Δευτέρα, 10 Δεκεμβρίου 2012

The first weekend of December... Christmas are here!!!

Saturday, December 8th 2012

Having the party for the boy's birthday!!! 15 classmates from his grade came to greet him, have a good time and mostly  HAVE FUN!!!! Yet, the grown ups had fun as well by talking, eating, playing with the kids in a beautiful place of many trampolines!!! Having the appropriate mood to play, jump and laugh are the necessary "things" to feel happy!

After the party, we went to get the Christmas tree (a real one! ), which is 10 feet tall/ 3,05 metres and a wreath for the door!!! However, it was sooooo cold!!! It was freezing !!!

Sunday, December 9th 2012

It's the day for the Au Pair monthly meeting at Jade Garden close to downtown. It's a very popular, inexpensive, chinese restaurant with great food. And when I say popular, I mean it. I couldn't enter the store because of the long queue!!! I had a great time with the other au pairs by discussing many interesting things, telling and listening to the news and stories and be informed for things that are going to happen in Seattle.When I returned home, after getting some exercise by walking and knowing much better the city, it was the time to go downtown again with my host mom and the kids to make a Ginger Bread House. On the table, there were two big and two little bit smaller pieces of ginger bread, a star and the frosting "glue". There was also a buffet full of hard candies, cookies, cereal etc. to decorate the house as we wished to. One hour later, having finished the house, we were full of frosting, sugar on our hands!!! :P
At last, but not least, when we left the food corner, where we made the ginger bread house, we went to St' Stephen Episcopal Church in Laurelhurst area to listen to a boy choir singing traditional carols and songs for the Christmas! It was amazing! I felt that the Christmas are coming soon!!!



Τετάρτη, 5 Δεκεμβρίου 2012

Thanksgiving in Colorado 2012!!!

I am in the United States of America for almost 8,5 months!! During this time, I have experienced the Saint Patrick's Day, Easter, the 4th of July, the 14th of July (I was in Paris during the summer), Halloween and, now, the Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 22nd 2012
My host family and I were supposed to celebrate that day in Colorado (state) where my host mom grew up. Our trip started in the morning at 04:00 am., because we had to be early at the airport! After 3 hours flight, we reached to our destination, the Denver's airport, which is one of the biggest airport in the whole country. Leaving from the airport, we were heading to Golden, CO where we stayed for the night. That first night was the Thanksgiving day!!! PFFFFFF!!! So much food!!! I learnt how to roll instead of walking!!! :P Many dishes to taste and I wanted to taste them all!! I didn't want to miss out anything of this celebration, even the sweet potatoes with the melted butter, brown sugar and marshmallow on the top (it's a main dish, not a dessert!!). The whole decoration on the table was about the Thanksgiving. For example, turkey-candles, paper napkins with turkeys on etc. Everything was great!! I could say that I have an idea for what it's going to happen at Christmas!!! The food, the wine, the people, the laughter, the voices, the smells, everything was amazing! :D



Friday, November 23rd 2012
After a big breakfast meal (of course !!!! :P ), we left with destination Vail. Vail is a city close to Rocky mountains and it is "alive" because of the Vail Village, the ski resort. While I was in the car, I saw the snowing mountains, ponds frozen and pine trees everywhere!!

We arrived in Vail, and the first exploration just began! The Vail Village is almost a "copy" of Switzerland's ski resorts or the ski resorts that are placed in Alpes. The experience of the day was the ice skating! AAAAOOOUUUUCCCHHHHH!!!!! I have never tried it before, but then I wanted to do it! :P I did the round of the ice floor 7 times, holding always the sidebars, and I was better and better, BUT suddenly I lost my balance and I fell on the ice!!! AAAAOOOUUUUCCCHHHHH!!!!! My tail bone!!!! :'(
After my falling, I went for a walk  (very slowly...I was in pain! ) and I saw the Colorado Ski Museum and the Vail Ski &Snowboard Academy! Furthermore, I haven't seen so many stores with the North Face brand inside!!!




Saturday, November 24th 2012

One of the children had his birthday (when he was born, it was Thanksgiving) !! It was one more special day of our trip, and specifically for him!!! :D After having breakfast, we went again to Vail Village, but that time we wanted to go up to the mountains with the ski lifts known as Gandhola! The scenery was breathtaking! I can't say anything else. If anyone had a similar experience, he/she could understand how beautiful can be!
Afterwards it was time for swimming!! We put our swimming suits on and went to the OPEN pool of the Vail Club Resort! It was freezing, but the pool was very warm and the hot tub besides even warmer!! It was quite refreshing!! :P

Sunday, November 25th 2012

We had returned to Golden the previous day, and it was time to explore Golden little bit more. What made me big impression is the Colorado Mountain College, because a whole mountain has the capital "M" letter on.


After, we went for a walk to the stores, but the children wanted to go for bowling!! They were very excited!!!

End of the day and eventually the end of the trip had come as well. We had to go back home and pack our things for the next morning's flight to Seattle, WA.

I will close this "journey" with that photo, which is my favorite!


Παρασκευή, 2 Νοεμβρίου 2012

Halloween Experience!

Prologue: The last two weeks, everybody is talking for Halloween, costumes, pumkins, candies etc. First Thing to Do on the list is the costume. What should I get dressed this year? The kids of my host family had already answered to this question. The boy was about to get dressed the "David Crockett",

                                                          

and the girl a "pioneer girl". After having bought the fabrics and making the costumes as they wished to, it was about time decorating the house. ------------------ >

Wednesday, 31st October 2012
HALLOWEEN!!! Yes, the day when the kids are dressed up and go from house to house by saying "Trick or Treat" has finally come..

Few hours before going outside and experiencing the Halloween tradition, we had to decorate. WE SHOULD HAVE THE CREEPIEST HOUSE !!! Hahahahahahaha... Curving pumpkins, putting fake graves and skeletons in the garden, fake spiders' web all over are some of the things that we did. ( I thought that putting lights on the Christmas tree was difficult since I tried to put the fake spider's web on the bushes! This was difficult, because it's supposed to be as much realistic as I could. Plus, it needs a lot of stretching and time!! )

Trick or Treat! 
At 18:30 with my host family, we got outside to find the neighbors and start going from house to house. The boys got crazy!! (I could say wild as well!) They were running to take as many candies as they could in 2 hours. During running after the boys, we saw interesting decorations, like the Haunted House of the neighborhood (the entire garage became the Haunted House like the ones at the Fun Parks) ; and mascarades, like two boys got dressed dices or a boy with a beautiful robot costume or a dog dressed up a HOT DOG!!! ( a dog with two pieces of buns on his ribs and a fake sausage with mustard on his back! CRAAAAZZYYYYYY!!! ) .

At the end of this crazy-creepy night, the kids counted their candies. Results: the boy got 99, and the girl around 50!!!

                HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!

Δευτέρα, 22 Οκτωβρίου 2012

Pumkin Patch!!

HOST FAMILY DAY-----> Date: Sunday, October 21st 2012
                                              Location: Jubilee Farm

Today, this morning , we had the pumkin patch at Jubilee Farm (1 hour away from Seattle). When we got there, we got on a big truck to go to the place where the pumkins are growing. The soil was muddy because of the rain , so everyone had to wear rain boots or hiking boots. Wherever I looked there were pumkins in all sizes! After the patch, we ate the most tasteful tamales and drunk hot cider (hot apple juice with many spicies inside). Yummie!!! :P A!! I forgot to mention the beautiful scenery of yellow and red trees during the trip to go and come back home.. ! 

 


                                                                                                                                   
                                                           

                             






                                                                                                          

Κυριακή, 30 Σεπτεμβρίου 2012

For just a Moment...

Forbidden love told through age old

Tales, gives some hope,

And some fear
Pulled in by something
I can't quite explain
He brings a light to my world
As if all things cruel were gone.                                                                                
The world seems perfect,
For just a moment.
Hope is tangible,
For just a moment.
All fears subside,
For just a moment.
                                                                                                                           
But memories fade, and people
forget.
For just a moment I can feel the
world returns, but as change passes
The age old tale a Romeo and Juliet
returns.
The fear
The cruel
The wicked.
For just a moment.

-a child's poem
                                               

 For just a moment
                        


                                                                                                                                       

Κυριακή, 23 Σεπτεμβρίου 2012

Fortune Cookie!!!

After having dinner at a thai food restaurant, I got my fortune-cookie!!
"Not every soil can bear things. Be practical."
                                                                                                                                                           -Saturday, September 22nd 2012-

Σάββατο, 22 Σεπτεμβρίου 2012

Just a poem..

Where I'm from

I am from the sugary                                                          
and bitter grapes .                                                                            
From the warm,
salty spring waters
lapping at the shore.
I 'm from the sun wanted sand
and heated pebbles.

I am from the
sweet smell of my house,
from freshly washed bed-clothes.                
I am from maroon leaves
and brown bark of
the towering Beech tree
looking like a secret
world from the grass.

I am from breaded chicken
and from scrumptious salmon.
I am from rich pie and delicious cider,
fresh from a farm.                                                                          

I am from loving parents
and grandparents,
from laughable siblings,
and from caring nannies.

A child's poem....                                                                                                                       

Πέμπτη, 20 Σεπτεμβρίου 2012

Poem of the day...


A slash of Blue—
A sweep of Gray—
Some scarlet patches on the way,
Compose an Evening Sky—
A little purple—slipped between—
Some Ruby Trousers hurried on—
A Wave of Gold—
A Bank of Day—
This just makes out the Morning Sky. 
- Emily Dickinson -



Τετάρτη, 19 Σεπτεμβρίου 2012

Something..somewhere.. randomly..

Yesterday, on Monday, September 17th 2012, I went out for a walk and do some research for classes and courses at the community college. While I was on the bus, I noticed a poem of Pablo Neruda on a wall with bold and colorful letters ...



I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.

I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
















http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/N/NerudaPablo/17Idonotlove.htm 

Κυριακή, 16 Σεπτεμβρίου 2012

Saturday, September 15th 2011

Barbeque on the beach!!!

After the childrens' activities and some errands, spontaneously, my host family suggested to have our dinner on the beach!!!

Destination --------> Golden Gardens Park

We prepared the food, got into the car and left!!!

There, the scenery was beautiful; the sea and the trees behind!!! There were many people who had the same idea, apart from a group who had different purpose! They had made a circle and danced in the rythm of american-native music!!! I was wondering what they were celebrating for, so I went to ask..

I learnt that they were celebrating the "Ocean Healing" in a Drum Circle!!!  Our little trip came to an end by watching the sunset!!! :D


Παρασκευή, 14 Σεπτεμβρίου 2012

Ημερολόγιο Αισιοδοξίας - Τhe Diary of Optimism

Πέμπτη, 13 Σεπτεμβρίου 2012

"Έχεις σκεφτεί ποτέ να γράψεις ποίηση; Τετράδιο, μολύβι και έξω στη λιακάδα στο πιο συμπαθητικό στέκι της περιοχής. Τα λόγια θα 'ρθουν από μόνα τους."

Με μια μικρή αλλαγή!! :

"Έχεις σκεφτεί ποτέ να γράψεις...; Τετράδιο, μολύβι, ΚΑΦΕΣ και έξω στη λιακάδα στο πιο συμπαθητικό καφέ της περιοχής. Τα λόγια θα 'ρθουν από μόνα τους." ;)

In English

Thursday, September 13th 2012

"Have you ever thought to write a poem? Notepad, pencil and outside under the sunshine at the most friendly and cozy place of the neighborhood. The words or thoughts will come...."

One small change!! :

"Have you ever thought to write down.....? Notepad, pencil, COFFEE and outside under the sunshine at the most friendly and cozy place of the neighborhood. The words or thoughts will come...."

Δευτέρα, 10 Σεπτεμβρίου 2012

The first meeting with the au pairs in Seattle!!

Saturday, September 8th 2012

The first meeting with the other au pairs in Seattle and I couldn't wait to meet them!

Our meeting was arranged to be at the 5th Avenue Theatre. The purpose of each meeting is to seeing the other au pairs, talking, discussing & having fun! Our Area Director thought that it would be fun to watch the famous 80's movie "Grease" starring with John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John!

What made it different and funny (!!!) was that we watched it with interaction by singing, sighing, dancing and many more!








                                        
Hahahahahahahahahaha 

Σάββατο, 8 Σεπτεμβρίου 2012

A New Beginning!!

Saturday, September 1st 2012

Being an au pair is not always fun and happiness, but also it has difficult times.. Therefore, I moved in Seattle,  Washington.

My flight to Seattle was at noon, with a stop in Phoenix, Arizona! So, after a 6-hour-flight  (approximately, if I had went straight through, it would have been 3,5 hours) I landed-off to Seattle.

Behind the Scenes

  1. The drunk lady who was sitting next to me from Arizona to Seattle. She was a nervous flyer and while we were landing-on, I heard her doing : AAAAAAA!!!! (but not loud! She didn't get embarrassed to the others passengers) and holding  my hand! When we landed-off, though, she only cried after the plane had stopped moving... :/
  2. From the plane, I could see the forests and the houses between them. The port, the Space Needle, the Lake Washington. So beautiful!! Afterwards, I saw somewhere that Washington is called as the "Evergreen State", because it's raining a lot, but it's snowing rarely!!!
  3. I would say it's an alternative city! There are very interesting people!


Sunday, September 2nd 2012

A quite day, I would say!! After having breakfast, we went for a walk at the closest park, and then for shopping - bying necessary things for the household and me.
And later in the afternoon, we went to the house of another family for dinner! We had a great time!!










Monday, September 3rd 2012

Labor Day !!!

The childrens' grandparents, the kids and me, we went for a trip to Hood Canal where the house of a greek-american family is located. The kids and I had a blast!!! But let me tell you few words for the Hood Canal.
 Hood Canal is a fjord forming the western lobe, and one of the four main basins,[1][2][3] of Puget Sound in the state of Washington. Hood Canal is not a canal in the sense of being a man-made waterway—it is a natural waterway.
 Hood Canal is long and narrow with an average width of 1.5 miles (2.4 km) and a mean depth of 53.8 metres (177 ft). It has 342.6 kilometres (212.9 mi) of shoreline and 42.4 square kilometres (16.4 sq mi) of tideland. Its surface area is 385.6 square kilometres (148.9 sq mi) and it contains a volume of water totaling 21 cubic kilometres (17,000,000 acre·ft).[3] Hood Canal extends for about 50 miles (80 km) southwest from the entrance between Foulweather Bluff and Tala Point to Union, where it turns sharply to the northeast, a stretch called The Great Bend. It continues for about 15 miles (24 km) to Belfair, where it ends in a shallow tideland called Lynch Cove.
 Along its entire length, Hood Canal separates the Kitsap Peninsula from the Olympic Peninsula of Washington. The U.S. Navy's Naval Base Kitsap, Bangor Annex, is located on the eastern shore of Hood Canal near the town of Bangor. Hood Canal has several internal bays, the largest of which is Dabob Bay. Most of Dabob Bay is a Naval Restricted Area, and is used by the submarines stationed at the Bangor Base. Quilcene Bay is an inlet extending northwest from Dabob Bay. Near the north end of Hood Canal is Port Gamble, a bay and a town of the same name.
Several rivers flow into Hood Canal, mostly from the Olympic Peninsula, including the Skokomish RiverHamma Hamma River,Duckabush RiverDosewallips River, and Big Quilcene River. Small rivers emptying into Hood Canal from the Kitsap Peninsula include the Union RiverTahuya River, and Dewatto River. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hood_Canal








To get there, we had to catch up the ferry (a 45-minute-trip) to Bremerton city, and from there to Hood Canal/Kitsap Peninsula.


There were many things to do!

  1. Collecting oysters, shells and crabs! The beach was full of them. We had to walk carefully in order to not break them.
  2. Going for crab-fishing!!!According to laws, it was the last day that anyone can fish crabs. The excursion was amazing! The whole coast was full of shells and above the houses, you could see only the forest! The catch of that day was 7 crabs!!!
  3. The kids wanted to try out water skiing, so they wore their bathing suits and life jackets, and climb on it. I accompanied them by being in the boat. They couldn't stop laughing and smiling.
  4. After the water skiing, we went for swimming at the pool. Unlike the ocean's water, the pool's water was warmer. The kids were trying to figure out many ways not sinking by using the noodles.
  5. Ice-cream time!! The kids were very happy when after the lunch and dinner, they ate ice-cream as a treat!
  6. Tree-house!! We saw a tree-house that the family built. It's about a full-equipped tree-house with two bunk-beds, heat and TV!
End of the trip...It was time to go back home since everybody was tired!!!









            

VACATIONS Part 4 - The Final Part

Thursday, July 5th 2012

Le Musée Rodin - Jardin

Since I am an European citizen and between 18-25 years old, I can visit any museum that I want for free; or as the French say "graduit".

After my visit to Louvre, the next one was Le Musée Rodin - Jardin, which is close to l' église des Invalides. The museum consists of the garden (jardin) and two buildings, the Hôtel  Biron where the main exposition is hosted, and the main building (reception, bookstore etc. ) where another exposition is shown.

I started with the garden. It's a very beautiful garden where at some parts there are rose bushes, sculptures of Auguste Rodin, a woodland area and a fountain with a small pond giving the feeling of tranquility and serenity. Then, I went into the Hôtel  Biron, a building with two floors (ground and 1st floor) where the sculptor's best-known works are; they were made by marble and bronze. One room is dedicated to his lover Camille Claudel. Now, at the area of the visitor lobby, there is a room in which many exhibitions have been hosted. This time, the name of the temporary exhibition was "Rodin, La Chair, Le Marble". Sculptures that impressed me:


  1. Le Baisser (The Kiss)
  2. La Femme-Poisson (The Woman-Fish-----> the face of a woman with her mouth wide-open just like a fish in the water)
  3. La main de Dieu (The hand of God)
  4. Le jour et la nuit (The day and the night)
  5. Psyché et l' amour (Psyche and he love)
  6. Jeux d' enfants (Childrens' games)
  7. Diane (Diana-goddess)
  8. La main du Diable (The hand of Devil)
  9. L' âge mûr  (The age of maturity)
  10. La Vague (The Wave)
  11. Le Sommeil (The Sleep)
  12. La Porte de l' Enfer (The Gates of Hell) 
  13. Le Penseur (The Thinker) and
  14. La Valse (The Waltz)


Saturday, July 7th 2012 & Sunday July 8th 2012

Weekend-off! It's a chance to visit many places.

First stop: Notre-Dame        Bad Thing: Rainy Weather!!

Looking at the Notre-Dame, anyone can notice that the three entrances with the roman-style arcs are decorated with human figures. This fact impressed me while I was waiting to get into the church. As getting into, I admired the vitreaux with the saints' figures and then Le Trésor de Notre-Dame (The Treasure of Notre-Dame), a separate room with objets d' ancien régime. Afterwards, inside the church, there was "une exposition photographique : Thérèse de Lisieux ou la brulûre d' amour?".

I was ready to leave when I realised that I hadn't climbed up on the Towers of Notre-Dame. Going up was a LOOOOOOOOOOONG ADVENTURE! Where shall I begin? The queue was LONG and I had to wait for 2,5 hours. Furthermore, while I was standing, it started pouring cats and dogs. Finally, it was my turn to go up! TIP: If anyone wants to go upstairs, he or she has to be in a good shape, not being afraid of heights and not having heart problems since the only way is climbing up a 400-spiral-staircase!

What impressed me?

  • From the top you can see les Gragouilles  (the little monsters and if you don't understand, you can watch (again) the "Esmeralda"-Disney movie!)
  • The view!!!! For one more time, I caught myself with my mouth wide-open admiring the view. La Seine, la Tour Eiffel, la Montmartre etc.
More places that I visited were Panthéon, Jardin du Luxembourg, Centre de George Pompidou, La Place de la Bastille.

Δευτέρα, 27 Αυγούστου 2012

Wednesday, July 4th 2012

American Independence Day -----> Day-Off!!!!!!!

It was a chance to visit the Louvre http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louvre_Paris!! I spent more than 6 hours to explore it!! More with photos!! 

(I don't know when I can upload them!! :((((..... ) 

VACATIONS Part 4 - Back to Paris!!

Monday, July 2nd 2012

Back to Paris, and I did one more walk in town. That time, my destination was Monmartre. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montmartre

Start point -------> Av. De  Friedland which continues to Boulevard Haussement (Galerie de Lafayette). As you can guess, during my exploration, I have NEVER used any public transportation!!! My moto is : KEEP WALKING!!

On my way, I saw l'église de Saint Augustin et de Saint Vincent-de-Paul, and then I made a left turn on Boulevard de Magenta. This neighborhood is totally different from the "quartiers" around the Arc de Triumph or La Tour Eiffel. It is the other side of Paris just like everything has two different sides! It is about a poor neighborhood with inexpensive stores and people working as salesmen from place to place or at the fleemarket on Bd De Rochechouat. To tell you the truth, I was litlle scared. The only thing that I could do was to keep my handbag "safe".

Neverethless, after climbing up so many stairs, I made it and I arrived in Monmartre. The view was magical! All the city was in front of me!! I could see the skyscrapers in one place, la Tour Eiffel, l' Èglise des Invalides because of the gold dome and many more. Then, I entered the church "Basilique du Sacré-Coeur (Sacred Heart). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacre_Coeur_Cathedral

Just like all the Catholic churches, there were vitreaux everywhere, little chapelles on the sides, where each one is in the memory of a saint (Saint or Sainte), and iron, black candelabra. Before leaving the church, the Mass (liturgy for the Orthodox) was about to begin. The priest (or reverand)
was wearing a purple robe and a gold tiara. However, I didn't stay longer, I went outside to see what
there was around. I went on the back side of the church where the street started to be cobbled and overcrowded with people and many, many painters, who were approaching everyone to make their portrait. (no, they didn't make mine!). I knew that, but I completely forgot it! The location was picturesque with the litlle souvenir stores, the cozy bistrots and the colourful tables and chairs outside...

It was time to go back home, so I started walking again. On my way back, I saw the famous Moulin Rouge http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moulin_Rouge!  on Bd de Clichy (on this street, there are only "weird" / "awkward" shops ----> sex shops! It is a quite unsafe neighborhood) 

Σάββατο, 7 Ιουλίου 2012

VACATIONS - PART 3 --------------> ITALY!!!!!!

Saturday, June 23rd 2012, 04:00 am
My host family and I had already packed our things, because we were going for a week to Italy by car. We would stay at the area of Camaiore in Toscany, pretty close to the beach. The roadtrip lasted almost 12 hours. We started from Paris and crossed the southern part of France, passed through the Mont-Blanc, and then the north-western part of Italy (Milan, Livorno). During the trip, I didn't see anything else, but lands of grass, woodlands on the mountains , waterfalls... The scenery was MAGIC!!!!!
Monday, June 25th 2012
After spending the whole morning and noon on the beach (sandy beach with shallow waters!), in the afternoon, it was the first time to visit a sightseeing: the " Leaning Tower of Pisa" or "Campanile". But let me tell you few words... Pisa is the town (a medieval town) and the tower is located at La Piazza del Duomo (The Cathedral Square) surrounded by walls. At the square there are four remarkable monuments. 1. "Santa Maria Assunta" (the Cathedral/Duomo) : dedicated to the Assumption gf the Virgin Mary - founded in 1063 by Brusketo and Rainaldo and completed in 1118. 2. Campanile: or the "Leaning Tower of Pisa" - its foundations were laid on August 1173 by Gulielmo and Bonnano Pisano Why is it leaning?? When construction work had almost reached the top of the third order, land subsidence caused the trunk of the tower to lean over. Down the centuries, the nature of the land which caused the first dramatic subsidence together with the enormous weight of the building increased the inclination of the tower. Therefore, nonone can reach the top of it, but he or she can climb up the 293 steps to the summit. It's about a spiral staircase.. 3. The "San Giovanni Baptistery": by Diotislavi on August 15th 1152 4. Camposanto Vecchio (Old Cemetery): by Giovanni di Simone in 1272 The purpose of the four monuments' construction was to fully and intimately combine a fervent religious faith with a civic pride. La Piazza del Duomo is beautiful with all these sightseeings. To be honest, I wasn't so excited to see the Tower. However, I was speechless when I saw it. The funny part was that many people were taking photos with the same pose such as holding/pushing the tower with both hands or with one finger or relying on it, meanwhile other persons were climbing up the stairs of the tower!!! Anyway, another one experience came to an end!!! Ciao!!!!:P
Tuesday, June 26th 2012
FIRENZE! Oh yes, we went to Florence!!!! Going there, I loved the scenery!! it was so beautiful!!! AAAhhhhh Toscany!!! Anyway, we entered in Florence from the Piazzale Michelangelo by doing a tour across La Via di Belvedere. The whole city was underneath. The view was like a famous painting... :P Afterwards, we reached Lungarno Torigianni, the road besides the Arno river. We crossed Le Ponte A.Vespucci, and the adventure just started! We walked till Le Ponte Vecchio (The Old Bridge) where we separated and I had the chance to explore the city by mmyself! So, I crossed Le Ponte Vecchio with the little, but expensive stores on it, and I admired the view of the river. Then, I went back to find the Duomo ----> "Santa Maria del Fiore". Finding the Cathedral, I stood for a while at La Piazza della Signoria where there are the Palazzo Vecchio (Old Palace) with the tower of Arnolfo di Cambio on the top and the Loggia dei Lanzi (a late gothic structure by Benci di Cione and Simone Talenti) with the statues. Then, I took La Via di Proconsolo and admired the magnifisence of Santa Maria del Fiore. It's huge!!! I wanted to go inside, but I didn't, because there was a long queue and I had 3 hours at my disposal to explore the town. So, I decided to take a walk around. What I saw: 1. Piazza della Signoria 2. Santa Maria del Fiore 3. Palazzo Strozzi (exhibition) 4. Bibliotheque Nazionale
Friday, June 29th 2012
It's the last day before going back to Paris, and we decided to visit the "small version" of Florence, Lucca!!! It's really beautiful city surrounded by walls, just like all the old cities. Inside, apart from the picturesque residences, churches and stores, there is a canal as well..! WHAT MORE??? Lucca it's the hometown of Giacomo Puccini where there is his home.

Τρίτη, 3 Ιουλίου 2012

VACATIONS - PART2 Thursday, June 21st 2012 Today,the day was rainy. Therefore, I decided to explore the neighbourhood Opéra as there are many stores and there was no way to get wet... Anyhow, this time, I started from the Av.Champs Élysées and I arrived at La Place de la Concorde. From there, I turned left on Rue Royale, where La Madeleine is located. It is about a Roman - Catholic church; it looks like a greek ancient temple.(L' église Sainte-Marie-Madeleine) Then, I walked on the Booulevard Haussmann where there are many malls and the popular "Galerie de la Fayette". Inside the store you can find anything you have imagined, BUT you have to be sure that you know what you are going to do!!! It's very expensive because it is the home for all THE brands. At the end, I admired the building of Opéra with the sculptures and La place de la Bastille in front of the entrance de l' Academie de la Musiqe..! :P

Κυριακή, 1 Ιουλίου 2012

Prologue Sunday,June 17th 2012 I am going to Europe with my host family for vacations. Our first stop is Paris, and then is Italy!!! So let's get started!!!! VACATIONS - PART 1 Wednesday, June 20th 2012 -------> My first walk in Paris, today, so I tried to explore it as much as I could by starting at "La place de Victor Hugo"(which is close to "Le Bois de Boulogne") and walking on Avenue Raymond Poincaré. At the end of the street, there is the "Palais de Chaillot", which, now, functions as home of many museums such as "Le Musée de la Marine" and "Le Musée de l' Homme". There are two entrances above of which are some words engraved. Choses rares ou choses belles ici savamment assemblées instruisent l 'oeil à regarder comme jamais encore vues toutes choses qui sont au monde. Dans ces murs voués aux merveilleux j' accueille et carde les ouvrages de la main prodigieuse de l' artiste égale et rivale de sa pensée l' une n' est rien sans l' autre. The new Palais de Chaillot: As I was walking furtherdown, I saw la Seine (the river!?!?!?!!!!) and the Tour Eiffel [of course you can see it from faraway, but as anyone approaches it, it is more magnificent!) Crossing down the tower, I saw the "Champs de Mars", a beautiful land of grass with trees-cutten-in-the-shape-of-square on the sides.Following the "monument to the Peace", which was constructed in 2000 and made by glass,and where the word PEACE is written in all languages. (Yes, I found it in greek as well). Across the street, it is L' école de Militaire. From there, I walked on the street of La Place Joffre, I made a left turn on Av.de Tourville, and then a left turn on Bd de la Tour Maulbourg from where I could see "Le Musée de l' Armée". Afterwards, I reached at "La Place des Invalides" and kept walking on Av. du Maréchal Gallieni. I reached again La Seine(where I was witness of a photo-shooting for a fashion editorial :P )and I crossed the bridge "Le Pond d' Alexandre III. This bridge is so impressing because of many reasons. First, at the entrance, there are four golden angel-statues. In the middle of it, on both sides from outside there are golden sculptures as well. Furthermore, after crossing the bridge, it is the "Grand Palais" and the "Petit Palais" (golden touches and sculptures on each part of the roof again!) I continued walking across the river through a tree-path in order to see "La Place de la Concorde", a big open space with a fountain in the middle and the "Obelisk" (a tall monument). From this point, anyone can see the "Dome des Invalides",the "Assemblée Nationale Palais-Bourton" and the entrance of "Le Jardin des Tuileries". Le Jardin des Tuileries is a beautiful garden with fountains and ponds. Many people were relaxing on the grass or sitting on chairs around the ponds. Leaving the garden, I decided to go back home. So I walked on Av. Champs Élysées where there are many stores, restaurants and cafés. And, somewhere here, (Finally!!!) I got home!!!! :P

Πέμπτη, 24 Μαΐου 2012

Απόφθεγμα της ημέρας, 24 Μαίου 2012

 Τη Δευτέρα 28 Μαϊου είναι αφιερωμένη σ' όλους τους Αμερικανούς στρατιώτες που έχουν υπερασπιστεί και συνεχίζουν να υπερασπίζονται την πατρίδα τους. Memorial Day, λοιπόν, και είναι ευκαιρία για τους Αμερικανούς να εκμεταλλευτούν το 3ήμερο αυτό ταξιδεύοντας.. 

Όοοχιιι, αυτή τη φορά δε θα ταξιδέψω πουθενά, αντίθετα περιμένουμε μια φιλική οικογένεια που την είχαμε επισκεφθεί όταν είχαμε πάει στην Washington, DC για το spring break. Και με ευκαιρία αυτή την επίσκεψη, άνοιξα πάλι το "ημερολόγιο της αισιοδοξίας" και βρήκα το εξής απόφθεγμα:

Άνοιξε το σπίτι σου. Οι φιλοξενούμενοι είναι θείο δώρο. Φέρνουν κρασιά, γλυκά, φέρνουν τα παιδιά τους να παίξουν με τα δικά μας. Γελάμε μαζί τους, κουβεντιάζουμε τις δυσκολίες μας και μοιραζόμαστε χαρά.
Πόσο επίκαιρο???!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! :D

Δευτέρα, 21 Μαΐου 2012

ΤΙ ΓΙΝΕΤΑΙ???

Πριν απο 4 μήνες περίπου είχα πάει μια βόλτα στην Αθήνα με μια φίλη μου, που είναι από τα Χανιά. Εκείνη την ημέρα, λοιπόν, μου χάρισε ένα ημερολόγιο, "Το Ημερολόγιο της Αισιοδοξίας", το οποίο μέσα συμπεριλαμβάνει διάφορα απόφθεγματα που συμβουλεύουν τον καθένα από εμάς για κάτι καλυτερο που μπορούμε να κάνουμε για τους εαυτούς μας και τον κοινωνικό μας περίγυρο. Σήμερα μετά από καιρό άνοιξα αυτό το ημερολόγιο στη σημερινή ημέρα και βρήκα το συγκεκριμένο απόσπασμα "Οι ενοχές δεν είναι τίποτε άλλο παρά ένα κακό εσωτερικό αφεντικό που μας απομακρύνει από την αληθινή ζωή" Και τελικά αναρωτιέμαι ποια είναι η αληθινή ζωή?? Πως μπορούμε να την αντιληφθούμε εφόσον ο καθένας από εμάς καθημερινά είναι γεμάτος από ενοχές... Πόσο δυνατός μπορεί να είναι κάποιος ώστε να διώξει τις όποιες ενοχές βιώνει και πρόκειται να βιώσει στη συνέχεια?? ΟΚ!!! Από αυτή την παρατήρηση εξαιρούνται οι πολιτικοί γιατί δεν έχουν καν φιλότιμο, δεν αισθάνονται ενοχές και παριστάνουν τους μετανιωμένους, κάτι το οποίο αποτελεί ένα διαφορετικό θέμα προς συζήτηση ή ανάλυση. Αλλά με τους Ευρωπαίους πολίτες, και δεν αναφέρομαι μόνο στους Έλληνες μιας και πλέον την ίδια κατάσταση αντιμετωπίζουν οι Ισπανοί και οι Ιταλοί, τί γίνεται?? Που καθημερινά αισθάνονται τύψεις για όποια απόφαση έχουν πάρει είτε σε πολιτικό είτε σε κοινωνικό είτε ακόμα και σε προσωπικό επίπεδο.. ΤΙ ΓΙΝΕΤΑΙ??? Πόσοι γονείς νιώθουν ένοχοι που δεν μπορούν να μεγαλώσουν τα παιδιά τους όπως τους αξίζει να μεγαλώσουν. Νιώθουν ένοχοι που δεν μπορούν να τους δώσουν τα κατάλληλα εφόδια, όπως μου έδωσαν σ' εμένα και στον αδερφό μου οι γονείς μου.. ΤΙ ΓΙΝΕΤΑΙ??? Ξαφνικά τους ζητήθηκε να απολογούνται για αποφάσεις που πάρθηκαν από άλλους.. Για το μόνο πράγμα που οφείλουν να απολογηθούν είναι για την ΕΜΠΙΣΤΟΣΥΝΗ που έδειξαν σ' αυτά τα "λάθος" άτομα.. Τελικά το ερώτημα είναι "μπορούμε να διώξουμε τις ενοχές" ή κάτι τέτοιο αποτελεί σενάριο επιστημονικής φαντασίας???

Δευτέρα, 2 Απριλίου 2012

Spring Break @ Washington, DC - Part 1 (roadtrip)

INTRODUCTION

On Monday, March 26th 2012, my host mother, Jasmina, had a "crazy" idea! Instead of staying during the spring break in Glenview, it would be better to go in Washington,DC, which is the capital of U.S.A. So...

MAIN STORY

On Tuesday, March 27th 2012, at 03:00 am, our journey began. The journey was supposed to be loooong since we were going to travel by car !!! (Approximately 13 hours, 867 miles). And to be honest, I really enjoyed it. The landscape was beautiful. There were farms, forests, big lands, lakes, rivers, and the most impressing part was that each state has a different landscape to "present".
At the beginning crossing Illinois and Indiana, we saw big lands without hills, and farms. The same scenery meets Ohio as well; but, someone can also notice the existence of long rivers and lakes. For instance, Cleveland,OH is built close to Lake Erie where there are many countryside houses. At last, in Pensylvania, Maryland and Virginia, the landscape changed completely as there were big forests while we were moving on hills!

But let me describe you a little bit more the trip.. OR to be more specific ----> Which "things" impressed me!!! And there are few since we crossed 6 STATES!


WHAT'S IMPRESSIVE??

1. The Ohio 's Amish Country
In Ohio, there are so many Amish people. Who are the Amish??? OK.. It's a community of people, who are very religious, and they believe in a more conservative way of life, without using electricity or technology. Do you remember a TV series "The little house on the prairie" ?? How people used to live at that time? The clothes, the carriages, the reactions against anything pioneer, the men with the long beards etc. This is exactly their lifestyle. I saw Amish people on a carriage! Pretty weird! However, as the years passed, they are open to show their "world", and if someone wants, he/she can live as an Amish from within...! :P

2. Mohican Loudonville
On the other side, now, in Mohican Loudonville, somebody can learn the Native Culture & Lifestyle... Hmmmmm... !

3. Potomac,MD (Maryland)
This area is very beautiful. The residences are very well constructed in order to serve the needs of citizens,but without ruining the "peaceful" atmosphere.

Potomac is a census-designated place (CDP) in Montgomery County, Maryland, United States, named for the nearby Potomac River. The population was 44,822 at the 2000 census. The Potomac area is known for its very affluent and highly-educated residents. In 2009 CNNMoney.com listed Potomac as the fourth most affluent town in the United States.[1] Potomac is also the seventh most top-educated American small town according to Forbes.[2] Many Potomac residents work in Washington, D.C.

4. Marine Corps Base Quantico,VA
In U.S.A, there are two marine bases, one is located in Virginia, and the other one in California.

Next Stop ---> Washington,DC

*spring break = for a week the children in U.S.A don't go at school

TO BE CONTINUED.....

Κυριακή, 18 Μαρτίου 2012

Celebrating by the Irish way...

Today, Saturday March 17th, is National Day for the Irish nation.It's called...
"Saint Patrick's Day (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, "the Day of the Festival of Patrick") is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated on 17 March. It commemorates Saint Patrick (c. AD 387–461), the most commonly recognised of the patron saints of Ireland, and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland.[1] It is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland),[2] the Eastern Orthodox Church and Lutheran Church. Saint Patrick's Day was made an official feast day in the early seventeenth century, and has gradually become a celebration of Irish culture in general.[3]"


Well, everything was green!! People were wearing green clothes combined with green jewelry or having dyed hair or painted faces with the same color!! I was in Chicago down town to watch the parade on S.Columbus Dr. Everywhere I was looking at, there were shamrocks panels hanged, while I was listening to the traditional Irish music (e.g. riverdance) or looking at the river, which was green too!!! (They dye the river..!) In addition to, there were stands full of green stuff like hats, necklaces, shamrocks, just in case somebody wanted to buy, and stands outside of restaurants where "spinach" pizza was served (green food!) TIP: If someone, not Irish, wanted to participate in this anniversary, like me, he/she has to wear something green in order not to get pinched!!! It could be anything, from a hair-tie to a plastic bracelet or from a hat to a total "green" look..


WHY GREEN??? GREEN is a color, but can be used for many things/meanings like tranquality, serenity, peace, ecology etc. But for Irish people is their "history", "life-color", "benchmark". Therefore, I was wearing a bracelet that Valentina made for me... 


So, I couldn't believe how many people would gather for this celebration, though they concerned me about it few days ago.. THOUSANDS of people were out!! Why not??? Apart from the fact that a big proportion of Americans is from Ireland, it was a sunny day, and it would be pitty if they didn't enjoy it! And to be honest, it was hot, 26 degrees Celsius !!! (It's getting hot in here.. tourou tourou)