Dec 152012
 
How Travel Unlocks a Secret Layer, As Seen in Greece

The wind atop Greece’s Acropolis whipped my hair like a milkshake as I stared at the towering stone women. Why did they look so familiar?

“You are looking at the Caryatid Porch of Erechtheion,” our guide told our teacher tour group, “built around 420 BCE… over 2,400 years ago.”

I knew I had seen those statues before back in Boston… and often. But where?

“The design is remarkable,” our guide continued. “Each woman is [...Read More!]

Jun 272012
 
Why I Am Not Changing My Name After Our Marriage

“Have a good summer, Ms. Marshall!” my students hollered as they poured out of the class and into the sweaty summer hallway. One boy, Aiden, stopped short at the door. “Wait,” he gasped happily, “next year you’ll be Mrs. Whatever-Your-Husband’s-Name-Is, not Ms. Marshall, right?”

“NOOO!!” I shrieked, face flushed with emotion.

Poor Aiden nearly dropped his bright red backpack. “But you’re getting married, aren’t you?” he asked, befuddled.

“Yes,” I bellowed, “but I am NOT changing [...Read More!]

May 282012
 
Graffiti is All Over Greece. Is it by Artists or Vandals?

There is so much graffiti in Greece, we even saw graffiti on the PLANTS growing up the Acropolis in Athens.

Throughout our Greece Teacher Tour, we’d exclaim, “Look at that graffiti over there, and there… and THERE! So terrible. Why do they allow it?”

How jarring it is to have an idealized vision of a country (you know, Greek gods in flowing togas striding around a pristine Athens and handing out free Ambrosia)… then arrive [...Read More!]

May 202012
 
The Blues Brothers at the Parthenon of Athens, Greece

“I’m not leaving the Acropolis until we get a photo with those Blues Brothers!” I declared to my companions from our Greece Teacher Tour.

We were standing next to the 2,500-year-old Parthenon (the “Most Perfect Building Ever Created”) under the radiant sun in Athens… but I couldn’t take my eyes off of the five men dressed in spiffy black suits who were milling around like typical tourists.

“Why do you think they’re wearing [...Read More!]

May 142012
 
The Fashion and Meaning of Greek Men in Skirts Dancing

Traditional Greek dance consists of men in fluffy white skirts spinning and jumping. And it’s great!

On our last day in beautiful Nafplio, Greece, our Greece teacher travel tour nestled into a golden-lit family restaurant for a traditional dance performance. Hoo boy!

While the two female Greek dancers maintained a stately dignity throughout, the male dancer duo went wild. Did the fluffy white skirts bring out their inner male dancing beasts???

UP went the arms of the [...Read More!]

May 072012
 
Heavenly Orange Picking With Kittens in Nafplio, Greece

Just when our teacher tour thought Nafplio, Greece couldn’t get any more gorgeous and charming, the owner of our hill-top hotel invited us to go orange picking in his private orchard!

We decided to get our hands on those oranges on our last morning in Nafplio, as a heavenly pit-stop on our bus travel back to Athens.

Walk with me now as we pull into the orchard, climb off the bus, scamper past [...Read More!]

May 052012
 
Nafplio: The Most Lovely Town We Traveled to in Greece

“Why are we staying longer in Nafplio than in the other towns in Greece?” we on the Greece Teacher Travel Tour asked our guide, Mara.

Mara smiled knowingly. “You will understand once we arrive,” she replied.

Oh, we soon understood all right. Pictures do far, far more justice to Nafplio than words, so restrain yourself from licking the screen as I walk you through the hills, oceanside, and delicious architecture of this stunning Greek [...Read More!]

Apr 212012
 
Eating the Best Foods of Greece Like Zeus Ate Athena

The ancient Greek gods did a lot of eating of their children.

Zeus ate Athena’s pregnant mother, only to have his daughter spring out of his head once Hephaestus split it open with an axe.

Cronus ate his first five children until his wife tricked him by switching a tasty rock for baby Zeus.

Inspired by the ravenous appetites of the Greek gods, on this teacher tour of Greece, we have been eating like monsters.

Only, instead [...Read More!]

Apr 192012
 
Nudity and Peace at the Original Olympic Site in Greece

I never realized the sheer amount of nudity in the ancient Olympic Games until our teacher tour of Olympia, Greece this week.

“The ancient Greek Olympic Games took place from 776 B.C.E. to 394 C.E.,” our guide, Mara, explained. “The athletes were all men, and they were all… NAKED. They were also covered in oil.”

“Whoa!” gasped one teacher traveler, aghast. “Were the spectators nude, too?”

“Well,” Mara laughed, “Funny story. The only people [...Read More!]

Apr 182012
 
Scandalous Facts Behind the Oracle of Delphi in Greece

What actually happened during the hundreds of years between 720 B.C.E. and 395 A.D. when ancient Greeks consulted the Oracle of Delphi? Who was this magical woman named Pythia whose advice changed history?

In our teacher group walking tour of Delphi, we learned shocking facts to explain the history of the Oracle.

1. Ethylene gas in the nose. The Oracle of Delphi was actually several different women from the village below. They were [...Read More!]

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