Saturday, June 30, 2007

June 28 - Naxos Island - Beach & Relaxation

We started out today by taking a taxi down to the Plaka beach area about 15 minutes south of Naxos town. We had a nice relaxing day enjoying the swim and the beach umbrella's. We braved the bus back to Naxos town and it wasn't as bad as the Aegina bus.

After a rest at our hotel in the afternoon, Matt and I set out to take some sunset shots at the Temple of Apollo near the port. We weren't the only ones with that idea as it became rather busy around sunset and we struggled to get photos without other people in them. Needless to say, it was quite beautiful and easy to see why it was so popular.

We did manage to get some good photos of the marvelous orange sunset. The door to the temple provided a perfect frame for the sunset.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

And finally caught up - June 27 - Naxos Island

We set out in the morning to explore the ruins of the Temple of Apollo or the Portara (meaning huge door) as it is called here. The door is all that remains of the Temple of Apollo that was built around the 6th century BC. We are planning to head over there tonight for some sunset shots. Here Kim and I relax on a small bench on the walk over to the island.

Next, Matt and I went for a walk around the castle district of Hora. We climbed narrow little walkways that were actually roads in the time it was built. Armed with cameras we set off to capture the magic of this little town.

We toured a venetian mansion that had been inhabited by the original family up until 5 years ago. It contained some great examples of furnishing but perhaps the most interesting was the catapult balls that were used in ancient times. Naxos is famous for its marble and the balls were round chunks of white marble. It is so common here that many sidewalks and even the floors of our hotel room are paved with smooth, cool white marble.

The Trani Gate leading into the castle area. The wooden door still protecting the entrance is over 600 years old (not pictured here but would be in the passageway on the left).

Sample of the architecture in the castle area.
After exploring during the heat of the day, we set off for Agios Georgias beach for some swimming and relaxing.

June 26 - Hora, Naxos Island

We are now in Naxos island in the capital Hora (or Chora if you wish to spell it that way). It is a very charming town linked to mainland Greece and the other islands by Ferry and an airport.

We arrived via this ferry late on Tuesday night.

We watched a wonderful sunset from the boat out over the flat ocean. No there are no waves whatsoever out there. Great for Angela though!!

We were met by George, the owner of our hotel at the port and he drove us the short distance to our hotel. It is a very cute little hotel in typical whitewashed Greek style. The showers are also typical european style in that you can't stand in the little corner shower without the faucets in your back and the shower curtain wrapped all around you as you struggle with the hand held nozzel not to flood the bathroom. All in all, a great hotel and fantastic location.

Matt and I ventured out to take photos of the city at night. Notice the old city walls at the top of the photo.

And I'm finally almost caught up.... June 24 - Day Trip to Aegina Island

Given the heat of the city (Athens), we decided to take a day trip out to the island of Aegina. We boarded our first ferry of the trip about 9 in the morning and headed out. We toured a fantastic temple to Athena and then we had a great beach day.

These pictures are from the deck of the ferry as we were heading back to Athens at about 6pm in the afternoon.

Being from a very land locked country with little ferry activity, we were amazed at the things that were put onto the ferry. I just had to capture a full semi coming off of a ferry next to us. We saw several semi's and even a tour bus or two. I guess everything has to travel to the islands in some way!!

This was the ferry that we returned to Athens on. We had read that ferry travel was very irregular and prone to delays and problems in our travel books, however, it was much easier and nicer than traveling by airplane. So far, the weather has provided for flat (and I do mean flat) seas of which Angela is certainly greatfull for.

June 21 & 22 -- Chania & Iraklion Crete

We stayed for two days just outside of the old harbour area of Chania on the northwest side of Crete. On our last day in Chania, we toured around the old harbor area with its shops and narrow twisting cobbled streets.

We drove along the northern cost of Crete to the capital of the island, Iraklion or Heraclion depending on which spelling you prefer. Have I mentioned that almost every town has at least two different spellings of its name and can be quite confusing.

Matt and I visited Knossos Palace belong to the Minoan King. The ruins were fantastic upon a hillside just 5 km outside of city center.

We also toured around the Venetian fortress built at the entrance to the harbor in Iraklion. Both of these pictures were taken from the roof of the fortress overlooking the sea and another island off in the distance.

We have constantly been amazed at the mountainous nature of the greek islands.

June 20 - Crete - Samaria Gorge

On our first full day in Crete, we hiked the 16 km long Samaria Gorge. We were driven to the top of the Gorge on a bus and then we hiked to the sea (over 4000 feet in elevation loss).

The wooden staircase of the Gorge.

Bridge leading to the abandoned village of Samaria.

The narrowest part of the gorge, only 3 meters wide.

The beautiful (and cold) beach at the end of a very hot hike. The ferry's would take us back to another town to meet up with our tour bus and wind our way back to the North side of the island to Chania.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Athens - June 18, 2007

We decided to spend our second full day in Athens viewing the monuments remaining at the Acropoli. We walked through the new gates, past the Parthenon and on to the temple of Athena. It was amazing that restoration work began in the 1800's on the temples and was still continuing. The views were somewhat diminished by all of the cranes and scaffolding around but it was still amazing to be gazing at these ancient temples.

Here Matt and I are standing in front of a colonnade called the "ladies". If you look closely at the pillars on the back of the temple, you will notice that they are ladies and not columns.

Here is Kim and I at the top of the Acropoli with the Greek flag flying in the background.

Later in the evening we decided that we needed to go back up Filapapo Hill for some more Acropoli shots. We also decided that a bottle of wine was needed!!!

We hung out at the top of the hill for Matt to capture the following gorgeous views of the Acropoli at sunset and the Parthenon night.

A few pics... and more to come...

We are now on the island of Naxos in the Cyclades grouping of islands. We got in about 9:30 last night and have spent the day wandering around the very narrow streets and castle district.

We have internet in our room, so I'm going to try to catch up on posting some pictures within the next couple of days.

These are a few pictures from June 17, while we were in Athens.

We boarded the metro (subway) for 2 stops to end up at Syntagma Square where we watched the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The soldiers had a very intricate (and high stepping) march. This is a photo of the soldiers before they began their march away from the monument. And boy, we thought we were hot in shorts and a T shirt!!!

After visiting Syntagma square, we hoped on the metro for another stop and came to the flea market at Monastiraki. While wandering through the narrow streets filled with shops and street vendors, we happened to come across the Ancient Agora. It is a very roman portion of old Athens. Here is a picture of Kim and Angela in front of the Temple of Hephaistos (God of the smith and ugly son of Zeus and Hera).

After a short metro ride again, we came to the Acropoli (Acropolis). We walked up Filapapo Hill to view the Parthenon perched high on its rocky ledge.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Leaving the mainland...

Well, we are officially homeless for a couple of hours. We checked out of our hotel here in Athens this morning and dropped our bags in the lobby until we head out to Pireaus to catch our ferry this evening. The temperature is supposed to be in the 100's today so we are going for any little bit of air conditioning that we can find until its time to head for the port. Needless to say, the internet cafe is air conditioned.

We are headed to one of the Cycladic islands, Naxos via ferry about 5 this afternoon (we are about 9 hours ahead of MST). Here is a link to an island site that will give you a bit more info ( We will be staying in Naxos town while there.

We are going to take a day trip out to the island of Delos noted for its ruins within the next couple of days.

Overall, we've had a great trip so far. The heat has taken some getting used to and we now understand why it is recommended that you take a break during the heat of the afternoon.

I'll post some more pictures soon as its difficult to get pictures to upload in an internet cafe.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Back in Athens...

Hi everyone!! We have made our way back to Athens and are here for one more night before heading off to the islands for the remainder of our trip with Kim.

Yesterday, we had a great trip to Aegina (click on the name for a web link) by ferry. It is about an hour ferry ride to the south of Pireaus (the port of Athens about a half hour south of us). We had a great time viewing a beautiful temple built on the island in the 5th century BC (We'll post some pictures later on). We had some very interesting bus rides on the island as it seems local custom is to cram as many people on the bus as possible, and then add more!! It was very hot so we enjoyed some great cooling off time in the ocean. The water was chilly but not quite as cold as Crete. We sat on the deck while coming back to Athens and marveled at all that the ferry's can transport. We were amazed at an entire tour bus loading onto the ferry, but even more amazed to see a semi truck coming off one!!! Did I mention that these things were huge!!!

Today we are hanging out in Athens and will be doing some wonderful chores such as laundry and a bit of shopping errands.

Tomorrow will be our last day in Athens and we are planning on visiting the National Archealogical museum for the morning before heading out to Naxos tomorrow afternoon via ferry. It will be about a 4 hour ferry ride to the island. We will spend several nights in Naxos before heading out to the island of Santorini for several nights.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Greetings from Crete!!

We are on our way out of Crete today and back to Athens. We've enjoyed our first greek island and have discovered that it is very hot and dry here. We have seen one cloud since we arrived in Greece almost a week ago and it was very small. Needless to say, lots of sunshine!!!!

Here is a picture taken while in Athens earlier. This was taken from Filopappos Hill and looking back at the Acropoli.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

We made it!!

Greece is wonderful. A little warm (OK, hot), but very beautiful. We have spent a couple of days in Athens and then we took a flight to Crete. We are on the Northern coast in a town called Chania. Its a beautiful city with a wonderful harbor.

Yesterday, we hiked the Samaria Gorge. It was a 16km hike (4000 feet downhill to the ocean). Afterwards, we enjoyed a swim in the beautiful Eqyptian Ocean. It was very refreshing after the long hike. The water was so chilly that after about 30 minutes, Matt was shivering!!

We will leave this town today and drive the 2 hours back to Iraklion, the capital of Crete, for another couple of days until we fly back to Athens for a few days. Then we are off to the islands of Naxos & Santorini.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

He He He... I snuck another one in...

Well, I definitely have to go pack now... But I couldn't resist doing another page of the wedding. This is a two page layout based on a sketch by Susanne Powell.

These are some photos taken by Jason Smith as we were being seated for the reception dinner and getting our plates filled from the buffet.

{click on image to enlarge}

Based on sketch 24 by Suzanne Powell
Papers by Debbie Bradley (Emily's valentine kit)
Fonts: Love letters

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Yeah... I found time to scrap....

This is probably the last scrapbook page you will see from me until we hit the Caribbean. I wanted to upload a new wedding layout that I did this week. This is the 11th page of the reception and the 38th page overall. You can see the entire album at Picasa here.

I will give you a hint that there will be another one of Matt and Granger that will be published on
Di Hickman's Blog on the fifteenth, so check it out on Friday. I can't quite share it with you yet, but it is a great template that she designed and very different for me.

These photos were taken during the reception by Jason Smith and Katie Novak. We are very thankful for them for helping us to preserve our memories. I found the quote and thought that it matched the photo perfectly.

[Click to enlarge]
Full Credits Here

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Hrad Karlstein

Today will be the last installment of scrapbook pages from our honeymoon last year ( you now have seen all 12 that are done... with lots left to do). We'll start to post in a week or so with new pictures from this years travels.

About 30 kilometers (or about 19 miles) from Prague is the Hrad Karlstein (Karlstein Castle). We took a morning train from Prague and visited this beautiful castle and cute little village.

{Click on photos to enlarge them to read journaling}

Papers: DCVW neutrals & DCWV Old World & digital journal
Alpha: Maroon paper
Template: Unknown author of 4sketch06232006

Here is a little history of the castle (courtesy of

High Gothic castle founded in 1348, which has a unique position among Czech castles. It was built by Czech King and Roman Emperor Charles IV as a place for safekeeping of the royal treasures, especially Charles's collection of holy relics and the coronation jewels of the Roman Empire. The first stay of Charles IV in the castle is documented in 1355 when he came to supervise the building works as well as the decoration of interiors, especially the castle chapels. The construction of the castle was finished in 1365 when the Chapel of the Holy Cross situated in the Great tower was consecrated.

At the outbreak of the Hussite wars the castle became the place for safekeeping of the Czech coronation jewels, which were kept here, with the exception of several short-time breaks, for nearly 200 years. The castle was reconstructed in late Gothic style after 1480 and in Renaissance style in the last quarter of the 16th century. The present appearance of the castle comes from the last reconstruction, which was carried out in the purist neo-Gothic style by architect Josef Mocker at the end of the 19th century.

Very impressive is the original step-like order of buildings. From the Well tower and Burgrave's palace located as the lowest you walk up to the majestic five-storied Imperial palace and further up towards the Marian tower. And finally at the top of the headland stands the monumental 60m high and separately fortified Great tower.

Here is another great site for some more information:

Monday, June 11, 2007

Karlov Most {Charles Bridge} - July 17, 2006

While we were still jet lagged, we decided to get up before sunrise and go over to Karlov Most (Charles Bridge) that connect the Hradcany (Castle) district with Old Town over the Vlatva river. It was quite an interesting journey as we walked across town. We found out that at 3:30 in the morning, the bars were still going strong and didn't actually close until around 4:30. I'm sure most of you have heard the story of the bilingual lady of the night that we encountered.

We decided that the only way that we would get good pictures of this beautiful pedestrian only bridge would be to go when the masses of people were not awake. There were only a handful of other photographers and some very drunk people around so we were able to get some spectacular shots of the bridge and its statues. Angela also took some pictures of her favorite street on Kampa Island from the bridge.

(Click on photos to enlarge)

Papers: DCVW neutrals & DCWV Old World & DCWV Luxury
Alpha: Font (printed digitally)
Elements: Photo corners, flowers, brads, chalk & inking for photo mats
Template: Scrapmaps 04 by ditzy scrap

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Couple more honeymoon layouts to share...

Here are a couple more photos from July 16 in the Hradcany district in Prague. Again these two pages are paper pages and not digital (I scanned into Photoshop and merged them).

These photos are from the castle. The large red roofed pink building is the actual castle itself. We are able to tour a terrific museum in it. The other photos show Matt in front of one of the castle garden doors, details on the corner of one of the buildings, a view of Prague from the castle walls and Angela enjoying the view.

Papers: Provo Euro Vintage & Velum for journaling
Alpha: paper with glitter ink outline
Elements: Photo corners, flower, brad
Template: Chris Greiser

We also visited Kampa island (the first picture on the left and the top right picture).

Papers: Provo Euro Vintage & Velum for journaling
Elements: Photo corners, flowers, brads, ribbon with stamping, buttons
Template: Chris Greiser

Saturday, June 9, 2007

And yet more Honeymoon Photos....

These are from the first couple of days that we ventured out in Praha (Prague, Czech Republic). We visited the Hradcany (Castle) district and St. Vitus cathedral over the first couple of days. We walked tons and of course got used to the Metro (subway) there. The Hradcany district is across the river Vlatva so the Metro actually goes under the river (pretty cool).

Our loft was in the middle of Winceslas Square just outside of Old Town and several Metro lines intersected there so it was easy to move around the entire city.

This layout shows a view of the Hradcany district from across the river and a close up of St. Vitus's Bell tower (that we climbed with several hundred other people in a very tight spiral staircase).

Papers: DCVW neutrals & DCWV Old World & Velum for journaling
Alpha: Pink chipboard
Elements: Photo corners, flowers, brads, chalk, ribbon
Template: by Becky Fleck - See scrapmaps link in side bar
Photos by us

This layout shows pictures inside the bell tower and also pictures taken from the top overlooking Praha and the river Vlatva that flows right through the middle of town.

Papers: DCVW neutrals & DCWV Old World & Velum for journaling
Alpha: George cartridge by Cricut
Elements: Photo corners, flowers, brads, chalk, ribbon, eyelets by various artists
Template: by Becky Fleck (upside down) - See scrapmaps link in side bar
Photos by us

Friday, June 8, 2007

New Honeymoon Layouts – Pages 3 & 4 – Travel & Recovery Days

I think I might actually get these uploaded today, I've been trying (unsuccessfully) for 3 days now. Here are the next couple of pages from our honeymoon last year. Mostly just talking about the travel and our little loft in Prague.

See the post below for full credits. Remember that you can click on the pictures and a larger version will appear.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Honeymoon Pages!!!

Well, I've finally got them scanned in and merged (since my scanner does not do 12x12). I used a new feature in Photoshop CS3 to auto align the images and then auto blend them and it didn't do too bad of a job. This album is quite different for me as I'm doing it all in 2 page layouts.

Keep in mind, these are all done with paper and digital photos and journaling. I used DCWV's Neutrals, Luxury, & Old World papers in addition to Provo's Euro Vintage papers. I also used the new Cricut cartridge "Going Places" for lots of the embellishments. There are tons of other embellishments used such as flowers, brads, ribbons, etc. so email me if you want any details on any of them.

These are the first two pages that I did as an overview of our trip. I'll try to post a couple more each day until we leave.

New way to get Blog info...

As I’m sure you can guess, we are busily preparing for our trip.

I have installed a new feature on the blog that will email you only when the blog is updated (so that you don’t have to remember to come check it). If you look on the right side of the screen, you will see a section for email subscriptions from Feedblitz. It takes about 10 seconds to setup. All that you need to do is type in your email address, click on the white “Get Email Updates” button and follow the instructions on the screen that appears next. If you can’t quite figure it out, email me and I’ll get you setup.

I’ve been working on our honeymoon album which is a hybrid design of scrapbooking (combination of paper and digital) so I’ll be scanning in the pages to share with you on here. So far, I have about 10 pages done!!! I’m still a year behind in scrapping our travels, but oh well.

Friday, June 1, 2007

I finished another wedding layout... I'm finally on the reception... But just the beginning as you can see. Jason caught this moment of me looking at the ring on Matt's finger.

Photo: Jason Smith Photography
Template: Di Hickman
ScrapKit: Beloved by Angie Briggs