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-   -   Travelgirl's Trip of a Lifetime (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/travelgirl-s-trip-of-a-lifetime-623665/)

LoveItaly Jul 20th, 2006 09:17 PM

LOL Stu ;;) BTW, you are so much more handsome than Rudy, trust me!! BTW, after I posted I was worried you would be upset at me..I am glad you are not. May I post the title of your last book?

tower Jul 20th, 2006 09:43 PM

LoveItaly:
You're much to kind..I suppose as long as I have no control over it, merely mentioning should not freak anyone out

..The Wayfarers.

(Heck, it's scheduled to go into Third Printing phase so it won't make any difference at this point).

twofortheroad Jul 20th, 2006 09:47 PM

Regarding never getting no for an answer--In the Chinese language, both spoken & written, there is no word for no.

LoveItaly Jul 20th, 2006 10:00 PM

Yes Stu, that is the book I was referring to of course. The reviews are awesome. I can hardly wait to read it. I think due to your post Stu it is alright to post that you, our Fodorite, is the author Stuart Tower. We are most fortunate to have you here on Fodors. I have been most interested in our various posts. And I believe you are working on having a movie produced. My best wishes to you.

LoveItaly Jul 20th, 2006 11:06 PM

And of course Stu I meant "your various posts". I am the worse typist.

travelgirl2 Jul 21st, 2006 04:06 AM

I am honored to meet you, Stu! I have so enjoyed your comments on our trip!

tower Jul 21st, 2006 07:53 AM

Hi T-Girl....we still have to get you through the Greek Islands and Italy, Sweden, etc...so keep on regaling us...we await word from Santorini! Yasoo!!

Stu T.

LCBoniti Jul 21st, 2006 08:30 AM

LoveItaly -
Thank you for revealing our mystery man - (at least he's a mystery man to a newbie like me). Useful information which I took advantage of on amazon.com :)

By the way, LoveItaly, may I just say that I really appreciate all of your posts. You show such warmth and kindness at all times that I know I would love you in person.

OK, enough of that! Let's get back to this fantastic trip report!

Linda

crefloors Jul 21st, 2006 08:54 AM

Well, I've seen LoveItaly get her hackels up...LOL..and yes, she's a dear one for sure. travelgirl2, I really hate to see you come home. This is just so much fun and a trip of a lifetime for sure.

HappyCheesehead Jul 21st, 2006 10:05 AM

LOL - Is everyone ordering a copy of Stu's book? It went from #782,025 on Amazon yesterday, to #70,715 today! GO STU!

lvk Jul 21st, 2006 10:09 AM

Count me in as another big fan of this travelogue! Bookmarking so I don't miss anything.

tower Jul 21st, 2006 10:19 AM

Happy...learned long ago that Amazon and BN numbers don't mean much...my publisher does most of its sales through an independent international distribution network at close to full retail. Amazon and BN account for a minor pecentage of overall sales.
Stu T.

highflyer Jul 21st, 2006 10:45 AM

Fantastic report!

I've been planning a RTW trip for about 20 years LOL! You make it sound so easy and at the same time wonderful!

You are truly an inspiration.
Looking forward to your further reports from the Aegean!

lvk Jul 21st, 2006 01:09 PM

Travelgirl,

I just noticed that Italy is on your itinerary. Maybe our paths will cross. :) We'll be there around the 2nd week in August with our two kids (13yo girl and 11yo boy).

fun4all4 Jul 21st, 2006 01:21 PM

Still following along and still lovin' it! What an incredible trip and an amazing report. Asia sounded awesome - quite an experience. And, Stu T., your interesting observations have added a lot to this thread - what an amazing life you lead. Thanks for sharing. I also agree with the comment about LoveItaly always being so warm and kind, in addition to helpful, in her posts.

OK, looking forward to Europe now. :-)

SandyBrit Jul 24th, 2006 07:07 PM

travelgirl2 - Looking forward to more.

Thanks to LoveItaly for helping those of us who had not figured out our mystery author.

Sandy

crosbie Jul 24th, 2006 07:18 PM

Jeez- O .. GREAT trip report.
Really travel girl, jealous, excited for you, so glad your kids have this chance.

Sorry I tuned in late but I will be glued to it! : )

travelgirl2 Jul 25th, 2006 04:35 AM

Day 20 – Flight to Athens and Santorini

Our flight to Athens was at noon. DH got up early, worked out and had a continental breakfast for 15 GBP. I wish I had thought to mention to him that we could pay 35 GBP to upgrade so we could have access to the Club Lounge, where breakfast is served. We did that so the DS1, DS2 and I could have breakfast.

At the airport, we found out that OLYMPIC AIRLINES had chartered an AIR MADRID plane and crew for the flight to Athens. When we got on the plane, DS2 and I found that someone had thrown up all over the seat backs in front of us. The flight attendants told us to move to the last row of seats. But then some men came and told us those were their seats. They told us not to get up, they would find other seats. Very nice. The flight was 3+ hours long. There was no movie and no music. The meal was pretty bad.

A fellow sitting next to us was from London and gave us some restaurant recommendations. He said that he flies somewhere to vacation just about every weekend. Those lucky Londoners. He told us about a taxi ride he took in Budapest. The driver drove less than ten minutes and then demanded $100. The driver was yelling and threatening him. While the man’s friend went into the hotel to ask what the fare should be, the driver charged at the man. So, the man, who boxed as a hobby, decked him with two left hooks. The driver fell on his bum and ran away. The next day, he met a woman who said the same thing had happened to her, only the driver wanted $150 and she was intimidated into giving it to him.

We then had a connecting flight directly to Santorini. At the end of the flight, I could not find the bag I had stowed in the overhead compartment. This was the bag with our passports, tickets, money, credit cards, etc. Everyone left the plane and we were still searching for it. The flight attendant asked us to get off the plane, as the bus full of passengers was waiting to take us to the terminal. Just then, another flight attendant looked in a compartment at the very front of the plane. There was my bag. Someone must have moved it. Talk about being in a panic.

We had arranged a ride to our villa in Oia. The driver picked us up in a tall mini-bus. The trip was terrifying in the dark. We could tell that we were riding on the edge of a cliff. Not great for those who are afraid of heights. The housekeeper met us at the villa and gave us the keys. It is late, so we head straight to bed. DS1 doesn’t have any sheets on his bed, so we give him the top sheet from one of our beds.

Day 21 – Santorini

Today we wake up and check out the SANTORINI VILLA in the daytime. We are disappointed. It is a superb villa, in a magnificent location. But we feel that it is not maintained very well. There are gorgeous terraces, but there are no lounge chairs and many of the director-style chairs are broken. DS1 sits in a chair, which collapses. He suffers a few scrapes. The gate is broken. The housekeeper pointed this out to us when we arrived and said “problem” and “tomorrow”. Two of the beds have no sheets, as we discovered last night, so we go tell the housekeeper and she says “laundry” and we think maybe we’ll get the sheets later. The toilet paper holder falls off the wall. The living room sofa is a beautiful wooden frame with a piece of foam and a sheet thrown over it. Most of the white outdoor cushions and pillows have unsightly yellow stains all over them.

We call the owner to tell her about the broken chairs. She is sorry that DS1 was hurt and thinks there may be one new chair (yes, we’ve found it). We ask about lounge chairs and she tells us the house comes with what we find in it and we should talk to the housekeeper. We talk to the housekeeper and she says “no English” and gives us a card with the owner’s number. We call the owner again and she says we can have more sheets but not today.

We’ve rented houses many times before. In our opinion, never has the rental been in such need of maintenance. It is a shame, because this is also probably the most beautiful rental we’ve ever had. We’ve found this place through www.vrbo.com.

Eventually we decide that we will have to get over it. It doesn’t look like any of our concerns will be addressed, at least not for a while. And the villa itself is stunning, in a perfect location.

Santorini is charming. We visit a grocery store, bakery, ice cream shop, internet café, etc. It is very touristy, which is okay because traveling here is very easy. The tourists seem to be from all over. There are lots of little places to buy groceries. The prices are very reasonable, considering it is an island and everything is shipped in. The shops are open very late, so everyone is out strolling late into the night.

We have dinner at AMBROSIA. It is a small, cozy, romantic place. Friendly service. Not cheap (142 euros for 4, about $180). We think it is okay, but not worth the $ for us. DS1’s lamb shank was excellent. DS2 and DH had steaks. I had a seafood and fruit salad and also an eggplant appetizer. Tomorrow, we’ll have to search out a little local Greek place.

LCBoniti Jul 25th, 2006 08:39 AM

Travelgirl, is it a little bit of culture shock? Everyone so far has seemed to go out of their way to accommodate you and now, just the opposite in this rental!

I can understand that you don't mind a little bit of "easy" travel right now. I'm anxious to see how this portion of your trip feels to you.

Looking forward to more . . .
Linda

Wldman Jul 25th, 2006 09:22 AM

Everything so amazing Travelgirl! You and your family navigate virtually all situations with such grace. I visited Santorini (via flight from Phoenix Az) and loved every minute. I am in so much admiration of your entire travels. I am currently planning a trip to Thailand (only) for 3 weeks in Jan07 and it is very difficult and time consuming. For you to plan a world trip for 11 weeks makes you SUPERWOMAN!
Enjoy! Enjoy!


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