Shia here. I had such an amazing summer, traveling the world with my Coog buddy Thomas. Tom is a UH photographer if you recall, so check out his photoblog.

Athens, Greece

This time, we went to Athens, Greece, home the 2004 Summer Olympics and TONS of history. It was already after sunset by the time we checked in. I couldn’t believe it! The Parthenon was all lit up. It was glowing against the night sky on top of the Acropolis. The shops around the Acropolis were all open, and you could hear live music everywhere! It was way  past my bedtime, but no way was I gonna miss this. I found out later that Greeks don’t even think about dinner until 10pm at night, and then they shop. So I bought Uncle Shasta a hand-woven scarf to keep his neck warm this winter. Whenever he wears it, he’ll think of me – which is a good thing, right?

The next day we hit the Acropolis again, because once just isn’t enough. I saw a crane working at the Parthenon. Thomas says the country is slowly restoring this world treasure so it will last for future generations. Wow! One day I’ll be able to bring my kids here, and it will still be awesome. We spent the afternoon at a bunch of different patio cafes. Greeks love to eat outdoors. We had a real Greek salad at one place, fresh hummus & Feta cheese at another, and delish olives at every stop.

Patmos, with Monk

We sailed from Athens to the island of Patmos, which is a really spiritual place. There is a beautiful Greek Orthodox monastery there, and the really nice monks give tours. One even let me sit on his lap. Check out the photo, am I cute or what? And wow, look at that beard!

After a visit to the monastery, we walked around the capital city of Chora. It’s sooo serene and quiet. Old Town Chora is another UNESCO World Heritage Site, because it was built sometime around the 12th century. Patmos was the perfect place to mellow out after shopping till midnight in Athens. And seeing the Parthenon. And…

Can I get a degree in globe trotting?