Around Town: Greek adventures, Sunset at the Lake and fun at the Woodlands

I made it.

After a week away sailing down the Mediterranean, I can say I saw Greek islands like Mykonos, Santorini, Crete, Rhodes and Patmos.

My group of 10 climbed the hills of Athens, and even made a stop in Istanbul, Turkey, where we watched handmade carpet weaving.

It was a trip I never imagined taking.

I’ve been to the Caribbean more times than I can count. That’s mostly rest and relaxation. No 7 a.m. wake-up calls, tightly laced sneakers or copious amount of water needed there.

On this Greece trip, all of the above were daily requirements.

We toured and explored, seeing places like the Great Theater of Ephesus and the Acropolis of Athens.

I’m grateful for the trip, but also grateful for a safe flight home, my two tuxedo cats who greeted me at the door and my work colleagues who handled my workload while I was away.

Now that I’m back into the swing of things, I’ve been back around town – and let me tell you: There’s lots going on.

Work friends and I stopped at the Sunset at the Lake Kickoff Party – a Grotto Pizza gathering at Pittston’s Susquehanna Brewing Company on Thursday. They tapped the first keg of 2018 Sunset at the Lake, a session IPA grapefruit-flavored beer brewed exclusively by SBC for Grotto Pizza and available at all three Grotto locations: Harveys Lake, Edwardsville and Wilkes-Barre Township.

It’s the third year the restaurant has had the popular beer available.

Live music by Stoned by Proxy and the summertime beers – consisting also of SBC favorites Shady Spot Lemon Shandy, Goldencold Lager and Hopcellerator IPA – made the night a success, as did Grotto co-owner Armand Mascioli and marketing director Tony DeCosmo chatting with visitors and serving up the legendary pizza.

I think I’ll be making many trips to the lake this summer.

That event started a great weekend that continued on the Woodlands deck Friday night.

Known locally as a summertime congregation spot, the Woodlands just debuted a new tequila bar with a specialty menu and flights.

Some of the tequilas I spied on the new menu include Jose Cuervo Especial Gold, 1800 Silver, Cabo Wabo Reposado, Monte Alban Mezcal and Patron Silver (and Café). Those – and a few others – make up the new tequila flights they’re serving up.

Afterward, I made my way inside to hear the Idol Kings – an ‘80s tribute band singing Journey, Tom Petty and John Mellencamp favorites.

After all that excitement, I joined another group of Times Leader colleagues on the West Side to install smoke alarms in area homes with the American Red Cross.

“Sound the Alarm. Save a Life” is a national Red Cross program designed to get more working fire alarms inside American homes.

While the Greece getaway was a once-in-a-lifetime experience with countless memories made, I’m always happy to come home – even if it means walking the streets installing fire alarms on a Saturday morning.

Safety first, right?

Mike McGinley is the Times Leader Media Group’s major accounts executive. Reach him at [email protected] or 570-704-3945.

Mike McGinley is the Times Leader Media Group’s major accounts executive. Reach him at [email protected] or 570-704-3945.