lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

Raki for My Friends August 10, 2018

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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There are times in life when you have to push through in order to find something amazing.

The husband and I had a push through moment the night after our amazing hike of the Samaria Gorge.

We were hot. We were tired. We were in pain. We were dirty as hell. And we were hungry.

We got back to Chania, the nice little city where we were staying about an hour from the gorge.

It was like nine at night by then. As we limped our way back toward the hotel, we searched for food. Some restaurants were too nice for us to go in as filthy as we were. Some didn’t have any food allergy-ridden me could actually eat. The grocery store had no pre-made food to be found. It was rough.

I wanted to go to the old town, but it was a long walk away and we were so dirty.

We finally found a mom and pop place that didn’t have any food left, but they had some advice: just head toward old town and you’ll find something to eat.

It was one of those moments in travel when you have to choose between a Cliff Bar and Sleep or good food and fatigue.

We headed toward old town. That part of Chania is surrounded by an old stone wall, so we had to cut back to go over to loop down. It was a whole thing. We made it to old town, and the first thing we saw was a restaurant in the middle of the street.

Restaurant in Old Town

The owner came up to us with a menu (completely ignoring the massive amount of trail dust we were covered in). He told us there would be live music and that we should have some of his homemade raki.

—If you’ve never had raki, it’s like a less burning version of vodka—

We said we loved raki, so we’d have a look around and come back.

He blinked at us like we were crazy and said, “You like raki? Two shots of raki for my friends!” (more…)

 

Danger: Move Quickly! August 1, 2018

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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I am a pretty adventurous person and have a very low self-preservation instinct when it comes to hanging out in nature. Cliff edges don’t bother me, rushing water is totally fun. There are very few things that naturally occur on this earth that make me go “Nope!”

So the husband and I hiked the Samaria gorge this spring. It’s one of the longest gorges in Europe, and over the course of planning this trip the idea of doing the 10-ish mile hike became something of a pilgrimage. I’ve hiked so many beautiful places in the United States. If my goal is to be a citizen of the world, then I need to be a hiker of the world. It made a lot of sense in my head.

So, we ferried to Crete from Santorini specifically to do this hike.

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The trail is all downhill (which is not actually as great as it sounds) and takes you past some truly breathtaking vistas. (more…)

 

The Meteora March July 17, 2018

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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I love climbing things. There’s something about using your own two legs to hike up something that makes you feel accomplished and insubstantial all at the same time.

When we were in Greece not so very long ago, we decided to visit the beautiful monasteries of Meteora—

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—positioned on spires of stone. Monks moved up onto the rocks for seclusion. Some even going so far as to build themselves homes in the sides of rocks.

Of course the world being what it is, seclusion has been replaced by tourism, but the monasteries are amazing and well worth the visit.

The trick is you have to climb to most of them. And not like a flight or two of stairs. Like a lot, a LOT, of stairs.

Theoretically, you’re supposed to be able to hike between all of the monasteries and visit them in one day…we didn’t do that. (more…)

 

Confusing the Driver June 29, 2018

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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Let me start off by saying I love my husband. He is a sweet, smart, wonderful, law-abiding man.

But there are times when the letter of the law differs from the law of the land. Prime example: The rules of the road in Greece.

While we were in Greece on our grand adventure, we rented a car for a few days. There isn’t a great public transit system outside of Athens, so it was the best way to get up to Delphi and Meteora. We registered my husband as our only driver and, GPS in hand, headed north.

First weird thing about driving in Greece, the GPS warns you when there are traffic cameras coming up. It goes deep deep, don’t speed dude. You might actually get caught right here. Not literally those words, but you get the picture. How is it legal for a GPS to warn you about speed traps? Is not getting warned about speed traps just a thing in the U.S.?

So we were driving north, getting warned about traffic cameras, even though my husband was barely speeding. Like American five miles over means you’re doing okay speeding. But all the other cars were racing past us. Zooming past the alleged traffic camera without a care.

The three passengers in the car tried to convince him to follow local custom and just drive in time with the other cars on the road. The husband was worried we’d get a bill for thousands of dollars in speeding tickets and there would be a Grecian warrant issued for his arrest.

So we plodded along, getting passed by literally every car we met. (more…)

 

Back to Life June 15, 2018

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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I’m home!

After nearly eight months on tour and two weeks in Europe, I’m home.

Jumped right back into rehearsal, sleeping in my own bed, and it’s like I never left at all.

Isn’t that the weirdest damn thing? I lived in a tin can with thirty people for most of a year, flew to the other side of the ocean, and it’s just like… nope, you left the house for a few hours. Nothing more than that.

If it weren’t for the fact that my car needs to be checked out and the mint plant (I’ll have to tell you about the mint) is taking over the entire city, I might believe that I’d really only gone on the world’s longest trip to the grocery store.

But it happened. (more…)

 

The Crete Blockade May 1, 2018

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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I present you all with a mystery.

The husband and I are currently putting the finishing touches on our trip to Greece and Italy. Because that’s what you do as soon as you finish living on a bus for seven months: you go travel more.

Things were going really well as far as trip planning, but then we got an email cancelling our flight from Crete to Venice. Which is weird. I mean, I’ve had flights changed, or been merged onto a later flight. But they just canceled. Sent an email saying, “Oops, you’re on your own to get off of Crete.” (more…)

 

The Knees VS The Heart March 6, 2018

It’s official. I’m old.

Not that old, but too old to do things like this:

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Recently, touring with The Wizard of Oz delivered the husband and me to Saint Louis, and, of course, we had to take a trip to the City Museum.

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The place is amazing. It’s like an adult got day drunk, stumbled by a kids’ park, and was like, “Damn. Kids have all the fun. I’m going to build something better where adults can climb stuff. And there’s going to be a bar inside the jungle gyms. No! Multiple bars. Yeah.” (more…)