Up at 5:15 AM and tired, we took a smooth and speedy taxi trip to the airport. With no traffic, we got there in plenty of time to navigate the airport process in our foggy state. Now on the plane home, as we chase the sun around the planet, after 20 hours of traveling, we should arrive in SF 10 hours after we left Athens. Everyone had fun and had some great experiences, but we are all excited about going home and sleeping in on Sunday!
It is worth cataloging a few things about this year’s adventures:
The replaceable things we traded for irreplaceable memories: Andrew lost his first pair of sunglasses somewhere in the hedge maze at Hampton Court. A replacement pair acquired at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul was broken somewhere in Crete due to the excessive wear and tear of vacation travel. Lauren lost a hairbrush as we left the beach resort in Chania. More importantly, she lost a treasured friendship bracelet that broke off of her wrist somewhere in Athens. Sonia lost a well-loved shirt (or really the hotel laundry lost it for her) in Chania. John bid farewell to his shoes, one of which shed its sole in Crete after the Gorge hike. He also lost his favorite pair of sunglasses in the surf at Matala while opting to save Andrew instead. Though he misses the glasses, he does not yet regret his choice.
The way the trip will change how we think about food: Despite the delicious food in Istanbul and in much of Greece, the sheer availability and variety of high quality food and wine in California is impressively hard to beat! But we can change the way we serve them. Artisanal cheeses are delicious when served with dried apricots and nuts, or with tomatoes and herbs instead of bread; pasta in a red sauce with eggplant and yellow bell pepper is a staple that we need to find a recipe for; pasta tossed simply with good olive oil and tomatoes is a delicious and easy meal that needs to become part of our repertoire. Filtered honeydew melon juice may become a summer favorite.
Our favorite places: The New Acropolis Museum in Athens (Sonia); The Thalassa Beach Resort on Crete (Andrew); the black pebble beach at Aghia Roumeli (Lauren); the hustle and bustle of the waterfront in Istanbul (John).
The places we need to come back and do: Istanbul (too much left to do here to describe!), other regions of Turkey (Cappadocia), the Pelopennese in Greece, other Greek islands especially Santorini. And this part of the world would be a fine jumping off point to visit one of great remaining antiquities on our list: The Egyptian Pyramids.
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