Archive for September, 2011

After an exciting  five days in the South of France, the Cote D’Azur,  looking at properties – a story for another day – we are back in Cyprus.

Steve’s work brought us here  just two months ago for three weeks.  During that time we met a lot of people and made a lot of new friends.  These included the hotel workers – reception desk and those who welcome you into the hotel, our housekeeper – in fact she recognized me from our previous visit and came running over and gave me a big welcome back hug, and the servers in the restaurant.  You may remember the article that I wrote on the two servers – Two Countries – One Dream. Both Elena and Maria welcomed us back with open arms , hugs and kisses when we walked into their restaurants on this second trip to Cyprus. We also got the same warm welcome from the owners of the Cypriot family restaurant when we returned for lunch on this trip.

Elena Preparing Cypriot Coffee

Out by the pool , while taking a dip to cool off from the hot Cyprus weather , I met a lady who was speaking English to her friend and she heard me speaking English to Steve so she came over to me and said “Hi, are you from America?”   I very proudly said yes and we spent the next half an hour getting to know each other. She was from England, married to a Cypriot man and now living in Georgia, USA. We exchanged business cards and plan on staying in touch with each other.

If only for a conversation between tables at a restaurant – and since space is at a premium in most of the world this is a common occurrence  for us –  you learn about them and their family.  Everybody loves to talk about their family, especially me.  You learn about their culture, ideas about the world and lots of other interesting information that makes you feel that you have touched someone’s life in a positive way as they have mine.  Many times we end up sharing good restaurants and places to see with each other that enhances our travels.

We got into the hotel elevator and stood quietly when the lady standing next to us spoke to her husband in English. That was all it took and we ended up having breakfast with them. Nili and Joel are from New Jersey and were visiting Cyprus for a few days on their way to Malta and other countries. We spoke from the minute we sat down at the table in fact I hardly ate any breakfast as I was so excited to hear about their travel adventures as they were to hear ours. We traded business cards and plan on staying in touch with them too.

We met Paula & Bill in the pool and talked for over an hour before the four of us went for dinner. We chose a Cypriot restaurant that serves typical Greek and Cypriot food that was recommended to us by a co-worker that was here on rotation for work before Steve. We ordered the meat and fish meze and shared it amongst  the four of us. Actually there was enough food for four more people. We spoke for hours over dinner and  really got to know about each other. It felt as if we had known them for months.

Nama Tavern Restaurant

This is one the main reasons that I love traveling so much  – the people you meet – the friends you make along the way.

I love people, I love listening to their stories, I love traveling.

On to our next adventure – Enjoy the Journey, Maxine

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September 11, 2011 – A day that we will always remember  –  A day that we will never forget…

This year on September 11, Steve and I are once again in Cyprus.

Since we are living in England, we have a different perspective than many in the States remembering the tragic events that happened on that day now 10 years ago.  Living in another part of the world and yet feeling so connected.

As the memorial ceremonies began, we were glued to the television in our hotel room in Cyprus for the entire day, flipping through the few English channels – CNN, BBC and Sky News – making sure that we weren’t missing anything and seeing all of the memorial services in the three different locations.

I was hanging on to every word that the newscasters were saying, the people being interviewed and their stories and most of all, listening to the 3000+ names of those killed being read aloud.  You could not help getting emotional as each name was read and then the family members talking about their loved ones that had died, many breaking down in tears.  As I listened I noticed the different last names, and the many different cultures that make up the fabric of America.  I listened as tears ran down my face as if  I knew each of these people.  This is the America I know and love – community – being there for each other – comforting each other and seeing the people of this great nation come together.

The events were well organized and created a peaceful, comforting environment, acknowledging each and every life lost that day with great respect, care and love.

Freedom is not Free and we must remember and be thankful to those who gave their lives for our freedom.

Watching as the families entered the Memorial Plaza at the World Trade Center site for the first time, where all of the names of those who died are inscribed into a metal display that goes around the Plaza, lit up from underneath so it can even be seen at night, keeping the names visible 24 hours a days, 7 days a week.  The family members and friends were stenciling the names – feeling the names as if they were touching their loved ones.  When Paul Simon originally performed the “Sound of Silence,” I bet he didn’t think that he would be singing it at this 911 Memorial Ceremony.  Same for James Taylor.

So proud and honored to be an American – so proud to have been born in New York – one of my favorite cities in the world.  My husband Steve grew up in New York and as a boy watched the Twin Towers being built.  We took our boys to visit the World Trade Center years ago.  In fact we took the elevator to the top and will always remember the panoramic view of Manhattan.

God Bless America

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