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Europe » Greece
October 16th 2018
Published: October 27th 2018
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Greece was a trip that was an accident. Originally I had considered going to Portugal and have wanted to go there for a few years now. However, after some thinking I decided on Greece. Scott S who has traveled with me on countless trips now was going to come with me. Scott D was added to the trip halfway and we were ready to go. The trip came in good timing as my job was eliminated the day before the vacation. I was on the job search for 2 months since finding out about the role elimination. There was a lot of uncertainty that I would be facing when coming home, but I pushed that aside and wanted to have an amazing time.

A few quick notes before diving into the trip details

• It was very interesting when you take the ferry from island to island. You stop at a lot of smaller islands and just noticed how concentrated the homes towards the shore and other homes are spread out on the hills of the island

• In case you haven't been to Europe, be wary of the fact that you will pay for bread, water and public bathrooms in some locations. It is a culture shock to Americans, but is a very common place in Europe.

• Be wary of walking around in Mykonos and Santorini as stop signs or street lights are very rare in both islands.

• If you go in October, it limits the amount of ferries available and how fast you may be transported between islands. There are no quick ferries available (only in the summer) and it can take 6-8 hours to go from island to island. You should try to fly though that can be pricy as well. Just be sure to budget the longer ferries into your schedule when traveling.

• I enjoyed the Greek coffee, however there is a huge chalky grainy taste on the bottom of the cup. Be wary when drinking! Ice coffee was good, however is also thick on the bottom similar to a milkshake.

• Definitely do a direct flight even if you have to pay a few hundred dollars which was what we did when traveling to Greece.

We found this deal on Travelzoo through Travel Discounters. There was some uncertainty in terms of the times of the ferries, but I decided to push that aside. The flight was initially noted as going through Alitalia, however this flight was ran through Delta Airlines, which we wouldn't have known unless Scott D had noticed in small print about Delta running the flight, as well as calling Travel Discounters. We handed the reservation information to the woman at the counter, however it took a very long time for her to find the reservation. I was nervous that they didn't have the flight information. Our seats weren't preassigned to us so we had to get that done at the gate where the flight was leaving from. I had to take off my fleece to go through security and put it through the X-ray machine. It had to go through a second time and it took a long time for it to come out. It was rather strange considering that nothing was in any of the pockets. The two Scotts got some lunch and snacks for the flight and we went to the gate. It took a very long time to get our assignment. Scott D was upgraded to a nicer coach and Scott S and I sat by the bathroom. Our seats didn't recline, not much leg room and seemed cramped. On top of this, the woman in front of me had to move her seat down multiple times during the flight which added to the discomfort. A huge disappointment was that I wanted the herb roasted chicken piccata with lemon caper sauce, creamy polenta and green beans for dinner. They of course ran out by the time it came to our seats. We got stuck with the burrata agnolotti in pomodoro with pesto and tomato. It was so so, but upsetting the original dish we wanted they ran out of. In addition, on the flight they gave us a turkey and cheese sandwich, Milano cookie, as well as a delicious continental breakfast box with yogurt, muffin and cheese. Every dish had some cheese with it and felt like overload.

The TV on the flight was very spotty with the headphones given to us not providing excellent sound, as well as the movies going in and out. There was a little turbulence during the flight. Thankfully I was able to score a vodka tonic with a decent sized little bottle of Finlandia. We flew into Athens and see land and clear water mixed in between with various Greek islands. There was mountains all around the runway and an IKEA randomly placed nearby to the airport. It was very easy to get through customs and to find the transport to the hotel. We walked outside to the van and you see mountains and some older buildings nearby. It was a pretty cool site. We drove to the hotel and see mountains with homes on the hill. The views was breathtaking and reminded me a lot of the drive through the country side of Northern Italy. We got into the city and saw dirty graffiti on some walls with a few very expressive in their opinions. It initially through me off as not attractive, but became charming and quirky by the end of the stay in Athens. We found out on the bus that you need to buy bottled water in Mykonos and Santorini and not to drink the tap water.

We got to the hotel and the tour guide spent a lot of time with us in the lobby to answer questions about where to go in Athens, point out to us the areas of Athens that are dangerous, as well as book our excursion for Delos in Mykonos. We left our bags at the lobby since we couldn't check into the hotel room and walked around the city. You see stores and vendors with homemade breads and pastries that looked and smelled delicious. We saw the Marginal Library of Greece with these huge gryphon statues and columns. We walked passed the University and Academy. There was a decent amount of homeless people, however it is very common in most cities to see that site. We went to the Archaeological museum. It is 10 euros to get into the museum. This was very well worth it as there are artifacts and pottery that date back hundreds to thousands of years. There was grave stones depicting different things throughout history, as well as pieces from various eras, such as Egyptian, Roman and Byzantine.

We went back to the Dorian Inn to check in. The room was decent sized with 3 single beds, bathroom and terrace view. You take an elevator to the rooftop and see views of the whole city, including the Parthenon and Acropolis. It was a surreal site to see. Scott S and I tried to go up to the pool to relax, however the water was freezing. Scott was brave enough to go into the water. There was no towels at all by the pool which I thought was very nonsensical. We went back to the room to relax and each of us took a shower. The shower wasn't great with the nozzle hard to lift for the water to go through, so I had to lie flat on my back to shower which was awful. The second time I showered we got the nozzle to lift, however there are no spots for the nozzle to rest overhead while showering. You have to hold the nozzle while showering. This was a common theme in Athens and Santorini, but Mykonos hotel did have the overhead spot for the nozzle. The water from the nozzle once you held it would go flying all over the bathroom and was very difficult to shower in Athens and Santorini. This was a huge bummer.

We walked over to Scala Vinoteca for dinner. This place was awesome and would recommend it. We got a free amuse-bouche. Scott S got to choice his knife out a block of 6 which I had never seen before. We ordered this appetizer where there was 3 cheese puff like items hidden among rocks. It was so fun to try and figure out which one was the puff as they blended into the rocks very well. We had delicious warm bread with 3 different types of olive oils. We got a lobster croquette appetizer which was so delicious and could really taste the lobster. I got the lobster bolognese and I thought the same thing about the main course that the lobster really did shine through the dish. We got a free desert wine. The service was fantastic as well as the food. We went back to the hotel to go to sleep. I passed out by 9:30PM. Unfortunately for us it was very noisy with motorcycles outside at all parts of the night.

The hotel had an amazing breakfast spread that consisted of beans, potatoes, eggs, meats, breads and yogurt. This breakfast and the view from the top level are easily the best parts of the hotel. We got picked up for the Athens 1/2 day which was included in the trip itinerary. This was the only excursion minus the transfers that was included in the trip we found on Travelzoo. We did the acropolis museum tour first because there was breast cancer walk ongoing in the city that would end around 1pm. We saw the original parts of the museum, which was over 4 thousand years old. There was a wise as an owl statue on the outside of the museum. You walk through the museum and you see through towards the bottom of the museum. It is a fascinating site to see through the glass. There was pottery, ceramics, vases of daily life and gods/goddess kitchen of the Athenians displays. Across the museum you see the Acropolis located up the hill. There was a theatre on the outside of the museum and acropolis that dates back to 5th century BC.

We walked upstairs and saw more statues of gods, animals, buildings and young ladies intricate details of their hair and dress attire. It was a pretty cool thing to see how people might have lived back thousands of years ago. Athenians buried statues due to the invasion by the Person and they weren't found until 1800's. An interest display was test tubes with different stone colors used back throughout time. A funny portion was one of the old ladies on our tour leaned on the statue to listen and was yelled at by the security. It amazed me on this trip and in general how some people lack awareness. On the tour, we found out that the start of voting and political system of democracy began in Greece with older men voting and then evolved over time, though that lasted only 30 years. There was original statues of horse rides that was kept in such pristine condition. The only bummer to the tour is that photography is not allowed in many areas of the museum, but totally a big recommendation. The tour was very informative throughout especially in the museum.

We left the museum and departed the Parthenon and Acropolis. It was a pretty breathtaking to see. We past by the Odeon theatre to make our way to the top. It was ridiculously crowded and sadly part of the Parthenon was covered by scaffolding. It diminished the site a little, but still well worth to see both sites. You get to the top and site mountains all over Athens, as well as buildings from every angle of the top. We left to walk down the Acropolis to meet the tour after an hour and it was so crowded and slippery. Once again lack of awareness of people was a theme walking down the hill as people just stood in your way and wouldn't move. We got onto the bus for the city tour portion. We found out that 1/4 of Athens is in use and the rest are mountains. We stopped at the Panathenaic stadium. Our tour ended in Plaka. It was a fantastic area that had shopping, street art, performers and restaurants. We had lunch at Palmie Bistro. I had a decent bargain of a souvlaki sammie sandwich with greek salad and beer for 13 Euros. It was a delicious meal.

We left lunch and stopped at a cafe for Greek coffee. As mentioned above drink gingerly as it was very strong and the bottom had a lot of grinds. It was disgusting finishing part to the coffee. We walked the streets and went into the shops. You can bargain down the shop owners and most of them will be quite competitive with each other. You pass a lot of stray cats all over the streets. We walked up the hills and got "lost" a little. We made our way up this steep slippery rocks near the Acropolis that offered beautiful views of the whole city. It really put into perspective how charming of a city Athens was from this vantage point. We climbed down these very steep steps from the top of the view to the bottom road to visit ancient Angora. We saw the Stoa of Attoa. As we walked across the street, this kid distracted Scott D about the music playing and I had a feeling that it was a scam. I tried to convince Scott to not pay attention, but unfortunately he did not heed my warning. The kid slapped a bracelet onto Scott D's wrist. This of course was a scam and we had to give the kid 1 euro to go away. I have seen a lot of scams in my Europe travels. There was also women trying to give you a flower and would expect money for it, so be wary.

We went to Ancient Agora and saw the Temple of Hephaistos. You can really feel the history as you walk around and imagine everything happening hundreds and thousands of years ago. This was my favorite part of going to Athens. On the way back to the hotel, we looked at the map incorrectly and it was upside down so the bad area we shouldn't have walked through, we did. There was gangs outside and one person approached us very quickly. I told the Scotts to move as fast as possible and we moved quickly through the area. It was very scary experience. Near the end of the bad area, there was a young girl trying to give fruit which was another scam. We got back to the hotel and ate dinner upstairs at the restaurant on the rooftop. It was a little bit chilly sitting outside but the lit up views of the Acropolis and Parthenon was breathtaking. I had a steak dish that was decent and we got a free apple martini shot. One funny incident happened next to us as a couple screamed at the chef who came outside and scolded him and how long it should take to cook a dish that they had been waiting for over an hour. I hate watching people berate kitchen staff and waiters because there are better ways to handle things than yelling at them. We went to sleep and woke up the next morning. We placed an order for a breakfast box before departing the hotel, It was pretty awful with bread, orange juice and jam in the box. It was very dry and not recommended. The hotel was ok in general, but the pool was cold, no towels at the pool, shower sucked (fixed shower head would be nice), decent balcony, bed was ok, awful WiFi, elevators are slow, toilets ran constantly even when not in use, decent hotel restaurant, beautiful balcony and the elevators could barely fit 3 people with luggage.

We got our transfer shuttle and went to the boat to the next island. We saw a huge boat which carried cars on it. It was very easy to get on the boat and put our luggage in the cargo area. The name of the boat was the Blue Star Parros. We took an elevator to the top. There was a coffee shop that I had a delicious cappuccino for 4.10 Euros. You see the ocean clear water and some islands on the trip from Athens to Mykonos. There was sailboats and small boats on the water. We saw windmills on one of the islands including a church and buildings on a cliff. The first stop on the passage was the island of Seros. It was a cool site with homes and churches on a hill, as well as a shipping area all clustered by the shoreline. We stopped at the island of Thiros next and it was just as beautiful. I had a whole wheat tortilla wrap with turkey and Philadelphia cheese for lunch. It was a tolerable meal. It took 6 hours from Athens to Mykonos. We got the port and grabbed our luggage. You walk to get off the ship and see homes on the hills with a very steep climb to get up the mountain. You see clear water on the right and white houses lined up together as far as the eye can see.

We had this crazy transfer driver named George. He sped up to cars and got so close to hitting them from behind. He told us that Mykonos is not a good place to go now with everything closed and should come back in the summer to see partying and girls. He honked at women on the side of the road and did the same with slow drivers. The roads was very narrow so with an awful driver it made it that much worse. We later found out on the way back that George races cars around the island and has been in an accident with his car going off the road. He also criticized Athens as an awful place to go. Scott D still surprisingly tipped him even with the bad trip to the hotel. We stayed at the Hotel Elena. We went down a very narrow one lane road. George let us off a little bit away so we had to cross traffic to go down a sharp hill to the hotel. Our hotel was by far the best of the trip. We had a small balcony, decent sized room, crawl space behind the safe as well as a good bathroom. The lobby was very appealing to the eye. We found out that our excursion to Delos had the wrong date on the ticket so we had to call Travel Discounters Concierge that we met in Athens to assist us in the straightening out the mixup. She was very responsive and quickly fixed the issue. There was stairs to walk up to the top of the hotel and the view is surreal. There are white homes all around with mountains, beautiful clear water and islands nearby. This was easily one of the nicest views of the trip and I really enjoyed sitting up there listening to music and check everything out.

We walked down the path to the Delos cruise area. You pass by so many shops and restaurants on the way, as well as a lot of cats. Of course 90% of the shops was open so George was incorrect in what he said to us in the cab. We got to the harbor and saw clear water, mountains, the famous churches and windmills all around. Sadly one of the windmills had scaffolding on it which diminished the beauty of it somewhat. We boarded the ship to the Delos cruise. We found out some fun facts about Delos. Apollo was founded on the island who was the god of light. The island is UNESCO protected and as one person found one that you can't remove anything off the island without getting yelled at. He tried to remove a little rock from the island. There was a lot of sheep and cows on the island. It was a fascinating historical archaeological paradise. 25,000 people lived on the island at one time. It was very cool to learn about the mythology and beautiful island to work around and observe. A funny moment occurred with this 40ish year old woman asked some odd questions to the guide like what was the name of the cat. There had to have been 25-50 stray cats on the island, so why would any one cat have a name. It was just a really weird question to ask where all this history surrounds you. The boat ride each way was 20 minutes and offered beautiful views all around you.

It was fascinating to walk by the restaurants and get countless offers from different restaurants to go in for dinner. We went to a place called Taverna Nikos. We split grilled octopus, hummus and meatballs. It was very delicious especially the hummus. It had delicious olive oil with the bread. I had a refreshing Mikonu blonde saison beer. I got the fried seafood platter which had head on shrimp, calamari and fish. The fish was fried sardines. It was a bit daunting to eat the heat on shrimp, but still tasty. We had a baklava desert to share. We went to the Alley bar for a drink and went to sleep. We woke up the next day late. It was 9:30 for me which was very good and probably due to the great shades that the room had to block out the light. The breakfast was delicious with potato quiche, eggs, sausage, muffins and bread. We went to the famous windmills that offered beautiful views. We walked down this steepish hill to the coast to get a better look at everything. We went inside the Windmill Museum for 1 Euro. It was very cool to walk upstairs and see inside a windmill. We found out that people lived in the next windmill. It was very tight quarters once you got to the top.

We walked on the outskirts of the town through a very narrow roadways to observe some views. We made out way back to get lunch. We observed at a restaurant called Little Venice a guy feeding a pet Pelican. Not exactly the first thing I would consider as a pet but it was entertaining to watch. We went to Pasta Fresca for lunch. They had a lot of different homemade pasta to eat. We started off with a bread dish that had olives, small cracker or spinach chives to dip it in. It was delicious start to the meal. I got tagliatelle primavera as my main dish. It was awesome and refreshing from the vegetables. A few fun facts we learned in Mykonos. The island didn't become popular until the 1940's. There was a lot of evil eye keychains in each of the shops. The Greek evil eye is a protective sign that it brings its owner happiness, luck and good fortune. There was a lot of stray cats and dogs in Mykonos and Santorini. All three places had a lot of local coffee shops and not a lot of Starbucks, which I am always happy to see. We went back to the room after lunch and I chilled on the rooftop patio to see the cruise ships and small boats in the port as my view,. It was windy and sunny day with a great view so you can't about that.

I went for a walk with Scott S to get lost in the side streets. This was a blast and would totally recommend it as a way to see the island. We met back up with Scott D for dinner and went to Mourayio for dinner. I got a lamb gyro with rice. We split a grilled octopus and hummus. Our host Aldo who lured us in with a free glass of wine was a fantastic host. The restaurant offered beautiful views and a free shot. He told us that the shot was good for the heart and something else. I will leave that one to your imaginations😊 We went to Trio Balbini for yogurt. I got yogurt with banana and coffee hybrid that was very tasty. We saw an underwear machine in town as an odd site. We went to Argo Bar. It was a ver weird vibe with loud music with decent drinks and flashy lights that became annoying. An important thing to note and I learned this lesson when we popped into a discount shoes place. Many places in Mykonos don't accept credit cards so make sure to have enough Euros on you. I got these nice brown shoes for 25 Euros. We went to Lotus bar which offered a fun chilled vibe. We went back to the room for sleep.

We had breakfast the next day and went to get our transfer shuttle to the boat. Of course, we got George as out driver. He once again drove so fast, honking at women at the side of the road and then dropped on us that he enjoys racing. We also called him out on saying that Mykonos was dead because it wasn't. The ship arrived 30 minutes late and it was a bit of an exhausting cluster of people stampeding to get onto the ship. It was not a great organized system. We got our bags onto the ship and then we made our way to our preassigned seat. This was the best part of this ship as most of the other transfers didn't offer preassigned seats unless wanted to pay for an upgrade. It was very rocky to get onto the ship and made me feel like I was either drunk or having a vertigo episode. We left pretty quickly once we all got onto the ship. Our first stop was to Naxos. You see mountains as you approach the island with homes concentrated by the shore. Parts of the homes are spread out across the island. It was a beautiful place to see. The ship was rocky in general for the trip. The trip was only 2 hours from Mykonos to Santorini.

We came into Santorini and see this huge mountain and then you can see the houses on top of the mountain in the distance. We came to find out that was Oia. It took 30 minutes to get off the ship. It was very crowded to get the luggage with people shoving and pushing. We got outside and you see the steep hill to get to the top. If you are afraid of heights definitely don't look outside the bus going up or down. As we went up you see buses going up the steep hill climbing to the top with clear water nearby and islands surrounding. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen on the trip. It was one lane road each way up or down the mountain with narrow turns. I can't imagine driving the bus in this situation as I would be afraid of going off the cliff.

We got to the top off the hill and see homes, businesses and churches scattered with not a lot of grass. It wasn't the most appealing start to Santorini as it looked barren and definitely not what I had expected, but that would change over the course of the time in Santorini. We checked into the Albatross hotel. I would never recommend this hotel. The check in area was decent sized. The front desk attendant was extremely unfriendly and resembled Cruella Deville from 101 Dalmatians movie. She didn't smile and was very rude. The room was smallish with triple beds. The beds had the footboard at the end so it was hard for me to stretch my feet off the bed. The shower was very tight and had the shower head that you had to hold again. The pillow was tolerable and the bed was definitely a twin. The location wasn't the most convenient as it was about 0.5 miles walk to Fira. We left the hotel and went to this restaurant called Greek Bites. The restaurant was fantastic and had one of my favorite meals of the trip. I got the Lamb Kofta in a spicy tomato sauce and yogurt. There are not enough words can't describe how amazing it was. It had a little bit of a spicy kick but it made you go back for more.

We left the restaurant and noticed that the trees was painted white. In addition, there was a lot of motorcycles and ATV's. It was extremely noisy to walk the streets. We walked to the town of Fira. It was such a cute town with a lot of shops and restaurants. We went to Pelican travel to get some more Euros with no fees, though the exchange rate wasn't the best. As you walk through the town you see amazing views of homes on cliff, clear water, islands, cruise ships and little boats. These views are the ones that I had expected to see in Santorini. There was donkeys walking through town and could pay 4-5 Euros to ride one. Ironically as we stayed in Santorini a regulation was paid to limit the weight of a person riding a donkey to 250lbs. You could walk down the steep steps to get to the shoreline or take a cable car down. We walked up the steps and each step offered more amazing views. There was blue and white houses, churches and cliff views that could make feel awe and shocked. We randomly saw cactus on the cliff. The only negative was a lack of public restaurants and garbage cans. We went to Zafora restaurant and went all the way up to the top to get breathtaking views during dinner. At night time you got to see it all lit up and treasure in its beauty. The only downfall was it got a little chilly at night. I got the Mythos Beer and we shared stuffed greek leaves. I got the Zamora chicken fillet as my main dish. It was an excellent meal. We walked back to the hotel after dinner.

We set up a wake up call with the front desk however they didn't call us to wake us up. I thankfully woke up a few minutes before to wake up the group or we would have overslept. The breakfast was awful and easily the worst of the trip. It had bread, cereal, little hot dogs and beans. It was disgusting and was the same for both days. We did an excursion through Viator which was fantastic. The excursion was Santorini cruise with Volcano, Hot Springs, Thirasia and Oia Sunset. We got picked up and drove down the large mountain back towards where the ship had dropped us off the day before. The views was breathtaking coming down the mountain though scary with the road narrowness. We got picked up on an Albatross boat that resembled a pirate ship. One observation I noticed was the presence of a lot of public smoking in Greece. It was something that we aren't used to living in the Northeast. Our first stop was to Nea Kameni, a volcano and has the oldest crater that erupted in 1570. We found out that the volcano will erupt again in 15-20 years. We walked up the volcano to the top and saw some amazing views. You could smell the sulfur and see smoke coming out in one of the designated areas on the top of the volcano. A cool part was we could stick our hand into one area and really feel the heat from the volcano. It was very hot, but something I had never done before in my travels.

We got back to the boat and went to the hot spring. One big negative was the tour group didn't give out towels which seemed unusual since they normally do give them out. We got back on the boat all wet and had to air dry our clothes. We jumped off the boat and was allowed the option of a float to swim to the hot springs. It was cold water and swimming to the hot springs offered pools of hot and cold. The hot spring was more warm than hot. We did this for 20 minutes than swam back to the boat and made our way to Thirasia. It was rocky waters on the way to the island. We had lunch on the island at a restaurant called Kamara. We had feta, bread and olives. There was a lot of cats that tried to get food near us which was rather annoying and distracting. The meal was decent and could see seafood being cooked on grills outside which was very fascinating to see. There was items like lobster, octopus and large shrimp to name a few that we saw on the grill. I got the mixed seafood souvlaki, which was very different than the U.S souvlaki. It was more kebab than sandwich. Only 300 people live on the island of Thirasia.

We made out way back to the boat to Oia. We got to see the villas and churches on the hill as you approach the island. We walked up the very steep steps to get to the top. It was 250 steps but super exhausting. Thankfully we wore very comfortable sneakers, shorts and short sleeves. You need to make sure to have a lot of water to climb to the hotel. You could take a donkey for 6 Euros, though we passed on this option. We made it to the top and saw Oia castle. We walked around the town and saw all the famous views with the beautiful water below and islands surrounding. It was like any picture you had ever seen of Oia. We stopped in town and I got a smoothie Ultraviolet with berries, banana and strawberries at a place called Yummy n Sunny. I would totally recommend it as a quick pick me up that is delicious. We got to see most of the sunset from Oia though the sun disappeared into the clouds at the end. The tour was 8 hours. We tried to found our bus but it wasn't very clear where it was. Thankfully we found the office for the company and they directed us to a different bus. It was very disorganized and disappointing end to the trip as we scrambled to find a bus by the time we were to go on. The bus dropped us off in the town of Fira.

I asked for a break from the Greek food so we found this cute little sushi place in town. It was called Moji sushi and I got a miso soup with a rainbow roll and we split Edamame. The rainbow roll was a bit different from the states, but the meal was delicious. We went back to the hotel for sleep. We got up the next drew and ate breakfast. We tried to take the bus to Akotiri, however the first bus was full. We ended up taking a cab for 25 Euros since it took way too long to come with a 2nd bus. We got to Akotiri and you could see the islands and clear water on the right with boats all around. It was a great place to see. You climb up this steepish hill and walk down to the red beach. There was some reddish sand and rocks. The cliffs are red, however the beach itself was more black than red. There wasn't much beach for people to relax on. We walked to the black sand beach, which was very tiny compared to the red beach. We went to the Akotiri historical site. You walk inside and see rock formations all over beautiful preserved. It is the oldest site in Greece. It was 12 Euros to get in. You can walk down to see of the formations, and what food storage, buildings, restrooms and tables looked like hundreds of years ago. My favorite part was watched the architects down in the pits working on some project.

We got the bus back just as we walked out and it only cost us 2 Euros. This is definitely the preferred way to travel. They collect money as you sit on the bus. We went to lunch at Erokritos, a Cretan bakery. I got a spinach pie that had a flaky crust with a very spinach forward taste. It was a good light meal. We waited in the lobby until the transfer driver picked us. He came 10 minutes early to get us. We got to the ferry and it was so crowded again. We got onto the Blue Star gerry and it was a lot more organized to get on with people going on the boat in waves. It was cool to see trucks, motorcycles and buses going on and off the boat. We put our bags on the 2nd floor and made our way up. We sat down and this little kid came over to ask for food or money. It was baffling how he was allowed on the boat and was disturbing people. We made our way back and stopped at the islands of Ios, Naxos and Paros. I got a chicken sandwich and loaded fries on the ship at Goodys Burger. It was a decent meal. At one point these two greek people that didn't speak English pushed aside our bags and stuff to sit. It was so rude and impolite, however they gave us 2 free beers to thank us for the inconvenience. It was noisy and a little bumpy on the way back taking 8 hours.

It was decent getting off the ship and found our transfer guy right away. He had a taxi and took us to the Dorian Inn for the night. We got a room 4 floors, which resembled the exact room above, but a little nicer. It was very crowded at breakfast the next morning. We got our transfer to the airport. The check in was easy with passport agents on line asking you specific questions on our bags and how long we stayed in Greece. It definitely made you feel very safe. We got the gate and there was extra security at the gate that asked us if we bought anything, if anything let left our hands and if anyone approached us. The Deal Studio flight coming back had a lot more leg room than going to Greece. In total in the ship we had lunch and a snack. I got a gin and tonic, gnocchi basil cream sauce with toasted pine nuts, warm chocolate cookies, chicken tikka wrap, cranberry juice and ice cream. All the foods was very tasty. It took awhile for the bags to come out once we arrived in New York and I zipped through the Global entry line. In recap, the trip was amazing and I was totally happy we decided to go. I loved traveling with the 2 Scotts and would definitely do it again.

Last recap of funny things from the trip

• George the crazy drier and the saying the islands are deserted now. Furthest thing from the truth

• We got a little obsessed with Angelina from the Jersey Shore where she says in Season 1 "Um hello" in a very Staten island accent. It was pretty hilarious to do her impersonation.

• Easily my favorite story of the trip was Scott D telling me when he was hanging out years ago with Scott S, Scott S's parents and Scott S mom's friend. The friend went on a rant about what a bargain is. She said lets review the definition of a bargain. Do you want it, Do you need to have it and was it a good price. That's a bargain. It made me laugh hearing the story and I can only imagine how fascinated Scott S and his parents was during this whole discussion of a bargain.

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