At the end of August, we took a vacay and cruised along the Mediterranean coast and my parents were going to come with us but then my dad fell and broke his femur and had to have some screws put in and he wasn’t going to be able to make such a long trip and he is doing well and healing but we were sad to not have them on the trip and we were incredibly tired and stressed out (burned out) and the first day of the trip we just slept until the evening like vampires and then we felt more human and ready to engage with the world and every night the boat rocked us gently to slip and every morning at an ungodly hour, the anchors dropping woke us up because our cabin was right by the anchors and the people who worked on the boat were so kind and thoughtful and many of the passengers were not people we would ever choose to spend time with and we overheard this one group of Republicans talking, INCORRECTLY, about the student loan forgiveness program and their attitudes and the literal volume of their afactual conversation were so egregious that we stood up and went outside of the lounge we had been sitting in and not too much later a woman came and apologized which was really unexpected and we responded politely but we did make friends with another lovely couple M and V and we will definitely see them again and we had outstanding Greek salads with briny olives and beautiful tomatoes bursting with flavor and lightly charred, fluffy pita and creamy, garlicky tzatziki and we played trivia with strangers and dominated that shit and we played many games of Scrabble and enjoyed bar snacks and we marveled at the different blues of the different seas we traversed and we once anchored in the caldera of a volcano and every single landscape was new and different and beautiful and we walked many, many miles under the burning sun and got tans and saw the Game of Thrones locales and we climbed many old ass steps of suspect stability and we walked along narrow alleys flanked by small shops and we saw windmills and churches and learned how incredible olive oil is made and enjoyed some bread dipped in that oil with coarse salt and a bit of lemon and it was a divine experience and we came upon a group of Ethiopian worshippers who spontaneously broke into worship at Mary’s house in Turkey and it was this cacophony of joyful noise and color and beautiful black faces shining toward the heavens and we saw quite a lot of ruins in varying degrees of ruin and we walked through an ancient city where you could see the market and the library and villas and it was not hard to imagine how people lived there so many hundreds of years ago and we went to a museum and our guide was an archaeologist so we learned a lot of amazing things and we learned a lot about Greek history and some friends joined us halfway through and we went to a typography museum where they, all designers, geeked out and I got to do some ye olde printing with rolling ink and everything and we went to several old cities with cobble stoned streets and we saw peacocks strutting around and we found peaches that were so lush they literally looked like the emojis and Athens was especially beautiful and we saw soldiers who work in pairs and wear very unique outfits guarding important places and we climbed up to the Acropolis and real talk, if I had known that Acropolis meant, literally, top of the city, I would probably not have gone because it takes an incredible amount of effort to get there, I mean you even have to climb a large hill to get to the tickets and you think you’re at the main event but you aren’t because there are always, always more stairs but but but when you finally do make your way to the top with the Parthenon (magnificent) and Athena’s temple (magnificent) and sweeping views and all of Athens and the ocean and beyond are spread out before you beneath the bright sun and the blue sky and it is breathtaking in the truest sense of the word and we saw sunsets that were resplendently orange and blue and nearly every night we would stand out on our balcony and the night sky was clear and we could see what seemed like every star and that was also breathtaking and I got to experience all this majesty with the woman who is the best part of my day wherever in the world we are and has given me a life of unexpected adventure and immense joy.
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