Ruined Ruins: The Trouble with Knossos

Knossos Bull Fresco

“Handmade, you see?” He knocks a vase with an innocent dolphin on the side against the counter top. “See, it will not break!” The gray haired man behind the market stall of mass produced pottery has a hard sell on his hands. He continues to slam his own product against hard surfaces to show me how well made his pots and vases are, ones that are no doubt produced in factories and not in some local potter’s kiln. A theme I would later discover at the archaeological site Knossos, I understand his imagination is far different than mine. He is selling me a lie, but I can imagine it to be something Continue Reading

The Ideon Cave on Crete Wishes You Were Here

Ideon Cave

Some words are never lost in translation. As we arrived to the small town of Zaros on the Greek island of Crete, I quickly learned “coffee” is one of those words. Down the narrowest of alleys and past plenty of Cretan men’s stares, we parked in front of our hotel for the night. The night before was spent sleeplessly worrying about the bed bug sighting. We departed Rethymno faster than we arrived and headed for the hills of Crete to hole up in essentially the next closest thing to grandma’s house. Walking through the threshold, we were greeted by Katerina and her Greek. She chatted and chatted Continue Reading

Roasting Over Hot Chicken in Nashville

IMG_4595

“The path to paradise begins in hell.”--Dante Alighieri “I’ll take the hot,” I casually reply to the woman behind the counter. She stares back at me with a look of wonderment meets stupidity. “Have you been here before?” she asks. I quickly assure her that I can handle a little heat. In fact, I don’t mind spicy food. My husband  smartly asks for his chicken to merely be in the medium range. I, on the other hand, am no chicken. As we passed through Nashville on our way to Louisville that day, I realized lunchtime would be set perfectly in Music City. After a little searching, I discovered Continue Reading

How I Afforded Traveling The Greek Islands

Crete Beach

I put off traveling to the Greek islands for one reason and one reason only. Travel to these pieces of paradise always seemed to cost the price of purchasing one of the islands. Flying all the way to the Greek islands was a charge that appeared as insurmountable as climbing Mount Olympus. Those accommodations with infinity pools to the sea on Santorini remained on Pinterest boards and stayed there due to the reality of what those would cost. Finally in September, I made it to the Greek islands after years of resenting my wallet and bank account for holding me back. And while traveling the Continue Reading

The Gas Station Queue for Kansas City Barbecue

Pulled Pork Kansas City

A man nudges me aside to pay for his cigarettes. A woman plows through to pay for her full tank. Shelves are stocked with snack foods and sugary drinks. I’m waiting in line at a gas station, but this ordinary setting is not quite normal. An abnormal amount of barbecue sauce is up for sale and roughly a 100 of us are just standing in a makeshift line snaking around the store. The woman in front of me jokes, “Is this the line to pay for gas?” Her predictable line isn’t funny to a grumbling stomach. I smile through my hunger and resolve to wait as I would for a Michelin starred restaurant. It Continue Reading

Folegandros Wishes You Were Here

Folegandros

Wiping the sweat from my brow, I look up to the scene before me. Wedged in between two rocky hills with no sign of any sort of life, for a moment, I wonder if I just stepped into Folegandros’ past. The island in the southern Cyclades is often associated with the words remote, rocky and isolated. Since Roman days, Folegandros served as a place of exile for political prisoners. In fact, up until the 1970s, those who had ruffled the feathers of the powerful were plopped down in Folegandros’ nothingness.   With few sights to see, the 13 kilometer long and 4 kilometer wide rock in the southern Continue Reading

The Favorite Island: Naxos

Coffees and people watching in Naxos

“What was your favorite island?” It is a question the traveler just back from Greece will receive again and again as I came to know. Oddly enough, I didn’t have to think too deeply about which island I preferred before all others of the same kind. Greece is home to 140 inhabited islands, but some total the island count in the country to around 3,000 if you include every small patch of land floating in the sea. Of the 140 inhabited islands, I experienced just five floating pieces of land. To hone in on a favorite of those five was simple. I merely responded to those questions of favoritism Continue Reading