Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Today is our last day in Patra and I am going to miss it. I love Christina and Christos like family. They have been so hospitable and generous, opening their home to me, letting me camp out in the basement and including me in everything during this trip. I am so thankful for the weekend getaway they took us on to Zakynthos, I was able to unplug and relax a bit for the weekend since we have been on the go most of the time. I don't know how I could ever have the means to repay Christina and Christos for their generousity during this trip, it has been incredible and I am forever grateful.
George and I got to know eachother pretty well during our trip to Zakynthos since I was in his car whenever we would go anywhere. I had hung out with him in the states before, but now he lives in Greece so I had many questions about his life now, etc. We both baked in the sun together and had fun on the car rides. He made stops on the street for me to look at sandals, bought Tim a soccer team shirt and made me laugh the entire time. George is the mafiosa brother you always wanted, a talker and always knows "a guy" for whatever you need. Cheers George!The entire Lichounas family has been so welcoming, sweet and again, generous. From family meals to gifts from Greece, they have welcomed me in like one of the family. Angeliki, Angela's Grandmother is not in the above photo, but I believe she derserves her own photo, she is 96 and was at the family meals at Maria and Christos house (Angela's Aunt and Uncle - Grandma lives with them). She has had a long life and I just loved looking at her thinking, what I am going to be like at 96? Incredible to see everyone all together.
I love you all and you will all be in my heart and mind with each day that passes. I will keep you all in my prayers and I know I will see you all again, so no good-byes, just farewell until next time...

PS - Thank you Greece, I love you, I love your people, your food, your weather, your beaches, your language. I love that everyone here thought I was Greek and would speak to me in Greek and I would look at them with a blank stare and it was OK. I love being in a place where I look like the people, you made me feel at home as like Malta, I fit right in. I'll be back.

Off to Athens

Going to Athens tomorrow.
Today is going to be a bit crazy with people coming over left and right to hang out and say good-bye. I was hoping for one more beach day, but will try to get some more sun today in the yard and play with Frankie in his little tub we can fill with water. It is going to be HOT.
We are leaving for Athens in the morning and then to check out the National Archaeological Museum (our hotel is around the corner) and then the Acropolis in the evening to avoid the super hot sun in the middle of the day. We will stay overnight and be off to the airport on Thursday morning. I am excited to see Tim and BayLee but am sad to leave this wonderful place. I can't wait to come back and explore some more. Shoot, I would come back and plant myself in Zakynthos for a couple weeks if I could. I may post from Athens, but if not, will post from stateside.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Back from Zakynthos

That is about all I can say.
Here are some highlights:
  • The ferry ride, I am like a little kid on a boat, have to walk around and check everything out.
  • The color of the water blew my mind, I have never seen water like this before.
  • The hotel pool/bar - frappes in sunchairs...yes please!
  • Frankie's speedo
  • "Sallaba Beach Horn!" - inside joke
  • Mexican Food at a Greek restaurant, I ate Greek food
  • The cook at the restaurant
  • The drivers of the horse drawn carriages
  • Cake on my leg
  • Christos wanting to get into the pool the first night but couldn't because they added cholrine to it.
  • Baby lizard in my hotel room
  • St. Dionysius church - seeing his body after 400 years preserved in a glass tomb
  • Walking 5 miles in the heat in Zakynthos town (maybe 2.5, felt like 5)
  • Christina's ability to get us into the Byzantine ruins 20 minutes before they closed - awesome!
  • Palm Reader machine
  • Me drinking way too much carrot apple juice and getting sick - ooops!
  • Taxi Driver (movie) with Greek subtitles
  • George baking in the sun
  • Peter, "what's up dude?"
  • Diving off the end of the dock at St. Nicolas Beach with Angela and swimming back to shore
  • Mistaking a moss covered rock at the bottom of the sea for a turtle and freaking out a little bit
  • Laying in the sun spacing out watching the sea
  • Eating at Windmill restaurant - the view was incredible
  • Ferry back to Patra - talking with Peter about islands and the sea
  • Singing with George and Peter on the way back to the house
  • Sleeping in today after being drained by the sun
  • Life is good and I am in heaven!

Friday, May 22, 2009


Headed out to Zakynthos for the weekend! Be back Sunday night...
Shipwreck Beach, Turtles and Sun OH MY!

11 Years

Today is my 11th Wedding Anniversary to my beloved Tim so I thought I would list 11 things I super love about Tim. These are directed towards him, so they read that way.
  1. You are an optimist and I try to be most of the time, but you influence me to be that way more often.
  2. You put up with my craziness, mood swings and emotions without judgement.
  3. You always are ready to lift me up when I crumble to the ground.
  4. You eat everything I make even if you don't like it.
  5. You make me laugh so much especially when I need it most.
  6. You are super patient and even more so when I am antsy for things to happen.
  7. You are my anti-anxiety medication - you always say the right things to make me feel better when I am freaking out a bit.
  8. You love my family and friends as much as I do.
  9. You call me in the afternoon to check on me at work.
  10. You let me come to Greece with Angela - how about you introduced me to Angela as well, for that I could never thank or love you enough.
  11. You love with all of your might.

I love you babe and miss you and can't wait to celebrate our anniversary when I get home.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Whacky Wednesday

Forget Manic Monday, I am on vacation so instead I decided on a Wednesday fashion post and I will say....
If I had packed the suitcase of my dreams, this is what I would be wearing to dinner at Angela and Christina's Aunt's house for dinner tonight.

happy go lucky
PS - 89 degrees and LOVING IT!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rest and Relaxation

Today, I decided to take a day off from running around. I think it is important that Angela, her sister and Frankie have time alone with their Dad and Mavra. They went over there for lunch at around 2 PM and I stayed behind, pitting maribel's for jam Ang wants to make later. I sat outside on the veranda with a big bowl and a knife and went to town. It took me about an hour to get them done and then I popped them in the freezer so they won't turn brown and gross. I took a long shower with peppermint soap (very cooling) and went back outside to sit on the porch and then under the olive tree for a while. It is so hot, I had to get in the shade for a minute and take a break. I started watching "Momma Mia" on my ipod as well - so funny! Anyway, just hanging out here at the house alone, writing in my journal now and wanted to make a quick post. I am waiting for it to cool down this evening so I can water the lawn for Christos. Seriously, it is 5:00 PM right now and the sun is super high in the sky and it is 87 degrees outside - I love it. The last couple nights it seems like 7 PM and it is more like 10 PM, it stays lighter longer for sure and I could really get used to this life style. Like when I was in Malta, each day I think...how could I move here. Tim would love it, tennis year round and hot beach weather all the time as well. Hmmmm....

Monday, May 18, 2009

Meeting in the Ladies Room

I have to tell you about our little meetings each night - it started with me and Christina staying up until all hours of the night the first couple nights, and now it is the three of us since Angela has gotten somewhat caught up with sleep - the frappes help you stay up too! Saturday night was hilarious after the party we all started talking until about 1:30 AM, then said let's get ready for bed so we are all in the bathroom brushing our teeth, washing our faces, etc. and we start talking again IN THE BATHROOM for an hour and a half (Christina on the sink, Angela on the side of the tub and me sitting on the toilet) the next thing you know it is 3:00 AM. We had to break it up since one of us actually had to use the bathroom, so we decided to go back outside around the table, by the time we came inside it was 5:00 AM. Now we have a joke, "meet me on the veranda". Last night we were out there until about 3:15 AM. We get up at around 10-11 AM and then have our day in the sun and do it all over again. These nightly talks have been very good for all of us though. It is incredible the things you can learn from other women about life, marriage, sex, children, etc. These are not light coversations and I am cherishing every moment of them though because it is not something that you can do with every person in your life. There is something about being on vacation that makes you sort of shed your daily life skin and it allows you to reveal the real you with no distractions from the outside world - it makes for wonderful talks and many lessons being learned. Life does not give you an instruction manual, but if it did, I think for women it would say...once in a while you need to go to a foreign country where you cannot be reached unless you want to be reached, and just put it all out on the table with people you know and love. It has been very eye opening and good for all of us. When morning rolls around, we don't continue the conversation from the night before, one just always starts around midnight every night, could be a continuation of one of the nights before or it could be something entirely new. There are never any apologies for being the devil's advocate or not agreeing with someone either, which I super love. I have people in my life where there is constant judgement, competition or they try to challenge me or question my motives...that is not good for me, where is the love and support? What we are having here now is all 100% REAL - no judgement, no bullshit. I am full of such gratitude and feel so blessed to be here.

I have to give a shout out to Angela because last year in May, I had just found out that Vietnam was closing to US adoption and our adoption may be in the toilet and we went on a roadtrip to move her to Colorado - she took me out of my life then when I needed to get away and the same thing has happened this May as well. I was feeling very sad at home, depressed, overwhelmed from SO many things and the timing of this trip was perfect. I hope that one day I will be able to reciprocate in some way because these two escapes from life have been very healing and beneficial to me in so many ways. I don't know how to explain it, but that is the best I can do. I hope you catch my drift - timing is everything and I don't know how Angela does it, but the safty net she has put under me two May's in a row has been a life saver.

PS - trying to download photos here is a little slow, I may try more later tonight.

Day Trippin

Today we took a day trip to a small town over the bridge from Patra called Nafpaktos. There was a huge castle that looked over the sea and it was just beautiful up there. We stopped and had coffee and let Frankie walk around and workout little bit since he needs to burn off a lot of energy. We then went down to the waterfront and walked around there. This town reminded me so much of Sliema, Malta I could cry. It was just like it, turqouise water lapping up a slate colored shore. We saw lots of fortifications like Malta and fishing boats. We stopped along the sea and had lunch outside - calamari, Greek salad (real Greek salad), bread, shrimp and french fries. It was SUPER hot again today while we were out so we are now all ready to cool off for the evening.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Eurovision song contest is HUGE here - everyone here in Greece (especially the ladies) loves Sakis, he didn't win last night, but for the folks in the USA, you have to check this out...
People here are crazy for him - you should have seen everyone RUN to the livingroom last night to see his performance and screaming when he dances. Angela and I were just sitting laughing at his chest popping moves. I call him the Greek Ricky Martin. I love the passion of the people here, if they love something, they really love it and are not afraid to show it.
Enjoy this clip from the other night.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Sunny Saturday

Seriously, I know I said yesterday it was going to be cooler today - no way - it is 95 degrees!
It is siesta time and we are just lounging, drinking frappe (Christos is drinking ice cold ouzo) and sitting outside getting ready to put up tables for the party tonight.
Slept until Noon today after being up until 3 in the morning with both Angela and Christina.

By the way - we all have nicknames (Frankie names) here:
  • Katie - Tsi-see
  • Christina - Eena
  • Christos - Toto (like the dog in the Wizard of Oz)
The lamb has arrived and is going on the spit soon along with some other meat. It will be covered with lemon, oregano and garlic and cooked over a fire for about 3-4 hours. I think there is going to be about 20 people here. I believe it is going to be another long night, but tomorrow is Sunday and everything is closed, so we will have some down time unless we go to the beach. One thing Greece has similar to Malta - mixing red wine with Sprite - Christina did it last night and I was laughing so hard because they do that at the Maltese Club.

Anyway - I am out of here - getting ready to help set up for the party!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Beach Day

Today we went to the beach!
It was incredible! Weather is great - HOT, HOT, HOT - tomorrow it may cool down a little so today was the perfect day to get some sun. A nice rest after staying up until 3:15 AM with Christina talking at the table outside last night and then getting up early this morning. Whatever, I am on vacation and am so happy, this trip couldnt have come at a better time.
How many people can you fit into a compact car/hatchback in Greece? Try 6! Serioulsy, we did it today, it was hilarious. Christos and I were in front, Christina, Frankie and Angela in the back and Peter in the trunk/hatchback part (Peter is Christos second cousin and soooo cute).

Back at home now, with a lightly baked crust from the beach and getting ready for dinner. Tomorrow will be busy, we are having a party tomorrow night here at the house so we will all be getting ready - I can't wait. My nights here have been epic, staying up with Christina outside talking and smoking (yes, I am on vacation)! We are waiting for Angela to get caught up with sleep and Frankie back on a schedule and she will soon be roped in on the all night talk fests.

A shout out to my sister Emily, get on a plane pronto and get your booty here! You would love it and we are missing the other piece of the sisterhood of the traveling Mediterranean's. Opa!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ahhh Greece...

I think I posted from Malta once with this same title. It's the Med., it makes you sit back and say "ahhhh...".
Anyway, day one here has been so great!
Last night we had pita for dinner with souvalki (soov-lah-kee again with the spelling, it's all Greek to me), tomatoes, onion, tzatziki and frech fries! Anywhere that puts french fries on a sandwich is good in my book. We stayed up pretty late drinking beer and hanging out at the dinner table on the veranda. Angela's Dad (Savvas) was here most of the evening and Mavra arrived later (his wife) followed by George (brother) who worked until 10 PM and then came over. Frankie was asleep, but the adults stayed up around the table talking - it was so nice to see Angela with her brother and sister hanging out with their Dad. I thought I would feel a little out of place, being the one person not in the family, but I am fitting in just great and it helps that I have met everyone except Mavra and Christos in the past and we have all hung out before. After Savvas and Mavra went home Christos went to bed and the gals and George stayed up chatting. Angela then decided to go to sleep, George went home and Christina and I brought up the rear and stayed up until about 12:30-1 AM. With almost no sleep and lots of beer, it was pretty funny. I slept so good. Read about one page of my book and passed out until 11 AM today.
When I got up Christina was up, Christos (it's his Birthday today) was out running errands and the others were sleeping still. Low and behold Angela and Frankie slept until almost 2 PM! Good for them, I think after tonight we will all be caught up with sleep. I know I could use some more but don't want to miss anything, eventhough I missed siesta today and ran errands, but it was fun! I saw downtown Patras with Christina - we drove Savvas and Mavra home (they came by this morning for a couple hours). It was nice to see the city and the old fortress. Believe it or not, the city reminded me of places in Vietnam, the building style, the narrow streets and don't get me started on the rules of the road here, because there arent any. Frankie spent the afternoon riding his new bike - motorbike thing that you push a button and it drives itself - how on earth does he know how to steer it without ever having riden one before? Must be a boy thing. Most of today has been spent lounging on the veranda, it is HOT!

As I write it is about 8 PM and we are getting ready to have a BBQ for dinner, Christos' Mom came over and brought him a beautiful Birthday cake that we will have later. Perhaps George will come over later as well when he is done with work - we will see. Angela is getting Frankie ready for bed, he had a busy afternoon riding his bike, feeding the chickens (behind the house) and running around the front yard kicking the ball. We are trying to get him back on a schedule starting with bed tonight on time.

Anyway, I am giving a complete run down in case Ang can't update her blog as much because I know Brian is reading and maybe others who want to know the play by play.

Brian, I have to tell you that I installed the car seat with Angela today and you would be proud, I cranked that thing so tight in there (not as tight as you do, I am sure) but we did a good job! Had to let you know, I think it would pass your inspection.

Tomorrow the beach, I think, depends on how late we all sleep again. Today all we got up too late but needed the sleep. I think next weekend we are going to one of the islands Zakinthos (I spelled it like it sounds).

OK, going back to sit at the table on the veranda, I love that everything happens outside here! I am in for a rude awakening when I get home and have no where to sit outside at my place.
Christina is the best hostess ever, I love her to pieces!

Until next time...

PS - for those of you who want photos, I can't post them. I need the CD to my camera in order for this computer to load the driver, I tried the drivers on the computer and Canon is not listed, neither is Sony (Angela's camera). Poo! UPDATE - problem solved - the USB port we were tryig was not working, Christos is the MASTER.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

We Made It!

Denver to Toronto = 3.5 hour flight
Toronto to Frankfurt = 7.5 hour flight
Frankfurt to Athens = 2.45 hour flight
Athens to Patras = 2.5 hour drive

Arriving in one piece, luggage in all, priceless.
Drinking my first frappe made by Christos incredible.
Ready to swim tomorrow in the sea and party for Christos birthday on Saturday - so many amazing things to look forward to.

I am beat, need to shower and drink more frappes!
I will keep blogging when I can - there is a computer here at Christina and Christos' house.

PS - please do not mind the misspellings, everything comes up as misspelled, it is a Greek computer!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

One Flight Down - Three More to Go

Greetings from the mile high city.
Arrived in Denver last night on a flight that literally had only 30-40 people on it - everyone had their own row and a lot of them were totally empty. Monday night is the night to travel if you like your space.

Anyway, feeling a little low - maybe the elevation here, it is super dry and I have a headache the size of Texas. My hot shower helped a bit and perhaps my oatmeal will work as well.

Well, in ten minutes I have to grab my shuttle back to the airport and meet Angela and Frankie!

I am super excited!

Pray for a smooth and safe flight - last nights was awesome so, so far, so good.

Next time I sign on it will be from Greece!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Manic Monday

If I had the closet of my dreams, this is what I would be wearing today...
Dreaming of the Med
Leaving on a plane tonight for CO - overnight there and off to Greece tomorrow morning.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

What a Week

Geeze, already Saturday!
Work has been a little nuts to say the least. On top of a crazy work week, I had jury duty all last week so every evening I would have to call in and see if I had to report the next day (with fingers and toes crossed of course, I did not want to miss a day at the office this week). Anyway, in the end I never got called in! Thank God!
Anyway, this weekend is going to consist of running around - already went and got my luggage out of storage, going to Target to get some last minute toiletries and going to do my laundry.
I will blog from Greece so if I don't post until then...sit tight.
Wish us safe and smooth flights and say a little prayer for us while we travel.

Three days until Greece!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Good Vacation Books

Hey...got any good vacation reading you want to tell me about?

I am going on vacation next week and have a couple books I am thinking about, but wanted to see if anyone has read anything super great lately. You know, the kind of book you can't put down, you think about it all day, have everyone pictured in your head and when the book is over, you tell anyone who will listen about it?

Here is what I am bringing with me...I think...

Zorba the Greek - I never read it, and I am going to Greece, sooo...no time like the present.
The God of Small Things - bought it a while back and heard it is fabulous. Don't know if it will be too heavy for a vacation read though.

Here are my latest from Amazon...

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Miss Debbie told me about this one, it sounds right up my alley.

Mrs Mike - this book sounds so good, and I love a good series, there are a couple that follow.

I am open to suggestions if you have any - please send them my way!

The countdown begins now.
One week until Greece!

Manic Monday

If I had the closet of my dreams, this is what I would be wearing today...
dinner and a movie

Saturday, May 02, 2009

A Look Inside

A while back I posted photos of Jenny Harris' (All Sorts ) creative space (see original post here). Well, I just had to do a follow up to that post because Jenny took photos of the inside of one of her drawers that contains her embroidery tools. It is fabulous! I love the fabric in the buckets on top of the desk too. So cute!

I super love it and hope that one day I will have similar space to keep my things organized. I won't even embarrass myself and show you my embroidery basket. Scary!

PS - for a larger photo, head over to All Sorts (link above) and click on the photo.

Friday, May 01, 2009

May Day

I am loving these old Maypole photos and super love the thought of May Day.
Why don't we celebrate it more in the US?

May, really?

I can't believe it is already May!
I can't believe I didn't really post anything this month besides my photo a day. I mean, there were a few in there, but nothing really. Truth be told...I am overwhelmed right now. Overwhelmed by life itself, which sounds really stupid and maybe will help me put things in perspective by getting this all out...you like things you think you feel and then when you say them aloud they sound entirely off base and silly? Truth is, I have occasional depression. It is horrible and I have the capability to psych myself out of it most of the time. I remind myself that is chemical and I can get out of it, but wonder in the back of my mind, if one time, that won't work - scary! Yes, I have taken medication for it, etc. but have been off of it for about 2 years now and am doing OK except for these little bumps in the road, which I can (so far) manage. I am blessed to have that little voice inside of me that says, just get out there, be active, you will feel much better and boy is that the truth. That voice is just starting to come out now. The entire month of April, I really only found solace in the thought of folding into myself and totally letting the entire low feeling envelop me but just before I would start to sink, life would throw me a curve ball that kept me from that and I am grateful. When I start feeling like there is too much, I make a list of what I have to do and when it is due and on the flip side I make a gratitude list - things I am thankful for at this moment. I keep those lists in my journal and when I need to go back and see that things aren't so bad, I read them.
Anyway, I do feel better putting this out there. Maybe some of you get this same way too, I don't know. I am a little embarrassed because I try super hard in my life to be really positive and optimistic but I have to say that even the people with the shiniest positive sheen sometimes get a little tarnished.


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