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Off to Athens, Greece!

Things are starting to get a bit more interesting around here. I’ve continued to volunteer at TASIS and the kids are so great. I feel like I always have a funny story to share in the locker room each night. Last week one of my first graders was trying to figure out any way possible he could distract me so he didn’t have to do his spelling. He decided to start giving me love advice. Asking me if I was married, if I had kids, if I was engaged, I answered no to all of these things. Then he asked me if I even wanted to be married and continued asking me who I loved. I have to admit he successfully got me distracted, because some of the things he said could only have been heard on one of his moms soap operas.

This weekend we had off from hockey because of the national team camps and I took full advantage. Sara O’Toole and I planned a weekend get away to Athens, Greece.  Sara and I played 3 years together at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Last year, she came to play in Langenthal and now she is in her second season there. I could never have imagined that we would both end up playing in Switzerland after we were done with school. We were in Athens from the 11-14, and it was amazing. The first day we got to Athens we just wandered around the city, because it was too late to go to any of the historical sites or museums. I think the city might have been more beautiful at night. The first thing that I noticed when we were wandering the streets of Athens, was that there were dogs everywhere. Sleeping on the streets, in front of stores, and even under people tables at restaurants, they were everywhere. I just assumed that they belonged to the store or restaurant owners, but they actually belong to the city. They just roam around and people put food and water out for them. Sara was reading an Athens travel guide and read that during the 2004 Olympics the city went around and collected all the dogs. Then as soon as the Olympics were over they released them back onto the streets again.

The next day we spent the entire day wandering around the city. We left our hostel at 7:30 and didn’t get back until 11:30 at night. We first ventured to the Acropolis, which included the Parthenon. The structures were amazing. They were so big and detailed it’s hard to imagine that everything inside the Acropolis was made with no machines or technology (especially when there are cranes everywhere for restorations). After the Acropolis we ventured to two museums, the New Acropolis Museum and the Archeological Museum. As we walked through the museums it was really neat seeing sculptures about Greek gods and goddesses I learned about in my world literature class in high school. I even found numerous sculptures of Poseidon the Greek god I was assigned to study for our three week unit (I’m a nerd). I only wish I would have remembered what I learned!

The next day we went on a tour of the Delphi, a very important historical city for Greece. Delphi was believed to be the center of the known world in Ancient Greece. It was said that Zeus wanted to know where the center of the world was so he released an eagle in the east and an eagle in the west and they met over the site of Delphi, making it the center of their known world.

I have officially caught the travel bug! I even started planning my next trip on the flight back from Athens, while Sara slept like a hibernating bear. I decided that I didn’t want to go home for Christmas, because I wanted to travel for those two weeks we have off. I can’t wait, and one of my friends from home is coming to visit to be my adventure buddy.

A side note, hockey is going really well. We got a new import on our team two weeks ago. She is Latvian, but played the last 6 years in the Russian league. She is a great player and person, she will really help our team. We also made it through the first round of the European Cup in Bolzano, Italy. We competed against Spain, Great Britain, and Italy. The games were high scoring, but I admire the other teams because they never gave up! Bolzano was nice, but like on many hockey road trips you don’t really get a chance to see any of the city when you are there, because you spend your time at the rink and the hotel (because you are there for hockey not a vacation).



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