Athens

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Monday was our last day in Greece. While I’m sad to leave it behind, I’m beyond excited to head to Italy. I’ve had an obsession with Italian culture for as long as I can remember, in part because there’s a lot of Italian blood in my family. So please explain to me why I’m so pale. Seriously.

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Anyway, Greece certainly tried her darnedest to keep us. As you may have guessed, directions aren’t really my thing, but somehow we managed to navigate Athens all day with just a map a random tour guide gave us because she felt bad. To say this was a miracle is an understatement. (I can only hope we have such luck everywhere else!)

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We walked through the prettiest square before hitting the Main Street to Stygnalia, the center of Athens. The streets were lined with vendors selling off vintage goods, and I couldn’t help but hope people hadn’t sold them off in an attempt to keep their families afloat. (Walking through the streets and seeing all of the homeless people and animals was a harsh reminder of the times Greece is facing, in spite of all of its beauty.) However, just 500 meters (I can say that now since I’m over here, and mainly because that’s how everyone describes it, and I don’t know the calculation to miles or feet haha) away, is a huge shopping square. There, in the middle of the graffiti-ridden city, were three Zaras, two H&Ms, Brooks Brothers, Tod’s…and the list goes on. It was like the riots never took place in that little materialistic oasis.

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After my new favorite shopping district, we got out to the more traditional area. I’m talking cobblestone roads, luscious flowers, the aroma of scrumptious foods – basically, the whole nine yards. There were street performers balancing balls on their heads while they took off shirts, women having dance-offs, and a man strumming the guitar playing the saddest song I’ve ever heard, even if I couldn’t understand it. It was really all so beautiful.

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We spent most of the rest of the day in the National Archaeological Museum, which was really something. While all the museums we visited had various statues and other findings, the bulk of what’s left is in this museum, so it was neat to make the connections to what we had already seen. It truly was a fantastic museum. We finished off the day with a quick stop at Hadrian’s Arch and the Temple of Zeus, then headed back to the room to prepare for Italy.

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All in all, I just adored Greece. I can’t wait to see Italy, but I’m thinking an island villa for winter vacations will definitely be necessary. Wouldn’t you agree?

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Euro Trip – Days 1 and 2

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(View from our flight from Harrisburg)

Good morning, lovely followers!

With the help of all of your feedback (thanks!!), I’ve decided to do a mix of both an update of my travels AND some Delight of the Day posts. I’ll also add some pictures of yours truly once I recover from this awful cold. I currently look like Rudolph. Super attractive. If at any point I become one of those obnoxious people who never stops rambling about things, please tell me. I hate that!

20130528-180435.jpg(Chicago sunset)

We (my sister, Melly, and I) left good ole Pennsylvania Monday afternoon and headed toward Chicago for our first layover. I’ve never been before, but it looks super pretty from the plane, so I’d definitely like to visit some time. (Plus one of my BFFs and Chicago Prepster live there!) Anyway, we had a 4-hour layover and decided to make the best of it with our last American meal – a phenomenal cheeseburger. I’m all about the health.

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(Our last American meal!)

After Chicago, we headed to London for a 13 freaking hour layover. Because I can’t sit still for longer than two seconds, we decided to venture outside of the airport to Leicester Circle. As you know, I’m crazy OCD I like to plan things out, so I haven’t been sleeping much. That, paired with this awful sinus business, has me pretty exhausted. So exhausted that ALL I could think about was getting coffee. Leicester Circle, you didn’t disappoint.

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(Thank you, God.)

There really wasn’t much else there, so we decided to head to Piccadilly Circus since it’s only one Tube stop away. (We’re pros now. Honest!) Of course, it started pouring while we were there, so we basically hid in Starbucks until it was safe to run back to the station.

20130528-180627.jpg(The Piccadilly Circus stop)

Overall, nothing super excited has happened yet. But maybe that’s because I’m still riding the high of skydiving for the first time (thanks, honey!!). We should be landing in Athens at 3:00 am this morning, so I’m sure I’ll have better updates the rest of the week!

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(My view from Heathrow. Riveting stuff, right?)

What are your favorite places in Europe? Or, if you’ve never been, where would you most like to go? (It’s never too late to book an impromptu trip and meet up with us!)

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(Plugged in, as always, so I can keep up with y’all