Ain't nothing like a home-cooked meal.

Theo near Acropolis

A walking tour through Plaka

Athens is hot. We're in a hotel with a beautiful view of the Acropolis. That picture there is me on our balcony (Acropolis in the background). Apparently, this hotel has a great roof-top bar. We'll have to check it out. We have a handful of hotels booked over the next few months and I now realize a logistical error: no hotels with pools. Damn it is hot in Athens.

We walked the Plaka district today and enjoyed fantastic buildings and absolutely gorgeous views of the rest of Athens. I got dehydrated despite taking on over a liter of water. This forced a brief gelato outing and an afternoon nap. The ice cream was a big hit; an Italian dessert shop in the heart of the Monastiraki district. We certainly indulged our senses in a not-so-greek dessert. Of course, the Greeks claim everything comes from the Greeks originally, so I'll take them at their claim and go with "a delicious Greek-derived dessert."

I have been worried for some time about the Greek financial crisis causing challenges for us while were here for our brief Greek stint. Luckily, one of my colleagues at OmniTI is here in Athens and has insisted all is well and we will enjoy our stay. So far his story checks out. While I was chatting with him online, he invited me and my whole entourage to a home cooked meal.

Rule #1 of traveling:

Always accept an invitation to a home-cooked meal.

Dining with friends

Vasilis and Theo My friend and colleague Vasilis arrived at our hotel around 8pm with two European-sized cars to transport the six of us to his wonderful house. It was amazing to see life in the suburbs around Athens; simple, unadulterated greek living. Vasilis was a wonderful host and his deep belly-laughs and his playful take on greek living and life in general was intoxicating. Happiness is contagious and we found ourselves quite happy. The memories of this visit will certainly linger around Fotini and her amazing cooking. Fotini can visit us in the United States any time she likes, we have a room with her name on it (and the kitchen) and Vasilis can even come too.

Lisa and Fotini We arrived around 8:45pm and sat around drinking beer and wine (and water and coke for this disinclined to imbibe adult libations). The meal consisted of two salads (a traditional salad greek and a corn salad), a cheese bread called alevropita, a deconstructed-then-stacked lasagna called pastitsio, and chicken and pork souvlaki. Enough food for an army slightly larger than the Schlossini army. Oh my; mind blown. The feel of eating a home-cooked Italian dinner and a home-cooked Greek dinner are striking similar while the flavors are wonderfully different. Fotini earned a permanent place in Lisa's heart.

Alevropita and Pastitsio

As if gorging at dinner wasn't enough, dessert was served. Not one, not two, but three desserts. I tried both the baklava and the kataifi, but simply couldn't fit the ice cream. Amazing...

Ice cream, kataifi, and baklava

We've only been on the road for 14 days now, but despite the fantastic eats we've had nothing until now that really compares to the satisfaction of a home-cooked meal. Fotini and Vasilis provided such fantastic hospitality and gracious feeding that we were left both blissful and comatose. Honestly, after (over) eating I was in such an altered state of mind that I don't remember the remainder of the evening; it wasn't the eight or so drinks I had, honest.

General Information

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