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March 24th 2008
Published: March 25th 2008
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Lunch with the familyLunch with the familyLunch with the family

Left to right: George, Eleni, Gregory, Alexandra, Katerina, Me, Anastasia
My last day in Thessaloniki was spent with the family. We had a lazy morning and then went to meet Eleni's other sister Alexandra and her husband Gregory. Alexandra was exactly what I imagined a Greek Aunt would be like. We met them in a parking lot of a grogery store so we could follow them to the restaurant where we were going to have lunch. As we drove up, Alexandra had her cane raised above her head waving it at us. We pulled up and she opened the door and grabbed me gave me kisses and almost suffocated me in her cleavage then gave me roses. She dyes her hair, drinks a lot of ouzo, and is always telling stories. She was fantastic. We ate about 10 feet from the waves of the Mediterranean Ocean and binged on squid, calamari, and cuddlefish. The 40 days before the Greek Orthodox Easter they don't eat any meat with blood, but those three things don't count. We finished at around 4pm, took a walk, and said our goodbyes. I didn't have to eat again until the next morning.
They took me to the train station that night around 10:30pm to meet up with John and catch our last train back to Athens. I had no idea how to even begin to say thank you. They treated me as if I were one of their own children, and I told them that. Eleni replied that she had always wanted a third child. I have never seen hospitality like I did in Greece, whether it was my family or not.
John and I had our last adventure on the way back to Athens on the sleeper-only train. The rooms were the size of a large dining room table and had 6 cots in them, one on the bottom, another in the middle, and one on top. We had to two on top... I couldn't even sit up straight. We were tired and passed out for about 5 hours and then arrived back in Athens at 6am. Our flight wasn't until 3:45pm so we killed a lot of time in the airport. It wasn't the best Easter spent in the Athens airport, but we made the best of it.
Thankfully we didn't have class today. All businesses and schools are closed the day after Easter, and I definitely need the time to catch up. Thursdsay I am off to Slovakia to see friends of my Aunt Peggys!

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Thessaloniki countrysideThessaloniki countryside
Thessaloniki countryside

we went on a drive after lunch to see more of Thessaloniki

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