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Vegas with family and friends

We went to see the Beatles' Love show and spend quality time with family and friends. And maybe win a little money...
We had lots of fun.

Diary Entries

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Location: London, England

Well ... off to Europe again. This time to 3 countries in 3 weeks. Wow it will be fun! I have Nicholas and his friend Bryan with me. We will be meeting up with Becky in London and then Brigitt will join us next week.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Location: Las Vegas, NV, USA

We started our trip with some classic Vegas sight seeing. Nicholas and I thouroughly enjoyed "Love". We visited the Shark Reef exhibit - a nice aquarium. The teenagers hung out and had some good clean fun. The adults enjoyed a night of dancing at Vegas' Studio 54. It was a great trip. Oh, and I did win a little money at the craps tables.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Location: Arkansas, USA

The Jacksonville High School Reunion in Little Rock.
It started with a roots trip to Jacksonville.
After living in Texas and visiting the LBJ Library many times, I felt I needed to go to the library in my own home state. So we made a trip to the Clinton Presidential Library. Hate to say it but it did kind of look like a trailer hanging over the river. However, we did find it really beautiful.
Then came the reason we were there - the Reunion!! It was really something else. The best thing was hanging out with my friends that I still so love after 30+ years.
We also got to have lunch with Lisa's sister and kids before we took off to Hot Springs.

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Location: Bulverde, USA

Our girls weekend!!
What great fun it was.
A dance party on my patio...
A birthday celebration...
Nick and Bear hanging out with us.

Friday, 03 August 2007

Location: Ft. Worth, TX

Oh my goodness....finally back in the states.
It was a fantastic trip but I am happy to be back.
And happy to have posted all of my pictures.
Off to San Antonio for some mexican food!!!!

Thursday, 02 August 2007

Location: Athens, Greece

Santorini is everything it is said to be and more. The water is beautiful, the towns are incredible to see, and the volcano is amazingly large. I didn't get to see the ancient ruins as the Akrotiri site is still closed but what we did do was grand.
In the evening we just tooled around the tiny city with all of its uniques shops, eateries, and chapels .(You will see once I get the pictures uploaded.) We ate a greek version of a quesidilla. It was yummy. The place is like one big giant party scene starting about 11:00 with clubs playing remixed American music everywhere.
In the morning we took a boat tour out to the vents in the center of the caldera where we climbed all over them. We then went to the other side of the little island and swam. There are hot springs there and it was very sweet!!! The water was great.
The climb down to get to the boat was like the Grand Canyon trails. We shared the path with the donkeys. Uck! On the way back up, the trail was quite challenging. Up the cliffs we climbed. I jumped in the pool when we got back so cool off and wash the donkey smell off.
We managed to catch a quick k-bob to eat and watch the sunset into the caldera - beautiful!!! I will be home tomorrow night and get the pictures.
It was a short visit but well worth it. On my way back to the US now. See you all soon.

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Location: in transit, Germany

After a great day just lazing around and packing we are off to Santorini. It should be beautiful.

Sunday, 29 July 2007

Location: Halkidiki, Germany

Oh, and I forgot to tell you our excitement for yesterday.
Becky and I were riding in the elevator and it started acting really funny. It stopped and all the lights started blinking but then we pushed the buttons and it started working again. However, later on Brigett, me, and this other lady got stuck in the elevator. It was very unnerving. The lady kept pushing the alarm button and I kept pushing the floor button until the elevator moved. We finally got back down to the bottom but then heard the elevator alarm ringing off and on for about the next hour.

Although we are on the 4th floor, we are now taking the stairs.

Sunday, 29 July 2007

Location: Halkidiki, Germany

Yesterday we had a couple of hours between events at the Institute so we went to Petraluna Cave. It was where the oldest known Human was found in Europe. It was a very cool experience. After exploring this part of the world I am understanding how ancient civilizations prospered here. There are fruit and olive trees everywhere and the sea is so calm and clear with lots of creatures to eat.

We wrapped up the conference today with a visit to the monestary and a special Greek Orthodox Church Service. All 20 of us women had to have a clothes audit by the nuns before we could go in. No shoulders, no shorts/capris, and no cleavage allowed. We all cleared the audit but one and then became very hot due to the large amount of clothes we had on and no air conditioning. But their place in the valley was beautiful and the nuns were very kind.

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Location: Gerakina, Germany

Wow, Saturday already.
It has been a great trip.
The Center was amazing and continues to be. Great things they do there. After my entry from yesterday we went for a most interesting culinary experience - lunch. It consisted of many sea creatures, a red sauce, and pasta. It reminds me of eating in Hawaii except it is all cooked and not poke. Also searved at lunch was a wonderful Greek wine made by the nuns of the Monestary that I found as I began to giggle incessantly, I had consumed way too much of. Luckily we were given the name of 3 other beaches to check out so Becky took the keys and off we went. For those of you who are wondering, I do have samples of the beautiful, marble-rich sand.

I have pictures but I can't buy enough internet time right now to upload them onto the site. I will probably have this worked out once I get home.

We were very graciously invited to dinner by Brother Charlie - the director of the center - at a famous resort/casino/port hotel. It was a grand experience dining with people from around the world and Americans from the Mayo Clinic and the International Branch of the Kommen Foundation. Another grand meal with the greek equivalent of tapas and their famous liquor, Ozous(?). Just a taste for me. The greeks love to eat and drink - oh and go topless at their beaches.

Today we are off to a prehistoric cave site while the conference continues without us. We will be back later to pick up the girls and take them to one of our scouted beaches for some fun.

Friday, 27 July 2007

Location: Ormylia, Greece

Guten tag mi familia und amigos and amigas. I am truely multilingual now :> We have been working on our Greek but it is quite challenging. I have been working on my German still because like everying in TX is translated in Spanish, everything in Hawaii was translated in Japanese, everything here if not translated in English is translated in German. Thanks again to the great U of A - go hogs!!!

On a much more interesting note the job that Becky and I got yesterday was to drive around the pennisulas and look for great beaches and fun things for the students to do on Monday, their last day. We were more than happy to comply. It was a great trip driving along the Mediterrean coast - beautiful. Equally gorgeous as the beaches of Hawaii. We did a little swimming, a little eating at the Roma Pizza in a port city, a little shopping, and completed our task quite efficiently. And needless to say it was great fun. Mom you would have to laugh - Becky and I driving around cluelessly in Greece just like we were in Junior High again.

On a more serious note, I am presently at the Panagia Philanthropini, the Center for Socail Advancement and Medical Prevention with the students while they listen to Physicain and Professor lectures on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of breast cancer. There are docs and profs here from around the world and one of the issues is health care for women in developing countries. It has been pretty interesting but the radiologists started talking so I slipped out for coffee and found a computer.

Good news!!!! I got my luggage at about 10:00 last night. Oh my gosh. I was so happy to see my Reagan flip flops. Even though I was really enjoying wearing all of Brigett's cute clothes, it is good to have my own stuff. I downloaded pictures last night but burnt up my adapter so I have a new tech problem to solve. But I got some great pics and I can't wait to share them.


Thursday, 26 July 2007

Location: Thessaloniki, Germany

After flying across the Agean I am now enjoying a much different side of Greece. There are fewer people and it is much greener and water everywhere!!! I met up with Becky and Brigett and the people from SMU and then we went to the pool and the beach. It was great but it was kind of late so we had to eat and then have a meeting to get ready for today. We then had more excitement when we started smelling smoke everywhere and the electricity went out and the halls of the hotel slowly became real smokey. Always an adventure. It seems that there was a fire about 65km away and the electric company shuts off power to the area and that included us. We had a back-up generator so the hotel was not completely in the dark. And the smoke, well it was just blowing down the mountain and we were in its path.

Today we are going into town to meet the people of the monestary that the students will be working with. I am looking forward to it. I am driving so that when Becky is done with her part we will be off to the beach.

Love and miss you all.

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Location: Athens, Germany

Spent the morning at the Acropolis - very interesting. I find ancient civilizations amazing. Will post pics eventually. No luggage yet.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Location: Athens, Greece

I am finally here yipee!! It feels like it has been a whirlwind of an airport tour so far. It makes me want to add the super-high tech Japan airport to my list of places to go. I was first at DFW, then Philly, then Munich - yes no Zurich - and now Athens. Other than the fact that my first plane was rerouted and my luggage is still wandering around Europe, I really likes Munich. I took 2 years of German at the UofA so I could read things and greet people and thank them. The people at Lufthansa were so nice. They always started their boarding with "Bitte", please, and said with a nice british accent "...kindly board your plane..." They also have a lot of free stuff at their airport like coffee and tea and newpapers and luggage buggies (not like I needed one.) But it was much different than DFW where they wanted to charge me to use the electricity to charge my laptop. When I got to Athens though it was much different. I don't understand a word those people are saying. And their signs are all in real Greek letters and not americanized. So I really don't know what those mean either. Fortunately most people speak some English and the real important signs are translated. But when I got off the subway to get to my hotel I found myself at one end of a square with a giant flea market going on with tiny streets intersecting in all directions. I must say it made me a little anxious. But i did try out to get on The Amazing Race so I got my maps out and just started trying to find road signs and asking people to help until I found my way. Although I have not seen a lot of Athens, it looks to be an interesting old European city. My hotel has a garden/bar on the roof so I was there tonight looking across the city to the Acropolis. I intend to go there tomorrow. I will download the pics as soon as I get my cable from my suitcase. As far as my going hungry, there is a whole lot of italian food around - yummy - so I don't think that will be a problem. I will be on my way to Thessaloniki tomorrow. Take care. Connie

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Location: USA

Well, this time next week I will have seen the inside of the Zurich airport and be in the amazing city of Athens. With volcanoes erupting and earthquakes all over the world I have been checking out the geology of the area and nothing too exciting is happening there. Thanks for checking in and check back next week.

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Recent Messages

From Ann
Hey, I have these same pics in Hot Springs. How 'bout that Arlington Hotel. Pretty, but smelly, like really OLD people!
Response: I know, I was walking around wondering if i was going to see any ghosts.
From Annie
Hey, this is pretty cool. Love the pics. Let's make some more memories, SOON!
Love ya, Annie
Response: It was very fun.
Looking forward to the UT game!
Love to you too my friend.
From Valerie
Dear Connie,
Welcome back to the US! Your Greece pictures are amazing and many of them look like they could be postcards! Your volcano pictures made me remember good ol' days in GMO :). You look so happy and well in all the pics; I'm so glad you got to enjoy so much beauty and fun and that you met interesting people at the institute. Thanks for sharing your adventures in writing and in pictures. Your smile makes me smile!
With love,
Response: Thank you and
Many Hugs!
From Court
Hi Connie! Sounds like Greece was beautiful! But, I'm glad you are coming home! I miss my friend. Too bad you won't be back in time for book club. Call me as soon as you get settled. Love ya... my NICE friend!
Response: Finally pictures!!!!! It will be nice to be home. Love you too, ~C
From Valerie
Connie, have a safe trip back to the US. I'm so glad you had fun, it was great to read about your Greece adventure :)!
Response: Thanks Val
Check back for pictures.
From Mom
'ola daughter.... I wish I could use some fancy foreign language but I don't know any! Well, a few bad words but you don't want that! We are just reading your mail, just getting home from our little trip... Goooo Hogs!!! We have been in Hog Heaven. The mountains are beautiful and everything is green, green, green.... it breaks our hearts to come back to ugly HOT crowded Tex-ass. Uuhhh daughter, you scare me when you say you and Becky are driving around lost like Jr. High!!! Does that mean you are running into people's yards and driving wildly down narrow winding roads with one hand on the wheel while talking madly to each other??? What fun for you guys. I'm so glad you are having a wonderful trip... and I'm looking forward to the pictures. I will be at the air port to pick you up... I have not heard from your family myself. And, I'm really glad you have found things to eat!! See ya soon!!! Hogs and kisses!!!
Response: It was so much fun driving in NO RULES Europe. We only got lost a couple of times but always managed to find where to go.
From rose
Hi Connie,
Have fun in Santorini!
The island should be awesome.
What is the history of the volcano? When was the last
eruption? Can't wait to see your awesome pictures!
love rose
Response: Santorini was beautiful. I guess I am going to have upload all my pics when I get home. I promise you will love them.
From Dad & betty
I hav not found any pictures yet. I'll get Betty to see if she can find any. She couldn't find any either. She told me to tell you HOWDY and glad you are having fun.

Is the beaches over there as good as the beaches in Hawaii?

Love Dad & Betty
Response: I will have to upload when I get home. There was one curve with a beach that looked just like HI. The beaches are equally nice just in a different way. No waves.
From becky
how 'bout those photos? Britt and I are taking a moment to check email before checking out for the night - on to Gatwick and Dallas, Texas tomorrow a.m.

hope you are having a great time. I don't see where to see the pics of our Greece trip.

Love to you,
Response: Yes, I have all the pics on my computer but still not the internet access I need.
What a great trip Thanks!!!
From Court
Hi Connie! I love checking on this! I see why people were addicted to our travel blog! Hey... news... Jeff Vaughn is now the new principal of Churchill!!! Yippie! We are all very excited! Have fun and we will catch up when you get home... hey how about another round of Margaritas at that new restaurant... that was way fun!!! (after you spend time with your family of course!)
Response: Oh my, that is great news. And yes, we are all craving chips and salsa!
From Valerie
Hi, Connie :)
Thanks for your input ! I am glad the nuns are very kind. It would be so interesting to meet them. I didn't meet many nuns until I went to Notre Dame. I think they're amazing! In Miami, there were a lot of nuns at my brother's high school, because it is a private Catholic school. The nuns were so kind, and they wear white habits to keep cool under the rays of the Miami sun! It seems like they wear a lot of clothes, but I bet it somehow keeps them cool too (like desert inhabitants)...

I'm glad you got out of the scary elevator! What is your favorite Greek food?

I send you big hugs!!! -- Val
Response: My favorite food is all the bakery stuff. I discovered today that is one Greek word that I have learned. We were driving down the road and I saw a sign and my brain thought "bakery". It cracked us up that it is the only word I can read.
From rose
Hi Connie,
It sounds like you are having a great time. I can't wait to see your pictures!
Is the water as crystal blue as they say it is? Take care love
Response: Hey Rose!
The water is beautiful!
We have really enjoyed the beaches.
From John and Nick
Hello mom hope you're having fun
Response: We have been very busy the last two days with stuff for the Insititue but yes, we are having a great time. Poor Brigett has 2 moms but she is being a great sport.
The beaches are great. The weather is very good. It is hot but with lots of sunshine. The food is VERY interesting - lots of salad and veggies though so I am good.
I miss you and will see you soon.
From Valerie Aguilar
Dear Connie,
HI :)
So, there is this dilemma that I was hoping you could help me to solve or think about, and you could maybe discuss it with your colleagues in Greece. Since I try to be a conscientious consumer, I am one of those people who always reads the labels on everything, and I have noticed that several products have a kind of scary label that says "This product contains lead and in the State of California it has been known to cause cancer, birth defects...etc. Wash hands after handling". The scary thing is that it comes on very ordinary products, like a vacuum that I bought earlier this year (the cord of the vacuum had lead in it...needless to say I took the vacuum back) and most recently on a laptop base that has two little fans; the base is supposed to keep your laptop from getting too hot.
It kind of boggles my mind that people can actually sell products with lead in them and simply get away with it by putting these labels on them. #1 because most people don't read labels. #2 because even if they do, they're not going to be washing their hands every time they use the product, I mean, many people don't even wash their hands after going to the bathroom (gross!)
So I feel extra bad because I didn't read the label of the laptop bases that my mom and I bought for Chris' and my laptops UNTIL I got home. So I did not even open my laptop base and I'm planning on returning it to the store, because I do not want to use products like that, but my
brother Chris refuses to return his. (I wish I never gave it to him, and I wish I had read the label before giving it to him!) He says that even the power cord to his laptop had that warning and he just doesn't think it is a big deal. We even kind of got in a fight about it, because I do think it is a big deal. Do you think I'm exaggerating? How can companies get away with selling lead products?
Thanks for your input, Connie!
I send you big hugs,
Response: Answers Anyone?

Well at first thinking, the lead is in a cord and is contained by the rubber around the cord and I don't think that posses any health hazard. Also, I believe you actually have to eat lead for it to be dangerous. I don't know about the other. I suppose the danger is that the lead could flake off and you don't really want that. I know I am careful about dishes I buy from other countries because of the possiblity of lead-based paint. However, you might just not buy them out of principal. There is a big campaign against the new GE bulb that is a great energy saver. But it is supposedly manufactured in China and contains Mercury. So they might require special waste handling and Mercury is very dangerous.
Thanks for the extra thinking. :>
From Valerie Aguilar
Dear Connie! It sounds like you are having a great time! I was wondering, what are the nuns like?
P.S. I'm glad you finally got your luggage :)!
Response: Hey Val
It has been a very amazing trip so far. The nuns are very nice and they have a great spread!!! I was standing talking to one and I was tired and hot and whining about it in my own head and then I looked at the nun talking to us completely covered from head to toe in a black headdress, black robes, black skirts, even black shoes and had to rethink my position. They were also funny today because they were so stealthy at the church service slipping in and out of a very large crowd in their all black outfits.
My luggage, yes, that was wonderful.
From Nick Sergent
Haha ok =P
Response: Hello.
From Nick Sergent
Its not letting me post messages!!!!
Response: The messages won't post until I read them. I have to sign up for internet access a day in advance. It seems like free wireless access is incredibly limited. Love you and tell your dad I said hello and love him too.
From Nick Sergent
hey mom that's cool that your hotel was all smokey
Response: It was pretty funny when I was trying to tell Becky, "it's smokey out there, not like the hotel is on fire or anything but . . ."
From Nick Sergent
Hey beat those luggage guys up and say "Where's my luggage fool!"
Response: Hello my son. Yeah except they were miles away and I don't think anyone actually really knew where my luggage was.
From Valerie Aguilar
Hi Connie!
It is so exciting to hear that you are already in Athens and that you are having a wonderful time. You are optimistic as always and it is so great to "hear" your voice even if only in writing. I miss you as much as always and wish you the best in all of your adventures. I will keep up with you through your site. Many blessings, hugs, and prayers to you!
With love,
Response: Thank you my dear Valerie. Your own manuevering around the world has inspired me.
From John And Nick
Yo mom got your email. Have you found your luggage yet?
We really miss you hope you're having a good time.
It's raining again. But we're doing fine.
Bye bye!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love John and Nick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Response: I am having a good time. Athens is much easier to navigate in the daylight. I am off again. Much love your moma.
From Deborah
Hi, well how exciting is it getting! Nearly in Euope! Write soon,

Luv ya, have a safe flight,

Response: I knew the guy on the plane beside me was a Brit because he ate with both hands and two utensils. He was amazed by that fact. Thanks for helping me be so very wordly. ~C
From Colleen
Hi Connie: I just wanted to let you know I got to your web page. I really enjoyed our visit today. Tell Becky and Bridgette hi and keep me updated on your trip! I am so excited for you! Peace be with you, Colleen
Response: Hey Colleen - it was so good to see you well. We love you and will be in touch very soon. ~C