Summer ’09 Review-Part III: Ricki Has Panic Attack, Others Amused

Delphi was fantabulous.  We wore new clothes.  Even though there was still no product in my hair, I felt much better about life.

We drove to Meteora, and our luggage greeted us there!  YAY!  Goodbye, frizz!  I’ve missed you, razor with more than one blade!  We saw the crazy monasteries on cliffs, we loved life once again, and we left for Thessaloniki.  We bonded with the tour guides over the luggage debauchery, and I palled around with the girl in charge of the social activities.  (“Are all Americans…how do you say…’go with the wind’?”  “No, Theodora, we’re not all people on the reality TV that you see.”  Thanks for making us look good, Paris Hilton and Speidi.

That night, we slept seventeen hours straight!!  The heat, lack of water, and stress must have taken their toll, because we missed the first day of the conference completely.

Conference, conference, conference…math-ed, math-ed, math-ed…

No free Internet at our hotel.  Blasphemy.  I had to go to the conference and use the library’s Wi-Fi.  When we returned from lunch our first day, the library had closed, so I sat on the floor outside the library and plugged into an outlet near the garbage.  Not too shabby, however, because I got work done.  Talked to some people.  Updated my status.  You know, all the important stuff.  Used a men’s bathroom twice before I knew that’s what it was.  So, that was awesome.  Hung with the rest of the Georgia people.  Drank Mythos (I highly recommend it).  We went on a walking tour of Thessaloniki and went to Halkidiki, where we took a cruise on the Aegean Sea and saw Mt. Athos.  Everything about all of that was wonderful.

On the last day, I woke up and felt…off.  Sore throat.  Anxious.  I was sick of people cutting in front of me in lines, speaking to me, and looking in my general direction.  People just needed to step off. I went to the conference and took my usual spot in the library during the sessions.  Worked on my agent interviews, but I was having a rough time.  One complicated e-mail, and my anxiety skyrocketed as I tried to figure it out.

And where was my husband?  I thought he was going to be back an hour earlier.  I felt completely overwhelmed and wanted to cry.  A woman approached me and said something in Greek, which annoyed me because everything was annoying me.  Plus, I gathered she was kicking me out of the library because it was time for me to sit in the hall again.  I grabbed my stuff and went to my spot by the garbage can.  I looked down the stairs, at the main hall where everyone congregated…ghost town.  It was almost 1:30, and that marked the end of the whole conference.  I knew Kyle had to go between three different buildings that day for the different sessions. What if he got hit by a bus?  What would I do?

(This line of thought spiraled even further into the nutty-cuckoo.)

I started to sweat, and it was as though someone slowly made a fist around my heart.  I took shallow breaths.  What the hell was happening to me?  This is the part that amuses people, so, laugh it up, jerkfaces.  I seriously thought I might die there on the floor…or pass out…so, I got out my Holiday Inn stationary and scrawled: “Chest pains.  Kyle Schultz.” Yes, hilarious.  These symptoms lasted twenty minutes.  I forced myself to take deeper breaths, and after the chest pains subsided, I packed my things and went downstairs.

Nary a person in sight until I spotted one of the conference workers.  “Is the conference over?”

“No, the closing session is in that room.”  He pointed to an auditorium.

I entered and still didn’t see my husband–or any other person I recognized, for that matter.  I went back into the lobby and waited.

This story is pretty anticlimactic because he got held late at the last session and arrived about ten minutes later, but I’m glad it was anticlimactic.  Phew.

Further demonstrating our good luck that day, we flew to Athens that night and were starving by the time we reached the hotel.  The hotel restaurant, open until eleven, was closed…even though it was ten.  We walked to the nearby Goody’s, which is a fast-food place over there; they didn’t accept credit cards.  Kyle went back to the hotel to exchange his last few dollars for euros, but they wouldn’t do it because they couldn’t exchange dollar bills.  WHA??

Hungry, sick, and tired, we eventually mooched off our friend who was staying with us that night.  We all flew out of Athens the next day.  Hooray!  I’m guessing the stress just finally caught up with me and that’s why I had the panic attack and subsequent flu.  I got a fever in the night, complete with chills and sweating, but the flights home we’re that bad.  Saw Big Ben, Parliament, and Buckingham Palace from the air, so that was a nice little treat as well.

In-flight movies:

17 Again – lame, but OK.  I thought the movie was going to be Hotel for Dogs, so this was a welcome surprise.

Confessions of a Shopaholic – already saw it, but I watched it again one and a half times – love it!

I Love You, Man – much funnier than I expected.  I heart Paul Rudd, but he sort of annoyed me in it at times, probably because I’m so him with the awkwardness.

All in all, the trip was amazing.  I may have dwelled on the crazy for entertainment purposes of these posts, but it was truly the best vacation of my life.  I can’t imagine topping it, but I sure hope to try!

The White Tower--the symbol of Thessaloniki.

The White Tower--the symbol of Thessaloniki.


2 thoughts on “Summer ’09 Review-Part III: Ricki Has Panic Attack, Others Amused

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