As I mentioned in the previous Mystery Package Post, through the kindness of a stranger named Daniel, I was recently reunited with a journal I assumed was gone for good. I hadn’t seen it or thought about the little blue book in nearly five years, and now, here it is, on my desk.

It’s a rainy Wednesday afternoon and I have the day off, so I am taking a hike and getting lost on a jaunt down Memory Lane. This post is for my AN ladies. Here’s to hoping a few random journal entries will entertain you. We’re coming up on our five-year friendshipversary.  Let’s celebrate by laughing at ourselves, shall we? Okay. Megablasts from the past… here we go. 

As you read these, please keep in mind I have never been good with words. That much has not changed in five years. Try as I might, it will never change.


Ineloquently Written Blog & Journal Highlights 

To give my A.N. Ladies a Few Laughs

[2.25.11 – 3.6.11]


1. Arriving in Athens: “Hail & Fireballs”

Study Abroad Journal Entry // Dre Lynn Hudson

Amy and I are traveling together — just bought a bottle of duty-free wine. We may need it, depending on the “situmuation” in Athens. We’re hoping for the best and preparing for a mixture of ice-hail and falling fire balls. On the Bright Side, Caity thought the man behind the Athen’s Backpackers Desk was sexy. She’s hoping for someone tall, handsome, and Australian. I don’t blame her. 

Now, in case you didn’t know, two days before we departed for Athens there was a country-wide strike of public employees.  There were a lot of ‘demonstrations’ which (sort of) turned into what Americans might consider ‘riots.’ But in truth they weren’t. I mean there were some Molotov cocktails being thrown and a little tear gas used by the police forces—but nothing too unruly. Mom and Dad, I didn’t tell you all of this for a reason…The hostel worker called it a little ‘tizzy’ followed by, ‘cool beans, no biggie.’

FROM THE BLOG // 2.26.11

2. The Cacti & Asses of Santorini: Easy Amusement

Study Abroad Journal Entry // Dre Lynn Hudson

Translation: You know you’re pretty awesome when you’re excited to pull over to document asses and cacti.

Both of which we have experienced before… but not Santorini Ass and Cacti. 


Santorini Donkeys / DL Hudson

Our first choice of lefts or rights led us down to a valley.  This valley encouraged our first encounter with the Santorini ass… and by ass, I mean donkey, duh. Andrea would not allow us to continue our journey without pulling over. And so, we did.  Her immediate response is to the left. Priceless. I want to make this into a postcard.  This is evidence of our euphoric state and the variety of stimuli that maintain or even catch our attention.  We are easily amused, to say the least. 

FROM THE BLOG // 3.1.11

Santorini Cacti

3. Dogs. Dogs Everywhere. I will adopt them all one day.

Study Abroad Journal Entry // Dre Lynn Hudson

Translation: Here, I’ll list a few [shoutouts] to some of our dog all-stars:

  1. Franco – We met him on our first night in Santorini- Fira… He was our leader and guardian. 
  2. Sophie – Met her in Oia on Thursday night. She followed the girls down the 200+ stairs and back up… just to hang out. We think she was lonely.
  3. Stumpy 1 & 2 – Met these cuties (brothers) on the Black Beach… one of the Stumpys nibbled on my leg in hopes of either food or a little attention.
  4. Murph Dog – This guy. We met him our last night in Fira. He followed us all night and waited outside of the restaurant we went to. Literally. He sat right outside on the opposite side of the glass [from] our table.


They must have believed we had tender steak or charcuterie of sorts hidden in our pockets and purses because these dogs would wake up from a slumber and follow us on our excursions. Not in a stalking sense. Just to be near us. Maybe they were protecting us from something we didn’t realize we needed protection from?  

Case in point:  Andrea (me—not Blondie/Andrea) may or may not have been on the hunt for a WC and wandered off (I told the girls I was going to be right back), and she may or may not have gotten turned around, and she may or may not have texted Caity for directions.  This made Caity think that Andrea was lost and helpless. [For the record, I wasn’t lost. I was taking pictures of the scenery.]  

When I finally got my bearings, and headed toward the main street from which I had wandered, I saw the girls approaching. Behind them were three dogs.  When the gang got to me, they told me that a man had come up to them (they weren’t sure why) and the dog essentially defended the girls.  Maybe the dogs knew something the girls didn’t.  

This same dog waited for us outside of shops and relentlessly followed us until we got to our hostel. Then just chilled outside of our hostel when we went inside. He chilled all night.  He didn’t give up there. George, as I now call him,  waited for us until the next morning (at 4am) to follow us out of the hostel toward the rail.  He kept a close eye on us until we arrived at the tram terminal. He then disappeared.  He was one of our guardian angels.

Or we had steak in our pockets.

FROM THE BLOG // 2.26.11

4. Injuries and Poseidon’s Rage

Study Abroad Journal Entry // Dre Lynn Hudson

L Page: I fell down some stairs. Yup. Skipped two whole steps and face planted on the cement. Awesome. But at least I have a souvenir stuck in my hand — a rock. 

Catpoop fall

Note to Future Self: Do not run in flip flops while looking off into the distance out of pure excitement.  I know you will want to keep your eyes on the setting sun, but do consider looking down at your feet, at least every other step.

Learn from Past Self: Listen to future self, dumbass.  

It could have been worse though—my head was a few inches away from a fresh pile of cat poop. 

FROM THE BLOG // 3.3.11

R Page: Stopping just outside of Oia because I was car sick. Liz and Andrea Frolicked in the flowers. Caity threw rocks to Poseidon and then nearly fell of the face of the cliff down to the rocky depths of hell. 

On one of our last nights, we decided to give Oia a second try. Low and behold, the cards presented us with a sunset. YUP. A sunset.  Add to that some Cliffside frolicking, and you’ve got yourself an equation for jubilation. At the cliff, we had rock throwing contests, naturally… I told you we were easily amused. Caity won. 

The best part was, each time she threw a rock into the sea, she yelled some remark to the Gods. I think she was hoping [the Gods] would pull some strings and present us with favorable sunset conditions.  If we didn’t get our sunset, she was going to bellow pronouncements of disappointment directly to Poseidon.

FROM THE BLOG // 3.4.11


5. Awkward Turtle Emoji

Study Abroad Journal Entry // Dre Lynn Hudson

Yeah, Present Tense: I’m going to go ahead and modify this entry by stating…. we’re all awkward. We’re all awkward turtles. Yeah, all of us.

AN // DL Hudson 2011

AN // DL Hudson 2011

There they are… some of the memories I was able to cover this afternoon. I’m sure I will add more to this post, as there are entries that continue to make me giggle. I just wasn’t able to get through all of them. Part III? Maybe.

For now, Thank you, Daniel, and my nearest and dearest AN lovelies.

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Author dre lynn hudson

Dre Lynn Hudson is a Milwaukee native who loves the magic of light, conversation with strangers, and fish tacos. She is drawn to the quirky details of seemingly simple surroundings, and aims to capture the quiet and contemplative moments around her. You can find Dre eating the world with her eyes and keeping rhythm with the shutter. Dre is a freelance commercial photography assistant, who happens to carry her camera everywhere she goes. When she isn't assisting, she is working on a few personal projects to satiate her hungry eyes and eager fingertips.

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