Monday, July 21, 2008

Catching up is impossible

Well, it has been MONTHS since I posted anything on here, I know. And I have all kinds of excuses, like I need to get my pictures organized first, and others... but if I just keep making excuses, I'll never get caught up! So here is a quick summary of what happened since the last posting:
- November was busy with Thanksgiving. We had three formal Turkey Dinners with guests, including one dinner that was actually ON Thanksgiving and while Svend Aage and Dorte Andersen were visiting us. That was a nice surprise! (Pictures to come later)
- December was Christmas month and we had a slower social scene. The French ladies hosted the Coffee Morning. Not much else was happening, socially, but for us, on Christmas Day, we had an Open House and we had 50 people in our little living/dining room at one point! It was nice and kept me from getting too sad on Christmas Day.
- New Years Eve was spent with good friends Reggie and Heatherton and Marcia and Barry, playing Mah Jong and watching fireworks from the balcony at midnight.
- January was nice; we had Halcyon Days which is about two weeks of very mild weather. On Martin Luther King weekend it was in the 70's and we went to Monemvasia and Mystras and hiked around in the ruins. Very pleasant. At the end of the month, Dave had a conference to attend in Garmisch, Germany, so I tagged along and we enjoyed a few relaxing days there. Dave skiied one day, but the conditions were not great. While there, we got word about Linda's brain tumors and so as soon as we returned to Greece, Dave made arrangements to visit her in Utah. There was a lovely coffee morning at the Egyptians in the end of January.
- February 1st Dave left for Utah and I went to a nice dinner that evening at the Lodges (the British Defense Attache). It was very nice of them to include Toni and I since both Scott and Dave were away. Dave was gone one week. In February, we had a lovely coffee morning in Maria Morgan's home and we Americans made quiche and coffee cake and fruit salads. On Feb 16th it started to snow and, believe it or not, we were snowed in for 3 days!!! Church was cancelled and so was an official dinner with a visiting VIP from USA. But we managed to get out and about in time to have Bunko on the evening of the 19th! In February, a club I belong to started to do guided tours of the museums and archaeological sites in Athens. Those have been very interesting and I have met new ladies too. February was my month to host Book Club and we read The Dollmaker (and I was so nervous that everyone would hate it!) The discussion was very lively and on the whole, those that attended liked the book and the issues it raised. (WHEW!)
- In March we had a girl's night out to a nearby Mexican Restaurant. It was nice to eat something other than Greek food. March 8th Dave and I left for our trip to Egypt, sponsored by the Egyptian Embassy. We spent 9 days and saw Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, a Nile Cruise, and Alexandria. We met the Bakers (Gary, Christine, and Jill) there and it was nice to be together after so many years of just letter-writing since Spain. I have lots of pictures of Egypt to post soon, I promise! Anna, from Poland, sponsored the coffee morning; we discussed Life of Pi at Elaine's Book Club; and Bunko was fun and festive at Angie's Taco Night! The tour to the Agora was an especially interesting one, in spite of the rain!
- April we went on an Attache tour to Nafplio, Epidavro and Mycenae, three of my favorite places. The Russians hosted the Coffee Morning. Linda Miller and Hannah Gibson visited us for a week April 12 thru 20. We took them to Delphi and to Nafplio, as well as to sights in and around Athens. We had Bunko at Laura's and Book Club at Vera's (discussing The Island) while Linda was here, so she came along! We also had an official gathering at our home with the Brits, French, Poles, and Romanians, as well as our dear friends Gregory and Nool Christeas from Hydra, while Linda was here. So she got to really particiapte in my busy schedule! On Greek Easter weekend Dave and I drove to the island of Evia (there is a bridge) to check it out on Saturday. We had a nice lunch in a little harbor town called Limni. On Easter Sunday we were invited for lamb etc at the home of good friends Sotiris and Valinda Papadimitriou. Yum. Easter Monday we went to George the jeweler's beach house with about 50 of his other closest friends where there was more lamb and dancing as well. We left just when they started to set off the fireworks, and before the roof caught on fire! What a story! They built the fire in the firplace/grill too high and the roof was not insulated properly so the roof caught fire. Fortunately there were enough crazy folks around who had had a few potent drinks, so no one was afraid to climb on the roof and dowse the flames!
- Dave went to Linda's funeral the first week of May. May was also the month that the girls and James came to visit. (Pictures to follow on those days as well.) We went with 25 of us total from the Attache Group and family and friends to see the play Mama Mia and thoroughly enjoyed that. Book Club was held here while Char was here and we discussed Atonement. Bunko and Mah Jong also helped fill my days, along with a few visits to Plaka for shopping and to a few archaeological sights for education! Vasilka from Macedonia hosted a lovely coffee morning.
- June was busy with travel to Aviano and Venice of course, my coffee morning here was a luau, and we had lots of farewells and of course Book Club (The Gathering), Bunko, some Mah Jong, and some shopping. (Do you see a pattern here?) We also went to a Mark Knopfler concert with some attache friends and tried to see James Blunt in concert as well, but it was cancelled at the last moment! The end of June was the Attache Trip to Crete. And we attended our first Greek Wedding too.
- July is here and we have had the big Embassy July 4 celebration, an Attache Bowling night, some fun days water skiing with George the Jeweler, a few dinners with good friends and a movie at the outdoor cinema. This week we are off to Crete again on AF business. We will take the overnight ferry this time. More on that and the rest of July later.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Smith Adventures

October brought the BIG CROWD! What a blast! A huge slumber party with 10 adults in our little house! We went everywhere! It was great fun! Here are some of the photos documenting our trips to the sights in Athens, the Peloponese, on the cruise to Mykonos, Rhodes, Ephesus, and Patmos, and to Sounio. For some reason, we don't have photos of the day in Delphi. Maybe that is because Patti did not go and Dave was in charge of the camera???????? The picture we SHOULD have is of the family playing Phase 10 EVERY EVENING and Lane and others with their IPODS (newest toy) in their ears!!!

Visiting the Temple of the Olympian Zeus in Athens

On the cruise


Brent and friend in Rhodes

Lunch at the family-run taverna in Rhodes

Scene from the Street of the Knights in Rhodes



Ancient windmills on the island of Patmos

At the Bourtzi Castle in the Harbor of Nafplio


The Gang at Sounio

Saturday, December 15, 2007

September in Greece

September brought a bit of a break in the heat, but still plenty of sunshine and chances for exploring ancient sights. Chad and Elissa Fix came to stay with us for two weeks and we had a marvelous time exploring together and enjoying their company. We had so much fun with them, introducing them to souvlaki, Greek yoghurt with honey, tyrokafteri, and Greek salad. We went to Corinth, Nafplio, Epidavro Theatre, and Mycenae in the Peloponese. We climbed around ancient temples at Sounio and Delphi. We sent them on ferries to the islands of Crete, Kefalonia, Ithaca, and Hydra and on the metro to explore the museums and the Acropolis and other famous sights in and around Athens. We shopped in the Plaka, buying jewelry from George and sandals from John Lennon's and Jackie Onassis' personal sandalmaker. We played games and chatted into the evening on our balcony with the beautiful view. It was a great time and we hope they will come again!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Mr. Otterson becomes "Gyro Man!"

The first week of August, the temperatures were soaring and another "hottie" came to visit us in Greece. Ben Otterson, aka Mr. O, came for 6 days, way too short, but we did our best to see everything we could. We saw the sites of Athens, shopped for souvenirs, ate good food at many Greekeries, and even did a day trip to Hydra and a bus tour of Delphi and Meteora. Ben was even able to be one of our guests at an official dinner we hosted in our home for the British Attaches. He thoroughly impressed the Brits with his knowledge of and love for the game of "European football" otherwise known by Americans as "soccer". Here are some photos of our fun!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Next Visitor

Cyndi was the next to visit us in the heat of the summer of 2007. This summer was the hottest ever on record for Greece and a very disturbing summer with fires all over the country, many set deliberately. The heat and often high, dry winds were perfect conditions for the fires to spread fast and furious! It was a very sad time for Greece. This country lacks green areas as it is, and the few forested areas they have were damaged very much this summer. In spite of the heat, we had a nice time doing a few of the sights around Athens and even ventured out of the Attica area to visit Sounio, Delphi, Meteora, and the islands of Hydra and Spetses. Here are a few photos of our adventures.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Long Time, No Post

Here it is November already and I have not added to this blog since June! A lot has happened in these 6 months!! We are very happily settled into our life here in Greece. Our home is nice and our activities are hectic and enjoyable. We have had many visitors each month since Benjamin and Rebecca christened the "Johansen Bed and Breakfast" as our first guests in June. Since then we have welcomed Adrienne, Cyndi, Ben Otterson, Chad and Elissa Fix, and 8 members of the Smith family from Utah. I think in this post I will add some photos of fun times enjoyed with all of our guests...starting with AJ's visit in July. We visited Sounio at sunset. Another day, we took her on a cruise to 3 Aegean islands, Poros, Hydra, and Aegina.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

More photos

Here are some more photos from our adventures in Greece. One is of a beach within driving distance of our home, about an hour away. The next is the view of the Olympic Stadium at night from our balcony.

Monday, June 04, 2007

More from our sightseeing around Athens and roundabout

We have had our first visitors! Rebecca and Benjamin Andersen have visited for 4 days from Copenhagen and we have taken them around to a few sites. Here are some pictures of our travels roundabout! This is Dave and the lovebirds at the top of Lycavitos Hill. The other photo is of the changing of the guards at Syntagma (Parliament).

Thursday, May 24, 2007

About town

Here are a few of the photos I have taken around the city of Athens. They are of the various ancient sites right in Athens and of course the guard at the Syntagma (Parliament). Enjoy!