While we are on vacation, Luke is still clocking in and working. As such, I find myself with odd amounts of time when he is occupied, and I am free to engage with some quality “me time”. In the past, that either meant reading one of my favorite mystery novels or napping. Usually, it was just a lot of napping.
Since we are on a vacation that has the potential to be fairly pricey, it seems like a literal waste of money to just nap all the time – especially as it is not rooted in physical or mental exhaustion, but rather boredom.
So instead I have made sure to keep up my writing. I have a small pocket notebook that I haul around as I wander, making sure to jot down my fleeting, at-the-time earth-shattering thoughts to expound upon later. To be perfectly honest, sometimes when I read my notes from the previous day, I still have no clue what I was thinking at that moment. What began as an exercise to diversify and expand my writing has slowly developed into an exercise on how to be both descriptive and concise. I’ll know at the end of our trip if my efforts are fruitful.
In the meantime, I was able to discern some of my scribblings from our first few days; but first, let me do a quick rundown of where we have ended up thus far. We flew into Athens International Airport late Thursday night. I had pre-arranged a hotel for us in Porto Rafti for the first couple of nights. I know Luke is largely incapable of sleeping on a plane, so I assumed jet lag would hit him hard and he would need a day to recover. He did not disappoint. After sleeping for two hours of our 23 hours of travel, he fell face-first onto the bed when we arrived at 22:00, only to wake up a few hours later and work through the early Friday morning. By 10:00 on Friday, he had completed his work hours and slept until that evening. I occupied my time on our veranda, reading and enjoying the view of the Aegean Sea.
When Luke woke up, we walked along one of the main roads and poked around some different stores and market stands. We meandered back to the hotel along the beach, stopping both for me to dip my feet in the surf and for dinner at a small restaurant our cab driver from the airport suggested. Dinner was one of the best of my life, as it was our first real meal in three days and it was comprised of the best mussels and wine either of us had experienced.
The next day, we watched the sunrise from our window before I completed my dream of eating Greek yogurt in Greece. We repacked our backpacks before hopping in a cab for Athens center. After checking into our next hotel and depositing our worldly possessions, we headed straight for the Acropolis. After a sweat-soaked hike, we took turns gaping at our surroundings and discussing the static cultural narrative of monuments. We took a moment to catch our breath before descending and heading to a farmers’ market, where I made the “mistake”/best decision of buying a kino of olives to accompany fresh bread and cheese for dinner. About 50 olives later, I finally started to tip toward the “this might be a mistake” notion.
Sunday was our last full day in Athens before we boarded a ferry for Heraklion, Crete. Crete was a last-minute addition, but one that we couldn’t pass up once we realized how inexpensive it was to get there. That morning, we loaded up our bags yet again (with a little more force behind the zipper), stowed them in the luggage storage room at our hotel, and set off to explore the Athens Flea Market and the remainder of the Cultural Ministry sites, like the Olympieion, the Ancient Agora, and the Roman Agora. We were dusty, tired, and giddy when we walked into a café for hours of sangria, politiki, and conversation at the base of the Acropolis.
And now, we are perched in a café on our ferry to Heraklion, sipping wine (see a theme?) and both typing avidly. The ferry, by the way, dwarves every other ferry I have boarded. When we booked tickets, I was picturing a ferry similar to the ones we used in the San Francisco Bay, but I was vastly mistaken. Our Crete-bound ferry is the size of a cruise ship, with 8+ decks (I stopped counting) and an endless stream of employees in bright blue blazers and white bow ties. We are a little out of our element, but we cannot wait to explore to Minoan ruins and splash around the beaches.
I am updating my photo gallery to include a page for our vacation; but in the meantime, please enjoy the single-shots I am uploading periodically to my Facebook and Instagram. And if you have any travel advice for our next few weeks, please send it our way!