Walking in Athens, Walking in Jersey

Me in my hotel room, Acropolis behind meA general strike that cancelled incoming and outgoing flights on March 11, the day my group of students was scheduled to leave for Athens, Greece: Jim came down the stairs Thursday morning with this potentially dire news.

My first thought?

Another day with Jim and Charlie, ok by me.

The next thought was what to do about our trip. 

I called the travel agent and found out that, as our flight was to arrive on March 12th, the strike would be over, and we should just proceed as planned. The thought crossed my mind that, should we learn that our flight was rescheduled till after Thursday, Jim and I could have an unexpected lunch date.

As it turned out, everything went as planned with our flight and by 10.30am on Friday, March 12th, our group had landed in Athens after being in the air for 9+ hours and were taking a bus from the Eleftherios airport, seeing this—

On the way into Athens from Eleftherios airport
—before approaching the center of Athens.

En route to the center of Athens
 

Not far from our hotel---Acropolis Museum and Acropolis
We were lucky and our hotel rooms were ready not at 2pm, but when we checked in. Soon as I got into my room on the fifth floor, I did the obvious: Pulled out my laptop and read Jim’s emails and tried to problem-solve and kicked myself for not explaining more thoroughly how to find the bookmarks of Charlie’s favorite sites on the computer and then de-kicked myself when, in mid-email, Jim reported that my dad had found them, hallelujah.

Thursday afternoon had witnessed a tough tough moment on Charlie’s afternoon walk: We climb the hill each day over the bump (bump bump bump bump), as Jim wrote to me. I’m usually the one to help Charlie on the computer and Jim and my parents had the chance to be impressed at how Charlie’s fingers, once halting as he waited for me to point out which key to type (and got insta-frustrated if I touched his finger or hand too deeply), now glide over the keys. He’s almost always typing “v” and “y”—which he’s long confused—independently. 

Thursday night, Charlie got in a good sleep and went off to school fine. Walks the next four days may not be too long and are sure to be soggy, thanks to monsoon conditions on the East Coast. Barometric pressure, barometric pressure, I texted Jim (not that he needs a reminder; meteorological knowledge has become part of parenting Charlie).

Meanwhile, after changing money and having a late lunch in the Plaka

Spanakopita and Greek coffee in the Plaka
 


—we walked up towards the Acropolis (the site closes at 3pm so we couldn’t go into the site; we’ll be able to visit it later this week), saw the Agora, the Keramikos (the ancient cemetery in Athens), the temple of Hephaestus; walked through Monastiraki to Constitution Square till we and everyone else were informed by the police that we needed to go elsewhere, pronto. (It seemed some dignitary was arriving.)

NWalking around the Acropolis Keramikos (ancient burial ground) The agora, where Socrates discoursed

I’m having a hard time believing I’m back here after a tumultuous year (understatement) and a lot of tumult in general (general strikes that shut down airports and public transportation—you’ve heard it before but there’s nothing like some Autismland experiences to teach one to keep one’s equanimity.) Here I am, seven hours ahead of home here in Athens so a long day will be ending for the homefront boys when I’m getting up to board an 8am bus to Corinth, Epidaurus, Mycenae, and ancient Olympia. 

Most of all, Charlie’s still here with us at home.

Two swell guys
 

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Comments
11 Responses to “Walking in Athens, Walking in Jersey”
  1. mamacate says:

    *like* (like very much. Poli kala, in fact!)

  2. Linda says:

    Do visit at home via Skype or would that confuse Charlie? Happy you got there safely.

  3. Justthisguy says:

    You _are_ going to Marathon, right? Thermopylae is cool, and I’m working up the nerve to get my Molon Labe tattoo like my fellow gun nerds, but I like better what the guys with the alpha on their shields did at Marathon. Free citizens, a real militia, throwing back Eastern despotism.

  4. I realized the other day that this is time change this weekend and that would account for Matts sleeping pattern changes and antsyness.
    Hope your trip is enjoyable and relaxing.

  5. emma says:

    Kalos irthate!
    Glad the flight was OK in the end.
    “Another day with Jim and Charlie, ok by me.”
    I can totally understand this, but… at the same time realize it probably means “comfort zone” and “rut” which we occasionally need to venture out of:-)
    Last years posts, last years school, are very different to this years I think, no?

  6. emma says:

    Kalos irthate!
    Glad the flight was OK in the end.
    “Another day with Jim and Charlie, ok by me.”
    I can totally understand this, but… at the same time realize it probably means “comfort zone” and “rut” which we occasionally need to venture out of:-)
    Last years posts, last years school, are very different to this years I think, no?

  7. Regina says:

    And there you are. Excellent.
    (Doesn’t time fly, indeed?)
    Not in either place but am sending good wishes and thoughts for good times in both Greece and ‘Jersey.
    Warm regards.

  8. Regina says:

    And there you are. Excellent.
    (Doesn’t time fly, indeed?)
    Not in either place but am sending good wishes and thoughts for good times in both Greece and ‘Jersey.
    Warm regards.

  9. Jen says:

    I’m glad that you got there and the strike was over!
    Lots of big changes from last year, and I hope that you enjoy the trip just as much. I think that it’s a very good thing that you can occasionally get away to do something else that you love.
    Have fun, and we’re sending lots of good wishes to Charlie, Jim, and your parents.

  10. I’m glad you are there. It’s so great for all of you to feel the new dynamics that happen with your being away!

  11. Niksmom says:

    Sending warm wishes for a delightful sjourn in Greece (tinged w/a tiny bit of envy. sigh.) and hopes that Charlie continues to do well in your absence. He seems to be making such tremendous leaps and spurts lately. Can’t wait to hear how you see he’s changed by the time you get home. 🙂

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