Friday, September 19, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
I would like to give a public shout-out of thanks to my husband for driving me to home depot and nurseries numerous times, helping me deliberate over which soil to choose, and actually spending the money on pots and plants. Don't be too impressed by the greenery...we bought most everything as starters...but these little beauties below (the tiny things next to the lettuce that actually just look like weeds) are my first seeds coming up. My darling little radishes.
And that's all the blogging you'll get from me...because I'm supposed to be job searching. Why doesn't anyone out there want to pay me to sit around my house and sew all day. And maybe read a novel or two as well. That would be my kind of "angel investor".
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Our first day in Greece we explored downtown Athens. We walked around the Ancient Agora, and explored all the cute shops and stores in the Plaka. We had an amazing lunch with all kinds of yummy fried foods and tsatsiki. We spent a few hours exploring the treasures at the National Archaeological Museum, and then wandered around in the National Gardens.
We flew into Santorini and checked into our airport in Fira. The first day we spent most of our time exploring the adorable town of Oia (the town from "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants"). It is an absolutely beautiful, adorable city. We had our best meal of the trip there at a small budget restaurant. The sunsets are renowned in Oia, so of course we journeyed to the Northern-most part of town to get a great view.
We rented a scooter and drove to Ancient Thira to see the ruins of the ancient city. We had to drive our wussy scooter up this crazy steep switchback road...I can't believe we made it alive! After exploring Thira we took the scooter to Kamari beach and relaxed on the sand.
We woke up super early and drove the scooter to Oia trying to get amazing sunrise pictures, but the haze was too thick so we didn't really get any great pictures. Then we took a ferry to Mykonos. We stayed at a hotel right near the beach, and the first night we had amazing Greek food right on the beach. I loved the food in Greece! Especially the gyros made with pork - YUM!
We spent all day on the beach tanning, napping and playing in the water. Quite relaxing. My only complaint was that magazines in English were like $15 and I had already read all the books I packed.
We took a ferry back to Athens. The people we were staying with made a great birthday dinner and delicious birthday cake for Brendon. Happy 29th!
We spent the day looking at the ancient sites in Athens again. The Parthenon was really great. I especially loved the Theatre of Dionysus...it had beautiful carvings and sculptures.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Brendon starts his first day of school at the Stanford Graduate School of Business tomorrow, and I get serious about job searching. If you know of any openings in the bay area do share please :)
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
We started out our first day in Jerusalem with a walk along the top of the Old City Walls (Rampart's Walk). We loved the grassy areas outside the walls, and we would sit there eating popsicles when we were just too tired to be tourists anymore.
We also walked the Via Dolorosa the first day, which is the path that Christ is said to have walked on His way to His crucifixion. It ends inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is one of the proposed sites that Christ may have been crucified and buried. I loved these mosaic murals on the walls inside the church:
We did some shopping inside the city gates in the Christian and Muslim quarters. They sell all kinds of touristy knick-knacks...and also tons of spices and candies and such.
We visited the Church of Dormition (where Mary supposedly died), and there were beautiful bright mosaics inside. We also visited the tomb of King David, and the room of the Last Supper. That took a little creativity, since the building that exists now has been rebuilt twice since the time of Christ. But it supposedly occupies the same air space as the location of the Last Supper .
Next we visited the church of St Peter in Gallicantu, where Petere denied Christ three times. We spent the rest of the afternoon in the City of David - which is slightly theme-parkish with a 3D movie and tours and water feature. My favorite part was Hezekiah's tunnel, which is a 30 minute walk in a pitch black tunnel with waist high water. Its purpose was to channel water into the city. It ends at the pool of Siloam, where it is said that Jesus told a blind man to wash and he was healed. If our eyes look kind of freaky in the picture remember we had been in pitch black for 30 minutes before this bright flash went off :)
We took a taxi into Bethlehem and visited the Church of the Nativity there, where Christ was supposedly born. Unfortunately I didn't get any great pictures of the church - it was very dark inside. After returning from Bethelehem, we visited the Garden Tomb - which is an alternative location for the crucifixion and burial of Jesus Christ.
We visited the Western Wall for the ringing in of the Sabbath Friday evening. We had to take pictures before sundown, as cameras and phones are forbidden after the sun goes down. After leaving the Western Wall we went to a delicious dinner with Kyler [Brendon's cousin that we stayed with - the man who made this trip possible :)]
Most of Israel celebrates Sabbath on Saturday, and the LDS church does as well, so we went to church at the BYU Jerusalem center (beautiful building!!) on Saturday. After church Kyler drove us to Galilee to see the many sights there. Our first stop was Capernaum, which is believed by Christians to be the home base of Jesus during the most influential period of his ministry, and is where he would have performed most of his miracles. Next we drove down the road to Tabgha, which is where the Mount of Beatitudes, Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes, and the Church of the Primacy of St. Peter are located.View of the Sea of Galilee from the Mount of Beatitudes:Here we are trying to walk on water where Jesus walked on water - but it didn't work so well for us. We quickly drove to Nazareth, but arrived after the Basilica of the Annunciation (the supposed site of Mary's childhood home, where the Angel Gabriel would have visited her) had closed. Thankfully the guard let us wander in and listen to part of Mass and get a view of the church.
Thanks to our well connected cousin, who works at the Consulate, we were able to get a very VIP tour of the Dome of the Rock. We got to go inside (which most tourists are forbidden to do), and we had a guide that told us all about the sacred site. This gold-plated dome covers a slab of stone that is both sacred to the Muslim and Jewish faiths. It is here where Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac, and also where Mohammed ascended to heaven. I had to be dressed very modestly to enter. After our amazing tour, we drove to Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Then we drove to Masada, which was once a vacation castle for King Herod, and later became a stronghold for the Jewish people when the Romans invaded. After spending a few hours visiting Masada, we took a swim in the Dead Sea.
This was absolutely one of the highlights of our trip. The Dead Sea is 30% solid matter (salt), and it is just not possible to describe what it feels like to float like that in water. Absolutely no effort whatsoever to stay afloat. It actually takes lots and lots of effort to go under the water or straighten your legs below you. We also had a great time covering ourselves with mineral mud scooped out of the ground.