23 April 2007

Report from Greece: Boots, Knickers, and ANTM

Let's start with this. The view from our hotel room in Chania, ancient port, best known as a Venetian port. It was absolutely lovely, quiet, and perfect for leaving the balcony door open while napping in the afternoon (one of my favorite travel passtimes).

The view from our room at the Best Western in Chania
(where they have the bestest breakfast in the whole world)

But this was the middle of our trip. Fashion, as I said before, in Chania was tourist-centric, though there were lots and lots of little artisan jewlers with sweet and sassy pieces. My only treat to myself: a huge mother-of-pearl (knuckle-to-knuckle) cocktail ring.

Athens had more to its style. Big slouchy boots and equestrian boots were everywhere. Made me want to rush out and buy a pair that I didn't pick up in the States. I tried, but alas, none fit right. Given the weather (I really had to laugh at how bundled up they were), the Greek women were in tights, boots, and skirts or dresses, or in knickers. That's right. Knickers. Maybe I missed the trend stateside, but it's one that works well in transition - from season to season and from day to night. Worked especially well for young, hip mommas.

Athenian family out for a stroll in the shadow of the Acropolis
(note the equestrian boots and knickers; love the bright jacket)

More boots and knickers in the shadow of the Acropolis
(my very own MIL and one of my now multitudes of Grecian cousins, who always seems to be infuriatingly perfectly attired, despite having two children and a full-time job)

I tried desperately not to look like the American tourist, but I'm not sure it worked. I can usually successfully pass for a Northern European (which is sometimes an advantage, sometimes not, depending on the country). But I felt like I had a big stamp "American" on my forhead. Worse, "American Tourist." And so I was. There's no mistaking that I was a tourist. Thank goodness I was - there are really so many gorgeous things to see, like the Acropolis (where the Parthenon is) and Sounio. Most of it is just stunning, and who the heck cares if you're a tourist; if you weren't, you wouldn't see it.

Playing model (I pay attention to Jay's instructions on ANTM) on the cliffs of Sounio, upon which rests an ancient temple to Poseidon. The site's most famous visitor? Lord Byron, who somehow made his mark (literally) all over Greece. Practically every ancient site we saw had a Byron story. Kinda the George Washington (Washington ate here, Washington slept here) of Greece, oddly enough.

The best part of all? Family. I now have about 1000 Greek cousins (picture the scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding where Gus introduces his whole family to the new wasp-y in-laws: "Nick, Nikos, Nicki..."). Better yet? Some of them live on Crete. That would be a Greek island. I have cousins who live in the Greek islands. How exotic do I sound (to a tried-and-true wasp, that is)? Even better yet? Some of them have a garden in which lemons, oranges, and avocadoes (didn't know they grew on trees - they do - I'd just never thought about it) grow. And a basement in which they make their own wine and rachiu,* a sliwowitz/grappa/palinca/weinbrandt-like liquor that'll knock you on your rear faster than you can say "opa!"

Basement with winecasks, one of the cousins, and H. (Note the ubiquitous layered T, tank, and tummy sleeve over jeans.)

As my MIL advised me ahead of time, the shoes were to die for, with colors, styles, and materials galore (lots of great patterned fabrics for spring and summer), but alas, I found nothing that fit that wowed me (even when in Europe, I have a strict "if I don't love it, and it doesn't feel really good, I don't buy it" policy). So I stuck with my star flats and Grasshoppers

The Grasshoppers (topped with the Citizens) rest in front of the National Archeological Museum.

*Probably totally butchering the spelling. Since Greek is in Greek letters, and the translation I get of it is really Romanian, that's the best I can do.


Miss Scarlet said...

Is this our first view of Miss DCCeline?? Loves it!

DC Celine said...

Yup, finally decided to throw e-caution to the wind. Everyone else is showing their faces, so why shouldn't I?