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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Our Golden Anniversary!!! 50 Years of Being Married!

Aloha Everyone,

J.J. arranged for us to take on a tour of the island. Dora, the wife of Nicholas who picked us up from the airport was our tour guide. Based on what we would like to see, Dora suggested the upper half of the island tour headed by first to Monastiri, perched on a hill overlooking a bay.

At 9:15 am, the air was cool and we were energetic. Grateful that J.J. accompanied me all the way to the top (perhaps 7 minutes walk one way but on an incline), where we took our first souvenir selfie of the day.

Our next and main destination Naoussa is located in the northeastern corner of Paros Island. Smaller and more quaint than Parika, Naoussa supposed to have more specialty restaurants.

Marlot and Fellx, originally from Holland, were having their breakfast. The couple are taking a short vacation visit Family in Holland before transferring from Hong Kong to Singapore. Marlot is in media and Felix is in the field of IT. Whenever, J.J. and I meet interesting people, we truly feel blessed that our paths have crossed.

To Piso Livadi, Logarse, Marpissa, Marmara, Lefkes, Kostos and Marathi, each village deserves more than just a quick drive through.

Thanks to Dora, we had a fabulous 50th Anniversary! J.J. also got me a bouquet from a flower shop.

Our Golden Anniversary!!!

Aloha -- Cathi

Friday, September 17, 2021

Our First Full Day on Paros Island

Aloha Everyone,

The island has approximately 13,000 year round resident population. During the summer tourists months, June, July and August, in pre-pandemic years, Paros welcomes about 125,000 tourists. Most are from the UK, Germany, Netherlands and the United States.

The Greek government prioritized vaccinations using the single dose J&J vaccine for island residents. The goal was to vaccinate residents by the end of June at all major tourism islands. Full vaccination was achieved on 30 islands, more were added during the summer months. All visitors were then required to show proof of vaccination.  

One is required to use a mask while indoors but may remove it when when they are outdoors. Since there are lots of children traveling with their parents, I prefer to wear my mask except while dining.

Did I mentioned that J.J. and I love it here!!!

Aloha -- Cathi

Thursday, September 16, 2021

To Paros Island

Aloha Everyone,

Less than 110 of the approximately 6,000 islands and islets in Greece are inhabited. Paros, our first stop is located in the central Aegean Sea.

White painted houses with blue, green and red plus other colors for door and window trim, gives the landscape originality.

We are staying at the bayside center of Parikia. This is the boating and land transportation hub for the Cyclades region.

Our hotel is right across the ferry terminal. From our 2nd floor, we can enjoy ocean views.

Walking around the city of Parikia, you are transported into a magical land with narrow streets, clinging Bougainvilleas, and charming shops and cafes. We feel truly safe.

Aloha -- Cathi

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Safely Arrived in Athens!

Aloha Everyone,

Our flights to London on Virgin Atlantic, then from London to Athens on Aegean Airlines represented the best of air travel during the Covid pandemic. Business Class or using Virgin Atlantic’s term “Upper Class” allowed us to lay down flat with a pillow, mattress and blanket.  

We can’t thank enough the many wonderful people who work at various airports providing assistance to wheelchair passengers. They helped us ease not only moving from point A to point B and then C on unfamiliar airport terminals, but also provided valuable assistance in navigating confusing Covid check points.  

J.J.’s comprehensive preparation included scanning documents on our iPhones and having print copies even impressed the ground crew at Virgin Atlantic as well as Aegean.

We are staying overnight at Sofitel located just across the street fronting the Athens airport. Here is a visual chronology of our hectic but successful day’s activities.

Aloha -- Cathi

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Departure Day

Aloha Everyone,

The day began with a great news. Jeff has been in close contact with four of his students who tested positive for COVID.Jeff has been experiencing low energy, fatigue and sore throat. Following his school’s protocol, Jeff went to get a Covid test at Kaiser Hospital. The response came last night and his text message came in this morning, NEGATIVE!

The two of us finished packing of our 2 suitcases. J.J. will carry his carry-on computer bag on board and I have our regular backpack plus my small shoulder bag.

A quick lunch at Chile’s. The choice of restaurant was really determined by the ease of access since this restaurant sits on the same property as a Walmart store we frequent in Torrance. Sufficient space to park Honu.

We should be boarding in about 20 minutes. Approximately 9 hours of flight time using Virgin Atlantic to Heathrow. Change of aircraft is one and a half hours followed by a flight to Athens. This means that we will spend most of November 3rd on board planes and airports.

Maintain your physical, mental and emotional health!

Aloha -- Cathi