Monday, June 24, 2013


I didn't have huge expectations for Athens, and I was slightly nervous because of the series of political protests taking place at the time, but wow, I really underestimated the beauty of this city. We arrived via the airport (we had flown from Rome to Athens) and immediately hopped on the metro to head into town. That was a LONG ride. We thought we had figured out which station to get off at, but we quickly realized how wrong we were. The directions to our hotel, which I had printed off from the internet, were incredibly wrong! We wondered around Athens for a while enjoying being lost in such a beautiful city! We walked up all kinds of amazing and beautiful backroads and neighborhoods! At one point, we ran into some Americans who also pointed us in the wrong direction! Finally, Nathan busted out the map on his phone and we made our way over to the hotel!

The hotel was really incredible! It was in a great location and had an abundance of ammenities, including fresh squeezed orange juice each morning! YUM!
That first day was wonderful! We spent lots of time relaxing and checking out the nearby outdoor shopping center just down the street from us! I think it was called Plaka, or something like that.

Of course the next morning was scheduled for a tour! We were going to take a small trip around Athens and then go visit the Acropolis, followed by a visit to the Acropolis museum! We lucked out with this tour. It was pretty fun and we met also met a few neat people in our group!
Picture Below: View from our hotel!
This was our first stop on our tour. We only stopped at this stadium for a few minutes. If I can remember correctly, this was the stadium where the first modern Olympic games were held.
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Below: This was on our climb up to the Acropolis; it's the Odeum of Herodes Atticus theatre.It was absolutely amazing!
Up at the Acropolis looking at the Pantheon!
We finished at the Acropolis and then headed down to check out the museum! The museum was almost as awesome as the Pantheon itself! While under construction, it was discovered that a bunch of ruins were buried at the site. The contractors decided to continue with the building of the museum and resolved the problem by constructing the museum on massive cement pillars. The floor of the museum, then, was made of glass so visitors could view the excavated site as they walked through the building. It was pretty awesome!

Some of the local kids playing soccer!

 After our tour ended, which was relatively early in the afternoon, we decided to take a nice stroll around Athens! This was one of my favorite things we did on the entire vacation! We walked through the shopping market once again and found that there was an opera showing in that amazing old theatre I photographed from atop the Acropolis! We were out of time that evening, but decided to go see it after our tour the next day.

We continued on our little journey through the city and ended up over at Monstriraki (sp?) and found a fantastic little outdoor restaurant! I remember never wanting that moment to end. It was so romantic and beautiful!

We probably ate our weight's worth of various fried cheeses while in Athens; it was heavenly!

Below Picture: Some of the random ruins throughout Athens! Amazing!!!

So funny little story. On one of the nights, which of course I can't remember, Nathan and I decided to dine at the hotel's restuarant terrace. We got up there, ordered water and started looking at the menu. When I saw the "Veal stomach with the mik of its mother still inside," I knew that this wasn't going to workout so well. After browsing the menu, Nathan also realized that this was not going to happen. We made up some lame excuse on how I wasn't feeling good, so we were just going to go back to our hotel room, and quickly blew that popsicle stand!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


I remember the very first time I fell in love with history. We were watching a television special on, you guessed it, Pompeii. I remember trying to understand how a volcano could destroy an entire thriving community. I remember most of all though, the bodies casts there were made out of the "leftovers" (for lack of a better word) of the citizens buried in ash and volcanic material. I was hooked on history from that point on!

The trip, which of course, was a multi language tour, ugh, was nothing exciting. Another long and uncomfortable bus ride! We did stop in Naples, which is only minutes from Pompeii, and were able to explore for a tiny bit (and I'm not exaggerating on the time scale). Of course, they (the tour company) made us stop at some jewelry store to "use the facilities," if you will, but really they tried to sell us things the entire time.

Anyway, we made it to Pompeii after what seemed like the longest drive EVER! We stopped for lunch, which was quite the experience. Nathan and I sat next to these two ladies from California and a young girl from Arizona (maybe. Or maybe it was the other way around?). Anyway, they told us what was on the menu, veal or salad for the vegitarians. So, we are all thinking, except for Nathan, SICK! We all go with the salad. Well, they bring us out the most pathetic little salads I have ever seen in my life while Nathan has this amazing plate set in front of him. We all got a good laugh about it!

We finished up and headed over to Pompeii. I literally had butterflies in my stomach because I was so excited! Pompeii did not disappoint; it was everything I had dreamed of and more! The sad thing, we were only allotted TWO HOURS to visit this ancient city. I swear, I will never go on a tour again if it can be avoided.

On a side note, I think this was the ride where THE MOST OBNOXIOUS Russian couple sat behind us. For one, the girl's shorts were literally up her hiney. I didn't even know it was humanly possible to wear shorts that little! Her and her creepy boyfriend laughed and giggled and madeout and flirted the ENTIRE time. I'm pretty sure all of us wanted to throw them out the bus door! It's really sad that I can't remember for sure if this was the tour they were on. At the time, I thought I would never ever forget them! Actually, on the way back from the tour, the tour guide put Mr. Bean on the tvs. That guy laughed his brains out! I've never seem a grown man laugh so hard over something so ridiculous! He was so crazy, I would find myself laughing!

Anyway, if you ever get the chance to visit Naples, take the time to see Pompeii; the feeling there is so surreal. It's hard to believe that a place so beautiful was the home of such a tragic event!

Rome had some AMAZING citrus! If you know me, you know I live for citrus! I would bath in it if I could!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Happy 1st Birthday, Q-dawg!

I'm still in denial that this darling baby boy of mine is 1! Where did the time go? I just can't get enough of his chubby little thighs, his perfect nose, and his bow-legged flinstone walk! He's recently picked up the obnoxious habit of screaming at the top of his lungs, which is definitely something I CAN get enough of! In our house of craziness, sometimes you just have to do whatever it takes to make yourself heard. Here are some pictures from our own little 1st birthday photo shoot.