Yesterday was July 4th. But it was also Wednesday, so we stuck to our usual daytime work schedule. Nevertheless we planned to celebrate our unique American holiday in our unique Samothracian fashion.

We invited Professor and Mrs. McCredie over for Ouzo Hour. They arrived in Sylvester, a Thing that was a popular model for VW in the 1970’s. There was deep concern during the first week that Sylvester might have breathed his last. Evidently he broke down somewhere between Kavala and Alexandroupolis as the McCredie’s made their way to the island earlier in the summer. The mechanic evidently had difficulty obtaining parts. Nevertheless, he was ultimately successful and Mr. McCredie was able to fetch Sylvester last Friday.

Between 6 pm when we knocked off work, and 8 pm, the start of Ouzo Hour, a great deal of preparation took place. An appetizer of watermelon cubes, speared with a leaf of arugula and a slice of feta, then drizzled with balsamic vinegar was made, as well as zucchini fritters. Others set the table in a holiday appropriate theme:

(You may not be able to see it so well, but the centerpiece is a vase containing a handful of small American flags.)

In addition to the hot appetizers, we also set out olives, pretzel sticks, bread and tzatziki, peanuts, and the requisite Ouzo. Actually, I should say “they” did all this, because I was in my room, packing up my belongings.

The McCredie’s arrived promptly at 8 pm, with Sylvester sporting both the American and Greek flags:

After the Ouzo Hour, the McCredie’s retired to their house, while we continued to celebrate with another uniquely American tradition: pizza delivery, new to Samothrace. It was wonderful pizza – and, as it turns out, the proprietor ran a pizzaria in Connecticut for a couple of decades before returning to Kamariotissa. We enjoyed peach cobbler for dessert.

I retired early, since I had to catch the 7 am ferry this morning. I am now ensconced in a hotel room in Athens, and have to catch a flight at 6:50 am for Paris in the morning, then on to ATL later in the afternoon.

Although I have loved being here this year, I am excited for my next adventure – I get to see all of my family in a week as we gather for my nephew’s wedding near Dallas, Texas.

So that closes the dig blog for this year. Since my daughter is getting married next summer, I am not planning to return to Greece before 2014. So I will see you then. Thanks to all of you who have been reading! And stay tuned…