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Greece

Thursday, October 31st


For the past two decades, Halloween has been my favorite holiday. A marathon of classic thrillers and costumes, a party-worthy duo. Though I managed to stream “The Shining” with friends, the day-long cruise to Corfu, Greece killed the Halloween spirit.

But I couldn’t complain. We were on a cruise line to the destination of my dreams!


The Pink Palace
We spent the 20-hour ferry ride sipping cheap Greek wine and dancing on the ship’s “disco techa”. A second ferry to the island of Corfu brought us to the Pink Palace by noon. With a “what happens in The Pink Palace stays in the Pink Palace” attitude, we prepared to lower our standards at the infamous hostel. Auspiciously, our spacious room overlooked the pastel coastline with a short walk to the beach.
The Pink Palace’s Private Beach
Rocking my bikini, I planned to eat light and ordered the lunch special: souvlaki, fries, pita, tzatziki and beer. Perhaps not the best for my beach body but only €5. After a few more cocktails, I laid out, swam around in my cap and goggles, and napped in my Snuggie. While dozing off I heard my friends laughing at my choice of blanket attire and ran up to the deck to teach them a lesson. Several Snuggie hugs. 
Post-Snuggie naps, we dressed for the Halloween party and headed to dinner. If I had the time and money, I would have dressed up like Miley Cyrus from her “We Can’t Stop” video. Instead, I bought a blinking Santa hat and wore a red dress.
Miley would have been fun, but I sufficed with Mrs. Claus at €1.
A free trip to Interlaken was awarded to the best costume at the Halloween party. A female trio dressed as Tom Cruise from “Risky Business” advanced to a dance-off for the prize. At the time, I thought I was competing for the weekend in Switzerland. Turns out I hadn’t made the first cut. Thought process: who could beat Santa?
So maybe my costume didn’t deserve the W, and maybe I became “that girl” to rollick throughout a dance competition, unknowingly terminated. I made a for a memorable Santa.
-JMM

Booze Cruise
At 9am, sign ups for Saturday’s events began. By 8:20am, 30 students lined behind reception to pay for tickets to sail around Corfu. Or as promised, a quality “booze cruise”. My friends and I waited amongst other eager students, struggling to stand while laughing over last night’s activities. Though once we reserved our spot, we chowed on omelets and drank Bloody Mary’s to remedy last night’s damage.
Quarter ’till noon, a pink boat floated up to the shore. Eighty kids held bags over their heads, drifting through the water over to the boat. We all talked loudly with excitement, anticipation, and fear. Having heard stories of what goes down on this boat, I for one was in fear.
All Aboard

Horns were honked, rules were made, and the bar was open. Ke$ha blasted from the speakers and we lined the deck dancing in our suits. The captain came out in his monkey-covered whitie-tidies and announced our next stop to the cliffs.

The 40-foot and 50-foot cliffs beamed in isolation. Much sharper and steeper than the rocks from Positano, my heart raced as I reached the 40-foot jump. Too tipsy to climb over to the higher platform, I refused Kenzie’s plead to join her on the big jump.
NBD

I had already cut my foot on the rock, so preparing to fling off the peak took strategy. With some liquid courage and confidence, I leaped into the air and smacked the water.
I know how to pencil jump, I do. But I still managed to land in the water in an angle that gave me a few butt-bruises and a sore neck the next morning.
Greece Lightning

The next few hours we continued to dance on deck. We anchored at a small beach to play Simon-Says. By this point, I could not take direction from anyone. My partner and I lost within the first round and I swam back on deck to take a breather.
A Stop at the Beach
With an hour to spare, the ship turned in a particular direction. Rather partake on the on-board activities, I thought about the father that loves me and the sandwich that needed to be eaten.


Toga
 
Waking up from a deep nap, Kenzie thought that it was 8am Sunday morning. No, honey, it was 8pm Saturday night and we had a Toga party to attend. The bartender from reception tied me up in the metallic pink fabric and we prepared ourselves for a long night of Greek festivities.
At midnight, the dance floor cleared for a traditional Greek dance show. We sat in a circle, clapping on two men grabbing shoulders while throwing their legs in the air. Next, a standing chair on top of table covered in candles was brought out to the middle. After lighting the candles, the staff poured lighter fluid on the floor and struck the match as a man pulled up the table…with his teeth.
His Dentist Must Be Proud
Lastly, the staff handed out shots of Ouzo to the crowd. Once we threw back this Greek liquor, a plate smashed over our head.
Opa!
The rest of the night, four of us girls hung out in reception eating ice cream as people in togas continued playing drinking games and paired down to the beach. I was beat, burned, and bruised up from the day and ready for bed.


ATV Safari
Sunday morning Bridget, Lexie, Julie, Kaleigh and I signed up for the ATV tour around Corfu. I had lost my driver’s license the first night in Florence (classic), and about missed out on the trip. Thanks to tourism, my money was accepted.
By noon we strapped on our helmets and sped off into the mountains of Corfu.

Our first stop was for lunch at an empty monastery. While eating subs, we played a “get to know you” game with our tour leader, Mike. Mike had bartended throughout the weekend and conducted the booze cruise. He had only been working for the Pink Palace for two months but already made a name for himself. Consequently, the “get to know you” game revolved around sex.

An appropriate topic at a monastery, of course.
Next, we parked at a beach on the opposite side of the island. Since the summer season had ended, the waves rolled in on a deserted shore and our group walked around in peace.
Our second to last stop was at the second highest peak in Corfu, Stravoskiadi. Cold and cloudy, but an exceptional vantage point. 
 
 
We ended the tour at a cafe before returning our ATVs and packing for check out. Our weekend in Greece seemed short, but well spent. The next time I visit Greece (which I will), I aspire to stay in Santorini and Athens, visiting the a few of the world’s famous beaches and the oldest historical sites. But I won’t take Corfu for granted. I had always imagined visiting Greece when I was a little girl. It had been a place I’d told myself I’d see before I was married. This weekend was definitely one for the books and one more to check of the bucket list.
 
-JMM

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