Thursday, March 29, 2012

here comes the sun

The weather has gotten warmer and things are beginning to heat up here in Thessaloniki! With abundant sunshine comes picnics in the grass and laying around in the sun. Beach volleyball has also started and lots of pick up games of soccer or frisbee in the grass. I love laying around in the grass with friends and just enjoying the warmth of the sun and the warmth of friendship.

My fellow students and I have also been able to talk some of our professors into hold classes outside. One day in my Women in Literature class we had a picnic outside with lemon-poppy seed cake, nutella cookies, chips, and soda. We played "Jane Eyre: Truth or Dare." My dare was to rap the song that Bessie sings to Jane in the beginning of the novel. Some other dares were: "Reenact the atmospheric conditions that were illustrated in the beginning of the novel" or "Act out the red-room scene." Some truths were: "Would you date Jane?" or "If Jane was a contemporary celebrity who would she be?" We had lots of fun and lots of good food courtesy of our resident, wonderful Candian: Elizabeth. This is how classes are supposed to be: playful, fun, interactive. I love having class out in the sun and out on the grass. It's perfect.

here's a video of a fellow classmate, Molly, reenacting the weather conditions of Jane Eyre

Other than Women in Literature we've been able to talk other teachers into holding class outside. We had Modern Art and Architecture outside the other day where we spent an entire hour and a half just talking about Picasso and his many lovers and wifes. Picasso gossip in the sunshine and petting a black kitty-cat that wanders our campus? PERFECT. Also, instead of a lecture in my Religions class, we went outside to reflect on Daoism symbols and wrote short responses or poetry about paintings of bowls and rocks. Can you say AWESOME?! Seriously, this is the life. This is the way the education system needs to work. I love it :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

An Anniversary of 10 Years of Friendship!

10 years! 
 This past weekend Jenna Goode came and visited me in Thessaloniki. Jenna and I met when we were 11 years old at Camp Foster. Ever since, we've gone to summer camp every year together and we worked as counselors at Camp Foster last summer. We've remained extremely close over the years and what a culmination of our friendship to get to spend a weekend together in Greece! Jenna is from Kansas and goes to school in Chicago but she is currently studying abroad in Rome.

So this past weekend, we had a blast! We went out HARD-CORE-GREEK-STYLE and stayed out on Friday night until 5 am! We went to over 10 bars, half of them I don't even know/remember the names of! We were out with GA, LA, and Maja, Simona, and Maria. Simona and Maria are Greek students and Maja is Serbian. They all know downtown really well so we bar hopped wherever they wanted to go. We went to rock and roll bars, salsa bars, loud clubs, chill clubs, etc... We started off getting dinner for Stephanie's pre-birthday-dinner-celebration and then we went to Sin City. We stayed at Sin City until about 3 am and then we club-crawled until 5 am.

The next night, we went out for a dinner celebration for Stephanie's birthday. She's turning 21 and we knew we had to celebrate it right! We all dressed up in our finest and went out to Vogue. We went back around 3 am since Jenna and I were both still exhausted from the previous night. But we had a wonderful night of dancing, singing, and celebrating!

we're keeping the Foster Flame alive!
The ladies looking all pretty like and whatnot
spending some time with the Greeks :)
a pretty photo of my girl riley and me

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Celebration of Crete

On Saturday night I went to a big Crete Celebration held at Macedonia College. I went with Sarom, GA, LA, Sarah, and Gogos plus Greek students Loula, Stefanos, and Petros, plus or ACT Cafe Staff Vagellis and Katerina plus Efi, our study abroad coordinator. There were also a handful of other people at our reserved table that I didn't know from school and I don't remember their names. The entire event was held in the cafeteria of the college and there was probably 500 plus people there. The room was filled with smoke, traditional greek music, and the hubbub of hundreds of people drinking and laughing. With our 12 euro admission ticket you chose between a liter of wine or a meal. We split our tickets half and half and got 10 liters of wine and 10 meal plates. I split a meal-plate with LA, who was hospitalized in London last  Thursday for a stomach-bug, so basically I am slightly nervous for my health. The meal was traditional crete food, a rack of lamb, soggy rice, cabbage salad with olive oil, chunks of bread, and a piece of baklava. The meal was disgusting but we were all hungry so we chowed down anyways. The wine was like juice and we all drank far too much. We also ended up with bottles of whiskey and we all had a few glasses of whiskey&coke-a-colas. (Yes, I added the "a-colas" to remove all possible thoughts about the usage of cocaine).

The night was amazing. The company was incomparable. The traditional dancing was crazy.

I loved the entire night.

At one point, I was sitting in my plastic chair at a table filled with American friends, Greek friends, Greek school staff, and Greek administrators and I began to cry. Everything just felt so right. I couldn't help but think: This is how life is supposed to be. Dancing, drinking, sharing food with everyone alike in an environment completely conducive to laughter and joy with people from all walks of life. This is how life is supposed to be. Whether you go to school with me, whether you serve me meals, whether you lead seminars and organize school events, we should all be together enjoying life together.

If I had attended an event like this at The University of Iowa, I know exactly how the event would have gone. I would have worn business-casual attire, I would have been surrounded by intelligent and polite conversation where the beverages served were all of the non-alcoholic sort. There would have been only a handful of people dancing and most would passively observe, perhaps clapping occasionally or swaying in their chairs. There would have been no dancing on chairs and tables. No bellowing laughter. No warmth, joy, love.

This is how life is supposed to be.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


On Friday night I went to a DIPART art show. It's pronounced "Depart" and the connecting thread between the art was departing from the self and from reality. It was a dynamic mix of art, technologic, aesthetics, philosophy and culture. I went with Julianna, Colleen, Karen, Jackie, Alex, Emily, and a few others. It was held at an abandoned building that is an former army camp. We were at the show from 9:30-11 pm and it was creepy out there. Creepy, but really cool.

All of the art was very avant-garde, both progressive and experimental. I felt that it was rooted in Dadaism and also in post-modern art as well. At the show there was traditional medium such as sculptures, paintings, and drawings.

But they also had a musical performance that was simply noises pounding and thrumming through surround-sound. The sounds made you feel as if you were being surrounded by disaster and chaos. There was a room full of projections of people singing a dark compilations of notes. My favorite display was a small room that was completely dark except for a handful of lasers shining through the room. Every time you touched a laser, it would emit a sound at a specific frequency. When you touched multiple lasers, you could create a kind of haunting melody. It was incredible to be "playing" lasers like you would a piano. Surrounded by darkness, thin beams of light give way to a melody. I could write a poem about that room.

After we explored the different floors and gallery spaces we headed down to the main floor and grabbed a beer and waited for the performance art to occur. When it started, we were led into a big room where a man dressed in all white moved stiffly while words were projected onto his body. Around the corner, a woman was trapped inside a cloth box, around the next corner a man searched the ground for letters to form words on his chest. Above, high up on steps a man dressed in all white was spinning a wheel of words and acting out whichever word he landed on. Around the next corner, a woman dressed in all white and a woman dressed in all black moved together as one. A human and it's shadow. It was a sort of dance where they could never separate but desperately wanted to. This all would have been much easier to comprehend had it been in English, but there is something foreign and mystical created when you don't understand a language completely and when it's used in dark-art.

Overall, the art show was incredible. I'm so happy I went! I loved how progressive the art was and that it wasn't simply paintings and installations. I liked that the art was interactive and unique. It was unlike any art show I've been to before. Another reason to love the art scene in Greece!

Here's an amazing article in the New York Times about How great Greece's art scene is. Check it out!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


I haven’t mentioned yet how I’ve gotten involved at American College of Thessaloniki. I’ve gotten a journalism based internship at the Michael and Kitty Dukakis center. For my internship, I attend events at ACT and write special interest stories on them for the ACT Alumni Magazine and for other ACT/Anatolia publications. I also conduct interviews with faculty and staff members and write “spotlight stories.”  Furthermore, I write other special interest stories on topics given to me by Dr. David Wisner who is overseeing my internship. My first article assignment was to write an article on ACT’s service learning program. I started by interviewing Laura Strieth and interviewed other students and members of service related centers. That article has yet to be completed as I have more interviews to complete. I have completed one article already though, on the Women’s Biographies and Life Stories workshop that was help on Monday, March 5th at ACT. The workshop served as an avenue through which the guest speakers were able to express their opinions, share their stories, and provide historical and social knowledge on feminism and gender issues. The article was about 750 words and got Dr. Wisner’s stamp of approval. He told me that he sent it off to Marketing and it should be published in the Alumni magazine shortly. 
Currently, along with the service learning article, I have been given three other article assignments as well. I’m to write spotlight articles on 2 different faculty members and I’ll attend a lecture tonight and write a post-event review on it. It’s quite a lot to have on my plate. I didn’t expect to have so many assignments thrown at me at once, I imagined myself partaking in a more relaxed internship, since just about everything in Greece takes place in a more relaxed fashion. Yet, it’s turning to be quite a handful. I’m enjoying it though. I enjoy have a reason to attend events that I might otherwise ignore or opt out of attending. I also enjoy interviewing people and hearing their stories and transcribing their words. (It’s also a form of networking that might come in handy later!) And I do love to write. I would rather give voice to my own creative spirit in the form of poetry or non-fiction writing, but this is diversifying my resume as well as my rhetoric skills. This’ll be good for me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Volos, Makrynitsa and Portaria

This past weekend I went on another ACT excursion to central Greece to the cities of Volos, Makrynitsa, and Portaria. There was only 18 other students with me so it was a smaller, more close-knit feel than the other ACT trips. 

We got on the bus bright and early at 9 am and drove three hours South of Thessaloniki to Volos. In Volos we visited the Archaeological museum there which is famous for it's ancient painted burial steles which are basically ancient gravestones. We saw longs of old ceramic pots and tools made from stone and jewelry made from Gold. It reminded me a lot of the Thessaloniki Archaeological museum that I visited last weekend, so none of us were super interested. After the museum visit, we walked around Volos and searched and searched and SEARCHED for a gyro or souvlaki shop. In Thessaloniki, there is some sort of restaurant or bakery every 20 meters but in Volos we had to walk around for 20 minutes just to find a restaurant that was open. We all ordered chicken souvlaki (even though I'm sick of it by now) but it's the easiest thing to order when you are planning on eating quickly and when the people who work there don't speak English fully. We tried to order each chicken souvlaki together by telling him our order all at once, he appeared to understand but almost every single one of our orders were messed up. Everyone ate their food though, just minus tomatoes or plus tzatziki or with other ordering-errors. It was very cold and the sky was heavy and dark. Luckily, it didn't rain on us but we still were unhappy to be walking around when it was so freezing. The other group of people walked around for over an hour to find their food place. They went to a sit down restaurant and spend about 15 euros on their lunch. We spent 3.20 euros and only took 20 minutes. Winning.

After eating the souvlaki we walked back along the water to find a coffee shop to stay warm in. We found this fun, childish coffee shop that was filled with primary colors and geometrical designs on the walls and floors. It was smoky inside and Riley wasn't so happy about that with her sore throat and cough, but it's not like you'll be able to find any coffee shop in all of Greece that isn't filled with smoke. So, the six of us: Colleen, Sarom, Katina, Riley, Lesley and I all sat down and ordered Hot Chocolates and Nes-Cafes. We picked up a Scrabble game and decided to play English Scrabble but with Greek tiles. It was funny, to say the least. We decided not to keep score so we could goof around and we played in teams of two. Lesley formed the world "badass" using a delta for the "D" and 2 Sigmas, one for each "S." It was hilarious to form words by using what Greek letter sort-of equated with an English letter. Riley and I made the word: "IPODZ" using a pi for the "P" and a delta for the "D." Somehow Scrabble becomes infinitely more cool when using Greek letters. After we sat there and played an entire game of Scrabble we walked to the water. 

Volos is a huge port city and it has a replica of the boat Jason and the Argonauts travelled on. We were amazed by the teal color of the water that didn't look natural to our eyes. It was such a bummer the weather was so crummy. Another grumpy-lily-fact is that I currently have to wear flip-flops. I haven't been able to put shoes on for 2 weeks now because my heel hurts superrrrr bad. I have Bursitis, it's super common in women, it happens when your bursa is too big and when you aggravate it by walking too much or by wearing uncomfortable shoes. Back home, whenever my bursa starts to hurt I just switch shoes and put on Uggs and it stops hurting because by switching shoes frequently, I don't chaff the same area of the back of my heel, so my bursa doesn't become irritated. However, here in Greece, I only alternate between two pairs of shoes, my leather boots and my black skater shoes. And I walk a lot, A LOT. That's no bueno for da Bursa. And here in Greece, everyone considers you completely insane for wearing flip flops before June so wherever I go I get a million questions about why I'm wearing flip-flops. I learned how to say: "I'm injured" in Greek and I also know how to say: "I'm from California." So I've been spouting out both of those answers at least 20 times daily to fellow students, teachers, and random people on the street. It hasn't been too inconvenient to wear flip-flops in Thessaloniki because I can take the bus everywhere and minimize my time walking and my time outside. In Volos, I was freezing and flip-flops just weren't cutting it.

After we left Volos, we went to Makrynitsa. Makrynitsa is a beautiful town that is built into the hillside. Cars aren't allowed up there because the roads are too narrow and because the streets are made out of super uneven cobblestones (aka not so great for flip flops). It was even colder in Makrynitsa because it was later in the day and because we were at a higher elevation, but I still was able to walk around- albeit slowly. There were lots of small touristy streets lining the main road, which is also THE ONLY road. So I bought a new wooden/shell ring, a few post-cards, and a worry-bead bracelet. Worry-Beads are HUGE in Greece. You see everyone, especially old men, playing with worry beads while drinking coffee or while sitting on the bus. Worry beads are simply an adjustable bracelet that you play with. The worry-bead bracelet I bought was hemitite with circular stones. Most worry-bead bracelets are made with plastic or glass beads, but some are made with stone or wood beads as well. Interesting typical lily story is that when I was first told about worry-beads during orientation I thought that they said they were called "Warrior Beads." So I proceeded to call them Warrior beads up until last week when someone finally corrected me. Typical Lily. After wandering around and taking photos and climbing into a huge tree and climbing another trees branches, we decided to go lay down in the hotel for a bit before our "big-family-dinner" at 9 pm. 

I was rooming wtih Katina and we were staying in one bed with a nice mesh-net around it, very romantic eh? Katina tried to nap and I read Jane Eyre. Our room was freezing, absolutely freezing! So I put on my beanie and cuddled by the heater. Katina got up and sat next to me and we ate pita chips and raisens and talked about our lives and our futures and about Greece. It was some wonderful bonding time in our romantic get-away hotel room. 

Our 9 o'clock dinner was great. I ordered a special dish that is famous in Makrynitsa, it's a traditional sausage dish with peppers and a tomato sauce. I ate it all including lots of bread and tzatziki. The wine was on Stepan so we all drank a good amount of Wine. Travis and Luke were tossing glasses back but us ladies sipped at a more classy pace. We were all exhaused and desired a weekend of detoxing, free of insanity and drunkenness. However, the boys did talk us into going out for a bit. We went to a local bar but it was deadddd and it resembled more of a restaurant anyways. So we went to the next bar, which also was dead but had a more sophisticated atmosphere so we sat down. Everyone ordered a beer except Sarom who got Sangria and Riley who got Nes-Cafe with Bailey's and icecream. I didn't order anything because I didn't feel like wasting 5 euros when I just wanted to go to sleep anyways. So after sitting there passively for an hour, us ladies decided to retire to our rooms. We weren't excellent company so the boys decided to venture to another bar with the promise of returning to their rooms at sunrise. (In the morning we learned that they returned to their rooms 45 minutes after we did). So, by 1 am Katina and I were tucked into bed. The room had warmed up a good deal but I still slept in leggings, sweatpants, a t-shirt and a sweatshirt. Double, double layers. 

The alarm went off at 9 and we headed downstairs to our complementary breakfast of bread with local peach jam, greek yogurt with local honey, and a kind of egg/bake/omelet thing that was basically a very thin sheet of egg with some spices in it. And there was fresh squeezed orange juice, which I of course, took advantage of. It was snowing in the morning and I was oh-so-very-not happy about that. I put on my boots but without any socks. Not wearing socks provided the extra room that was necessary to not put pressure on my bursa. Any contact even a touch of the hand to the bursa is killer. It used to be excrucitating but over the last 2 weeks the pain has dulled when touched. But it's still not super fun. So, we had a long and lesuirely breakfast of eating lots of food and of listening to throw-back music. After breakfast, we walked to the FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH. In greek mythology it was claimed to be the fountaion of youth and whoever drinks from it gains immortality. Riley took this pretty awesome picture of me and I got a few good ones of her as well. The water actually tasted delicious, super fresh and clean. So look out world, I'm immortal now. 

After becoming immortal we went to the folklore museum which was basically a house that had been turned into a museum that had been decorated in the tradition of the past. There were some awkward mannequins and a display of money and stained class windows and some frescos. It was pretty neat.

After that, we went back to the bus and drove 10 minutes to Portaria which was deemed the home of the centaurs in ancient time. Portaria was exceptionally boring and small and we spent 1 hour in a coffee shop and 1 hour walking around looking at shops and grabbing a "toast" (aka sandwich) and just wandering. I didn't by anything other than a hot-coco, a small apple-croissant, and a ham/cheese toast. We all were tired and ready to get back on the warm bus and head back to Thessaloniki. 

We arrived back home at 5 pm and I unpacked, showered, made pasta, skyped my amazing mother, skyped pockets (a camp friend), and went to bed early. The weekend wasn't awesome. The best way to describe it is as an "eh" weekend. If the weather was nicer, it could have been great, but oh well, at least I got to see more of Greece.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

my room

I thought it might be nice to give you all a little tour of my room. I have a single flat with a small kitchen and itty-bitty bathroom. I love having a single and getting a little space to myself, but also being surrounded by rooms full of friends so we all can hang out and chill together. My room is a fairly popular hangout spot to cook in or to all be chilling on our laptops together.

Riley and I cook in their a lot and LA and I made some fabulous chicken quesadillas last night. We found real salsa at the grocery store and ate our chicken, gouda, tomato quesadillas with salsa and hot Tapatio sauce. It was ahhhhmazing to get some mexican food since all my flavors have been pretty mild with Greek food.

I've made my room very homey feeling with putting up photos of friends and family and my kitties. It feels weird to not have loads upon loads of stuff and having a relatively bare room. I wish that the walls were painted some color other than white (maybe pale yellow?). My blankets and door are blue and all of my kitchen stuff is green. My mirror area has pink and orange accents with my bottomless bowl of oranges and my pink and orange make up bag and my pink bag of treats. It's good to have color in the room.

The yellow post it notes are all of greek phrases and words spelled out in lily-style-phonetics. I attribute all of my greek word and phrase knowledge to these amazing post it notes. I feel like if I don't write a phrase down on a beautiful easter egg yellow slip of paper, I won't retain it. 

And here's my precious little bathroom with the 2' by 2' shower. Awesome.

So that's my room. I hope you enjoyed the tour :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

My Guests

This past weekend I hosted Andy Cherry, Matt Schueller, and Taylor Tannebaum at my flat in Thessaloniki. They flew in Friday at 2 pm and left Sunday at 2 pm so they got a short but sweet taste of Greek life. Andy and Matt are my friends from Freshmen year Slater 11. They are extremely close friends of mine. Andy has driven me to the Chicago airport multiple times and I've stayed with his family a few times in Hinsdale, Illinois as well. He showed me around Chicago on St. Patty's day and was with me when I had my first Portillo's hot-dog. Both Matt and Andy are very, very important people in my life. Taylor is a fellow Chi Omega and she is a wonderful friend and sister. She's so full of life and sunshine. She's very considerate and we've had a great many nights out together in Iowa City :) She is one of the Chi Omega's that I consider myself closest with. She's a doll. I was so excited to see the three of them and to get a taste of home. I haven't really felt homesick but there are flickerings of missing home. Having Taylor, Matt, and Andy here was just what I needed, a bit of home.

When they arrived on Friday I met them at my flat. I got out of class at 2 and rushed home as quick as I could, hailed a cab all by myself and racked up a lovely 7 euro fee. But despite hurrying, they beat me by half an hour because their plane landed early and they waited patiently on a bench outside my flat. I mauled them over with hugs and love when I saw them. It just didn't feel real. Seeing my IOWA friends here in Greece, whaaaaaat?! In was unreal. Once they set their bags down we went out for chicken souvlaki and then for a sweet crepe at Mammy's. They loveddddd the food and raved on and on about it. Seriously, Greek food is delicious. Duh. After that, we went to Melli Melos, "the couch bar" that's right on the water, and ordered Frapes and sat around for a couple hours. Gogos, Alex D, Carlos, and Nicole all went their around 5 and we bumped into them. I love seeing people I know at places around Thessaloniki, it always makes me feel so cool to know less than 200 people in the 2nd biggest city in Greece and still be able to bump into people that I know. Anyways, after the frapes we went out by the water and took some photos and sat and caught up with each other. It was great to hear about their lives in Rome and what their own adventures have been like. They all absolutely love studying abroad and never want to leave. We all feel like it's near impossible to convey how amazing it is to be abroad and to be experiencing the world. If you've never studied abroad before, I don't know if you would be able to fully comprehend. It's a whole new world over here. All the cultural norms that we are accustomed to back at home in the US holds no ground here. Everything is different. How families work, how the laws functions, how people interact with each other. It's just a whole-new-world.

After that we came back home to PapaK and got ready for dinner. A group of 12 of us went out to Olive and Lemon for a big, traditional Greek dinner with tzatziki, flaming cheese, red wine, and lots and lots of meats. Again, they all loved the food. After dinner we went and got baklava and other sweets. Again, they all loved it.

We walked home and got all dolled up to go out. We were all drinking casually around PapaK and were hanging around. The people from Alexandrias and a handful of Dimitrius's friends all came over so we had over 50 people chilling around and drinking. It was quite the party-scene. I could tell, right off the bat, that every one really liked Matt, Andy, and Taylor  (not that I ever doubted it) but everyone really, really, really loved them.

After "pre-gaming" we left at 12:30 to go to 8ball (the club that's sketchy and dirty on every other night except Friday night when it turns into a crazy cool club). At 8ball we all ragedddd and danced the night away. The music was incredible, lots of popular top-twenty stuff and some throwbacks that just got everyone in a great mood. We stayed out until 5:30 in the morning when we finally got a cab and retired home. Luckily, I was able to find all three of them beds to sleep in. I was so nervous that they'd have to crash on my floor but I found some empty beds for them to crash in :)

In the morning, we woke up around 9 and showered because we were all wearing the tantalizing fragrance of sweat and smoke. We left at 11:20 to grab croissants from the bakery and to catch the bus to go to the Thessaloniki Archeological Museum. A group of 20 of us went and it was fairly boring and not-so-worth-it but hey, we went. And it was free, so it's hard to hate on anything that's free. Once the tour ended we walked to the white tower and then walked down the boardwalk right on the water. Taylor bought a pair of fake Ray Bans aviator sunglasses and was happy with her life. By this time, it was 2 pm and everyone was starved so we went out in search of a gyro. The group found chicken souvlaki place and was happy but Matt, Andy, and Colleen all really really wanted gyros. So Taylor stayed behind with the group and we wandered down the main road and picked up gyros. They were nowhere near as delicious as the place by PapaK but they still filled us up. Once we met up with the group we picked up some gelato and then the group decided they wanted to go shopping. Matt and Andy didn't want to go so I agreed to walk around with them while Taylor and the girls hit up the stores. Matt and Andy and I walked all over, up and down the main strip and by the water. We ended up finding a bar called "The Art House" which looked effin awesome so I darted in and the guys followed. It was a three story bar that is a night-club but sometimes in the day they have "artist markets" and today just happened to be one of those days. It had a hipster, funky feel to it but still kind of swanky too. There was fun art covering the walls that all had a bit of darkness to them. There were things for sale such as necklaces made from legos and headbands of lace and handmade dresses. I bumped into Laura Strieth in there, a study abroad advisor at ACT. It was crazy to see her in such a random location. But I was happy to introduce her to the guys. Laura is such a wonderful person and she's one of my favorite people I've met on this trip so far. She has red hair and a daring fashion sense and has a lot of enthusiasm and greek-know-how. She's been everywhere. She's fluent in Greek, English, and German. So basically, she's a rock star. I decided that I absolutely have to come back to The Art House and hang out there. That place just looks-like-lily, or at least that's what Andy said.

After the Art House we continued to wander around and grabbed a Frappe and sat in Aristotle square for awhile. We then joined LA, GA, and Alex for more coffee at Snob, a downtown coffee shop. We sat outside and enjoyed the wonderful, wonderful weather and watched LA lose to GA at backgammon. Backgammon is really popular here in Greece but I've yet to learn it. Apparently it's not that fun to teach, but I hope I'll be able to sucker someone in to teaching me sooner or later.

We took the bus home and relaxed a bit before we went out to dinner at Mangios which is a restaurant on the water by the White Tower. Me, Andy, Taylor, Matt, GA, LA, and Alex went out to din-din together. It was bizarre to feel outnumbered by American males for once. I'm so used to being with my seven girls and two guys. The ratio felt off. We ate a nice meal that had the bestttttttt zucchini balls ever. We all ordered random things. Andy and I split vegetable soup and I got spaghetti Neapolitan because my tummy hurt. Everyone else ordered lamb or eggplant lasagna and other strange stuff. After dinner we strolled down to the Irish pub we like to frequent on more chiller evenings. We sat there for an hour or so, talking and enjoying a less crazy scene. At 12:30 we headed down to Vogue, a notoriously incredible and classy bar in Thessaloniki, and boy did it not disappoint! At the door you're greeted by bouncers who actually have "a list." Above them hang a giant chandelier and upon entering you take an escalator up to the second floor. The bar itself is a huge arena of couches and different levels with lots of flashing lights and smoky mirrors. The bar has an aura of luxuriousness. There's a high-class extravagance to it. All the women and men are dressed fabulously and every inch of the bar is crowded with people without actually feeling crowded or cramped. We had the corner at the top all to ourselves with 38 Americans and a handful of ACT greek students we know. We had bottle service with rum and vodka. I had a rum and coke and a few vodka shots later in the night. We all danced and goofed around. There were dancers up on the small stages throughout the bar and they did routines sporadically throughout the night. At 4 am we fished ourselves to the front of the club and danced in the midst of hundreds of bodies. At 5:30 am the club brought us over free bottles of champage. AT 6 we left the club to go to a different bar, Berlin, which was dank and cramped so we decided to go home. At 6:45 I crawled into bed.

It was a night filled with laughter, dancing, sillyness, sexiness, and fun. Everyone was overtaken by an immense feeling of lavishness and of bliss. We were all together and we were all happy. The club itself was a dream and having everyone there together made it all the more unreal.

We woke up around noon and Matt, Andy, and Taylor got all packed up to head out at 1:45. We grabbed chicken souvlaki AGAIN before they left and sat outside of the restaurant and chatted until I had to hail them a cab for the airport. It was sad to say goodbye to them but at the same time I knew I would be seeing them in a month during my spring break when Kelsey, Steph, GA, LA and I all visit Rome.

It was an incredible weekend, one more for the memory books.