It was 2013 and I had been in the Middle East for two years. My son and daughter had come and visited us in Abu Dhabi in the Spring. For 2014, I asked them both where they would like to travel. Fun concept. My son chose Panama, which had fascinated him for some time. Great choice! My daughter chose Greece and we scheduled to meet in Athens and then go out to the much heralded Island of Santorini.
She was just finishing her Winter quarter of her first year at the University of Washington in Seattle. I will say, she is an exceptional student. She was valedictorian of her high school and aced her Advanced Placement tests in high school, including a 5 on her calculus exam which is very rare. She went on to graduate in only three years from the University of Washington, Summa Cum Laude. Just thought I would add that to boast a little.
It was a long flight for her from Seattle to Germany and then on to Athens. She was exhausted after taking her final exams. I went to Athens a few days early to make sure our room was ok and that I could meet her at the airport. Always a stressful thing when your child is crossing the globe solo.
Our hotel was near the Plaka area and there was a roof top that you could view out over the city. Great location near many restaurants, stores, etcetera. Unfortunately I discovered the Nike shoes I had smelled badly. I had to leave them outside the window on a ledge to spare us.
Greece was in a tough period economically, so there was always talk about that. I was surprised to see all the restaurants full in spite of the economic situation. I guess food is quite important there. I had been to Athens in 1982, and I must say that it was a much improved city from that time. We enjoyed walking around a lot. We visited the Acropolis and the areas around it. Grand places just to walk and take in the ancient history. Food was spectacular. I normally don’t comment too much on food, but we enjoyed our meals in Greece a lot. They seem to know how to prepare food.
The area around the Acropolis was excellent for walking at night as there were many shops and nice night views of the Acropolis all lit up. We flew from Athens to Santorini. Santorini looks a lot like the beautiful photographs that one sees everywhere, but even more striking in person. The end of March was a bit chilly but a good time to be there as there were few tourists. We were told of the cruise ships that come in and the busses that completely block the roads. We were able to get a little bed and breakfast not far from town and we enjoyed it a lot. The breakfasts were brought to us on a tray each morning and were something to look forward to. Delicious. It was a good life.
We allowed each day to develop on its own and I so much enjoyed just being with Sierra. One day we took a long walk along the ridge of the caldera (it is a volcanic island and you re on the edge of a crater). The scenery is breathtaking and the white and blue houses are picturesque seemingly hanging off of the cliffs. We took a lot of photos. If I am not mistaken we took a taxi back home. Another day we rented a motorcycle and went to a beach where some good waves were breaking. One night we took in a magnificent dinner while dining. The entire wall of the restaurant was glass so that you could view out over the water. There were few people so it felt as if it was ours. What a special thing to share with one’s daughter.
We decided to take a boat trip on an old wooden boat that went over to a volcano. We were told there were hot springs you could swim in. It was chilly in general. The boat anchored quite a ways off shore and they said you had to swim to shore where the thermal springs were. Sierra dove in and quickly came back up screaming the F word. It was very cold. That’s my girl! We also took a nice hike around the volcano before returning back to the donkeys that carried us up the zigzag rode to the top of the ridge and town.
I don’t remember a lot of other details, but it was such a special week to spend with my daughter. The best. We had to go back to Athens to get her on a plane to Germany and then home. A long journey. It was so difficult to let her go. The life of a parent. I hope we can do something similar again in our lifetimes.