Saturday, October 06, 2007

Greek Vacation


Janna's new "Happy Place" eating ice cream, overlooking the Aegean Sea on Santorini!href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_m71T4yXaVno/Rwe5ha30kPI/AAAAAAAAAAM/VirI0pI1gMQ/s1600-h/Athens+(118).jpg">


We started in Athens and did the obligatory tours of the Acropolis (left), and visited the Archeological Museum. This began many days of eating spinach pies, and feta and tomato sandwiches from the various street vendors. This also began many days of walking, a lot!
Athens included seeing the changing of the guard and a stroll through the colorful Monastriaki market and eating our first excellent Greek food while enjoying live Greek music at the Tavernas.



Birds - some of the prolific "wall art" seen all over Athens. Tons of motorcycles too, since they fit down those crazy narrow streets!

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Crazy T-Shirt vendors on The Plaka, an open air Athens Market
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From Athens, the train took us to Meteora where we met our not so vegetarian friendly hosts where I was told in no uncertain terms I was "going against nature." We ate elsewhere... The hotel was great, right at the base of the amazing rocks upon which monasteries were built in the 1500s. It's striking how scared they must have been of the local situation to put their monasteries SO high on these amazing rocks. We never figured out the bus system and ended up walking over 7km (~5miles) between monasteries and up and down to our hotel.

The trip continued to a ferry and landed us on Crete in Hania, a sweet and touristy town on the west side of Crete. From here we were able to visit the beach a few times, happy to sit after much walking. I found I can actually swim if I'm in salty water!

Hania was also the base for our day trip to the Samaria Gorge on the south side of the island. This amazing natural wonder has a 12km hike (and another 2 at the end to get to the much desired ferry home). I managed to twist my ankle at km 2 on yet another almost invisible rock, par for the course. I limped through the rest of the hike, not willing to stop for anything! At the WC and water stops we tasted the cleanest most amazing water that ran through the gorge.

Through random acts of kindness and unkindness, we got on a bus to Rethmynon. The city is spelled many ways, the bus destination was confusing, and there was little English spoken. Kevin used his trusty internet connection on his cell to confirm we were likely going the right way. Here we ambled around yet another ruin of a fortress overlooking the sea - taking, yes, more photos!

Heraklion, on the east side of Crete was the final stop here. We visited the Cretaquarium to see what's under the sea in the Mediterranean. Another bus adventure, waiting 1.5 hours in the wrong spot and .5 hours in the right one... and were were back for dinner.

The final stop was the picturesque island of Santorini. Everything you see in the postcards, and all the tourists to prove it! 100+ photos in 2 days. The hotel room there was amazing with an unobstructed view of the Agean Sea. All I can say is, wow. We spent an afternoon shopping, then cooked macaroni" on a hot plate in the room after many cravings as "pasta" is translated as "macaroni" on menus. on Monday took a ride on a "clipper" type of boat to see the caldera of the volcano that broke up the original island of Santorini. More hiking! The boat also made a stop near some sulfur hot springs, but my swimming abilities didn't allow me to partake, although my travel buddy Kevin got to go!


























The travellers enjoying some history in Athens.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

My house!





Well, I wrote a nice entry, then goofed saving it. I'll wax poetic later, in the meantime here are some rehab pics!
I have to say I love Portland. Traveling has been great, but I love coming home to the green city, where folks say hi and ask how you are. It's a good sized city that still has a small town style. Today was nice enough to open the windows and enjoy the sounds of kids playing outside and dogs barking in the spring air.

Below are pictures of carpet removal, a new closet being built and the wallpaper removal process...

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Phoenix 2006

Well, mom and dad were nice enough to return to Phoenix for winter vacation here. A much closer trip for a weekend, and a welcome one to the warm sun for me! Portland has had rain for at least 32 of the last 33 days. Even wetter than usual, I'm told! Meanwhile Phoenix hasn't had rain in over 100 days.

We managed to fit a lot into the 2 short days including a trip to the Wildlife Park--where you can hand feed a giraffe!, a tour around an old pueblo, dinner, theater a ride on a steamboat on beautiful Canyon Lake and a trip to the world's most tourist-y ghost town.

Plus, in the lovely town of Tortilla Flat (population 6), we ate at a restaurant where the walls were covered with dollar bills left by visitors near and far.

En

Monday, January 16, 2006

Which would you rather?


Kiss a bird...or drink rain from a waterfall??

Wet Weekend

Well, it has been raining in Portland for many, many days and nights. It goes on, and off, an ON! I console myself with the fact that it's not snow...and it's not really cold! Went hiking with old buddy Kevin this weekend in Eagle Creek in the Columbia Gorge about 1/2 hour east of downtown Portland. Pictures below...Including the beautiful lichen on the trees, a snowy hilltop, Punchbowl falls, and one very muddy boot!!




Saturday, December 31, 2005

Winter Wonderland

So, here in Portland, there is a place where everyone decorates their houses for Christmas. It's the mini-version of Chicago's Sauganash area. One full street that looks like you opened the door to some fantasyland. Horse drawn carriages go down the long street and you can buy hot chocolate at a stand. It's cute! Below are a few pictures...albeit a bit dark, of the lovely Peacock Lane. This link will take you to a site of slightly better pictures. As in most things, Portland's "christmas-y area" doesn't quite live up to the overdone lights in Chicago, but then, maybe this green city is onto something--- not making the electric companys rich!
http://peacocklane.net/pictures.html

Monday, December 19, 2005

Winter in the West

OK, I miss Atlanta! Well, I miss the weather :-). Although we had our ice storms in Atlanta, winter was pretty mild. I'm somewhat surprised by the impact of winter here in Portland. At the moment I am looking at maybe 1" of snow (with a layer of ice underneath) and the city is shutting down. They are apparently pouring gravel on the main roads for traction, but schools and events are closing left and right. We had Chicago sized winds today as well. It's just cold! Everyone here tells of the storm about 2 years ago where people couldn't leave their homes for a week! Buy some snowplows, people!!

The other recent wintry event was the new experience of buying chains for my tires. For a lovely New Year's Eve, I made plans to go to a local getaway with vegetarian food, hot springs, yoga and general R and R. After making reservations, I was informed that I should (and in Oregon it's the law from October-April) have chains in my car! The mountains here get pretty snowy and, again, no plows. So, this midwest city gal may have to pull to the side of the road to put chains on the Civic. THAT's why everyone here drives a Subaru!!

I hope to have more photos soon of snow, ice, mountains and all things west coast and wintry.
And, if you are reading this in December...HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The End of an Era

Well, today I discovered that my Georgia Tech email expired...AND, I had ignored a statement alerting me to the expiration of www.accessiblethreads.com. WOW. Don't go to this link. It doesn't link to anything. I can't believe it! I guess it's real. I have a job, I work in a great company, they pay me a salary, benefits and I work with great people everyday. Just as quickly and, unfortunately, quietly, as Accessible Threads arrived...it has consequently dissapeared. I am no longer in grad school, no longer the principal of my own company, I am a cog in a wheel, but so far, I actually like it that way.

This cog has been afforded new experiences in corporate America, experiences for networking and sanity. Experiences for having a real weekend and enough income to perhaps buy my first home. I don't think this new step would be as interesting had I not experienced doing it all on my own, being chief cook and bottle washer as well as accountant, adminstrator, graphic artist and prototyper. It taught me a lot, about me, about business and about what I want next. It's much easier to work for a large company having pushed my personal envelope by doing it my way for awhile. Right now, someone else's way, albeit a way I am allowed to challenge and drive as I see fit, works just fine for me. I get to walk away each evening not worrying where the next client is coming from and go in each morning and work with an extremely talented group of people. Not to trash Kirby at all, but he's not the most conversational work partner :-).

So, I felt the need to acknowledge this passing here, in this online space. Perhaps any google search for Accessible Threads will land someone here, where they will find it's epitaph. May you all find a few interesting forks in your road as you travel through life.