The adults generally sat together and the kids sat at their own tables. There were a few exceptions, but most of those were of chaperone kids.
Today, Wednesday, 9 April, 2008. I’m spending a quiet day at home, figuring out the weeks dinners, grocery shopping, talking on the phone. Boring stuff. But I’m happy to be home. The trip to Greece seems surreal now, like it happened to someone else or in another life time.