The bags are packed, the snacks are loaded.  The camera is charged, the Prius is started. My sister sits in the car, her face alight with anxious excitement.  Our quest for diversion has begun.

Once a year, my spirit can no longer stand the doldrums of my daily life.  The rinse-repeat cycle of work-sleep-eat must end and my wanderlust kicks my butt out the door.  Where will the road take us this time?

Here’s a snapshot of what to expect in the next month:

CALIFORNIA HERE I COME!!!

  • English: Picture of San Francisco at Sunset. F...

    English: Picture of San Francisco at Sunset. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    My sister and I will take the road south to Fairfield California.  Oh and we have to stop in Portland to meet some old friends. Non-negotiable.  I’m driving so I make the calls. 

  • In Fairfield we’ll meet up with my aunt and uncle, explore the alleys of San Francisco and do some “research” for my day job at the winery. 🙂  I’ve made the trip once before but last time I was only 18 and therefore unable to truly enjoy all aspects of the trip.  Huh.  Lizzi’s 18 now.  Guess its an excuse to make the trip again in a few years.  Or maybe Vegas instead.
  • After three days with my family, we’ll drive north, heading back home.  For the sake of adventure we’ll look for ents in the Redwood National Park during our drive.  If we choose to return to the land of men, we’ll drive back up through Portland and to Roslyn, Wa, home sweet home.  I’d take my sister on the rest of my journey but she has this thing.  She has to study japanese and business for her future.  Pfft.  Whatever.  I’m going to iceland!!!

THE LAND OF ICE AND FIRE!!!

I know random right? Here’s the thing.  I’ve always been into Vikings, good food, strange languages, and weird landscape….

English: Reykjavik, Iceland. View from the top...

English: Reykjavik, Iceland. View from the top of Perlan showing the spire of Hallgrímskirkja. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Iceland has all those things apparently!  Also lots of beautiful women.  In hot springs.  So I’ve been told. It’s just icing on the cake.

  • I leave Seattle for Reykjavik, Iceland on Sunday the 24th, arriving at 6am the next morning.
  • Over the next couple days, I’ll explore the city of Reykjavik.  We’ll delve into its viking past, learn some traditional Iceland stories, and party with whoever happens to be in my hostel.  If they’re not too sketchy.  I can deal with a little sketch…but there’s a line.
  • Next we’ll hit some of the touristy spots in the western/south shore of the country.  I won’t give away too much but expect waterfalls, glaciers and adorably short horses.
  • Reykjavik-localisation

    Reykjavik-localisation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    After a total of 5 days, I will depart these icy shores to my next destination.  A land of ancient wonder, fantastic cuisine and pristine beaches.  Greece, the birthplace of the west!

HELLAS!!!

Now the fun stuff.  I’ve always wanted to check out the birthplace of strong Hercules and

English: Acropolis of Athens panorama (panoram...

English: Acropolis of Athens panorama (panoramic view from Areopagus hill), Athens, Greece.

Zeus who loves the thunder.  When dawn with her rose-red fingers rises on Athens, we’ll tell stories of old gods, explore ancient ruined temples, and journey through the Greek islands islands like Odysseus himself.  Hopefully with fewer distractions.  I mean If I have to be holed up on an island with a nymph for 7 years I guess I could deal with it.  For science.

  • After arriving on the 30th, We’ll spend the first couple days exploring Athens.  Avoiding riots and hitting all the required spots; the Parthenon, the Agora, some museums, etc.
  • Now at this point my itinerary isn’t completely locked down.  Here are some things that perk my interest that I might take some day trips from Athens to see:
  1. The Oracle at Delphi: An ancient site where king and peasant would ascend the mountain to talk to the gods and learn their fates.

    delphi 1

    delphi 1 (Photo credit: James Macdonald)

  2. Meteora: A collection of eastern orthodox monasteries sitting on fingers or rock jutting hundreds of feet into the air.  Talk about isolation!
  3. Mycenae: The fabled city ruled by Agamemnon, the king that would fight against Troy in The Iliad.  Whether he really did any of that is up for debate but the city is real.  It looks creepy as all hell and I can’t wait to see it.
  • After that We’ll take the winged beast and fly to the island of Crete.  We’ll spend a few days Lara Crofting in Minoan palaces, traversing rocky canyons, and swimming in the Mediterranean
    Greek Islands 2010

    Greek Islands 2010 (Photo credit: Samuel Lavoie)

    sea.

  • Our final stop will be the fabled Isle of Thira, better known as Santorini.  We’ll explore it’s volcano crater, relax in it’s cliff-side city of Oia, and spend our last few days exploring the unseen corners of this classic Greek isle.
  • Then at long last we shall return to Athens, board a plane and fly back to the grand o’l U S of A.  Here’s hoping I’ve mastered the art of sleeping on planes by then.

I will be doing much of this by the seat of my pants.  I’m not gonna lie I’m as nervous as I am stoked.  I’ve never done the single-person-backpacking-hostel thing before.

It’ll be a grand adventure! Come with me! You know you want to!

Onward to Glory!!!

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