fred lee

phredude

fred lee

My name's fred, and I'm an anxiety-ridden home-body who lives in fear new experiences. Fortunately for me, I have a beautiful wife and two lovely and amazing children who inspire me to get off my behind and venture out of my comfort zone to experience the world. Sure, it's challenging, but the results are always rewarding, the trips are always memorable, and I've got my family to thank for it.



North America » United States » Vermont May 19th 2011

Boy are we jet lagged. Our first night home, we arrived late, went to bed, and proceeded to wake up at 4:00AM. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, except that we had a rough day of traveling the day before. When we got home, we hadn’t gotten enough sleep, and felt a bit dazed throughout the day. Napping would have helped, but that would have made sleeping that evening all the more difficult, so we stuck it out. I managed by constantly moving, either by working in the yard (mowing, firewood) or in the kitchen (we made Greek food for lunch and supper) By the time evening came, we were almost too tired to even eat, but not quite. The goal was to eat and then hit the sack, but going to bed too early would ... read more

North America » United States » Vermont May 18th 2011

Okay, we're back, and it sure feels good to be home. However, the weather has not been ideal. In fact, it's been downright lousy from what I can gather, and it continues to this day. The forecast calls for more of the same for the next week. One thing about all this rain is that the place sure is green. Amazingly green, in fact. Since I couldn't mow for the past three weeks, the grass is getting lush, though in need of a coiffing. The trees are in bloom, the mud has dried up (sort of), and the place looks beautiful. I was a little surprised at how cool it was, I assumed we were done burning wood, but sure enough, I've fired up the stove and it sure feels good. Looks like I'll have to ... read more

North America » United States » Vermont May 17th 2011

We've had such an amazing vacation that we haven't spent much time thinking about home, but once it's time to head back, you really begin to get into the "going home" mindset. Now it wouldn't be a trip home without some sort of drama and intrigue, and for us, getting home always has some of both, in a good way, of course. Flying is also a long haul when you live in the woods, because it involves several stages. We had to fly out of Istanbul to Munich, where we would connect with a flight back to Boston. From Boston, we had to catch the bus to Vermont, and from the bus depot, a long drive home. We also had to consider the very real possibility that our car was not going to be there. Remember, ... read more
Sirkeci Konak breakfast
More Serkeci Konak breakfast
Tea Set

Europe » Greece » South Aegean » Santorini May 16th 2011

I just wanted to comment on the hotel in Santorini. It got great reviews on TripAdvisor because it was beautiful but also because it was a good deal. That's why R chose it. I'll say this, it really made the experience a great one. Just a word of advice for anyone going to Santorini, which should be everyone on the planet, make sure you make the effort to get a hotel along the edge of the calder, which means basically along the cliff. You have to have the view of the cliffs, it makes it all the better. It's more expensive, but worth it. At the Delfini in Santorini, Sima made our stay wonderful. Besides loving children and being an incredibly warm and friendly host, there was local Greek wine and strawberries waiting for us, and ... read more
Local Greek Wine and Strawberries
Electrical Convertor

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sirkeci May 16th 2011

To add to our woe of leaving Santorini, we had a miserable flight that was leaving at 6:50AM, so that meant catching a cab at 5:30, and therefore waking up at 5:00. Brutal. We didn't have an alarm clock, and weren't sure if we were even confirmed or if there would be a cab waiting for us. We finally tracked down Sima, and she had arranged everything, bless her. The cab would come at 5:20, the guy would take our bags around 5:10, and hopefully wake us up if we weren't up. Sima even lent us a clock. Waking up was tough, but we managed. Kudos to the kids for being such troopers and being ready to hit the ground running. We didn't even have time to eat breakfast, so we really felt bad for the ... read more
Goodbye to Santorini
Tea Time in Turkey

Europe » Greece » South Aegean » Santorini May 16th 2011

Did I say nothing but good vibes in Santorini? Well, there was one area that let me down a little, and I think you can blame the Capitalist instinct for that one. As I mentioned, I couldn't find stamps for our postcards. My bad, I know. We should have gotten them earlier, and since we waited, I now had to scramble and all these vendors wouldn't sell them to us without first buying their cards. It really bummed me out, but their in business, what are you going to do? It reminds me of when I lived in Venice beach, which is a tourist haven. All these eateries cater to the masses, but they won't give you a napkin unless you buy their food, first. We're talking a negligible expense, believe me, I know. We are ... read more
Credit Cards

Europe » Greece » South Aegean » Santorini May 15th 2011

We spent our first and only full day in Santorini just soaking in the sun. The weather has been unseasonably cool and it has contributed to an overall slow season on these islands. You hear it from everyone, though especially in the big touristy areas that really rely on a continuous flow of new people from all around. Factor in the bad economic conditions in Europe, especially Greece, and there's a bit of a dark cloud on the whole affair. It's on everyone's mind. I don' think it's sever on the smaller islands because they tend to draw a more loyal cliental, whereas the bigger more commercial islands must rely on the whims of less regular group of people. Whatever be the case, the weather was not bothering us, though it did make it harder to ... read more
Coffee by the Sea
Writing Life
Poolside

Europe » Greece » South Aegean » Santorini May 14th 2011

We love this island. I have to admit,it's much different than we imagined, and somehow it has a lot to do with this hotel. When we first arrived, the cab was there to pick us up, and thus began the long journey to the other side of the island. The road was scary, winding up cliffs that were 1000 feet up. I looked this up on Wikipedia. What's really crazy is that road is small, barely big enough for two cars, and there are these massive tour buses that go up and down. Santorini is a big stop for cruises, so they all come ashore and pile into these buses, which then tour the island. They can barely make the turns. To add to the fun, our cab driver was nuts. He was flying, passing cars ... read more
Romantic Setting
Santorini Sunset

Europe » Greece » South Aegean » Santorini May 14th 2011

Our last day in Sifnos was spent returning the rental car and then having breakfast. We enjoyed our stay at the Delini hotel, especially with the breakfast, but it can be awkward at times being one of only a few guests at a place. It's slow season, so there weren't a lot of people in town, not yet at least. We like this fact, but it has its drawbacks. First, not everything is open. Second, the hotels are not full, which is usually a good thing, except that you become the focus of the hosts, and our hosts seemed intent on getting us to eat at their restaurant. We, on the other hand, wanted to explore and eat in the different towns. It got to be really awkward, and as a traveler, I kind of resent ... read more
Ferry to Santorini
Santorini Island
Delfini Santorini

Europe » Greece » South Aegean » Sifnos May 13th 2011

It was recommended to us that we pay a visit to the town of Chryssopigi, which is home to what they said was the most photographed church in the world. The town is tiny, consisting of two restaurants and one lodge, but it apparently has a big following. People really love coming back time and again, though I have to confess, it was a little quiet and sleepy for me. We even saw our Norwegian friends there, and had a chat. The town is on the South side of the island, and it was sheltered from the wind, which made it warmer for swimming. The beach is covered with flat rocks, and all three of us got to practice our rock skipping, which both A&N have become experts. We swam, played on the beach, and then ... read more
More Vathis Beach
Sunset in Sifnos




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