Monthly Archive for September, 2004

Really Mini-Me

Baby waving
Behold! A mini fro:boy is growing inside the belly of AussieGirl. Here he’s pictured waving at about 17 weeks. This was an ultrasound my great and generous Theo Takis arranged for us in Athens on 27 August.

Actually though, it may well be a fro:girl. We should know for certain at the 20 week ultrasound this coming Tuesday. But we’re not telling.

The due date of early February seems a long way away. We’re just hoping for a healthy baby….though a good head of hair wouldn’t hurt.

Getting Medieval

Rhodes Old CityAfter the Olympics ended, we jetted out to the Greek Island of Rhodes in the Dodecanese chain. I had always heard how beautiful it was from my Greek-American friends who’s family came from there. The island was always a bit too far for me in previous Greece vacations, being just off the coast of Turkey. This time though, we had time to make the trip.

We had a quaint, old place within the medieval city walls. The Old City is the oldest inhabited medieval city in all of Europe and parts of it really take you back to those days. Unfortunately, a large part of the town caters to cruise ship groups that stop there seemingly daily. There are entire streets with trashy stores on top of each other selling crap – cheap t-shirts, hideous Collosus of Rhodes statues, fast food, etc. All in all though, it was a nice, sun-filled four days. As long as we stayed away from the areas of drunken foreigners like Faliraki, we were safe. There are pockets on the island like these where the only Greeks you see are the ones running the shops. It’s like being in England or Germany, except with good weather. Even the cafes have British and German stuff on the menus…like they can’t do without their beans and toast or full English breakfasts for a few days. Pretty ridiculous, I think. Why would you want to “go away” on vacation and want everything like it was at home?

Olympics Postscript

Carolyn at the OlympicsI never really got a chance to blog in August during the 2004 Olympics because I was so busy here in Athens with work. I did finally get a chance to escape work for a day and go with AussieGirl to see an evening of Track and Field events. The Athens Olympic Sports Complex is really a gem. The only negatives were the standard, bland sports venue food and the lack of green or landscaped areas. I don’t know if it was a joke or not, but someone said the dirt-filled common areas were purposely done that way to reflect the arid Greek landscape. My guess is that it was a joke and time constraints kept them from properly landscaping those areas. Kind of like the lack of a roof on the main swimming pool, which was by far the most disappointing aspect of the slow preparations.

Pictured is AussieGirl under the arches that spanned the promenade along the complex. This, along with the giant wind chime, was an extremely cool architectural effect. The Main Stadium was great looking, albeit a little uncomfortable with their plastic, ‘bucket’ seats. We saw American Joanna Hays win the 100m hurdles and I was really pissed off that they never had the awards ceremony for that race. The days’ program showed it, but for some reason it never happened (they held it the next day). I really would have liked to have heard our National Anthem played that night. We did see, at the end of the night, a great duel in the womens’ Pole Vault event between two great Russian athletes. The winner, Yelena Isinbayeva, completed the evening by setting a world record in the event.

Overall, it was a relief that all went well and without any major security incidents. I consider myself extremely lucky to have been here…and for work, no less (i.e. all expenses paid). After The Games, began the really fun part – the Greek island vacation and chillin with the relos.