June 2016
  • Day0

    Tampa International Airport

    June 15, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    Despite my worries, the trip began without a hitch. The van was waiting when we dropped the car at Memorial Airport Parking and Dani met us at the Air Canada check-in counter soon after we arrived. The flight to Toronto was uneventful. I'm sure Larry & Dani appreciated my sprint to our next gate but we arrived in time for a bathroom break, if not much else. Athens here we come!Read more

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  • Day1

    Athens

    June 16, 2016 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    After a long and mostly sleepless flight, we landed in Athens and found Nikki waiting in the lobby at the Athens Lotus Hotel. She'd already scouted out a deli where we enjoyed lunch and planned our afternoon. Since we were jet lagged & had been sitting for hours, we decided to walk to the National Archaeological Museum. Nikki especially enjoyed the ancient statues and was a wealth of information. Fading fast, we returned to the hotel for a nap before venturing off to dinner at an authentic Greek restaurant Larry had found recommended on Trip Advisor. It lived up to its billing & we particularly enjoyed the grilled veggie appetizer.
    Walking back, I spotted what I assumed was a liquor store so we ventured in to pick up some wine for the cruise. The checkout process was a little sketchy. The guy on the floor held up the bottle for another guy in a booth above to see & price. Once all items had been added up, we put the money into a basket that had been lowered down. It was hoisted to the upper level & our change deposited into the basket & once again lowered. Maybe it was a bootlegging operation, but we got our wine.
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  • Day2

    Acropolis, Athens

    June 17, 2016 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    Some serious walking and sightseeing today. Nikki navigated the subway system and we arrived at the Acropolis bright and early. A long climb to the top offered spectacular views of the city. On the way up we imagined ancient citizens attending events at Herodeon. The Parthenon is impressive. Even that early in the a.m. there are lots of tourists with selfie sticks.Read more

  • Day2

    National Gardens, Athens Greece

    June 17, 2016 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    We needed some shade so we walked up the hill to enjoy the National Garden. Enroute we were enticed to partake in the "free wifi, cool AC and good food" of a cafe by a man on stilts. Promising to come back, we made our way to the gardens to cool off under the trees for a bit. Realizing we were close to The Temple of Zeus we made our way there, established that it was part of our ticket package and got a few cool pics. Again, Nikki was a wealth of knowledge but some of us were past absorbing much more. The tall man was calling and the cafe lived up to all his promises plus it was very economical. Then it was back to the hotel for another rest.Read more

  • Day2

    Lycabettus Hill,

    June 17, 2016 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    The funicular to Lycabettus Hill is at the top of what seemed like hundreds of steps and we arrived slightly out of breath only to wait for a half hour for the next trip up. We were entertained by the looping ad for Metaxa, a Greek brandy, as we anticipated the "fun" ride ahead, only to be disappointed that we were in at tunnel and there was no view. The vista at the top more than made up for it and we sampled the famed Metaxa along with more enjoyable fare at the restaurant overlooking the city. We got seriously lost on our hike down but met a lovely young lady & her son who had lived in NY & LA. She steered us back to civilization where we had a late dinner before heading back to our hotel.Read more

  • Day3

    The famous Sandal-Maker

    June 18, 2016 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 35 °C

    The girls were up early for our shopping excursion. We took the subway to Psirri where we found a flea market and purchased a few treasures. Our main mission was to find "The Poet Sandal-Maker to the Stars" but we were disappointed that he wasn't set to open until later in the day. While were peeked in the windows, one of the shopkeepers appeared & announced they'd be open in 10 minutes. Killing time, we explored the area & found a funky tea shop but only had time for a photo op. Returning to the now very busy sandal shop, we all made our selections and had them custom fitted. Three more happy customers for the famous sandal guy.Read more

  • Day3

    Piraeus Greece, The cruise begins

    June 18, 2016 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 35 °C

    A pleasant taxi ride to the port, followed by a calm & welcoming embarkation on The Windstar and before we knew it, we were sailing the Greek & Turkish Islands. We were thrilled with the luxury of our cabins, the friendliness of the staff, the fanfare of the sail-away to the overture "Conquest of Paradise" and the gourmet meal. We gathered on the top deck for a nightly glass of wine and were treated to the story of The Temple of Poseidon as we sailed off into the sunset.
    This idyllic mood was broken in the middle of the night when an alarm sounded in our stateroom. Waking from a deep sleep, I wasn't at my best, but after fumbling for the phone & a somewhat frantic run through the ship in my pjs, I found a steward to remove the offending smoke detector. All's well that ends well, when I negotiated some free wifi for my trouble.
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  • Day4

    Mykanos, Greece

    June 19, 2016 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    We caught an early tender to Mykanos and were able to explore the white, catacomb-like alleys as the town was readying itself for the day. We strolled past the Church which was being whitewashed and along the shoreline to the windmills and did a little shopping.Read more

  • Day4

    More Mykanos

    June 19, 2016 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    After exploring the windmills, we ventured by bus to the beach where we rented some lounges under a thatched hut, viewed the nudes at the end of the beach & had a dip in the Mediterranean. A tidal wave almost washed away our belongings but we managed to save and dry out everything including Dani's sandals. We enjoyed a tasty Greek lunch and caught up on our social media before tendering back to the ship for another stirring sail away, followed by dinner, plus our nightly wine on the secluded spot near the Veranda.Read more