Let’s get to the good parts of the GREEK ISLES – with Julie J for her 30th!!

So, poor Michelle was left in Brighton for some doctor’s appointments, while Julie J, myself and Louise (our British friend) went on to Athens.

Our view from the rooftop of our hotel.

We got in so late that we ate dinner, enjoyed our view and went to bed – we knew we had an early morning.

Our morning was so early, the sun was barely up!

On the boat to Mykonos from Athens – I can barely keep my eyes open. Don’t they know I am a night shifter.

But, we arrive at this +

this = HAPPINESS!!!! ūüôā After some sun and some drinks, time to go out and celebrate one of the many nights for Julie’s 30th!!!

Dinner at this amazing restaurant. It was an outdoor patio with beautiful trees all around.

After dinner, the celebration began. BAR hopping! We started at this bar – where when we walked in, we noticed we were the only females in the bar…..hmmmm…… but they had an amazing champagne drink, amazing bartenders and yes, hooked Julie up with a candle!

Let the dancing/drinking begin…….

Ummmm….was I dancing with a man with half a face?

After a great night of drinking, dancing, gyros and a lot of “Hi friend” we called it a night.

Next morning a walk to the windmills and got to saw the Islands favorite local….

And after a doctor’s appointment, supplies and drugs, guess who came to see us in Mykonos!!??!!! To the beach we went – where we got to see some dancing on the bars, some ass cheeks, drink some local beers – and had a great time!

Our evening view…

Dinner with some amazing food and on the water.

And we didn’t forget to tell them it was Julie’s birthday!

Next days we decided to take a tour of the island and see some sights.

Panoramic View

All dressed up and ready to eat….

And celebrate Julie’s birthday!

Next Island……

Michelle and Julie

A lunch break – again right on the water! Amazing, fresh seafood!

The view from our lunch spot.

 

The sunsets here were breathtaking!

Julie, Louise, Heather and Michelle

We are on a roll with the birthday celebrations!!! ūüôā

And some more dancing! Notice the man between Michelle and Julie – he was tearing it up! hahaha

So today we are going to swim in some hot springs and climb to a volcano – active, but not in many years.

This was about the point we left Michelle and the three of us headed the rest of the way up. It was very rocky and slippery and well as steep.

Until we got to this……ummmm…I was kind of expecting lava or something, but we did smell sulfur, so not advised to stay too long.

Swimming to the hot springs, brrrrr…….

Even at the hot springs – there were random spots of warm water, otherwise, it was COLD!

After we were all back on the boat – a black cloud appeared and then POURED on us! How’s that for trying to warm up…..

Another beautiful sunset!

The next day on a boat headed back to Athens – and 8 hour journey……see the excitement on my face?

After a long journey, relaxed and went to bed. the next morning we were heading to the Parthenon prior to our flight.

Stadium right outside – Yanni performed here for his CD – Yanni – live at the Acropolis (the whole area – Parthenon sits on top).

The 6 Ladies

The view from up there.

Another view from the top – different side.

 

Athens, Mykonos and Santorini – amazing views, sun, drinks, good times, good memories with good friends! Happy 30th Julie!!! xo

 

 

Cretan Healthcare…or lack there of

If you are¬†squeamish, pass by this one. ¬†This for all my nurses…..
The Accident….
I see it coming, the bike can’t stop in time, we hit big chunks of rock and glass in the road. ¬†All I know after that is I feel hotter than I’ve ever felt before, I thought maybe I was on fire. I take a quick survey and realize I’m lying in the middle of the road with nothing blocking me from oncoming traffic. ¬†I quickly get up, feel that my helmet is still on, and better yet, I’m walking (slowly). ¬†I look over and Jeff’s helmet has stayed in place, he is up and moving toward me. ¬†His mouth is moving but I hear nothing. The bike is lying in one piece in the middle of the road. ¬†I see massive blood dripping down his leg and arm and am trying to see where it’s coming from. ¬†I can’t place it but I see nothing fatal, no arterial squirting. ¬†He is still trying to talk to me, I shoo him away because I can’t focus.
Cars are stopping. This guy comes over to me and brings his big water bottle. ¬†I’m thinking, yes, my mouth is so dry and I’m sooooo hot! I’m resting on the side rail, and take a look and see that I myself am also very bloody. As I’m trying to assess, the water guy starts squirting water so I can rinse my hands. Very nice of him:) ¬†But then continues to douse my leg with massive water! ¬†This is where the burning sensation is coming from! ¬†Holy fuck! ¬†That water was not refreshing in the slightest! So of course, I shoo him away as well. ¬†I lye down in the gravel because now that I see all this blood, I’m pretty sure I’m going to pass out. (What a difference when it’s yourself). ¬†A girl on her moped stops, speaks no English, and gives me 1 of her Kleenex’s. ¬†I’m thinking, “What the fuck do you want me to do with this?!”. ¬†So I smile and nod….
Over yonder the boys are assessing the bike, not in bad shape. ¬†Few scratches. ¬†The Greek man is asking if he should call a taxi to bring us back to the hotel. I get up and suggest, Umm maybe an ambulance? Or a hospital? ¬†So this nice man decides it’s best if he drives me himself to the nearest town. Fine by me at this point. Jeff wants to ride the bike and follow behind us. ¬†Not a smart idea but I’m in no shape to argue nor do I have a better idea.
So we get to the town of Neapolis, follow signs to the Medical Centre. ¬†Walking in, looks to be a clinic of sorts. No one in sight. Nice man is talking to the reception. ¬†I’m getting very nervous. ¬†Not that I have any other options but we are not in a proper hospital!
I’m ushered into this room. Jeff has to wait outside. It looks to be a procedure room, I lye down on the bed and 4 or 5 people walk in. ¬†All stand around the bed. Starting at me. Blabbling in Greek. And giving one another the ¬†‘I don’t know what to do’ look. So one gal lies a few absorbent pads underneath me and once again, comes at me with cold saline and squirting my leg. ¬†WTF?! ¬†Why is everyone randomly squirting me?! ¬†This shits hurts! ¬†My reflexes take over and I whip my leg around so they can’t reach it. ¬†I ask if I can have something for pain, they nod. ¬†They hand me a cup to drink. ¬†“Whats this?” I ask. ¬†“Paracetamol :)”. That’s fucking Tylenol, thanks! Now one of the ‘doctors’ seem to be speaking a little English now. She tells me they see this all the time with tourists but my leg is quite messy so I’m going to need to go upstairs and clean it up myself…. This should be interesting.
I ask for some Morphine maybe? Fentanyl? Really anything beside Tylenol….nope. They hand me 2 sponges, a towel and escort me upstairs.
I’m in an occupied patients room in the bathroom. They point to the shower with a handheld nozzle and say “Clean”. I’m thinking I should maybe clean the shower first since there are used urinals in the tub but my pain is so¬†excruciating¬†that I can’t be bothered, I need to hurry this up and get outta here! ¬†Assessing my leg, there is tons of melted pavement, bits of rocks and glass. ¬†The wounds are more of a partial thickness burn than anything. ¬†I manage to find some Betadine in the room so I go to town the best I can for about 30 minutes. ¬†I’m screaming, tears flowing, I’ve never had to inflict pain on myself like this! ¬†But then I think, if I’m having to do this, what is Jeff doing? ¬†He is not going to be able to do this himself. ¬†He won’t¬†care about the importance of getting it clean. I abort my wounds, I’ve done the best I can. ¬†I follow the screams down the hallway and find him in the same situation… but the nurse is coming at him with the sponge, thank goodness. ¬†But why did I have to do it myself?! Fucked up!
We go back in the procedure room where I asked for the wounds to be covered up so I can get the F outta this place! ¬†They decide they need to ‘polish’ ours legs with Betadine, again, asking for better pain¬†relief. ¬†Nope. I’m again feeling very lightheaded so I lie down. ¬†They decide to take my blood pressure, good idea. ¬†Except the lady didn’t know how to put the cuff on or where to hold the stethoscope so she went to find an automatic one… GET ME OUT OF HERE! ¬†But where to we go and how do we get there?……
The nice man is still with us, helping translate.  He says he is going to leave and come back in 30 minutes to help us bring the bike back. Ok, good plan. 2 hours later, our wounds are dressed and we are getting anxious.  The shock is wearing off and the pain is getting worse.  We decide to leave (on the bike), go to the pharmacy (to fill our Tylenol, gauze, and Neomycin spray prescription) and head back to the resort.
We head directly to the bar for pain¬†management! ¬†I’m very concerned that my wounds are still incredibly dirty. ¬†After a big pep talk with Jeff, the plan is for me to get¬†completely¬†obliterated and he is going to scrub the crap outta my wounds with an extra sponge and betadine I took. ¬†A few shots and a bottle of wine later, we did just that. ¬†He was a champ despite my swearing and screaming. ¬†I’m surprised no one from the hotel complained about the racket coming from the room…
The worst is we had 5 days still left in Greece.  They believe in all wounds should dry out completely. They have never heard of Bacitracin or anything of the sort.  So our wounds were open for the most part which made us very popular with the other guests.  It did manage to get us a few friends willing to share their drugs.  Tramadol and codeine.  However, only made me feel sick and did not help any of the pain.
The hotel recommend that¬†Jeff¬†go into town to a¬†different¬†‘hospital’. ¬†I wasn’t into, I didn’t want to move. ¬†He got a better wash out of his arm and actually proper¬†stitches¬†instead of tape ūüôā ¬†$200 later…
My wounds were doing nothing but looking more and more infected so I went to see the resort doctor who appears every other day for 1 hour (Sweet job). He sent me to a private health care center in a different town. ¬†He said they would take my NHS insurance and also my travel insurance that I have. Knee x-ray revealed bits of rock in my knee, not to bad though. Once again, cleansed wounds, picked a bit more rock out. Gave me Tramadol IM. That was very nice ūüôā ¬†Round of Augmentin and Tinzaparin (LMWH) for the flight home, as my leg is not that mobile and I have a huge hematoma forming in my thigh. $550 later….they didn’t accept NHS and I forgot about my travel insurance deductible ūüė¶
I arrive home and Heather has gathered me massive supplies! ¬†Thank you!!! But still, no bacitracin, it doesn’t exist here. ¬†Julie J did get my message to please bring me some bacitracin but I¬†unfortunately¬†never sent a picture and failed to describe in detail. ¬†Needless to say, I was thankful to have enough for one day!
I decide to not go on our Greece Isles adventure until I can be seen at the Urgent Care. ¬†I was excited for real health care! Come to find out Nurse Betty, she is mean! ¬†She ripped my dressings off! ¬†Tears again. ¬†Do people not understand what pain is?! She apolgizes and says she didn’t realize how bad it was…yeah bitch! ¬†Anyway, she gives me this great silicone dressing (Mepitel) that at the least makes it so I don’t rip off skin every time I change the dressing and a script for Tramadol, a new favorite of mine.
Did I mention they LOVE tape!
I head into the hospital, work the nurse card a bit and manage to gather enough supplies to last a few days ūüôā ¬†A friend also gives me her Darvocet, why would they get rid of this drug?! ¬†It works sooooo good! So I decide I’m prepared to meet up with the girls in Mykonos! ¬†If I’m going to be laid up, might as well be with 3 other nurses…
Still having issues, I try once again with the Greek pharmacy. ¬†Diclofenac….apparently also known as RETARD in Greece ūüôā ¬†We got a great laugh outta this one… it does help though ūüôā
Back in Brighton, I hear I can see a GP through the emergency room. ¬†I end up seeing this great nurse practitioner (name protected)! ¬†She spent a lot of time debriding my knee and taking a close look at things. ¬†I think she feels bad that I wasn’t able to get proper care in the¬†beginning¬†and that I have no GP so she continues to secretly follow up with me ūüôā
Moral of my story, 17 days later, I’m in a way better position then I was but missing the US healthcare system very much! ¬†I have an appointment to register with a GP here, after multilpe attempts, but to be seen by an actual doctor, will be weeks I’m sure. ¬†Thanks goodness for my family who FedEx me supplies and for Dr. Egrari who is mailing me silicone sheeting to help reduce the amount of scarring thats occuring. ¬†I’m working with my travel insurance company to see if they can help with a wound care clinic but doubtful.
I’m thankful that we are still both alive, and that are injuries truly were not that bad. ¬†If injuries were more severe, we probably would have died out there, not kidding.

Yet another familiar face… and trip to Crete :)

Jeff is in town!!! ¬†We took a wander to town, well, we took the trolley ūüôā

The Wheel of Excellence! ¬†This used to be the ferris wheel under the Eiffel Tower until last Septmeber when it was moved to Brighton ūüôā

I know I am feeling quite Excellent about now ūüôā

Views are amazing! I can’t believe this is where I live?!

Seafront lunch before I head to work…

Holiday time! Breakfast of champions. Ham and cheese toastie with a lil Vodka OJ, ¬†Easy Jets finest ūüôā

Welcome to the island of Crete (Greece)!

Nice pool…

But directly to the beach we go!¬†Unsurprisingly, Jeff has already made a friend ūüôā

Lunch in the next town. I could deal with this view on a daily basis…

I was trying to convince Jeff that all guys in Europe wore the lil swim shorts but he wasn’t having it ūüôā

Dinner at the Cretan¬†Restaurant¬†ūüôā

And of course, Jeff’s friend finds him…He is cute…

Thuggish by night ūüôā

Breakfast by the sea…

Planning our motorcycle day trip… Highway to Agios Nicholas for a walk around, seafront route for dinner in Elounda.

It was going to be a great day…

Unfortunately we crashed shortly after this picture was taken ūüė¶ ¬†Take note of all the ‘safety’ gear I am wearing (Jeff’s not wearing much more)…And yes, we know better! ¬†Motorcyclists = organ donors. ¬†But we are exempt from that, we were on Holiday!

Helmets remained on and intact. No broken bones. Lots of deep road rash, a few stitches, lots of pain and basically no healthcare.  A good slap in the face that we are not invincible. A reminder of how fragile life truly is.

The healthcare is so ridiculous that all you interested should read the next blog, probably not for the¬†squeamish…

Familiar faces!!!!

My parents came for a weeks visit! ¬†Unfortunalty they seemed to have brought the rain with them but none the less, soooo good to spend quality time with the parents. After a bit of rest, we took a day trip into England’s countryside.

Fields and fields of bright yellow pretty¬†daffodils¬†and Rape Seed…what a name for something for colorful and brilliant!

First stop, Salsibury Cathedral.

They are known for their choir school, and luckily there was a service going on!  Beautiful!!!

Second stop. Stonehendge.¬†“I’m only happy when it rains….”

The town of Bath. Simply amazing! And of course, full of history.

The Romans found these natural springs 2,000 years ago. This is the main bath where the common town people to Romans God/Goddesses would gather to heal, socialize, talk business and relax.

So I decided to take a time out as well….

Something important about this bath.  Maybe for only the Gods?  But you could throw in your coin and make a wish (ie. donation).  They had this really neat 3D movie around the outside of the pool that actually looked as if the Romans were there and getting in to relax!

Now a chance to drink the ‘healing’ spring water! ¬†If you’ve ever been to a hot spring, you know it smells of sulfur. ¬†Well, the Romans have the same water… but “If they can’t be cured by bathing and drinking here, they will never be cured anywhere” – A Practical Dissertation on the Bath Waters by Dr. William Oliver 1707.

You HAVE to give it a try….

Dad may be the only one that would consider drinking it again ūüôā

Neat wall…Not sure what the deal is with it.

Finally have found a beer that Mom likes! Fruli. Belgian strawberry beer, Mmmm.

Onto Paris via Eurostar! Train takes only 2.5 hrs traveling at 185mph and goes in the English Channel underwater tunnel…eek! I was hoping for a submarine experience and actually see water but truth is you never even see water and only were aware of the tunnel.

No time to waste. First stop, O’Chateau wine tasting ūüôā

Speed tourism at its best…only time for the highlights!

Not to be confused with Notre Dame, the University ūüôā

Best of all…..

Back to London where they obviously know how it’s done. Wine take-away at its best…just peel off the lid!

The ultimate Tube experience. ¬†Included with temporary loss of¬†electricity¬†and live band entertainment free of charge ūüôā

London Eye bound

The capsule before ours was checked for bombs….why wasn’t ours?!

Rain, rain, go away…True Seattle-ites ūüôā

Moving along to a proper Afternoon Tea in the old London County Hall building. Historical, of course. We sat in the library where many important political peps talked amongst themselves, signed papers and well,¬†Shakespeare¬†drank a cup of tea ūüôā

Dad with his “Manly” tea. Seriously, tasted like cigars ūüė¶

Last but not least. ¬†Randomly our hotel was in the Notting Hill area where I remembered having the most amazing Paella! ¬†I’m glad I got to share the goodness with my folks for their last English meal ūüôā

It was so great having you both here! Not only to show you where and what I’ve been up to the last few months but to share some of my new knowledge. I hope you enjoyed yourselves and I’m glad you survived the public transporation ūüôā

Love you both very much!!! xoxoxo

In search of who drinks more? Irish or Scottish?!

We then headed directly to Edinburgh, Scotland where we met up with our Aussie friend Kristen ūüôā

The city has a peaceful yet old and creepy feel to it. I’m guessing ghosts are EVERYWHERE. This is Grassmarket, the main area of town.

A lot of¬†Edinburgh¬†is hilly, curvy and colorful ūüôā

Won’t see this is Seattle…

That was the city above…now the city below ūüôā ¬†A bit outside of town, in Gilmerton, they have found these underground coves tunneling from one to another. They have dated it back to a blacksmith some 300 years ago but it is apparent that it was¬†completely¬†made by hand and could not have been done by 1 man alone. Many theories exist, none to be proven right or wrong but either way, all very¬†interesting! I would love to camp down there for a night!¬†http://www.gilmertoncove.org.uk/

Presumed to be a common area, maybe a bar…Vodka water with lime please ūüôā

Bedroom? Or carving table? Either way, cold and firm…

A few rooms seem to continue along but the archaeology peps apparently don’t have enough funding to continue removing the rumble as of yet…

They hired one of the Ghost Hunters and found that there was definitely ‘activity’ and ‘voices’ that came from this area…I was hoping to hear them too ūüôā ¬†No such luck.

Edinburgh Castle!

View of Arthur’s Seat from castle ūüôā

Inpatiently waited for them to shoot the cannon… which did happen eventually. ¬†Scared the crap outta me!

Headed to where they kept people captive and¬†imprisonment. ¬†I thought I’d test it out. Very small and cold. Rules were¬†strict¬†and punishment was rough. Example, A guard was caught drunk on duty in 1844, 2 months hard¬†labor¬†and 2 months solitary¬†confinement. ¬†I was on my best behavior in this place!

Cool old stuff! ¬†I’d like a try at shooting that ūüôā

We got all excited about the oldness of the town and decided we better give one last shot at seeing a ghost in Edinburgh. ¬†Underground we go… This is directly under the city. ¬†These big areas were originally built for storage but turns out they are a bit leaky, so no good. Smelled of mold terribly. ¬†The city then caught fire and people were ushered down into the brick holding areas. ¬†Well, being that it leaked water, smoke also leaked in. Thousands of people suffered and died in these parts. ¬†Then years later, the homeless and those on the run decided to hide out down here. ¬†Needless to say, lots of crime and death. On a ghost hunt we go…

After spending time in the caves, we head to the main cemetery in town.

We go into tour a few of the tombs. ¬†I was taking massive pictures trying to capture ‘someone’ but was unsuccessful. ¬†The guide was telling us a story of a poltergeist that picks on certain people for whatever reason. ¬†But a good way to avoid this lifetime of terror, you are to walk a certain way around the haunted tree. So of course, I decide to go the opposite direction. Heather almost shit herself, but I’m pretty sure I managed to remain poltergeist free ūüôā

We then decided we needed to head outta town! So we to took a tour to see a bit more than just the city, coach trek up in the Loch Ness area. ¬†It’s been so long, not exactly sure where we went but it was all day and very interesting. ¬†Lots of different landscapes than the presumed just nice big green fields.

And of course, the rain follows us everywhere we go ūüė¶

This is Urquhart Castle. ¬†Built¬†in AD 580, taken over by multiple Sirs,¬†destroyed¬†in AD 1395 and was¬†attempted¬†to be¬†rebuilt¬†(as it stands now) in AD 1509. ¬†Crazy to think about how old everything is, and that there was life here thousands of years ago….Wonder what the view looked like then?

View from one of the room windows.

Being in the Loch Ness area, it only made sense to go on a hunt for Nessie!

No luck until the end of the boat cruise…. NESSIE!!!!! ¬†Heather was quite excited ūüôā

Going Green…

I know, I know…it’s been way to long. ¬†Lets get you all caught up to speed on the last 3 months of our lives ūüôā

Where is the best place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day… DUBLIN of course!

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We only found a few leprechauns which freaked out Heather! Was on the hunt for Shamrocks the entire time, only to find a patch of weeds that looked similiar ūüė¶ ¬†But what we did find was good beer, good music and a fabulous time! ¬†Slainte (Cheers)!

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Of course we had to take a quick trip to the Guiness Factory to see what it is all about! ¬†I’m normally not a fan of the beer but here it tasted quite flat and not so bitter, not bad. ¬†At one of the bars I decided it would be funny to order a Bud Light thinking they would tell me to ‘F*&$ off’ but they actually had one! ¬†It was about 6-10 stories tall with different activities on each level. We saw a live¬†traditional¬†Irish performance, called a friend for free, learned how to pour the perfect pint and enjoyed lots of tasty snacks ūüôā ¬†Funny thing is you had to go all the way up to get back down and you also couldn’t bring your beverage to any other floor then where it was served to you, intelligent people the Irish are ūüôā

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Tired of the cold – off to sunny MoRoCco………..

After Venice we had a week before work, so why not jump on a flight down to Morocco and enjoy some sunshine!

This is my second time, Michelle’s first time. Morocco is like a Hawaii for the Germans, Brits, French, Polish………and of course now – 2 Americans!

Beach or pool – as long as we were in the sun – that is where you would find us!!!!

Or sometimes you could find me here………. ūüôā

So, it is starting to be a tradition for Michelle and¬†I to get a massage in each country we visit. So, let’s continue the tradition here. We were told to meet on the side of the hotel and look for the cab with a particular number at a particular time. When we arrived, our cab was coming down the street. We got in and off to get our 2 hour massages for $35! We had some tea and then brought into an open room with 4 beds. they showed us a closet and asked us to put our things into the closet. We put our purses, glasses, etc into the closet and when we turned the ladies said no, clothes too – all. Hmmmmm…….. well, we did as instructed, I got to strip in front of my friend and 2 ladies. Awesome! So, we climb onto these beds next to each other and I am still wondering, are there gonna be two other people joining us??

All of a sudden, I feel the lady standing over me on the bed, giving me a massage. OMG!!! I have no idea what I am getting myself into. Laying on my belly – I had every crevice and crack massaged! Let’s turn over………they put these cotton swabs that were wet on our eyes and wrapped our faces with a towel. I am a bit nervous, what is gonna happen next……..well again, everything on my front – every crack and crevice was massaged – breasts and all. I have never paid to have my boobs massaged – ever! After that interesting experience we were both oiled up and ready to go back to the hotel.

Every night at dinner or the evening events there was a man that came around and would take pictures. Come to find out – he would sell them in the morning. Michelle saw one of herself and being cheeky – she didn’t wanna pay for the picture, so she took one of it – can you find her?

Hint: It is only of her head…….. ūüôā

After being there for a week – we got to mingle with the hotel staff. My personal favorite – Hamada:

Funny how a lot of them remember me the second time around – I must have made an impression! ūüėČ

A week of hanging out at an all inclusive resort with sunshine, warmth, drinks and good food – (tan lines in place) – it was time to say goodbye to Morocco and head back to our new city – Brighton – where we will call home!

Oh, I can’t forget our airport incident – there was a strange looking gentleman wearing a long black gown with another gentleman. We had to put our suitcases on a conveyer belt prior to entering the airport. They were in front of us. Apparently they set off the metal detectors and after a bit of a discussion with the officer (in another language) and some cash exchanged, the man was allowed through. We were praying that he was not on our flight! And he wasn’t – we made it home safe and sound!

Cheers Morocco!!!