Posts tagged ‘trip’

July 13, 2012

Athens

Ok, as promised, I’m finally getting around to the Athens part of our Greece trip. After 3 nights on the island of Santorini, we took a 25 minute flight to Athens where we spent the next 4 nights. Since we were there for a conference, we had to stay at the conference hotel, the Metropolitan, which was a short drive outside of city central. Luckily, the hotel offered a free shuttle to Syntagma Square every half hour, and once there, everything we wanted to see was within walking distance.

The first night was spent exploring Syntagma Square and Parliament, then walking down Ermou Street. Ermou Street is a pedestrian walking area between Syntagma and Monastiraki Squares. It is full of shops, restaurants, and a cute little 10th century church sits right in the middle of it all. It was an enjoyable introduction to Athens, however, we immediately noticed the gobs of graffiti all over the place. Here is a picture just to give you a little taste:


 

The next day, I slept in while Alex attended his conference. When he was finished we took off for some more exploring. We walked through the National Gardens, then admired the Presidential House and the orange trees lining the street in front of it. We then headed over to Panathenian Stadium, built around 330 BC. We got to peak at the Temple of Olympian Zeus, but the area was already closed for the day by the time we got over there. After walking around Zappeion Hall for a while, then re-energizing ourselves with a cold beverage at a nearby cafe, we decided to find the Teleferik that would take us to the top of Lycabettus Hill, the highest hill in Athens. We read that Lycabettus Hill was a very popular place to go and that most people chose to ride the Teleferik rather than hiking up the hill, so we assumed it would be easy to find. After walking around for what seemed like an eternity, we weren’t having any luck finding it. We even asked a couple of people where it was. One lady had no clue what we were talking about, but she asked a clerk at a nearby store who gave us directions somewhere, but not to the Teleferik. We then asked a security guard who also gave us incorrect directions up a lot of very steep steps. We didn’t find what we were looking for but we did manage to take this picture showing how far up the hill we had already walked:


 
Just when we were about to give up, we came across a very fancy hotel. Alex decided to go in and ask the concierge in a final attempt to locate what we were starting to believe was a fictitious place. We followed her directions, and sure enough, we found it. It did exist! We rode it up to the top of the hill and the views were amazing. Completely worth all the trouble. Here’s a picture of Alex at the top. This give you an idea of how expansive the city is:


 

The next morning, we took the hotel shuttle bus to Syntagma Square yet again, then headed to the Acropolis. This was the first place where we were completely surrounded by tourists and even had to stand in line (to be expected, I guess). Here is a picture of the Odeon of Herodes Atticus:


 

And here’s a picture of me with the Parthenon in the background:


 

After the Acropolis, we ate some lunch, then headed to the Acropolis Museum. Each level of the museum is impressive, but the top floor was probably my favorite. On the top floor, they have friezes and other parts of the Parthenon arranged exactly as they once appeared on the original temple, which can be viewed simultaneously through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows.

That night, Alex and I decided to go out for a nice dinner. We headed to Daphne’s, a delicious restaurant in the Plaka that is housed in an 1830s mansion. After dinner, we found an outdoor theater, Cine Paris, just a few blocks away and at the foot of the Acropolis. We bought our tickets, then headed to the roof where we watched Snow White and the Huntsman (in English with Greek subtitles) while enjoying a glass of wine and sitting under the stars. As if that wasn’t awesome enough, while watching the movie we could look slightly to the left of the screen and see the Acropolis completely lit up. This was probably my favorite night of the trip.

The next morning, and our last full day of the trip, we decided we had had enough of walking around in the heat and just wanted to take it easy. We hopped on a hydrofoil to the closest island, Aegina. We spent the day lounging on the beach and taking in the beautiful surroundings. Unfortunately, the batteries in my camera died after taking just 1 picture, and I didn’t have any spare batteries on me. So this is the only picture I was able to take while we were there:


 

On the last day of the trip, our flight didn’t leave until about 5:00 pm, so we decided to head to Syntagma Square just one more time, then make our way over to the Central Market. This place was crazy!! There were so many locals, pushing their way through the crowds to find the perfect sheep head, calf carcass, live chicken, fresh fish, you name it. I wasn’t able to take any pictures (besides that I had yet to replace the batteries in my camera) because there was so much chaos, and we were being pushed and yelled at from every direction. But the amount and variety of fresh food that was available was astonishing. Definitely a cool thing to see!

Finally it was time to catch our flight to London where we had an overnight layover. Then we boarded our last flight of the trip and headed back to Texas to see the boys whom we missed terribly.

Overall, it was an amazing trip. I’m so thankful we had the opportunity to do this, and just one month after our 5-year anniversary even. Not too shabby!
 

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August 14, 2011

Vacation’s over. Back to the daily grind.

Why does a week of relaxing at the beach go by so much faster than other weeks? It’s not fair.

We are back from our trip to Surfside Beach, TX. The reason for this getaway was to celebrate all of the big events that happened in my family this year. My mother retired, my sister and her hubby turned 40, I turned 30, my sister-in-law turned 40, and a close family friend turned 50. Not to mention it had been a few years since we had all taken a trip together. It’s hard getting us all together because there are so many of us.

I am one of six kids. All but one of us are married, and my single sister always brings her best friend (that close family friend I mentioned above) whose been part of our family for about 12 years now. Only three of us that are married have kids so far. I have two, my sister has three, and my brother has five. Oh, and out of all 10 of our kids, 9 of them are boys.

We always have a good time when we all get together. And this was the first time we had all been to the beach together. There was a lot of swimming, sand digging, crab hunting, clam collecting and boogie boarding happening all week. Unfortunately, we were unimpressed with the beach house itself. The A/C upstairs went out and didn’t get fixed for 2 days. Two of the burners on the stove didn’t work (not good when trying to feed that many hungry people). And there was a horrible smell in the kitchen that we finally traced back to mildew behind the fridge. Gross!

But even with these few disappointments, it was a great trip! I’m sad it’s over.
 

 

 
Here’s a look at our “big catch” after the first night of crab hunting.
 

 

May 8, 2011

A Mother’s Day Adventure

Whenever possible, I enjoy finding new places to go and new things to do. I especially enjoy finding new places for us to experience as a family. So when Alex asked if there was anything I wanted to do for Mother’s Day this year, I knew exactly where I wanted to go. Sandy Lake Amusement Park. This place isn’t exactly new, 40 years old to be exact. But we had never visited this old school amusement park before, even though it’s only half an hour from our house.

I found a coupon on their website allowing us to get in for free (typically costing a whopping $2 per person). Free admission? Hello, I was all over that. If this place stinks, we can just turn around and go home, no money spent.

So we pull up, hand them our coupon and drive through the gate. Where are we? And what year is it? It was surreal. We felt like we had stepped onto the set of Adventureland. (Great movie!) Simon was so excited I thought his head was going to explode.

Once you are in, each ride takes between 3 to 5 tickets, and tickets cost 50¢ each. We immediately went to the ticket booth and bought the biggest book of tickets you could get – $20 for 44 tickets. It took Simon a long time to figure out what ride to do first. It’s an important decision, you know. But once he started, he went very quickly from one ride to the next. There were no lines!!! We blew through those tickets in less than an hour. Oscar even got in on the action.
 
 
After doing the rides, we walked over and checked out the arcade, the miniature golf course and the paddle boats. At this point we were all hot and tired and decided ending the day with a train ride around the park would be perfect.
 

 
Needless to say, the kiddos crashed as soon as we got into the car. It was a successful adventure and a wonderful Mother’s Day.
 

February 7, 2011

I ♥ NY

I’m so excited to be on vacation this week! It couldn’t come at a better time. Although I’ll miss our kids terribly, I’m very much looking forward to the break and spending some quality time with the hubs. We are headed to New York City! Unfortunately this trip is business related for Alex, but we will definitely have time to enjoy ourselves and meet up with friends. We’ve always enjoyed our trips to NYC, so I’ve dug up a few old photos of past trips. Enjoy! See you next week.


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