Yesterday I went to see Phish for the first time. While there I ran into approximately 30 people I know, including 5/19 of people who attended my wedding. I love my friends :) Oh man...dancing in the pit between the lawn and the pavilion to "run like an antelope" during encore with a whole bunch of people I knew, walking into lot and running straight in 7 people I knew 5 feet from the entrance, looking for burritos on shakedown with a crush of people like I've never been in before, octojimmy and finding out V was just 2 cars over from where we had been hanging out for an hour, finding ourselves on lawn right next to friends I made at festivals who I never expected to see again...definitely a night I will remember for a long time.
In two weeks I'm going to a camping music festival without B, and later this summer in August I'll be going to a conference in San Francisco and will also be visiting my friend who moved out there (who I saw at the Phish show last night cause she flew back to see them with her twin sister, and she offered me a place to crash on my trip, yay for not paying for 3 nights of San Francisco hotels!). Also in August me and B will be going to a music festival where they allow dogs (well, they don't, but I'm friends with the festival organizer and he said it would be ok to bring mine), and we'll get to see how Barkley is at camping. That should be experience..
But in July is the biggest summer adventure of all; me and B will be taking a trip to Europe with my amazing in-laws (who very generously are funding this trip, which we could never afford on our own), and with B's grandmother. First we will be spending about 4 days in Rome, and then we will be going on a 10 day cruise that visits Croatia, Greece, Turkey, and Sicily.
This is my first trip to Europe, first cruise, AND we're going on an 'ancient roman civilization' cruise, which is totally awesome cause I took a bunch of roman civ classes in college and wanted to do a winter break study abroad program...but of course my parents said they wouldn't pay for it because there was no kosher/shabbas observant program, and I couldn't afford to pay for it myself. This is also going to be my first visit to a country other than Israel (6 times) and Canada (once to Niagra falls), and my first real vacation anywhere that's not for a conference (for work) since January 2001, when I went on birthrite Israel (and watched Bush the Jr's inauguration from Tel Aviv).
Since we are going on this trip we opted not to have a separate honeymoon...but since this is our honeymoon, we didn't want to do everything with B's family, so we sprung for some solo cruise excursions and a day trip in Rome. Our plan is we will get to Rome on a Saturday, spend Sunday and Monday touring with B's family (specifically I think we are doing a tour of ancient Rome one day- including stuff like the Forum and the Colosseum, and a tour of the Vatican museums/the Sistine chapel on the other day). Then on that Tuesday me and B will take a solo day trip to Pompeii, that also drives through Naples on the way there. On Wednesday we board the cruise. Once on the cruise we've booked 3 solo shore excursions, and may tag along for some excursions with the in-laws on other days.
Here's descriptions of the 3 cruise excursions we just booked today. We don't normally splurge on such things, but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity (or so I rationalize to myself), so we wanted to book a few excursions that seem like they will be super awesome. I can't believe I will actually be doing these things in around a month!
Dubrovnik, Croatia: Kolorina Sea Kayaking
Your kayaking adventure will start with a coach ride to Pile Square, just in front of the Old Town of Dubrovnik, and after a short walk you will find yourself at Kolorina Bay where the fun starts! Following brief introduction, your instructor will lead you under the Lovrijenac Fortress and the southern parts of the City Walls towards the island of Lokrum and to the Betina Beach where you will have time for snorkeling. A snack will be served at the Betina Beach. Your tour will end with a coach ride back to the ship.
Santorini, Greece: Crater Cruise & Hot Springs
Cliffs of Santorini
A local caique (boat) will take you on a short trip to Nea Kameni to sail along its volcanic shores. The black volcanic rocks and the white pumice offer strange formations and beautiful views. Disembark for a 45-minute hike to the crater of the still-active volcano. Observe the lava fragments and the volcanic rocks, and once you have reached the crater, relax and enjoy the view of Santorini and the amazing cliff of Caldera. Back in the caique, sail to the thermal springs of Palea Kameni. The boat will stop in the green sulfur waters whose temperature sometimes reaches 37 degrees centigrade. Experience bathing in the waters (due to high sulfur levels light colored bathing suits may be discolored). From here, the caique will take you back to the ship or the cable car.
Athens, Greece: The Best of Athens
If you are visiting Athens for the first time, this outing provides an excellent introduction to one of the great cities of the ancient world. Visit the Acropolis, a symbol of the glory of ancient Greece. History opens before you as you reach the Propylaea, one of the masterpieces of classical architecture, serving as the entrance to the complex of buildings. You’ll see the Temple of Athena Nike (Wingless Victory), and the Erectheum with its classical Porch of Maidens, the Caryatids. Stand in awe as you visit what is considered the most perfect example of classical architecture in the world—the Parthenon—designed as a shrine to Athena and at one time housing a massive gold and ivory statue of the warrior goddess. Re-board your coach and head towards your lunch venue. You will enjoy a Greek buffet also allowing you to relax for some time. Then, you’ll head to the National Archaeological Museum, which boasts the world’s finest collection of Greek antiquities. The highlights include the golden mask of Agamemnon, Minoan frescoes unearthed at Akrotiri, and the superb bronze Poseidon. Complete your introduction to Athens with a scenic drive around the city, passing some of the most important landmarks of the city. Watch for the Marble Olympic Stadium, where the Olympic Games were revived in 1896, Hadrian’s Arch and the former Royal Palace. Your coach will park close to the Plaka (Old Town) area, and you’ll disembark for a guided walking tour of the historical center of Athens. Free time will be available for shopping and watching everyday life in Greece before you return to the port.