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Trip Report Two Week Big Fat Family Vacation to Greece

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GREECE TRIP REPORT
2014


Every time I begin to plan a trip, it is like an unknown puzzle and sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. For some reason, Greece seemed a little harder than some trips to get a handle on, but I can always rely on great advice found here on this site to begin the framework and then filling in the gaps. Ultimately, this was a trip that literally exceeded all of our expectations – I have your trip reports and input to thank for shaping our puzzle that turned out to be a truly magical adventure!

The players were the same as on our previous family vacations, but we are all a little older: my DH (Mario – named this on our first European vacation to Italy in 2007), myself and two sons The Scholar (now 19 and just finished his freshman year of college) and Lunatic Maximus (now almost 16 and just finished his freshman year of high school). Our previous adventures have taken us to Italy, England/Scotland and Germany/Austria/Czech Republic - I feel so fortunate to have had these wonderful trips and priceless memories with my family and I hope this little report will help you and encourage you as you are putting together your family adventures! This trip was fun, romantic, educational and reconnected us beautifully as a family.

Day One: Athens

Mario and The Scholar arrive a few days before myself and Lunatic Maximus. The Lunatic and I will be joining them from a group French class trip to France and I will post a trip report on that portion of the trip under a separate thread.

Upon their arrival into Athens from the United States via British Airways through London, their luggage does not join them. After waiting in a line and filling out paperwork for hours, they are not sure that their car will be waiting for them – but God bless him, George is there and has not moved. We cannot recommend this car service enough:

George's Taxi www.taxigreece.com

He also picks Lunatic and I when we arrive – we have an easy flight in from Geneva. George is charming, fun and I am so glad he didn’t leave after my husband was so late exiting the airport. We are very grateful.

Our family meets up in the afternoon at our lovely hotel:

King George Athens
www.kinggeorgeathens.com

I cannot say enough nice things about this hotel! If this hotel is at all on your radar, book it. Fortunately for us, we had an enormous amount of Starwood Points. The hotel, the staff, the restaurants, the view, the location – perfect! The hotel is simply magical!

After getting cleaned up and caught up, we meet up with some friends that are also on a family vacation and we have one day that overlaps in Athens. We take cabs into the Plaka (later find out this is totally walkable) and meet them at the Taverna Acropolis at the base of the Acropolis:
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g189400-d2463096-Reviews-Taverna_Acropolis-Athens_Attica.html

They are a family of 5 – we are a family of 4 – we have a huge table sitting out under the trees, with ancient ruins (the Roman Agora) right beside us and looking straight up at the beautifully lit Acropolis – we are officially in Greece! We enjoy grilled feta, fresh salads, various Greek dishes and wine. The staff is friendly, the food fantastic, they bring out lovely desserts as a courtesy, the atmosphere is casual, relaxing and lovely. This is a perfect welcome to Greece!

Day Two: Athens

Jet lag has hit Mario and the Scholar hard today and they are late to rise. We all meet up on the 7th floor of the King George hotel for the most beautiful breakfast buffet and views of Athens. Wow! The Acropolis sits right in front of us and we can see all the way to the sea. The service and food is fantastic – it is a special way to begin the day!

Our guide: Vicky Papadimitriou (vickyguide1@gmail.com or www.topostravel.com) – meets us at our hotel and I feel like I am with one of the characters of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” – she is fantastic, hysterical, and knowledgeable – she is the perfect guide! She gives us several choices to spend our day – we decide to first join her in her car to drive around the city. She takes us from site to site – the Temple of Zeus, the old Olympic stadium, walk through the Plaka – sit for a rest and enjoy some lovely Greek foods and end our day walking past Mars Hill, where Paul preached Christianity for the first time in Athens, up the steps to the Acropolis where we marvel at the Parthenon and other classical temples. It is a full, but lovely and exciting day and Vicky brings the city and all its history to life! She is fantastic! She leaves us at the Parthenon and we walk around this area and take pictures for quite some time.

In hind sight, I wish I would have communicated a bit more with Vicky before leaving on our trip. She is full of ideas, knowledge and contacts – I think she is a wealth of information for any traveler to Greece!

We wind our way through the streets, in and out of a few shops, back to our hotel. My boys are hot and tired. They hit the spa to relax – they ask if they can pick up a sandwich and call it an early night. Mario and I decide to walk a few blocks to a very charming restaurant, 2Mazi (www.2mazi.gr), and have a lovely, romantic, tranquil dinner in the restaurant’s courtyard. We enjoy the tasting menu and a few drinks – the dinner and the atmosphere are perfect! This is a charming ending to a busy day!

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