OK so I just spent half an hour writing every single thing that’s happened for the last 4 days, minute by minute, up to current time, and it all got erased! I’m not the happiest of campers, but since I love you all, I’ll just write it all over again (maybe a little condensed this time).
I MADE IT! And so did all my luggage! The flights were ok, only a tid bit ridiculous. Des Moines to Chicago wasn’t too bad, I got charged $20 for having a checked bag and the plane was about the size of a pack of gum with wings, but it got me where I was going. I ran into some trouble in Chicago, because I had to check my carry-0n (my life), so I panicked for a few minutes, then found a plastic Target bag, stuffed my laptop and a pillow in there, and called it good. Don’t get me wrong, I was none too pleased about this, but what can you do? So that was Chicago. The flight from Chicago to Zurich was actually very nice. It was six hours long, but we got two excellent meals (tortellini, a roll, a garden salad, crackers and cheese, and a cream cheese brownie, with a glass of wine for dinner; a warm croissant, juice, and strawberry yogurt for breakfast), plus every seat had it’s own video screen that had several decent movies to choose from or music albums to listen to. I got a little sleep on the plane, but not a whole lot, it was pretty cramped. After six hours I got to Zurich, took a quick nap during the 6 hour layover, got my passport stamped, and got frisked (over a metal bracelet)–woohoo! Our next flight to Rome was only about an hour, that went off without a hitch, but the transition between Rome and Athens was not so glorious. Our baggage took forever to get into our hands, then we had to run to a different building to get to our check-in/terminal area, and it was hotter than the hub of hell! I didn’t have much of a problem with check in, it’s a HUGE fine if your baggage weighs over 23 kilos (50 lbs), but the gal let me check mine without fining me (thank heavens). My travel-mates did not fare quite so well… One of them had to pay 225euros for overweight luggage–that’s $330! But there were no other options, and I’m a little worried about what I’ll do on the return trip to Rome. Guess we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it! Once we got to Athens (the scariest flight I’ve ever been on, but the aerial views of Athens at night were beautiful) we got our luggage and grabbed a taxi to the Athens Ledra Marriott Hotel. We finally arrived at the hotel at about 2am local time (6pm Wednesday back home) and to sleep around 3:30am. We were pretty jet lagged the next morning (still probably are). We got up and going around 11:30, caught a shuttle to the city center, and roamed around the city for about 6 hours. Our adventures led us to the Acropolis, the Parthenon, the Theatre of Dionysos, all of it absolutely breathtaking. It’s so different from home, and so amazing. I’ve loved every minute! After our adventures we grabbed a taxi back to the hotel, where we had some dinner and lounged around the rooftop pool for a while. By 8:30pm I was basically pooped, so we went back to the room and I was asleep by 9 and spent a good 13 hours sleeping! (Hey, jet lag!) Today we got up around 10am, wandered around until we found a tram station, and took the tram out to the beach–the sea! My first time to the sea and it just so happens to be the Aegean (or maybe it was the Mediterranean–I never was good at geography). How blessed am I?!? It was absolutely gorgeous-salty-warm-clear-blue-wonderful. After about 4 hours (and deeply fried skin–no wonder the Greeks are so tan… p.s.–saw a topless old saggy greased up Greek lady, could have done without that, but if I had to see it you get to know about it. You’re welcome for the visual) we headed back to the tram station, and back to our hotel to take a quick dip in the pool, then shower and get ready to head into the city center for some authentic Greek quisine (pork souvlaki, pasticcio, lamb gyros, cheese pie, and Greek salad-YUM!), and some late night wandering around the city. The weather is absolutely perfect here–nice and cool, not a stitch of humidity or a cloud in the sky, and haven’t seen a bug yet. I could get used to this! Tomorrow morning we are headed into the city center again to visit the brand new Acropolis museum, so we should learn quite a bit! Don’t worry, I’ve been taking millions of pictures, so I’ll upload some once I have my own computer and my own internet access in Roma!
Miss you all, love you, thanks for reading!