"Welcome to the worst city in the world."

This is how my cab driver greeted me on the way to the hotel this morning. Pretty sure he was only half joking.

Rewind to Sunday morning. Haircut, get ready for church, finish stuffing the bags and run into the city to lead ushering. Every time there's a 5th Sunday in the month we usher with the youth group, and I'm in charge, which means I'm to blame when the kids lose an offering basket, for instance. Managed to avert that, barely.

After, senior high youth group. After, Cregan drives me to JFK, as he was headed to Bklyn to car shop anyhow.

International check-in w/o the benefit of pre-printed boarding passes and the frequent-flyer fast lane through security just plain sucks. Spent an hour standing in lines, and I'm the type that would rather open a bag of rabid weasels then stand in a line for more than 5 minutes.

Got on the mostly empty plane - 55 of us on a plane with 200 some occupancy. 'Rents / sibs connecting flight from Pittsburgh was delayed due to high winds in the vicinity, and Delta's mostly horrible customer service wouldn't hear of me delaying my departure to fly with them, so my plane backed out about 5 minutes before they got to the gate.

Movies. Should have read instead, but as a straight man who's worked in the fashion industry, I have to say I pretty much totally identified with The Devil Wears Prada. Woke up after a couple fitful hours of sleep to the sight of the northern coast of Italy. Every day should begin like that.

Landed in Athens, found Chris after a while, and after a brief stop at my hotel we set off to explore the city proper, or whatever they call it here, via bus and metro. Even rode them a couple times myself to get the lie of the land down, and I've already picked up some basic Greek, so I may prove to be a somewhat useful mammal to the family when Chris isn't around to help us.

Tomorrow: pick up fam at airport, then explore Acropolis and surrounding ruins (Mars Hill, etc.). Looking forward to it, I walked up to the base of the temple mound today and it looks pretty interesting.

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