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Sean Somers’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 20 Apr 2010

Location: Athens, Santorini, Greece

MapWOW! how time flies!!! I realize its been awhile since I\'ve updated this so here it goes! The reason I haven\'t updated in awhile is because we had a 2 week spring break (if this semester wasn\'t already a joke to begin with) ...which meant I got to explore even more of Europe!! The first weekend of our break we went on a program cuisine trip in Parma, Italy (the home of true parmesan cheese!). It was indeed delicious. We also at the same time got to explore some smaller Italian cities (Cremona, Mantua, Piacenza, and Parma) so it was neat to see some smaller italian cities that were not as populated with tourists! It was a really fun weekend with a lot of yummy food...I did not go hungry...and for me thats saying something...

and then....MOM came!!! I got to meet Mom in Greece for a week so we met in Athens late Monday night and caught up for a bit and relaxed after traveling and woke up the next day and journeyed to the port where we were going to stay before catching a boat to Santorini...well...we struggled to get there since the hotel neglected to tell us that we needed to validate subway tickets (In Italy you only have to validate train tickets, not metro tickets but we weren\'t aware) and so the cranky guards fined us 60 euros each for not validating...waa....waaaaaaaaaaa. We didn\'t pay it...since everyone and their mother told us we shouldn\'t...if they want to pay the $700 round trip plane ticket to the U.S. to come get their 60 euros, go for it hahaha...

We finally got to the Port after taking the metro (and a bus since the metro was closed for two stops due to construction)...thank you again hotel people for informing us of this...but we finally made it and relaxed in the port city for the night. The next morning bright and early we went to catch our boat to Santorini...and 7 hours later we got to the island...it was long but it went by fast!!! The boat had wireless internet...thank goodness! On the way we also had to stop at two other greek islands, Paros, and Naxos so it was a nice preview of what was to come as we saw little churches with blue domed roofs popping up on the shorelines.

Santorini was breathtaking...after almost leaving our luggage in the excitement of being there...dont worry we realized that we had left it by the bus when Mom was taking a photo of me and realized our luggage was in the background of the photo...the Greeks thought we were idiots im sure...haha o well! We finally got to the Dana Villas, which is where we were staying...and we thought we were all set and done with all the stressing...WHEN...we realized that they had lost our reservation! ughhhh...well turns out that the reservation we received was not really a reservation even though it said it was...the way the Greeks do things is the reason why they have a terrible economy LOL but it worked out that they found openings for us for the 3 nights we were there and we got to stay at this amazing place with awesome views! PHEW...and a hottub...which they finally got the temperature right after a day and a half (first too hot, then too cold, then just right LOL) ...but we weren\'t even that upset because we were in Santorini!!!

We ate some great seafood in Greece, which I was definitely not getting in Milan...my cooking entails preheating an oven or boiling water...if something cannot be made doing one of those things...im screwed...ok i learned how to cook a chicken the other day...I\'m improving! hahaha...but it was a nice change to get some meat/seafood, which I had been craving...

We also met a nice mother/daughter duo from Seattle who were staying in the little villa next to ours...so we talked to them while drinking wine and watching the sunset...it was worth ALL the hassles that we had experienced thusfar hahaha...and we got three great sunsets!!! They got better each night too....

During the days on the island we ended up exploring in the SMART car we rented so that was very entertaining although the car was supposedly automatic but didn\'t act like one...what I mean is that it didn\'t have a clutch but when you took your foot off the break it would still roll...it was odd but we adjusted LOL...we went to the north part of the island Oia and then the south part where the lighthouse and beaches were...so we had fun! On Saturday we headed back to Athens in the afternoon and arrived around 11pm, which was perfect because it was almost Easter and this year Greek Orthadox Easter and Roman Catholic easter were the same date, which meant we were in for an awesome show because Easter is bigger than Christmas in Greece so all the Greeks had candles that were lit by the flame from Jerusalem, which was actually brought over from Jerusalem! WILD...so that was neat to experience...

We finally got to the Hilton since Mom decided to use some of her Hilton Honors points...NICEST hotel I have ever had the pleasure of staying in by the way...and we had an awesome view of the Acropolis from our balcony! The next day we went and checked out Sytagma Square, which is the center of Athens and close to all the main tourist sites...

Funny story time: So we go to eat at this little restaurant where you could sit outside because it was so nice out and this young guy probably around 25 comes over to our table and is like I SEE YOU AGAIN! (to my mom) and she just goes along with it even though we have not seen this guy in our lives...we took a photo with him hahaha...o and we racked up a bill over 100 euro...lets not talk about it... :/ oops but we all got fresh lamb because that was what was being cooked everywhere since it was Easter...it was yummy...

The next day we went to the Acropolis and managed to find my friend Courtney who was there visiting with her mom! so that was fun to hang out with her for a little bit...we also got to see them briefly in Santorini since they were on a cruise that stopped there...so I got a few chances to hang with her...even though each time it was pure chance that we found them!

To end the day we took a bus to the Greek Riviera and explored the waterfront of Greece, which was very pretty! It was a nice relaxing way to end our vacation in Greece before Mom flew back to the States...it went SO fast although I will be back in the U.S. very very soon :)

O and that was only one week of Spring Break...still one more week to go!