An Adventurous Story

As you may recall in my very first blog post I talked about Greece. I won’t lie…I’m still dreaming about it. In fact, on my bloglovin’ feed today, one blog mentioned that there are some Greek islands for sale. Anyone want to go in on that with me?!

Anyway, one of my suggestions was to meet the locals and make friends. I mentioned that I had a story to tell about that, and felt like now would be a good time to share. I do know some of our Greek friends have been following the blog, which just makes me so HAPPY! However, one situation I faced was an experience many of you may not have ever had!

My husband works for an international travel company and so for our trip he was already in Europe on a work tour for a little while before our official vacation. Thankfully his company encourages world traveling, and so the only airfare we had to worry about was my own. In addition, I am blessed with a very sweet aunt who has been a flight attendant for Delta for as long as I can remember. So, rather than buy the pricey summer Greek plane ticket, I chose to buy a buddy pass from my aunt with full awareness that the flights may not be what I expected. My trip started off rocky, with the flight from JFK to Athens oversold. Thinking outside of the box I was able to get a flight to Rome (and get my own connection to Athens). Pro to this- I got a first class seat on the upper level of a 747. Talk about a comfortable ride! The good news is I made it to Athens on time with just one minor hiccup along the way.

Fast forward to the trip home. There is only one flight from Athens to the US per day on Delta. That means there was only one shot I had at making a flight. However, we happened to choose the most popular time to be in Greece and as luck would have it, the flight was full. As I hovered over the flight desk (hoping and praying that something might change) I overheard a middle-aged man and a woman (Faye) discussing what they would do since they too did not make this flight. I decided to interject, as I was alone in a foreign country with no secure flight plans. Not only that, but it was 3 am in the states, and so my aunt was definitely not awake to help me find an alternative route. The gentleman had done this many times before, and had decided that Rome would be his best bet. He jetted off to find a ticket to Rome, and attempt to make a flight out of Rome the next day back to the States. He kindly offered for Faye and I to join him, but we both were unsure about traveling with a man we had never met. That left the two of us.

I can tell you that I was fighting tears this entire time. A lot of people would say “Oh how sad to be stranded in Greece” in a sarcastic tone. But, I had never traveled to Europe alone before, and I was mentally ready to get back home. I was nervous because I had no clear communication with the Greek airline employees, my aunt would be unable to help me until far later in the day, and a hotel for another night would likely break my bank account. Enter Faye, the New York Greek woman, and her amazing heart. Greek natives, Faye and her husband, a retired Delta employee, have a second home in an oceanside town close to the Athens airport, and decided to open their doors for me while we determined the right plan to get the both of us to the states. You can imagine some of my fears, and my husband’s freak out via text message, about whether or not this was a safe idea. I mean, my father is not Liam Neeson, and we all know how Taken starts. I would not condone this idea, but I also am so thankful for the choice that I did make.

This amazing couple took me in, treated me to an authentic Greek dinner (best food I had the entire trip! see photos below), put me up in a nice chilly room (it was summer- its hot in Greece!), made me authentic Greek coffee, and searched for countless hours on the Delta airline employee site for a viable plan to get me home! They did my laundry, brought me to the airport the next morning and checked in with me the entire time I was traveling.

Needless to say, this was an experience I will never forget. I had to face my own fears (of flying, of being alone, etc.) and found myself to be blessed by the true (and still existent!) kindness of people. Also, if you didn’t figure it out, I did get home! I ended up on a flight to Venice, with a stand-by seat to JFK! I made it on (another first class seat too! thank you stand by!)…only to get stuck in New York, where I finally did break down in tears. But, I made it home! Eventually!

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On the way home!

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New Plan for the New Year

Is it too early to start thinking about a resolution for the New Year? Perhaps…but perhaps not. Statistics say only 8% of resolutions are kept. That means 92% of our resolutions, our goals that we set for ourselves to begin our new year, are forgotten.

Sadly enough, I am part of that majority, that 92%. Not only that, but I am part of the countless people who set goals such as “lose weight,” “eat healthier” or “cut out soda.” So this year I have come to think, perhaps if I consider my resolution early and actually plan for it, I may find myself in that rare 8%.

For 2015 I have a few resolutions. However, this year I am approaching these with a plan. Instead of just making a blanketed statement of what I hope will happen, I am considering what it will take to reach my resolution, and what tools I need in order to make it happen. I challenge you to do the same! And share with me what your goals for 2015 are!

A few of my Resolutions:

1) Learn more about the scripture. I want to take the time in my day and in my life to read God’s word, and start making applications to my life. I was raised a believer, and continue to attend Church on occasion, yet I find myself often times unaware of what the Bible says I should do in my life. My goal is to learn and start making a positive change!

2) Get out of my comfort zone. This kind of goes along with number one. I think as I start to apply some concepts to my life, I may feel challenged or even uncomfortable at times. I also want to challenge myself in my “fitness” world. I have found that as I attempt new things in CrossFit, and achieve them, my sense of pride in myself soars! I never want that feeling to end, and so I want to keep trying and improving.

3) Get organized! Generally, I am a pretty organized person. My house is not cluttered, and I can always find the things I am looking for (at home at least!). However, as I start thinking about my long term goals and how to achieve them, I do not feel organized. I feel like I am juggling a lot of ideas that I never see come to fruition. So this year, I am getting a planner! And I am making my life as a whole more organized.

Travel Tips

In honor of Thanksgiving travel, and my own trek from west to east to spend some QT with my family and friends…I thought I would do a little research on the best bars to check out while at the airport!

My home airport is Denver (DIA)…so why not start there! A few places you should check out if you’re ever at DIA for a good cocktail are:

1) CRU Wine Bar

2) New Belgium Hub

3) Root Down

Some other recommended airport restaurants/bars are:

Enjoy the holiday! And now you can enjoy the travel!

Admittedly, I have not seen as much of the world as I would like! This is a personal mission of mine…with a preferable timeline of “before kids.”

I did, however, go on my first big adventure with my husband this last summer to Greece…more specifically to Santorini, Paros, and Mykonos. This experience taught me a few things about open mindedness and adventure that I will always take with me.

1) Go With the Flow! 

I had my heart set on a day spent on a boat, swimming in the middle of the ocean into caves and beautiful rock formations. I was so excited about this tour, it was all I could talk about for days!  But…the tour we booked didn’t pick us up as scheduled. Cue disappointment! So…we made our own journey and traveled over to the main port, found a ferry to Antiparos , hopped on a hot sticky bus to the complete other side of the island, and happened upon Captain Sargos, a little boat that does ocean and cave tours! We spent the day at a private beach on Despotiko (an uninhabited island), and then swimming in the caves. (Be sure to pack your own drinks, and snacks. Also, definitely try his homemade wine that he shares towards the end of the ride)

Moral of the story- just enjoy the day and find an adventure.

Greece Beach

2) Rent a Four Wheeler or Moped

I’m sure you have all seen images of tourists on four wheelers or mopeds cruising around European streets. So I’m here to confirm that you should definitely do this! In Santorini our four wheeler brought us to Perissa, a black sand beach on one end of the island, and then up to Oia where the sunsets are world renowned! People literally fill the streets just to see the sun sink into the ocean. Note: Get there early and set up in a good spot! It can be very crowded.

In Mykonos, our experience was quite different as our rickety four wheeler decided to break down on us in the middle of one of many hills along the way. Luckily for us, after some cussing, sweating, jumping up and down, and pushing, we happened upon a car repair shop. They got us fixed up, and we enjoyed the rest of the day at Paradise Beach cooling off with Strawberry Daiquiris and clear blue water.

blue four wheeler

3) Make a New Friend

My husband is southern…which means we talk to everyone along the way. You may not really be in to that, but I would recommend giving it a try! We met some amazing people that we are still in touch with today. (Hope you friends get to read this! If so- HEY! and we hope to see you soon!) In fact, if it weren’t for taking the time to meet the folks around me I would have been stranded in the Athens airport for days! Blog post on that one to come.

In summary, travel is a time to come out of your shell, learn about yourself, and try new things!

and then I realized...ADVENTURESare the