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Showing posts from September, 2015

Day 3: The Acropolis

The Acropolis was only a block away from our hotel. Friday was the day that we set out on the trek to climb the famous structure … the ancient site where it all began.

I sound pretty sure of myself huh? Well trust me, when the time came for us to get up and get ready, all I wanted to do was stay in bed. Heck with the ancient ruins. My muscles still screamed at me from the day before.

But somehow I managed to drag my butt out of bed and limp downstairs to join the others in today’s adventure. Our guide was named Debbie. Easy name to remember … even though it wasn’t her real name. She told us her real name was too hard to pronounce so apparently she used a stage name.

The other Debbie was still getting ready. She’s typically the last one ready. Everyone expects it and therefore no one is really concerned that she is taking longer than everyone else. Ever notice how people who are always late are given a pass. The comments you might hear are …”Well, I guess she’s running late again. We’…

Day 2: SANTORINI

Bright and early on Day 2 we hopped into Mike's cab and drove to the Athens Airport. We decided to visit the island of Santorini. It wasn't a port on our cruise and we had a couple of days in Athens until the ship sailed on Saturday.

Aegean Air whisked us off to the little quaint island the girls read about. Whisked is probably not an accurate verb to describe the travel experience. It was more like a cattle call followed by a short shuttle bus trip to the plane. But it was a pleasant flight and very comfortable.

Santorini is the home of a few towns but by far the most visited are Oia  (pronounced EEYA) and Fira (FEERA).

We started at Oia. Known for beautiful sunsets and picturesque architecture, we took a cab to the town square and wandered the winding path through the shops. It actually took about 13 minutes for Debbie and Dennie to spot the most expensive jewelry store on the island. The owner had pictures of Angelina Jolie, Ryan Reynolds and Susan Sarandon posing with him…

Day 1: ATHENS

We arrived in Athens on Wednesday morning. (I think). This seven hour time difference thing had me confused.

Two drivers met us at the airport and drove us to the hotel. Mike drove Debbie and me. Nice guy who we will have driving us over the next few days with his partner (wait for it ... NICK. You knew there had to be a Nick. Dennie and Tom drove with Nick who handled two cell phones, a newspaper and a radio while making his way through the streets.

Mike was much more laid back. He told us he worked a few days during the season and then ... oh well ... kinda just laid back.

We arrived at the Hotel Herodian, checked in and found out that our rooms were not ready. So ... We sat in the bar area adjacent to a cool atrium bar with a tree in the middle of it. Great waitress who fixed us a couple of cappuccinos  to die for and then went for a walk.

I think we did. I was a little fuzzy ... Just wanted to take a nap.
But I do remember taking pictures of tee shirts with Greek insults printed…

It's All Greek To Me

Tomorrow we fly to Greece.

It's the first two week vacation that Deb and I have ever taken ... EVER. Before this, a week seemed like an eternity. And now ... we have graduated.  We entered a whole new world of travel and time away from work.

But first things first: Packing

Packing for 14 days apparently takes more time and effort than packing for the weekend.
Debbie tried on about 30 "outfits" for about three hours. Of that group, 20 will make the trip. An outfit includes clothing, shoes and a variety of accessories.

I have been doing this all wrong. My routine takes exactly 14 minutes. Whether I pack for a weekend or three years, I will take the same stuff: A pair of jeans, shorts, a few knit shirts and sneakers. If it's cold I'll take a sweatshirt and a coat.  

Tonight our conversation went like this:

Deb: "You are NOT taking those same shorts, are you?"

Me: "Yes I am."

"I bought you a dozen new shorts, Why aren't you taking them?…

Homeless Bound!

Last night, we were driving to an event when a homeless man almost stepped into our lane of traffic.

"Man ... " I said. " It is so dangerous when these guys are so close to the street."

"Did you notice how many more of them there are lately?" Debbie said.

"I know ... over the years .."

"No," Deb interrupted, "I meant the last few months. They are back in Florida."

"Back? Where have they been?"

"I was reading that they head back to Florida when it gets colder up north."

"They travel home? You mean they have time shares in North Carolina? Or they lease out their Manhattan apartments?"

"Very funny. Well I'll have you know that I just read that the city is opening up seasonal homeless shelters."

"Honey ... its not like condos. I'm sure these are places that provide shelter and warmth during the cold season."

"You proved my point. That's just what I was saying: Bu…

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Last week I started watching old episodes of Cheers on Netflix. I'm on the fourth of eleven seasons of the sitcom that started in 1982.  Cheers was the name of a popular Boston bar where patrons met, drank, socialized and ... as the song goes ... where "Everybody Knows Your Name".

What a timeless series. If you never saw it or weren't alive when it aired, get Netflix and tune in.

Sam Malone (Ted Danson) was the bar owner. He was a former relief pitcher with the Boston Red Sox, who loved women and all the women loved him. He drank himself out of baseball, cleaned up his act and ironically bought a bar. Sam reminds me of my buddy Joe Sambito ... also a former reliever with Boston and Houston. He even looks like Sam and the ladies loved him too. (note: Joe didn't drink himself out of baseball ... Tommy John surgery did). Joe and I went through divorces together and hung out at a few Cheers bars ourselves. He was the guy who attracted all the good looking women and …