May 28:  Chania

Observation:  Every girl should own a pair of white shorts.  Can't go wrong.  Well, if you're bigger than me, they might not look so great.

Despite the alcohol, mask and earplugs, I slept nary a wink on the ferry.  People were talking loudly all night.  And when they're talking Greek, it sounds so much louder.

A minibus took us from the port to the Hotel Kriti.  Luckily the rooms were ready at 6:45am (ferry landed sometime after 5:30am) so we were able to check in.

Most of the group at the hotel:  (l-r) Dawn, Ellie, Stacy, Rosalie (obscured), Jodi, Leo, Patty, Susan, Gloria, Gabriel (foreground), Deb.

We walked down to the water for breakfast.  I had a bacon omelette.  At the end of the meal we had our first taste of the Cretan tradition:  free shots of raki.  I had 2 shots myself.  And then we had ice cream to wash down the raki, which was perfect.  Especially because one of my raki shots had bugs in it (reminded me of in chem lab when I'd open a flask of ether and flies would start dropping from the air conditioning duct anaesthetized), including a small spider which I ate.  All day I kept feeling things in my teeth and thought they were spider legs.

After breakfast we went to the market and bought lunch for our hike tomorrow.  All I bought was a bag of pistachios, since I didn't see myself getting hungry on a long hot hike.  I saw a "Greek love" calendar for sale there, which I considered getting as a gag gift but it might have been seized at LAX, and a "thug cats" calendar.  The group splintered and it was down to Susan, Patty and me.  Susan told us to stay put as she went to do something and not to leave without her, but we don't know where she went, so we left without her.  (Just documenting that we waited and waited and went out looking for you!)  Patty and I made our way back to the hotel, despite the map again not working very well.  Along the way I intended to check out the Oasis souvlaki shop that Globe Trekker claimed is the best in all of Greece, but it was on the opposite site of the market from where we were, so I ditched.  I wasn't hungry for anything at all but was completely exhausted (up since 7am yesterday), so I slept in the room from 11am to 3:45pm.  Actually I didn't sleep for the first hour and a half because I had a boner.  Yes, I wrote that in my journal.

After the nap I went out to the Internet cafe near the hotel.  Jay Bruce was called up so I have to bid on him.  Eric Byrnes is on the DL (it's possible that Brian got the better of that deal, despite his trying to retract it).  I'm still 7.5 points up, in 2nd place.  After that I went to the harbor for photos.

Chania.  I'm not sure of the exact angle on the shot on Elias's postcard 4 years ago, so I'm trying every angle here.

That postcard from Elias showed a glass bottom boat.  I have the postcard at my desk at work and prior to the trip I pondered it, and came up with these lyrics to the tune of Queen's "Fat Bottomed Girls":

Are you gonna take me out to sea
Ah indulge my curiosity
Are you gonna show me something new
Glass Bottom Boat you'll make a real Greek out of me

I was just a naive tourist
My intentions were the purest
Oh so hungry for a tasty bite of Crete
But I couldn't keep from screamin'
On that boat filled up with seamen
No souvlaki can compare to that kind of meat

I elected not to write any more after that.  Wow.  That was really, really gay.  Needless to say, I did not go for a "ride" on the Glass Bottom Boat.  Daddy, I do NOT want a boat like this.  (And by Daddy I mean Veruca Salt's dad, not mine, who in fact has always dreamed of adventure and freedom on the Raging Queen.)  I could see Stewie singing this and then denying the meaning.  Or Peter, since he's a fan of Freddy Mercury, who was not gay, because he had a moustache.  Disturbing as they are, I rank those lyrics ahead of my past gems "I'm Wearing Brand-new Socks Today" and Pear Jam.

More of the harbor.

More.  This and the previous pic are from the lighthouse.

More harbor.



Almost too many harbor shots.

This one is much different from the others.  Irregardlessly, it's the last one.

We all went out to dinner by the water.  As a special treat, Gabriel brought along two sisters from a previous tour who happened to be in Chania:  Sarah, a sophmore at the University of Florida, and Leah, a materials engineering grad student who's dropping out to attend UF law school.  I gave her a high-5 for being a grad school dropout.  Although she's not dropping out to do nothing, as I did.

I'm not going to keep naming everyone in every single photo, but in case I missed anyone before:  (l) Marie, Len, Rosalie, Gloria, Deb, Susan (obscured), Patty; (r) Sarah (from our group), Sarah (UF), Leah, Gabriel.  Somebody's hiding in the back on the right...might be Jodi.  I think the Russians and the Texans ate on their own.  The UF girls had just hiked Samaria Gorge in the opposite direction from what we were doing tomorrow (i.e. they went uphill) and one of them said the gorge was gorgeous.  There's another etymology I didn't realize, like the lug/luggage thing.

After dinner, Gabriel, Gloria, the two other UF girls and I went to a bar.

Transliterated into the Western alphabet, this beer is Vergina.  Pronounced Vagina if you want to be funny.  As an example, Leah asked Gabriel if he was tasting her Vergina.  This beer is served from a bottomless keg of bad puns!

This was some trademarked look Sarah was giving Gabriel, but it was ill-executed and ill-photographed.

Gloria, Leah, Gabriel and Sarah.  Again, if you're contemplating attending the University of Florida for any reason, here are three strong arguments in favor.  Well, maybe not for grad or professional school...Leah said there's not much interaction between grads and undergrads.  I asked her, in case anyone reading this wanted to know.

Greek-style musicians at the bar.  There was a guy dancing here in tight white pants, and I was secure enough in my heterosexuality to concede that he had a nice ass (although Gloria had to ask if I was straight...those young'uns don't get the security thing sometimes).

These girls were cute, but I had no chance with them.  Leah's attention was elsewhere, and I accidentally called Sarah fat.  Well no, it wasn't an accident...the sisters had a running joke about Sarah being "the fat one", and later I referred back to that, uh, reference, which seemed to tick her off.  Some people don't get that referential humor.  But my comedy style is well-established...if I offend 99 people on the way to having the 100th person consider me a comedy genius, then I've succeeded.  I said it before:  I don't really care for the bottom 99% of society.

After a night of icy stares from Sarah, and her calling me "not cute" (me as Otter mouthing "not cute?"), we shook and made up.

Oh wow, according to my notes we went to another bar after that called Synagogue, where I petted a dog.  I sort of remember that.

On the way home I talked to Gloria.  Turns out she's conservative and voted for Bush the first time.  As you all know, I'm not, but I did twice.  Wow, girls are different outside of LA.  But she's not very political, which is also a change from LA.  People in LA seem so angry.  Probably because for the most part they're profoundly uneducated.  An LA native discussing politics is like a dog walking on its hind legs.  I try to avoid any political discussions at home, and even moreso on vacation.  Politics and religion should never be discussed, except in a purely rational and philosophical manner, which is impossible for most people.