What I did on my summer vacation...
Back to reality
Well, we're back home. Back to reality. It's alright. I'm ready. Sort of. The cruise was wonderful fun. We loved Santorini, and, no, we hadn't been there before. It's one of those Greek towns on top of a big mountain where all the houses and restaurants are painted white. You had to take a tram up to the top. My mom visited there last year and said the tram wasn't working so they rode donkeys to the top. One donkey fell on top of a woman riding him and broke her leg. Glad we didn't take the donkey. It was a lovely place to walk and we stopped for a drink at a cafe overlooking the water that encircled a volcano right in front of the island.
Mark in Santorini
The next day, we went to Split, Croatia. It was slightly interesting. There was an old city dating back to 300 AD that we explored. And finally, the last day, we went to Venice, Italy. It was totally amazing, as Venice always is. Such a beautiful city. And now, we're home again. Oh, minor celebrity sighting to report. We flew in the same business class cabin with either Daniel or Stephen Baldwin. I'm not sure which. Once you get past Alec I can't tell them apart. But it was definitely a Baldwin brother, no question. He looked like a total schlub and I didn't recognize him until Mark pointed him out. He was travelling with a very beautiful woman in big sunglasses.
Sam's first question on our return was, "whadja get me?" Kids never change, do they? He's trying to convince us to buy him a new laptop, which I'm resisting. He's got a computer that works just fine. I told him I'd buy him one for his birthday, but he can't wait (his birthday's in October for God's sake). Last night he was coming up with all these hairbrained schemes to earn the money to buy a laptop. My favorite was his plan to sell his sperm. Why? Because "I can produce a lot of it in a short amount of time." Just what a mother wants to hear. I don't think sperm banks accept deposits from 13-year-olds, but I encouraged him to give them a call to make sure. That would be the ultimate job for a pubescent boy - "What'd you do this summer?" "Oh, I made a mint donating sperm." Honestly, I had no idea he even knew about this. Maybe he just read about it in science class. Yeah, that's it.
Schuyler is in California visiting cousins. They're going to Yosemite National Park and San Francisco. One more week of freedom from worrying about Schuyler's whereabouts. Better enjoy it when I can.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
The cruise continues...
We're sailing again after having spent the day in Rhodas, Greece. Tomorrow we'll be in Santorini. I think I've been there before, but I can't remember for sure. Neither can Mark. When you take cruises and visit these small islands, they all start to run together. Yesterday we were in Ephasis (spelled wrong for sure). This is the oldest city ever discovered by archeologists - over 3,000 years old. It is an amazing excavation, with only 20% of the city uncovered. Ephasis was an advanced society with running water, whore houses, libraries, stores, homes, stadiums - everything you'd want today (well, no toilet paper or air conditioning).
The library in Ephasis
They showed us the communal bathrooms for the men. They used to sit on the marble toilets (there was a whole line of them)and pontificate, philosophize, and ponder. But there was no toilet paper so they would reach down when they had done their business and soak their left hand in the water that ran at their feet. Then they'd use that hand to wipe their butts. This is where the tradition of shaking people's right hands began! I'm not shitting you! Oops. Anyway, many of these men had slaves so in the winter they'd send their slaves over ahead of time to sit on the marble toilets and warm the stone with their own tushes. This was the first incidence of heated toilet seats ever recorded in the history of mankind. I swear, you can't make this stuff up.
Here's a picture of the communal toilets
Rhodas was fairly interesting. We explored the ancient palace there, bought a hat for Mark, and fed a stray cat. There are lots of stray cats around here. This makes me miss my own two cats, Smokey and Cookie. I hope they're faring well in the 100+ degree heat in Manhattan. I hope my son is as well. Miss him too. And my daughter who is at camp and returning on Sunday.
We've made some excellent new friends on the ship so far, plus met a few weirdos. Actually, I enjoy meeting the weirdos a lot because I can use them as characters in future books. And I certainly will. When I get back to New York, I'll post a few pictures from this trip so you can see how beautiful this part of the world is (in case you haven't been here yet).
Wednesday, August 02, 2006