Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I'm home!!!

Actually, I've been home since last week. I've just been trying to adjust back to normal life! The cruise was amazing; definitely an amazing experience. We not only had an amazing, relaxing time, but we learned so much about all the countries we visited....both good and bad.

If I had to write a blog about my entire cruise, I'd be here a while. So I will break it down and try to do my best.

We first arrived in Athens, Greece on the 19th. We got there around 5pm, then immediately went out to dinner to an underground Greek tavern. That was definitely so much fun! Great food and great entertainment! And when I say great food I mean it. They had plenty of great options for me. I had this amazing bean salad that I had to ask for seconds. They had a lot of white pasta, but I knew I would be eating a lot of that on this trip. The entertainment we had that night consisted of very energetic Greek dancers and singers! They really were awesome. After that night, Phil and I could not stop screaming "OPA!" out of random.

Me in Athens at the port called Mikrolimano

OPA! Greek Dancers!

Yummy food at the Greek Tavern

We boarded our cruise that Friday. We were so excited to finally be heading out on our amazing adventure. The food options on the cruise are a different story then what I experienced off the cruise. There was definitely a lot pasta, a lot of cheese, and a lot of meat. There were a good amount of vegetarian options, but for me it was a little different. I never went hungry, but I did go feeling very blah a few days because of the amount of white pasta and white rice I consumed. After 4 days I was completely sick of pasta and tomato sauce that I would have rather just ate a huge salad! So that was pretty sad. At the end of the cruise, we had a questionnaire to fill out and at the bottom there was a space for comments, and I wrote "Please consider more dairy free options and whole grains". I feel good about that :)

So that was the down side, but they did have some good food! For breakfast I ate slices of grapefruit, melons, and wheat bread. Lunch consisted of a huge salad with pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, lots of random veggies, and the dressing of the day followed by some beans if they were available or whatever pasta they had available without cheese. Sometimes I would add some rice in there as well. Dinner was always different but my favorite dinner I had on the cruise was their tomato and white bean soup. It was so good that when I got home I searched the internet to see if I could find a recipe just like it. I'm still on the hunt but it won't be long. It was such a simple yet delicious soup. One time for dinner I had zucchini balls followed by stuffed tomatoes. It was so good!

Me by the Parthenon

Now I am not one to lie. I did not follow my vegan diet 100%. I would say I did a good 80% the entire time. Sometimes I did eat things knowing it was probably buttered or it might have had an egg in it. But honestly there was no room to ask for it made specially for me when it came to buffets. One time I ordered just spaghetti with tomato sauce because that was my only option, and the waiter brought it out with tons of parmesan cheese on top. The menu did not say it came with cheese so I didn't think to ask for it without. I was not about to make him take back my food because of it though, so I did the best I could to scrape off most of the cheese, but I do know I obviously consumed some. In all honesty, I don't feel horribly guilty because I know I did the best I could. I really am proud of myself for coming home and not even thinking about "well I had cheese on the ship maybe I can have a little more here..." Nope! I came home right back to my routine. I do have a little gas though so I think I'm detoxing all over...TMI I know haha!

Well enough about food, on to the fun stuff! Our first stop after Greece was Istanbul, Turkey. It rained a lot that day so that was a bummer, but we still got to see everything we wanted to see, including the famous Blue Mosque where we had to remove our shoes when entering and carry them around. Fun times. And of course we checked out the bazaar and even did a little haggling!

Istanbul, by the famous Blue Mosque

Istanbul, Turkey

Second stop was an Island of Greece called Mykonos. There we explored the island and visited the island next door called Delos. Delos is now deserted but full of Ancient Greek history. It is said to be the birthplace of the Sun God Apollo and his twin sister Artemis. Here I got extremely sun burned. Delos is said to be the most sunniest Island, because you can't find shade unless you hide behind a pillar!

Mykonos, Greece

Delos, Greece

Third stop was Jerusalem and Bethlehem, Israel. Here we saw all the famous religious sites, both Jewish and Christian. I'm not religious, but it was great to learn about their religion and what they believe in. We saw 2,000 year old olive trees and I thought that was pretty neat.

Bethlehem, Israel

Jerusalem, by the 2,000 year old Olive Trees

Jerusalem, Israel

Fourth stop was Cairo, Egypt. My favorite! Even though the country itself isn't doing great, and even though the people are very money hungry and will do anything to get your money, I still enjoyed the amazing pyramids. Phil and I got to see mummies to in one of the museums. Amazing experience!

Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

Final stop was the Island of Crete, Greece. Here we visited a local Olive Oil Farm. It was too awesome. These people are 100% organic and even grow their own olives, eggplants, tomatoes, ect ect! We learned how olive oil was made and got to try yummy samples of everything they offered. I bought a big thing of olive oil to take home. It really was delicious, and I absolutely love olive oil.

Crete, Greece

Yummy samples

So now I'm back home, all unpacked and back to normal life. I'm sure I will get back into blogging very soon :)

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