Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Finally Done with Vacation 2011!!

June 24 - Athens to Home

We docked at Athens port hoping the power strike was over and we could fly home. Our bus driver took his time winding through the more scenic parts of Athens along the coast. We had no difficulty finding our luggage and heading to our plane. Steph indiscreetly paid Rachel her tips in a mixture of US dollars and Euros, because we couldn’t find an ATM. We said goodbye to Rachel, Mississippi, Ali (who was flying to her parents in Germany) and Amanda (who was flying home on another airline). We felt uncomfortable with only six of us, like we were missing people. Most of our group flew on the same flight and with another EF group as well. The Lisinksies had to pack and re-pack a few bags before being allowed to continue on.

Security was pretty uneventful and we waited to board our plane playing Speed Scrabble. It was so popular we had to rotate people in and out of the game. Scrabble champion was beaten by Tanya game 1. She stood proud and left the game. The plane was below fair and we didn’t even have our own TVs or choice of movies. Bummer. We arrived in Atlanta and collected our bags. A security dog sniffed around and pinpointed Amy’s carry-on as dangerous. Her beef jerky set him off. She was given a green folder and sent to another area. Exhausted we slept in a little freezing corner and waited for our flight in 4 hours. Soon after, the airport announced it was closed due to a storm. Our terminal was changed. Mandy found us some airport blankets, with a little detective work, and we no longer froze. Hours later we took off 0 around midnight or one in the morning and didn’t arrive home until 4 a.m. Chelsea’s dad picked us up – so kind! Welcome Home UTAH!

By Fars: Hanging out in the back of the plane, old man dancing down the aisle, being in the US of A, airplane ice cream, speed scrabble with our friends in the airport, flying with all of our friends home, Amy getting green foldered, being connected to the internet.

Final By Fars - Greek Yogurt with honey!!!

Favorite Foods:

Ali: Gyro (Athens)

Amanda: Briam & stuffed tomatoes (Olympia)

Amy: Gyro (Athens) / Pizza (Pompeii)

Chelsea: Bread pudding (cruise) / gyro (Athens)

Mandy: Gyro (Athens) / breakfast at the Crystal City Hotel (Athens)

Sandra: Pizza (Rome) / saganaki (Mycenae)

Steph: Gyro (Athens) / Pizza (Rome)/ Yogurt & Honey (Greece)

Tanya: Fried cheese & Zucchini balls (Delphi)

Favorite Moments:

Ali: Running in Olympia

Amanda: Running in Olympia

Amy: Olympia

Chelsea: Olympia

Mandy: Theater of Epidarus

Sandra: Acropolis at night from Mars Hill

Steph: Running in Olympia & the night at the Pantheon

Tanya: Olympia & Trevi Fountain and night at Mars Hill

Favorite Place / Destination:

Ali: Mykonos

Amanda: Mykonos

Amy: Mykonos

Chelsea: Mykonos

Mandy: Mykonos & beach in Rhodes

Sandra: Mykonos

Steph: Mykonos, Santorini

Tanya: Mykonos

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

June 23, 2011

June 23 - Heraklion, Crete / Oia, Santorini

Calypso sailed through another night on the Aegean Sea to Crete. The sea rocked us kinder this time. Mandy spent wee morning hours with Odgen in Knossos – home of Minos and the Minotaur. The rest of us slept in and awoke to a glorious morning. Utah ladies led the walk from the port to the city of Heraklion; we walked with purpose and others trusted our confidence. They were not led astray. We walked around the city, shopped, and spent tine in a small shady park. Amanda spent a special moment in an old wooden swing with Sandra pushing, but refusing to use a teeter-totter due to a bad experience. We felt the “sea-legs” as we waited for the shoppers. I swear the island was swaying!

More eating back on the boat – Lunch – as the ship sailed along to Santorini. (our waiter had some toothpick tricks to show us!)

Tender boats shuttled us to land (to avoid a disaster, like previous ships sinking) and a bus wound up and around the narrow roads of the town of Oia. Picturesque cliff top views of sea, volcano, and beautiful pastel box houses stacked atop one another. We couldn’t stop the photography as we wandered through the quaintly perfect streets straight from a movie set, and saw the start of the sunset.

The film “The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants” filmed here and we happened to take a few group pictures in front of the home where which they stayed. Amy wore our own travelling pants to commemorate our friendships. Then a winding trip back through the mountains and small towns then down the switch backs to the tender boats. We sat on the upper deck of the tender boat with our new best friends from the EF Tour and enjoyed a relaxing sunset trip back to the ship. It is over too soon, yet the anticipation to return home sounds good too. The news of protesting and power strikes in Athens makes our families at home nervous, but we are oblivious to the threats out on the ship. Tanya was done with the three-hour dining room meals and left us for the buffet style dinner and a nap.

Knossos Κνωσός (Mandy's tour): The palace is about 130 meters on a side and since the Roman period has been suggested as the source of the myth of the Labyrinth, an elaborate mazelike structure built for King Minos of Crete and designed by the legendary artificer Daedalus to hold the Minotaur, a creature that was half man and half bull and was eventually killed by the Athenian hero Theseus. Labyrinth may have come from labrys, a word referring to a double, or two-bladed, axe.

the Grecian sea water is so CLEAR!

By Fars: shuttle to port, windy walking, Mandy’s mythology mixed w/ archeology tour, the park, Chelsea’s throw-down toys from the street vendor, new jewelry, sitting atop the tender boat on the way back, Our group!, we are UTAH, steph taking pictures, toothpick tricks at lunch, specialty drinks, Oia fun-facts ("fun fact #1..."), sunset, Big-A chicken @ dinner, being “helped” into the tender boat.