Monday, June 8, 2009

Upcoming Summer Adventures

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

Lovrijenac Fortress

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

The Parthenon

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.


  1. I'm so glad you're going to see Pompeii - it's just amazing. Be sure to look out for the ancient porn picture that's still on the wall of one of the houses. (Supposedly, women weren't allowed to see this painting/fresco? in the old days. I'm not going to spoil the surprise/shock of it, but you'll know what picture I'm talking about when you see it.)

  2. I think the ancient porn is actually all over pompeii- me and B were just talking about this yesterday. So apparently back in ancient Greece culture there was nude frescoes all over the place, but over the years as the later romans and then then the christians came to power, they destroyed all the nude frescoes because they were deemed unseemly, pornographic, etc. But since Pompeii was preserved exactly as it was when that volcano thing happened, when greek culture was still the norm, the nude frescoes were all preserved too - and now that is one of the only places where all that stuff has survived! :)

  3. hmm or maybe it was roman culture and it was just the christians who ruined all that stuff? I think wikipedia says it was roman..

  4. That looks amazing, I hope you and B have a wonderful honeymoon :o)

  5. I havent been a long time reader of the blogs but to make along story short...

    You obviously know what you should do about this situation, I find it fascinating that you just ignore reality. Its quite obvious you dont want to confront the issue because at the same time you hate it, you also enjoy it.

    You WANT to have this problem be an on going issue. If you didnt this would have been delt with long ago.

    Be pro-active about this situation like you are on other aspects of your life already, its time to deal with it.

  6. anon- what situation? and what do I obviously know I should do about it? what are you talking about?

  7. He means we should hit Karl Rove with a gut punch.

  8. Anon.

    Loved your comment, fantastic, alas for all the wrong reasons.

  9. OMG, I went on BRI winter of 01' I kind of got tossed out. What trip did you go on? I went with maya-fucking-not.

  10. Ha, weird! Did you see Ariel Sharon speak?

    I went with Hillel through my school- I was in big CUNY group (I think we had Brooklyn, Queens and Hunter and there were a few odd SUNY students too).

    Definitely no one got tossed out of my trip...that trip was an epic adventure of experimentation and rule breaking. First time I got really drunk (on ben yehudah street, mike's place), first time I smoked a hookah (with flavored tobacco only), first time I saw people doing drugs in front of me (one of my roommates bought a bunch of hash from an arab or something), and I got my first non-earlobe piercing on that trip too! (belly button ring- don't have it anymore). One of my roommates spent the entire trip sleeping in some random dude's room and we never saw her.

    Also the first time I tried out both conservative and reconstructionist services (not for me, but interesting).


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