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Our Stay in Greece

March 30, 2018

(I did not proof read this so I’m sorry! 😉)

My Aunt Georgia and I booked a cheap round trip ticket to Greece. We left on the 13th of March and made our return flight on the 27th. There were a few main reasons I wanted to come back to Greece. My mother was adopted when she was 11 years old from a small village here in Greece (Myraki). We are trying to figure out who all our family and ancestors are and I along with my aunt, want to work on dual citizenship. (I wanted to come to Greece to see if it’s worth the trouble of getting dual citizenship.) The morning of my flight I was able to get a decent run in at 3:30 a.m. I had to leave for the airport by 5. I was sick about leaving the girls and corom and nervous about flying… but we made it safely and the girls and corom are doing well. My kids sent me a bag full of gifts… (I took the lizard with me to a lot of places… thanks girls)!

Our flight went very smoothly and we arrived in Greece on Wednesday morning. We stayed 2 days in Athens before we headed out for the Republic of Georgia 🇬🇪. Athens was wonderful. We toured a couple of museums, went to the Acropolis,

watched the changing of the guards,

went to their flea markets (on many occasions sometimes a couple of times a day… it was right in the center of town for all the cities we visited)…

and I met with the assistant Greek national running coach (I set up an appointment to meet with the head coach when I was to return back to Athens). Sorry… he didn’t know that I took his picture. 😬 I was just excited to be there in the office of professional runners.

We left on our trip to Georgia… blogged about that already but it was an experience I will never forget. An amazing trip and great young men and women.

We flew back into Athens on Tuesday (the 20th) and rented a car. I had the privilege of driving here in Greece. It was an experience all on its own. 😉 On one occasion I did turn down a one way road and probably confused and scared a few people (mainly my aunt)… all I kept thinking was “holy crap, how am I going to turn around.”

Before I go on with all the sightseeing and family stuff… let me get into my running…

My running has gone a lot better this week on my return to Greece. I was able to get a 16 miler in with another day of speed. I felt good and alive on every run this week. It was great. In Sparta, I had a issue with the dogs that ran around (on multiple occasions)… I had to change my route many times. On one of my runs I seriously thought I was going to be attacked by 2 dogs but somehow got away. I did find trails and parks that became very useful for my runs.

On one of my runs, I ran into the Olympic stadium. It was fantastic. The random young man in the picture below was one of the athletes in the Olympic/athletic office. On Monday (the day before I left), I had the opportunity to sit down with the Greek national coach. I asked him if I would be able to run for his team. I told him I would still live in the U.S. and train here but would love to run for them. He went over many things regarding the rules and terms of running for them but in the end if everything turns out with my mom’s birth/adoption paperwork, I will be joining the Greek/European team. So we will see what happens. 😃

Anyway…. we had our rental car and went on our way to Sparta. We did make a stop in Napleon (and I know I am slaughtering the cities names), but this place was amazing! There was so much to see in this city.

….We spent the next 4 days in Sparta working on family names of those living and for those that have passed on. It was mainly on my grandfather’s side. And of course we did some touring of Sparta and other towns around. This picture below is of family members that I have met (when I came out 3 years ago) and some cousins that I met for the 1st time. It was a wonderful experience!

We did go to my grandmother’s home village to find out more about her. In the smaller villages in Greece it is very hard to find information on those that have passed on. The paper work is either wrong or put in a place that can’t be found. 😊 My aunt and I resorted to going to the cemetery of my grandmother’s village to see if we could find any relatives names… we found the site of a few relatives. It was so nice to have something! The young man in the pictures below is Tony… he was someone we found in the neighboring village that became our translator for the day. He was absolutely wonderful.

My aunt and I did a walk through of her (and my mom’s) house where they grew up as little girls. Once again I was struck by the humble way they lived! It made me stop and think of how much I have. It’s a one room house where the parents slept in the closet and the kids on the floor.

We hiked to the top of Mystra’s (one of the castles on the top of the mountain)… it was so beautiful and the pictures do not do it justice. It really took my breathe away!

We went to Corinth where Paul taught… the red Poppies were beautiful!! We loved walking around the ruins here and it was fascinating to hear the history of Corinth.

We were lucky enough to book our trip during Greece’s Independence Day. We had the privilege of attending a huge parade in Athens. It wasn’t the typical parade that I was used to (with the floats and cheerleaders, etc.) It was an all military parade and I absolutely loved it. You could feel the patriotism throughout all the people there.

We toured another city (and I’m trying to remember the name) but it was by the seaside/ocean. I loved it there!! We had a nice little hike to “the island” and to the light house. So I didn’t really go further into the light house area… just clearing that up. 😉

We found an LDS/Mormon church on the Sunday we were in Athens but got there right as it ended. 😬 It was great though because we met up with the missionaries. We took them out to eat (the sisters weren’t able to come because they had another appointment)… cute young men!

Loved all the food we ate!! It was wonderful.

I am going to switch to Corom and the girls for a minute… they all did well while I was gone. I know they had a situation with peppers and the eyes or something painful. 😳😭 Corom told the girls that peanut butter would take away the pepper pain. 😉

They had fun with dad… my oldest drew that picture of the dolphin when I was gone. It was fun to talk with everyone on FaceTime.

Random pictures of the things we did/experiences:

Many people helped us with names of people in our family… so grateful for all their time to help us. Here are just a few of all those that helped:

All said and done… it was a wonderful trip. I had so much fun and traveling with my Aunt Georgia was great. She is an amazing person.

I can’t wait to go again and next time with my family. I came home to the best signs:

From → Running

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