I’m nervous about so many things… the top two being the fact that I'm leaving my boys for 14 days and I'm going to another country where I don’t speak the language…
Although I’ve been away from them before, it’s never been for this long. As for the language barrier, I have tried and tired listening to the Italian CD’s in an attempt to learn to speak the language a little. Despite my best efforts, I still can’t say anything. Last night I dreamt about not being able to talk to anyone and not knowing what to say when I got to my hotel or anywhere else. The thought crossed my mind, “What have I gotten myself into?” Well, I’m on a train that can’t be stopped now and really I wouldn’t want it to. God wanted me to go on this trip for a reason. He wanted me to experience this. I can’t describe the feeling when I checked in and typed “Athens, Greece” as my destination! This is where I wish I was an English teacher and not a math teacher because I wouldn't be at such a loss for words. To put it simple though, I'll just say, I had butterflies galore!! It’s so exciting to use my Passport as my ID. I know it sounds cheesy but when you’re almost 40 experiencing this for the first time, it is just surreal.
Well I'm not a big fan of airplanes. I consider them a necessary evil if I want to go anywhere reasonably far away. The flight went surprisingly fast. We got a little bit of sleep on the plane and took a very short nap when we got to our hotel. By 2:30 Athens time on Saturday we were ready to hit the ground running!
From our hotel we headed out to the area called the Plaka. It's the oldest neighborhood in Athens and is home to a flea market, many many vendors, and more restaurants and cafes than you can imagine. The streets go is all sorts of directions without a lot of rhyme or reason. Lucky for us most of the signs are in both Greek and English.
On our walk we saw some pretty cool ruins... Not sure what they were other than the Acropolis from a distance. Hopefullly on our tour tomorrow we’ll figure out more. We stopped for lunch. I had my first Greek salad and loved it… fresh tomatoes, green peppers, the best olives I've had in my entire life, and delicious feta cheese. The other great part...no lettuce! Just my style. After walking for several hours and sitting and people watching in the parliment square, we headed back to get ready for dinner. We found an outdoor café (not a difficult thing to do) and watched the US play England in the World Cup. It was a very good game but ended in a 1-1 tie. I enjoyed a glass of Sagria and and some more delicious Greek food. We chatted with the locals who were enoying the soccer game. One of the locals treated us to a traditional Greek “drink." Not sure I'll be buying on of my own but it was fun to try. Surprisingly one of them actually does business in Indianapolis. Who would have guessed! Dinner was wonderful. The weather was perfect. At midnight we finally headed back to the hotel to crash. Pick up for our tour of Athens is at 8am... Big day ahead!!