Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Santorini the First

We are heading to Santorini Greece tomorrow. Have spent most of the day packing and worrying about what I am forgetting. I really wanted to get a blog post up before we left. So, here it is. I am hoping to have blog posts up about the trip while we are there, but then, that’s always the plan isn’t it? Wendy and I have promised to take time out and get an hour of writing a day in as the memories are fresh in my mind. Hopefully some of those will be amusing enough to post.

Work continues on the travel memoir and despite some truly heroic efforts on some days, ending in mind numbing exhaustion, I still have not finished editing it, so work on that continues.

Yesterday Wendy and I quit work early (4:00) to relax just because we’re so jazzed for this trip we can’t concentrate on work this week. We spent a good portion of time after that cooking and watching “Lie to Me” one of our favorite shows on television right now. Watch it, it’s awesome.

One of the things that stuck out to Wendy was how two episodes focused problems we have in America that don't exist in other countries.

1) A guy hoping to die in a mine shaft that has collapsed because he has recently found out he has MS and no health insurance and doesn’t want to leave his wife with nothing.

2)Another focused on a man broke and desperate because of the collapsed housing market and crushing student loans.

Most civilized countries in the world allow their citizens to go to college for free.

In most civilized countries in the world, people aren’t hoping to die in a mine shaft because they have no health care.

And they dither and futz and call names and give pretty speeches and shout “You lie!” in the middle of the President’s speech. I have lost all faith in Washington. Wendy and I can’t even enjoy the Daily Show anymore because no matter how many jokes Jon Stewart makes or how much he points out the crazies, the news is just so depressing it can’t be made funny.

Wait, did I just go off on a massive tangent there? I think I did. Wasn’t I talking about Santorini?

In preparation for that we have watched “Shirley Valentine” and tonight we are watching “Mama Mia” for the fourth time. Wendy has been reading guidebooks and the historical fiction series about Greece from Mary Renault that starts with “The King Must Die.” She has another six books about Greece, but sadly, I am not captivated by them, but maybe that’s because I am only thirty pages into “The King Must Die.”

You know what does captivate me (that I have set down for the moment) is a series by Robin Hobb called the Liveship trilogy. Robin Hobb was recommended to me by my friend John Telford. He has a Kindle and recommended “Assassin’s Apprentice” because it was a free download and which he (and I eventually) absolutely loved.

The book is like “crack.” You can’t put it down and the first hit is free. It is essentially a trilogy and then another trilogy. Not quite a six book series, as the focus on who is the main character shifts, but I had to quit on the second. I couldn’t take it; there is a long story what I mean by that; I won’t get into it. Wendy forged onward and completed all six and then started on another of Robin’s series the Liveship trilogy.

I like having things to talk about with Wendy. Usually our travels, American politics, books, movies and TV are enough but we had nothing new to watch on TV, haven’t seen a good movie that wasn’t a repeat and can no longer stand to discuss American politics for the time being. So, I started the new series and I can’t recommend it highly enough; a complete departure from the Assassin’s series with many more interesting characters and events. I am halfway through the second book right now and can’t wait to find out what happens.

Pick it up. You won’t regret it.

Oh, did I mention we went to Oktoberfest this weekend?


  1. Oktoberfest in Spain? Right, wearing sandals instead of lederhosen. Sounds like an interesting twist. I'm looking forward to the stories from Greece, as I watch it change to fall here in Minnesota. They just took the docks out of the water here at the condo yesterday.

  2. If my wife was dressed like that we wouldn't make it out of the house...

  3. Robin Hobb is great! there are now 10 books overall in the series, was 3 assassins books, then 3 liveships, then 3 more books about fitz, and then back to the liveships with 1st book in the series out this year. She also does another trilogy which is unrelated, the Soldier Son Trilogy - starts off amazing, but 3rd book is really poor in comparison

  4. All I can think of when I see that picture is the Griswolds in European Vacation. :)

  5. Nice outfits!!

    I read this recently - Santorini looks amazing. The tips might be useful - and the gelato looks gorgeous. Have fun!

  6. The best tips I've found are in the book "Greece: Instructions for Use" by Kat Christofer

    She's a world traveler and resident of Greece for the past 11 years. Lots of inside info, and I think the best advice I took away from it was don't plan so much, do your own thing and "go with the wind." Your trip is uniquely your own, and no book and no one can give you that path.

  7. Lederhosen are leather short-like things, not shoes, so Jamie, you look just fine. I think the two of you are fine, FINE little Germankknicks!