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Stranded on the Greek island of Ios at 13 years old over one coca-cola bottle.

There could have been worse places to be stranded for a week. Of all the Greek Islands, Ios is one of the most beautiful. Dotted with windmills and white-washed villas carved into the hillsides, they look out over the turquoise crystal clear Mediterranean Sea. The smell of fresh ocean salt-water gently breezes over this island paradise.

Rich in history and Greek mythology, this island is also the resting place of the famous poet Homer. Santorini Island can be viewed from the hilltops. Lately it has become one of the “hot spots” for the younger European tourists.

The nice thing about getting a little older is you can look back at your miss-adventures and laugh at yourself. At thirteen years old, my mother, sister and I embarked on a cruise ship from Athens to travel the Greek Islands.

Okay, so there we were docked on Ios and the ship was getting ready to pull out. At thirteen years old, kids are still very impulsive. My sister and I spied a coca-cola stand directly off the ramp, leading to the pier. Of course it was a hot day and of course it made perfect sense to run back down the ramp for a quick drink.

No sooner had we reached the coke stand did the ramp go up from this large cruise ship. No problem, my mother was leaning over the side of the ship yelling, “My kids are being left behind!”

The captain was immediately notified. Big problem, once he learned why we left the ship, when after all they sold cold drinks all over the ship, he became so enraged he decided he was going to leave these kids stranded on the island – next stop, all the way back to Athens, Greece.

Now I can only imagine at some point he regretted this decision as my mother yelled at him non-stop for two days.

So there we were with about two dollars between my sister and I stranded on Ios for a week. If it were not for some very hospitable Greek families we would really have been in trouble. Feeling sorry for us? Boo-hoo, as it turned out we were put up in a nice hotel, given three meals a day, and spent our days swimming and spear-fishing on golden sand beaches.

Eventually my mother took another cruise ship back to Ios to pick us up. What started as a terrifying event in our lives now seems like a dream vacation.