Alarm was set for 9:30am but I was up well before that because the cleaning people were extremely loud in the hall, and opened my door at one point. Don't they have a list of who's checking out when?
Some people came home after dawn this morning. I would have done the same, if not for the dancing thing I spoke of earlier.
We left the hotel at 10:30am and had an 11:30am ferry back to Athens. A random passenger on the ferry was wearing perfume. The good kind. That and the cumulative effect of 2 weeks of being around hotties had me on the verge of blowing a sexual fuse. I calmed myself down with the vodka from last night and then went to work on the absinthe (which is 60% alcohol). I did not hallucinate or see the green fairy, but I did feel an unusual alertness, like my senses were opened up. I read about it later and it's really kind of illusion...some of the ingredients are stimulants and the alcohol is a depressant, and combined they trick you into a magical feeling. And check it out...as I drank, White Rabbit played on my iPod. In my elevated state I sang much of the song for Susan.
The ferry ride was about 4 hours. Toward the end I got really sleepy as the absinthe wore off.
From the port we took the metro from Piraeus to Omonia station in Athens (one past Monastiraki). We had to stay in the Economy Hotel rather than the Cecil because the latter doesn't take Saturday arrivals. A guy I know stayed at and recommended the Economy, and I considered it as an alternative to the Students & Travellers Inn at the beginning of the tour. The name of the hotel reminds me of Alex Economou, one of the contributors to the Let's Go Greece guide. She looks hot in her photo.
I checked the Internet at the hotel. Celtics upset the Lakers in game 1. Boners are in a distant 3rd place now, all on account of the collapse of my pitching staff. Ryan Doumit finally came off the DL so I got to replace Eric Byrnes who went on. (The Boners missed Doumit's bat...2 HR and 2 2B today as I type this on the 10th.) I checked in for my flights...on each one I got a window seat with no seat behind, but instead of the very last row I got the one before it narrows, so there's a row behind me but no seat K.
I went out into Athens. Things are looking familiar. I got a Coke and a Heineken from a stand.
On the way back I got a pic of the hotel. I see why it's called the Economy Hotel.
Unusual shower in my room. The tub is elevated, but the curtain goes all the way to the floor, so you have to keep it outside the tub. It's like Hell in a Cell where the cage goes outside the ring to the floor and there's a gap. Defeats the purpose of having a curtain, which I believe is supposed to keep the water in. Somehow, with this arrangement, the floor did not get wet.
Before we left for dinner, an envelope was passed around to collect notes and tips for Gabriel. Except the envelope said "Gabriele". The whole tour, people kept mispronouncing his name "Gabrielle" or Gabriel with a short A. Come on, guys. Disrespectful. Or maybe they were being pretentious, like George's girlfriend with the chopsticks in her hair who called his doorman Samuel "Samuelle". Why were all the female characters in the first few seasons of Seinfeld so unattractive and unlikable? I know females are impossible to write for, but where did that casting come from?
For dinner we went to a Lebanese restaurant that also had Greek and other stuff. I had pork gyros for the first time. Worth waiting for. Gabriel had that pizza-like stuff, lach... something (Peter gave me the name today as I type this Jun 10 and I still forget it). Gabe spilled something on his crotch and, referring to Jodi's dual accidents a few nights ago, said that he had "Jodied" and "I've got Jodi crotch." I pointed out "you'll need antibiotics for that." Well-received. Jodi also broke her sandal at some point today. She's so hapless!
On the topic of the fish eyeballs, Susan asked Garbiel what's the strangest thing he's ever eaten. I forget his answer, but I topped it by saying that I consumed my own twin in the uterus.
We did all our goodbye and thank-you speeches. I said, truthfully, that excluding my 35- and 52-person Contiki tours (can't reasonable make comparisons to groups that large), this was my best tour, tour leader and tour group. (In an e-mail a couple days later, Gabriel also said we were possibly his best group ever.) I also reminded everyone about my travelogue, which I'm typing now and am about to send out, and that they need to send me all their photos of me, especially my modelling shoot with Ellie and my hug with Ellie at dinner that some people thought was a good shot. The Russians actually left without ordering food because they were attending some event, so the group has officially begun to dissolve.
After dinner we headed for the ice cream shop where we'd been 12 days prior. Along the way we stopped at another shop full of trinkets and whatnot. Me, window-shopping: "There's ssssssso much cute stuff in here!" Sarah had a delayed reaction and like this line for some reason. I'll keep it in the routine.
Most of the group licking. Strangely, I wasn't hungry for ice cream, as was the case 12 days before at the same shop.
We went back to the hotel and did most of our goodbye hugs. This was a loud event and a guest checking in asked us to keep it down.
The Group of Six then went out to a bar for one more round of drinks (Gabriel had to do some work at the hotel be he joined us later).
Waitress took this photo. Poorly focused. Doesn't pretty much every camera nowadays operate the same way? You aim, hold down the button halfway to focus, then the rest of the way to take the photo. Too difficult I guess. That's why I'm here, and you're (Levitan hand motion) there. Or why thousands of people are looking at these photos, and not at your photos.
We went to another bar after this called Zanzibar (recommended by an employee at the Mykonos hotel...I think she said her friend owns it) but it was too loud, so the party ended. Patty, Jodi and I left. I gave Sarah the goodbye hug, but Gabriel and Gloria were inside already so they lost out. I owe each of you one hug. More hugs to Patty and Jodi at the hotel as we retired to our rooms. But the hug from Jodi was accompanied by a "nice to meet you", which is the kind of thing you say at the end of an Internet date that you knew in the first minute wasn't going to work out. What gives?
Bed ~1:15am. I thought about staying up all night (had to get up at 4:30am) but I figured 3 hr of sleep was probably better than nothing at all. Nothing at all. Stupid sexy Flanders!