Thursday – September 29, 2011 –
Sun-drenched beaches, blue Aegean water, Greek ruins and exotic Istanbul. Those were the dreams that I have always longed to see in southeastern Europe. Today was the day I would have these dreams come true as I headed out on the trip of a lifetime to Greece and Turkey.
Adding to the uniqueness of this journey, it would be my first cruise. I normally shy away from large organized tours and opt to take the independent path. This was the reason I always avoided cruises, but I found a deal a few weeks ago that was too good to pass up. Normally I wouldn’t be able to afford a luxury cruise, but due to the Greek austerity crisis and the end of the sailing season, my brother and I were able to book a room on the luxurious Windstar cruise line at 86 percent off! My Mom and Dad had never been to Europe, so they decided to join us on this trip.
After leaving my office, I drove to the airport and boarded my plane to Atlanta. My flight was running late and only I arrived in Atlanta about 1 hour before my Air France flight was about to leave for Paris. Almost everyone was on board and I was relieved to make my flight.
For some strange reason, flight attendants on Air France always think I look French and speak to me in French instead of English to my surrounding Americans. Then when I respond in my poor French, they realize I am American. It’s always funny! Around 23:15, we departed on the trip of a lifetime.