Ah…Greece! And Robin Gianna

GreekDocCoverHi guys.  I’m thrilled to welcome my good friend, Robin Gianna, back to the lair.  I normally try to put the authors photo right at the top of the blog, but I messed up.  However, as Robin is a frequent guest, and her photo is in the photo at the bottom of the blog about Delphi, I hope you’ll forgive me.  Besides, isn’t that a gorgeous cover!  Love that it incorporates blue as you can see from Robin’s photos – it’s appropriate. 😛  With that, here’s Robin…)

Hello, All! Thanks for having me back at the Romance Bandits!

My husband likes to say that “It’s not a good road trip unless something goes wrong.” I find many flaws with this reasoning, since it seems to be just asking the universe for problems, doesn’t it?

I was inspired to set my June release, Her Greek Doctor’s Proposal, in Delphi after we spent two weeks in Greece last summer. It was a truly incredible and wonderful trip but, yes, a few things went wrong!

The biggest, most awful problem happened at the start of the trip. My passport was to expire two months afterAthens[2] our travels, and I pondered renewing it, then dismissed the idea because I didn’t want to worry about it getting to me in time, and didn’t want to pay the fee to expedite it. What a bad decision! Turns out, a passport has to be valid 3 – 6 months past a traveler’s return date. I’ve since found lots of people knew this, but plenty, like me, did not. So we were ready to board the plane in Philadelphia, and I was told I couldn’t go. The family went on without me, while I was stuck for the entire weekend in Philly until I could get an emergency passport the following Monday. That’s’s a photo of Athens to the right, but I missed that part of the trip. BOO!

I met up with them in Santorini (pic on the left), also missing two days there. It was spectacular, but the weather in early JuneSantorini[1] wasn’t the best.

Then we flew back to Athens, rented a car and took off on a huge road trip! Here’s the map of the route we took (to the right), which, while not without challenges, was an incredible way to see the country.Map-Greece[1]

The biggest challenge? The horrible rental car! It was a rattle-trap of a Fiat wagon (there were 6 of us), and on our very first stop in Nafplio, it decided to not go in reverse – kind of a problem! 🙂 The rental company called some local mechanics to come look at it, and there were literally twigs and a bird’s nest inside the engine! The mechanics were outraged on our behalf, practically shouting at the owner in Greek on my hubby’s cell phone – thank heavens he speaks some Greek, or it would have been tough going, because they spoke very little English. But Nafplio was Nafpliofabulous – here’s a pic on the left of my silly boys on the Palamidi Fortress high above the city.

Several stops later, we arrived at Monamvasia (see the pic on the Monamvasiaright). Another incredible place, and I wish I could go on about the history, but this blog would end up ten pages long 🙂 Here we’re at the top of the town looking down. Later that day? More car problems, as oil poured out of the engine. While my husband spent hours with a mechanic, the rest of us enjoyed a wonderful dinner SpriteWineunder the stars. But the mechanic fixed up the car which ran the rest of the trip AND he gave my husband a Sprite bottle full of home-made wine which was really good! 🙂 Here, hubby’s enjoying the last of it later in the trip.

On to Zakynthos, which is an island in the Ionian Sea (pic on theSulpherBeach right). Just gorgeous! Here’s a pic of a beach we chose, with my boys leaping from the rocks. One little problem? It turned out to be fed by Zakinthosa sulphur spring, and it smelled like rotten eggs 🙂 Even after I later washed out the swimsuits, I couldn’t quite get the stink out.

Nothing went wrong at Delphi, but I’m showing a couple pics, sinceRobin-Delphi my new release is set there! Here I am amidst the amazing history. And here’s the Charioteer of Delphi in the museum Charioteer2there, which is mentioned in the story since my heroine is an archaeologist.

Thanks for letting me share a little about our trip! How about you? Do you have a story to share about a travel adventure that went wrong somewhere along the line? Or just a favorite trip to share? I’d love to hear about it!

Someone leaving a comment will win a copy of Her Greek Doctor’s Proposal and a tote bag.

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  • flchen1 says:

    Wow, Robin!! What a very eventful trip! I haven’t had the pleasure of visiting that part of the world yet, but look forward to that some day! And I’m thankful for the safe travels we’ve enjoyed so far! I think the worst thing that went wrong when we traveled was partly because of a bad packing decision–our family flew to Jeju, a small honeymoon island in South Korea, to celebrate my husband’s brother’s marriage to his wife. Our youngest was two at the time, and I distinctly recall thinking, “I’ll just leave the baby Tylenol at home; we’ve never needed it before…” Alas, he came down with a fever while we were on Jeju, and hunting down baby meds was a near impossible task. Thankfully he ended up making a full recovery, but I still remember those few anxious days while he languished, glassy eyed, enduring the wedding ceremony and festivities :/ And well, after that I made sure to always pack medications. Alas, a bit like closing the barn door after the horse’s escape 😉 Aside from that, it was a gorgeous trip 😀

    • Hi Fichen!

      About twenty years ago, we were camping in a state park with the kids when my daughter came down with a high fever and we brought no baby meds. We didn’t even have a thermometer, but my SIL (another family reunion) who was a nurse had one. I stayed with my daughter while she slept, worrying about the reason for the fever and how to find a doctor if we needed one. We didn’t. The fever broke later the next day and she was fine – but her mother was frazzled 🙂

    • Robin Gianna says:

      A honeymoon island in South Korea sounds awesome! The stress of a sick child – definitely not! I’ve experienced a few versions of that on trips, but never in a place where I couldn’t drive to buy something from a drug store. I’m sure that was scary!

  • Helen says:

    Hi Robin

    WOW what a trip and I do love those pictures Greece is one place on my bucket list to visit I grew up next door to a wonderful Greek family and the food is just amazing as are the places I have heard about and I have to say I loved this story I do love me a Greek hero and the setting of Delphi was amazing thank you for another winner 🙂

    One of the cruises we went on a few years ago skirted a cyclone most of the way and therefore we missed out on some of the ports we were supposed to visit and in bad weather in Fiji one of the tender boats fell of the side so we ended up calling it the rock and roll mystery tour because to ship rocked rolled and we weren’t sure which ports we would get to from the original listing of stops but we had a fantastic time

    Have Fun

    Don’t miss this story everyone it really is good 🙂

    • Hi Helen –
      Not a cyclone, but our one and only cruise did encounter a small storm while in port in Mexico. The wind pushed one cruise ship into another while both were moored to the dock. Both ships were damaged but sailable. Guess those things are more common than I thought. 🙂

    • Robin Gianna says:

      You are the sweetest to tout my book, Helen! It makes me so happy that you liked it 🙂

      Wow, your ‘rock and roll mystery tour’ sounds like serous potential for sea-sickness! Must not have been bad, though, since you were still able to have a fantastic time. xoxo

  • Mary Preston says:

    Beautiful pictures thank you. My trips have all been uneventful. That’s not to say that they were dull by any means.

    • Hi Mary –

      Weren’t those pictures beautiful? 🙂 One of these days I hope we get to see Greece up close and personal.

    • Robin Gianna says:

      Uneventful can be a very good thing, Mary! 🙂 I would have preferred ours had contained fewer ‘events’ but we still had an amazing time. Glad you enjoyed the pics!

  • We’ve been pretty lucky on our trips but my brother had difficulties this last week when he went to the family reunion. He was flying into St. Louis from Maryland. First, they delayed their early morning departure for several hours – then canceled the flight. They stood in line for hours to be reassigned to another flight – hours, because tour groups got priority and there were several tour groups that were allowed to jump in line before them. My SIL, who is normally very good about these things, complained very loudly. They got attention – and a new flight that went to Boston with a couple of hours wait before flying to St. Louis. They made it, their luggage did not. My brother had packed his medication in his bags. The airline couldn’t find the bags at first and said they would deliver them in two days. As my brother and his wife were renting a car in St. Louis and driving four hours to Branson, they said that wasn’t good enough. They were promised their luggage would be delivered the following day befoe noon, but they would have to sign for it. My brother and his wife waited and waited and missed a family excursion because they were waiting – only to learn that the luggage had been delivered to the registration desk of the place they were staying hours earlier. Made for a great story but a lot of frustration for them.

    Loved the blog and the pics!

    • Robin Gianna says:

      OH dear! That sounds truly terrible, Donna. And how frustrating to find that, after all that, the bags had been parked at the registration desk and they could have been on the family excursion after all. 🙁

      Glad you liked the pics! We have so many amazing ones, and additional stories, I find it hard to decide which ones to share and not blather on forever!

  • Oh Robin I am so envious. {{adds driving tour of Greece to bucket list.}}

    When I travel I think, “Can I put a story here?” We usually can.

    • Robin Gianna says:

      Definitely put it on your bucket list, Caroline! When you do, call me – I’ll give you some suggestions 🙂

      I’m thinking more now about places to set stories that are a good excuse for a trip! Bucket list is growing pretty large though…

  • jcp says:

    I haven’t been anywhere on vacation in a long time. I hate the getting there and back part so I prefer staying home now.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Robin, I’m sweating just reading this! OMG! Yes, returning from a trip to Canada, on my way back into the U.S. I had to fill out an entry form (guards looking fierce and serious, you know?). So I’m sweating bullets reading the form, trying to fill it out in French. Argh! Mine was so awful. I’m thinking: they’re gonna arrest me, toss me in a Canadian jail forEVER! Then. . . I turned it over and saw (grins) the section for English! Ba-haaa! I’m still laughing at myself, yet the suspense was real!

    • Robin Gianna says:

      Mary, I have experienced the fierce and scary Canadian border patrol guards! Like you, we still sweat just thinking about how they were armed to the teeth and extremely serious. Glad you made it home 🙂

  • Caren Crane says:

    So great to have you back with us! Those pictures caused major envy on my part. I would love to see Greece! Our latest travel “adventure” happened on a week-long cruise in the eastern Caribbean. The ship was great, except I felt a definite side-to-side motion the entire cruise, whenever we were at sea. It didn’t seem to bother most people, but I fought seasickness the whole time. When we got back, I found out they put the ship in for repairs to the stabilization system right after our cruise! I felt vindicated.:)

    • Robin Gianna says:

      Oh, I’m sorry you felt ill through the trip- that’s got to be miserable! But, yes, what great vindication if anyone had rolled their eyes in disbelief…Surely no one you know and love would do that, though, right? 🙂

  • Colleen C. says:

    One crazy trip I remember was going on a cruise as a kid for the first time… we ended up in the middle of a hurricane… huge waves… everyone in the family was ill except for my dad and I… It was something to see… I had fun though…

  • Laney says:

    Sis and her husband drove their motor home to our place for my daughter’s May 30th wedding, arriving on May 21st. On June 9th, they left to drive home – taking my husband (recently retired) and me with them! We arrived at their home on June 21st and are flying home on July 13th. And we aren’t sick of each other yet, LOL!
    ANY trip is a favorite trip, but this one is definitely memorable. My husband hadn’t had a vacation in over 15 years. We worked round the clock during April and May getting ready for the wedding, then we worked hard afterwards by continuing to fix things up around the house (we were on a roll), so now we are finally relaxing. It is so nice to see my husband’s face showing less stress….

    • Robin Gianna says:

      Sounds like you’re finally getting some much deserved R & R, Laney! 15 years is waay too long between vacations.

      Congratulations on your daughter’s wedding!

  • Sandy Loyd says:

    I know I’m late to the party (Digest) but I had to respond!. I really enjoyed seeing your pictures and sharing your story, Robin. Greece is on my bucket list. Loved it all. Can’t wait to read THE GREEK DOCTOR’S PROPOSAL!!

  • Flora Buchler says:

    Kali Mera, Donna and Robin! Your pictures are lovely and Greece is a terrific inspiration for your book.

    PS. I was born in Tessaloniki, Greece; I need to kake plans to go back for a vavation like yours!

    • Flora –

      Make sure your plans include stopping by Ohio to pack me in your suitcase 🙂 Robin’s pictures make me anxious to go!

      • Hi Donna,
        I’ll let you know when I plan to go to Greece so we can get a steamer trunk to bring you anong with us. It will be just like that I Love Lucy episode!
        Since I won’t be going to Greece real soon, maybe we can get together for lunch or dinner at RWA/NYC later this month? Just let me know what might work for you.

    • Robin Gianna says:

      Kali Spera, Flora! We didn’t make it to your birthplace this trip, but hope to take the northern route through Greece next time! Thanks for stopping by, and good luck with getting back to Greece soon 🙂

  • Hi Donna,
    I’ll let you know when I plan to go to Greece so we can get a steamer trunk to bring you anong with us. It will be just like that I Love Lucy episode!
    Since I won’t be going to Greece real soon, maybe we can get together for lunch or dinner at RWA/NYC later this month? Just let me know what might work for you.