Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The New Hairdo

So I hacked off the hair. Many of you have asked for a photo so I figure itis just easier to post it on the blog than to email it out. Chloe likes to photograph the floor so I had to take them myself. Ever taken a photo of the back of your own head??? It is totally rough, man.




























Arrrrrr...Chloe is a pirate today!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Purple Lady

Here is my latest painting. It is from a beautiful statue I photographed in Greece. It is done in in purple and copper. Metallics don't photograph well unfortunately.

She's quite sad, don't you think.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

More Greece

Here is a Little Chapel which is on the side of the road in the more rural areas of Greece. It is a "thank you" to God basically - the people put them at a car accident site where the people survived. They are really beautiful and I am so fascinated by them. This is the only one I could get close to and get a shot of. They have olive oil, an oil lamp and matches in them. People light them at night and I'm sure they are beautiful when illuminated.



This was at Delphi and is called "The Navel of the Earth". Delphi in ancient times was considered the center of the known world, the place where heaven and earth met. Located high upon a mountain, this was the place on earth where man was closest to the gods.Which is why they called it the navel of the earth.

The photo on the here is of a beautiful Greek village, with its red tile rooftops and gorgeous view of the mountains.












The next photo is a beautiful Corinthian column from the ruins at Delphi.



















The beautiful Aegean Sea.





Next is a Roman Market from Delphi.
















More gorgeous views. The sky is a piercing blue. Almost surreal.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Tuesday

Yesterday was a full day. I started the day with Ilyana, the wife of Jason's colleague, Cesar. She and I went to the Square in Plaka to see the International Gardens, which is a park very similar to Central Park in N.Y. We saw the changing of the guards afterwards which is a very elaborate 5 minutes. These poor men have to wear tights and I'm sure it gets very warm in the summertime. We then decided to see the President's house and the Parliament House. So after much walking in the wrong direction and retracing our steps, we found them both. There were reporters and cameras all over the street. They were waiting to talk to the Prime Minister for the evening news. We never saw anything happen so we went back to our sight seeing.


We decided to hit a totally different area of Athens by heading for the water. We rode the subway until the end of the line which put us in Piraeus. This area had HUGE ferries and cruiseliners parked in the water. The water was a beautiful deep blue, just what you would expect of the Aegean. We ate a very nice lunch near the water and in the 45 minutes we were there, we were approached at least 10 times by salesmen. They were selling stupid stuff, illegal DVD copies, worry beads, watches, jewelry, whatever they could carry. It was very annoying. These people are typically immigrants with a very low paying job so I feel badly for them but I didn't want any of that junk and just wanted a quiet lunch. The dog who was begging for food at our feet was far less annoying and definitely more genuine.

Speaking of dogs, there are wild dogs everywhere in this city. I've seen many cats as well but the dogs are a spectacle. They are at every major tourist area and are usually in packs. On one street corner near the Temple of Zeus, they wait by the bus stop and when people zoom by on motorcycles, they chase them and bark. It scares the motorcyclists but I thought it was funny. The dogs are pretty dirty and they fight a little but for the most part, they seemed harmless. There is very little animal control here.



After the trip to the Port, we went back to the hotel to meet with the worker bees for an outing. We went on a scavenger hunt with them in downtown Plaka (like Soho, in NY). It was crazy and we kept getting turned around and had a hard time finding answers but it was fun. A few of the checkpoints had fun activities for us, like bowling and an olive pit spitting contest. Our group spent alot of time trying to answer the obligatory sheet of riddles. For instance How do you lift an elephant with one hand?? We finally got the answer after hours of creative thinking. If you know the answer, then please post it. Also, Why didn't Noah go fishing? I don't think we got that one right so post away please.

We had a small cash allowance and directions to purchase small trinkets and souvenirs. Like we had to buy something that the Greeks use to ward off evil; something made from the olive tree; something uniquely Greek etc. That was fun and you get extra points for originality.

The night got really interesting when we went turned in our packets, souvenirs and answers at the restaurant we were to use as our final checkpoint. We sat down to tables full of hummus, tzaiki, bread and open bottles of red and white wine. So we drank and waited for everyone to arrive. They served lamb stew to the carnivores and the herbivores got spaghetti. Mine was pretty bad so I focused on enjoying the wonderful red wine. :)

A dancing troupe came out and performed traditional Greek dances in the old style clothing. It was so entertaining! They did many numbers and the men were particularly impressive. Next came out a belly dancer. Her skirt was so low that all I could think about is how it seemed inevitable that it would fall off. It didn't and she was very good. She pulled up many of the guys on the stage to give them a brief lesson in belly dancing. That was so funny. Jason was one of them and he was really cutting a rug. We laughed and laughed.

During the live band's break, a few of the guys from Jason's company got onstage and played a few songs. Jason got a chance to play drums which impressed everyone in the room. Many people asked me how long has he been playing because they thought he was so good. The owner of the restaurant wanted to know if he was a professional musician!! Very cool. My husband, the rocker.

The las hour of the evening was spent emptying a HUGE bottle of ouzo. There were many, many happy drunks in the room. Yours truly included. Many of the guys got onstage to dance. They did their impression of the traditional Greek Dances which was hilarious. Napkins were thrown in the air, people were carried onstage and the laughing was constant. It was a wonderful night!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Kalispera


Good evening from Greece!
I'm writing from the hotel room, jet lagged but thrilled to be here. Greece is everything I had hoped and more. Jason and his colleagues are busy working everyday from 8am to 8pm so I'm on my own. They are very jealous and give me all sorts of slack at mealtimes.

Day one was spent soaking up the city of Athens. I took a half day tour in the morning of the city's major monuments. I saw the Olympic Stadium where the very first Olympics took place. Then we went to the Temple of Zeus (see photo to the left) and then on to the Acropolis. I was very lucky and had a very nice, very knowledgeable tour guide. She speaks 5 languages and has a background in Archeology. So she was pretty smart and had an answer for all of my many questions. The next photo is overlooking the city from the Acropolis (meaning is "top of the city).



I left the tour to meet the worker bees for lunch. Jason had a lunch meeting so I visited with his colleagues over Dolmas and loads of feta and other wonderful cheeses. I retired to my room for a short siesta and was out on the subway, navigating Athens on my own. I went to Plaka and found a great flea market and I purchased a few treasures. I stopped in the town square to sketch a little which was a great opportunity to observe. The Greeks can spot an American from a mile away so I got a lot of stares. They all speak English which is nice and I am feeling very under dressed here. The women are very European with a sleek, Sex in the City feel. High heels, sexy boots and tight expensive jeans. Oh well. I'm happy in my sneakers and Target jeans. :)

The food has been fabulous and I have much more to say, but it is time for our next tour. So long for now.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Year's Day

Finally we got some snow here! It was a beautiful New Years Day so we decided to go sledding. With 40 degrees in the forecast later in the week, we figured we better sled while we can. Chloe was a trooper. She loves snow and sledding. She had a total meltdown when it was time to leave. She was freezing and her cheeks were bright red - she had to be miserable but still she fought us. She seems to have her father's love of snow and winter.

Kieran enjoyed himself too but soon realized that sledding is a lot of work. He went up and down the hill for a good 45 minutes and then decided all the work produced little payoff and he was done. He enjoyed watching the madness as the kids zoomed down the hill without warning. If you were in the way, you better move.

We came home and put Chloe to bed and just took it easy. The only productive thing I did yesterday was cleaning out the junk drawer and the two loads of laundry. I actually put them away too. Amazing.