Tuesday April 29th, 2008
This morning was shopping. Allan, Judy, Stan, Sue and I loaded into the car (Sue was on my lap) and headed to “The Mall”. After a long drive, where George could not remember where it was, Sue reminded him that the Mall was on the road to the airport. He finally found it after close direction from us.
The shopping was nothing special. Eventually Stan and I went to Flo-café for coffee, everyone soon joined us. Of course smoking everywhere; and they served alcohol in all the cafes. We decided to go to the entrance to the mall where George had dropped us off, so he would be able to find us. George was to pick us up, then go to the airport to pick up Stan 2. Of course George had his usual difficulty finding the mall, and by the time he found us, well… by the time we made it to the airport, it was 40 minutes late. Stan thought they were coming on the 1:15 flights; they came on the 12:50 flight. Stan finally got an text message that they were at the hotel – back we went to the hotel. Stan had emailed Stan 1 that if he wanted a lift he better bring scotch – he did bring it but I guess he thought we abandoned him!! So we didn’t need a taxi back from the airport, and George asked me to drive back. While he was talking, I missed the turn he had expected me to take, and ended up taking the shortest route back; which George had not found before. In his defense, this airport was in a new location since the last time George had been in Greece.
We met up with Stan 1 and Barbara at the hotel, and George and Irina and us walked the neighborhood, and found a place for lunch. Of course we ordered too much, so headed to Yaya’s to bring her the extra chicken. When we got there we climbed up many floors, and found both Estellas, Maria, Yaya and of course Bobo. Maria made us some excellent coffee. Then we walked back along the street, looking for an optometrist for Stan 1 – apparently he walked into the window and damaged his glasses. So Stan 1 kept asking for directions, and eventually, when we were actually directly next door, George asked for directions!
Tonight we sat upstairs on the 7th floor; and polished off the bottle of scotch, while overlooking the sea. Nearby, the Russian contingent were in the pool (it is so hot that Sue calls it the cess pool – about 90 degrees!). Someone brought pizza and finger food up there, so we had a great time. Stan 2 got a bot carried away and started to drink out of the scotch bottle!

Wednesday, April 30th
After everyone sauntered down for breakfast, it was time again to head into Athens. Ur first stop was to be the Jewish museum, and Stan 1& 2, Barbara, Sue and I, Allan and Judy, and Allan and Janice got 3 taxis and headed out. The taxis cost 7-12 Euros (strange for the same distance) but much better than George’s apparent 23 Euro ride the other night!
We explored the museum, then headed out onto the shopping streets of the Plaka district, close to Acropolis. The Stans and Barbara headed up there, having not seen it yet, while the rest up us shopped endlessly. We stopped to eat at a small café, and texted Stan to see if they would join us, but they were still sightseeing, so we didn’t rejoin again until that evening.
Happy hour was once again on our balcony, and the scotch flowed very quickly that week. Sue finished almost all the cigars she had brought.
That evening was another huge dinner at the hotel. Our group had expanded with Irina’s family and friends. There were two Airport pickups that night; one at 9 and one at midnight. I took the 9pm shift (with Olga) to pick up two friends from Germany. I followed the signs and had no problem getting there and back. George, however, on his midnight pickup, purportedly got lost in both directions.
That day there were discussiona about the trip to Chios. May 1 is European labor day, and many workers, especially in Greece have work stoppages. They were not too concerned about the flights, but they had heard that all the ferries would be delayed or cancelled.
Angela, Maria, Yaya, Bobo, Estella and EstellaRossa took the overnight ferry to Chios that night instead of the next day.
Ben Reiter