Men’s Gymnastics (Rio Day 2)

Gymnastics has been my favorite Olympic event forever. I did gymnastics growing up for a long time and was fairly good at it until my coaches told my parents that if I wanted to continue improving and competing that I would have to start coming more than the 2-3 times a week I already was going to the gym. Since I was the oldest, that was more than they wanted me spend doing athletics and told me that I couldn’t go more than I already was. It was devastating and while I know I would never have gotten to the national or Olympic level, it is still one thing I look back on and wish that my parents hadn’t made me give up. They have since admitted that they made a mistake there and all my other siblings were allowed to spend as much time doing sporting events as they liked. Nevertheless, my love of gymnastics continues to this day and watching it makes me always smile.

So of course, watching gymnastics was my number one wish list item when doing the lottery. We chose every single gymnastics event to enter into and were lucky enough to end up with one men’s qualifying round. We messed up after this and basically took ourselves out of a chance to watch women’s gymnastics by getting tickets to other events on the days women gymnastics were taking place. I was a bit bummed when I realized closer to the Olympics when women’s tickets were finally available and we were already booked with other events. So that’s my biggest regret and lesson for others wanting to go, if you don’t get the tickets to the event you most want initially, make sure to leave free time for those days in case you get the opportunity later to buy those tickets. By the time the Olympics came around, you could have gotten tickets to almost any event you wanted with a few exceptions if you were vigilant and checking often.

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June 2017

This is really pretty late as far as recaps go as it’s the end of July by this point. June was an incredibly busy, but incredibly fun month as well. One of my besties got married at the end of the month and another eloped at the beginning of July making for lots of celebrating during June. We also managed to fit in some other fun activities during June. Plus it was my birthday in June.

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Flashback: Santorini, Greece 2011

After leaving Naxos, we boarded the ferry to the island of all Greek islands, Santorini. It’s a very common ferry route from Naxos with ferries leaving multiple times daily and a range of duration and price. Santorini is the quintessential Greek island that everyone pictures in their mind when they think of the Greek islands. My sister and I didn’t have the time to visit it back in 2009 when we did our backpacking trip. We made it to Athens only 2 days before our booked flight home and since then I had been dying to return to Greece and visit Santorini. Our three days in Santorini only left me wanting to return to the island again. It just has that magical element that leaves you wanting more, even with the over development and popularity.

Santorini has an airport and it is possible to fly there from Athens and elsewhere, however you’d miss views like these from the approaching ferry.

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Olympic Park (Rio Day 2 & 3)

Our second day in Rio de Janeiro was our first day of Olympic events. The Opening Ceremony had occurred the night before and we were pumped to be starting our Olympic experience. The majority of US Olympic ticket sales are conducted via CoSport. It involves a lot of complicated steps, planning, and luck to get tickets to events. I will detail all of that in a final wrap up style post. But basically, if you purchase tickets prior to a certain date the tickets will be mailed to you. Those that you purchase closer to the actual Olympics, you have to pick up in person (at least as of the 2016 Olympics). Of course, if they ever change to allow electronic tickets, that would hopefully change. We went first thing in the morning to pick up a few event tickets, which I would highly recommend. I’ve heard horror stories of long lines later in the day and week.

From the CoSport pick up location which was nowhere near anything else of course, we had hoped to head to a hospitality house or two and even mapped out how to get there and which bus stop to get off on in the Barra region. What we didn’t realize was the Olympic Park line bus wasn’t going to stop at any stops between the metro station where it ended and the Olympic Park. So we bypassed the houses and our only experience was watching through the bus windows. If we had realized that before reaching Olympic Park, we would have taken an Uber from the metro station to the House of Japan or another house in the Barra region. But once we were at the Olympic Park, it seemed silly to backtrack and waste a lot of additional time in transit. Because Rio is not an easy city to get around in and transportation is quite slow.

But our disappointment was quickly erased upon entering Olympic Park! The thrill of walking into the complex was so incredibly exciting and just so surreal that we were finally there after so much anticipation.

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