Jason and I knew that leaving Italy would
It was an amazing cruise and someday I'll have to write all about it. For now, here we are on the island of Santorini, Greece. Our ship was somewhere out in that water and we took little boats (my memory is failing me, there's a name for these little boats) to the shore. From there we had the option of riding a tram up the side of the mountain, or walking up the mountain, or riding stinky donkeys up the mountain. I'd done my research and learned that the tram filled up and backed up quickly so we made sure to be some of the first people to shore and we made it onto the tram, hooray!
We wandered around and took some photos--it is really amazing how everything is blue and white, it's just gorgeous!--and popped into a little museum. Then I bought a necklace and some postcards in the two minutes of shopping I can usually fit in before Jason starts getting antsy and cranky. :) We decided to head to a winery, so we figured out the busses--miracle of miracles in Greece, I'm telling you--and actually made it there! The ironic thing was that we ran into some other Americans and they were also from the Pacific Northwest, so we all laughed, "Oh, leave it to the Pacific Northwesterners to head to the winery!"
It was amazing. The wine... well, it was fine. But truly, how can anything not taste great with this view? We got a sampler tray of all different wines and some cheeses, crackers, olives, etc. So we sat and took photos and chatted with our friends-for-the-day and just soaked it all up.
When it was time to head back there was a hugely enormously ridiculously long line waiting for the tram, which made me really glad we'd headed out early that morning. But it meant that to get back down the mountain we could wait in line (which was not really an option at all if you know Jason, Mr. Impatient, and me, Mrs. Efficiency), ride the now even stinkier donkeys, or walk down the mountain of switchbacks. So we walked. As we walked down we were almost runover by a runaway donkey and came across a woman who had fallen off her donkey and was bleeding from a head wound. Seriously. Beware of Santorini donkeys. On the little boat with a name I've forgotten we rode back to the ship with some people who had ridden down on donkeys, and let me just say that I'm sure the very first thing they did back on the ship was shower.
There are a few morals in this story: Do your research before you travel (I highly recommend Rick Steves!). Take a photography class now. Get a good camera as soon as you can. Don't expect things to be easy just because you're on vacation. Appreciate the little things. Remember that even the pain-in-the-butt moments will be great memories (as long as you handle them well--so handle them well). Be friendly and open to meeting people everywhere you go. Wear comfortable shoes. Be flexible and willing to compromise. Stop and breathe in and enjoy the moment as often as you can. Take mental photographs of sights, smells, sounds, tastes, textures, and feelings. Avoid donkeys.
And all those are pretty good ideas for life in general, too, now that I think about it. :)
Have a great weekend. Be well.