Family Vacation

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 I can’t believe I am finally in Greece. Since I was a little girl, I have always dreamed of one day visiting Greece, but I never imagined that I would be able to one day spend four months in Greece while taking classes. It truly is a dream come true. My family (mom, dad, brother, and paternal grandmother) and I decided to come over to Greece early and take a two week vacation to visit several parts of Greece (Athens, Kalabaka, Delphi, Santorini, and Mykonos) and to meet some of our extended family for the first time.  While I am in Greece, I hope to learn more about my heritage and to witness in person some of the most breathtaking sceneries in the world.

For Christmas, I received Rosetta Stone so that I could get a head start on beginning to speak the beautiful language of my ancestors. My very limited Greek was put to the test when some of our extended family met us outside of the airport when we arrived in Athens.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out how I could follow some of the conversations when they used some of the vocabulary words that I knew. One of the five classes that I am taking at The American College of Greece is Modern Greek I. Hopefully, this class will be the next step in my becoming conversationally fluent in the Greek language.

The food in Greece is incredible. Everything from fruit to meat is delicious. While I was on vacation with my family, I was able to eat at traditional taverns throughout different parts of Greece. I have had amazing gemista (stuffed tomatoes and peppers) in Mykonos, spaghetti bolognese in Santorini, keftedes (meatballs with tzatziki sauce) in Delphi, pasticcio (the Greek version of lasagna) in Kalabaka, and many more delicious meals. After meals some people like fruit or a pastry but I like to end my meal with Greek coffee. You have to make sure not to drink the last sip of the Greek Coffee, which I accidently did the first time. The last sip of coffee is mainly unfiltered coffee grinds.  Not only is the food good, but so is the atmosphere at the local restaurants.  Greeks really know how to make a meal an event. There is no better way to eat dinner than to eat outside while enjoying unbelievably beautiful views.

The views of the ruins in Greece are surreal.  It is one thing to see them in textbooks, but it is a completely different experience to see them in person. I got to appreciate the majestic beauty of the ruins of Ancient Greece by being able to stand next to them and actually being able to see all the detail of the works of art.  There is no other place like Greece. When my cousins took me out to get dessert at a restaurant located in Plaka (main shopping district in downtown Athens), we had an unbelievable view of the Acropolis lit up at night. I never imagined that one day I would be eating a brownie sundae while looking at the Parthenon.

We had a very hectic two week vacation. We were able to visit Delphi, Kalabaka, the monasteries at Meteora, the stadium where part of the Modern Olympics were held, the Acropolis, Sounion, Santorini, and Mykonos, and we still made time to visit most of our extended family, who reside in Greece.  It was an amazing two weeks.  Now it is time to start school and begin learning about this wonderful country’s culture and language.

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