Santorini

Santorini (on the previous cruise, belated post)

What a great day.

I woke up at 6:40 and got on the first tender boat off the ship at 7:00 AM with Jason, Emanuel, and Jakob. We waited at a coffee shop on the pier for Ashley, Jason’s girlfriend, who had to take a passenger tender a little while later. I drank some greek coffee after being encouraged to try it by one of the officers who was working at the tender station. This guy lives in my corridor on deck three, he is always smiling and friendly, but I can’t understand a word he says or pronounce his name, which seems to be all capital letters.

When Ashley joined us we went up the cliff in the cable cars and had about a five-minute walk to a place to rent ATVs. ATVs are an AWESOME way to explore Santorini. We were riding all around early in the morning taking in the most amazing views. There was mist in the mountains and it was so, so beautiful. Jakob led the way and took us to a neat area where we parked and had a mini-hike to a spot to swim. It was still cool in the morning and the water wasn’t super warm, so I stayed dry, but Jakob and Jason had a swim. I really enjoyed hanging out with Ashley, she’s good people. We got back on the ATV’s and had a huge ride for a couple hours that took us to the other end of the island and to a black sand beach. We had big naps in nice cabannas, I had an amazing chocolate milk shake and some fried potatoes, good conversations with Ashley while the boys continued to sleep, and spent some time with my toes in the water.

Rode back to the city, then of course we walked down the donkey path back to the tender boat.

I love Santorini.

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mountian climber!

Hi Everybody!
This has been such a busy week! Laurie and I have been doing two-woman glass shows, and to be totally humble about it, we are awesome. The glass at the stage is so big, beautiful, and colorful, and we are getting all kinds of compliments on it. It is going to be really, really hard to choose auction pieces with everything coming together so well.

The shows are exhausting, though. When you are on the microphone you are also assisting the gaffer, so you have to be constantly ‘on’ for the whole show. The hardest part is that there isn’t a good time to drink water, and the layout of our stage requires lots of running back and forth to help Laurie at the bench and open and close furnace doors.

Happily, it is starting to feel like fall. Our stage temperature was only 90 degrees yesterday, where it has routinely been 110-130 degrees. We had a huge thunderstorm the other night after we sailed away from Naples, and it was so incredible to see the clouds and lightening roll over the sea in the distance. Laurie and I watched for about an hour before our glass show started at 9 PM, then during the show the storm and the ship collided. Laurie was making a beautiful high-shoulder vase and the crowd was so excited about it, so even though the rain was coming in sideways and everyone was getting drenched, Laurie finished the vessel. It’s the nicest one I’ve seen her make. I could barely be heard on the microphone over the storm, and at one point during the demo the ship was hit by lightning. It was really exciting! The people who stayed were treated to a raffle, and then we called it a night.

We were in Kotor, Montenegro this week, and it was a pretty epic day for me. I woke up at 5:30 AM and went up to Deck 15 forward to watch sail-in. Kotor is so so so so beautiful to sail into, and to do it at sunrise/moonset was stunning. We tender in Kotor, so after eating some breakfast, Emanuel, Jakob, Rasmus and I got on the first tender boat at 7 AM with the plan of climbing the mountain. We looked for the highest point, and took off uphill with bread and water. I have NEVER worked so hard in my life. Getting started we passed some homes and the nicest little gardens, we could hear roosters cock-a-doodle-doing, and there were lime trees, pomegranate trees, grapes, and pear trees espaliered all around these lovely little yards. I saw a turtle along the last stretch of our path. Once we started to get up the mountain there were so many little goats! Everywhere! I saw a fox too!

There was lots of vertical climbing, but the rocks had easy handholds and footholds. Some sections were dry, steep gravel beds, and that was really hard to climb because you could easily upset the stone and ski backward. I’m pretty sure I pollinated the whole mountainside because every plant had some kind of sticker or burr that I picked up and deposited further along. When I have workable wifi again I need to figure out how far and to what elevation we climbed, but it was intense. It took us from 7:30-11:00 to make it to the top, and oh-my-goodness was that an amazing view! The whole time we climbed up we were still on the shady side of the mountain and we could see the sunlight meeting the landscape across the water and around the harbor. We had this crazy idea that the way down would go faster. The downhill climb was SO HARD, and we were so scared of missing last tender boat to the ship. We made it to the tender boat at 2:30, with thirty minutes to spare. That was 7 hours of CARDIO.

I laughed at myself a few times because during our glass demos I frequently describe how gravity is one of my favorite tools to use to shape glass. As it turns out, it is also an effective tool to help you get down a mountain in a hurry. I’m pretty bruised and sore, but I’m so impressed with what I was able to accomplish that day. Pictures will be coming soon.

We were in Venice for the past two days, and I’ve mostly been recovering from my climb. We docked next to the Silhouette last night, which is the newest Solstice class ship. Sadly, it doesn’t have a hot glass show onboard, but it does have as specialty restaurant that we visited. Really good food, but not as good as a Hot Glass Show. The highlight for me was the grilled vegetable kabob, and the warm chocolate chip cookie dessert. All of the Solstice class ships are the same layout and design, but with some slight changes from ship to ship. It was neat having a walk around and seeing the different art on the walls (all the art collections are really fantastic) and the little (or major) improvements here and there. We even went down to Silhouette Mingles, which was like a bizzaro world Mingles.

Hopefully I’ll be able to post this note up, I’ve been having online troubles this week. Tomorrow, boat drill and Dubrovnik. Missing everybody at home, please write me and tell me what you are up to.

Love Meg. xo