Mykonos

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After Paros, we woke up early and boarded a two hour ferry to Mykonos, our final destination!

The locals informed us that Athens is all about the history, Santorini has the views, Paros has the best beaches, and Mykonos is all about the parties. Mykonos is described as a mix between Las Vegas and Ibiza and it is the most expensive island in Greece. Mykonos epitomizes wealth, glitz, and glamour. The island is known for endless sunshine and all-night parties. It is a popular destination for celebrities, spring breakers, and the LGBTQ community and it’s not uncommon to see people walking around in fancy dresses and heels!

While expensive, Mykonos is not lacking in beauty and charm. While strolling through Little Venice and Mykonos Town, there are windmills and intricate labyrinth-like streets, which were designed to disorient intruders and early Venetian pirates. The windmills are incredibly gorgeous and the houses are a lovely shade of white.

Mykonos Town at sunset

On Days 8 and 9, we soaked up some Mykonos sun at the Paradise Beach Club. We attended a Toga Party, saw fireworks, and explored Mykonos town. We also bought evil eyes to ward off potential danger!

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On our final day, we took a 3 hour ferry back to Athens! In Athens, we saw a traditional Greek dancing show, attended a farewell dinner, and received bracelets from our tour guide. She encouraged us to travel and experience the world around us. At 2:15am, we woke up and boarded our flights to Charles de Gaulle Aiport.

The best part about Greece, was all the food! (AKA FOODIE HEAVEN!!!!)

  • Gyros
  • Kabobs
  • Hummus
  • Falafel
  • Tzatziki
  • Ouzo
  • Greek yogurt
  • Honey
  • Figs
  • Lamb Meatballs
  • Pork
  • Dolmades
  • Fried eggplant
  • Fried zucchini
  • Prawns
  • Greek salad for days!
  • Soulvaki
  • Moussaka
  • Backlava
  • Fried feta
  • Greek coffee

YOU NAME IT!

Overall, Greece was an absolute dream and I hope I can go back in the future (maybe for a honeymoon?!) I will ask the Greek Gods 🙂

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Mykonos

Paros (Πάρος)

Mykonos Town

On Day 5, we boarded a ferry from Santorini to Paros. Paros is all about the beaches: it’s the land of sun, sand, and sea.The island is the heart and soul of the Cyclades Islands and where all the locals vacation. Historically, white marble was the main source of wealth and today the population is around 6,000 people.

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To start the day, we sunbathed at Santa Maria Beach Club and walked along the Harbor. The downtown area is like a tiny Santa Monica Pier. Buses run frequently from Parikia (the capital) to Naoussa (the north side of the island), which is quaint and full of bicycles and twinkly lights.

 

In the evening, we walked to the city center. We ate on the water, sampling fried zucchini, dolmades, fried feta and honey, calamari, moussaka, and chicken souvlaki. The dolmades were a personal favorite. P.S. they tasted especially delicious as the locals eat a late dinner around 10 or 11PM! We were so close to the water, it felt like we were going to fall in.

 

Unlike Santorini, Paros is not a HUGE tourism destination. NO MAGNETS AND FANNY PACKS HERE! The streets weren’t packed and we didn’t have to compete with others for beach space.

 

On our second day in Paros, we sailed to the hidden, exotic beaches tucked away on the island. Our boat resembled a pirate ship and we jumped overboard, swam, and indulged in a traditional Greek BBQ cooked by a Grecian chef below our feet. The water was 77 degrees and felt like bath water! I don’t think I can ever step foot in New England water again.

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While I loved Santorini, Paros conjures up memories of clear water, Greek flags, mouthwatering calamari, and tan skin! I hear Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson vacation here. The locals told us that Tom even swam across the Paros channel. Tom loves Greece, looks like we have something in common 🙂 Paros was love at first sight, just between you, me, and the Aegean Sea.

 

Paros (Πάρος)

Santorini Sunsets

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On Day 3, we boarded a 30 minute flight from Athens to Santorini. Santorini is divided into 3 islands: the main island, Thira, Oia, and the capital, Fira. The island itself is only 35 miles long. 15,000 people live in Santorini, but  2-3 million tourists visit the island every summer!

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After checking in, we arrived at Black Rock Beach and learned that Santorini is an volcanic island made up of calderas, remains of the volcano, which separated the island in 1628 BC.

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By night, we boarded a boat dinner cruise and ate feta spinach pie, lamb meatballs, and Greek fish! We toured the cliffs and Fira Town by night and marveled at lots of beautiful shops, bars, and cliff side eateries. At midnight, we went to KOO- one of Fodor’s picks and Greece’s largest and most infamous outdoor night clubs.

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On our second day in Santorini, we visited the famous, Nea Kameni (a Greek volcano). While the volcano is “sleeping,” we could still feel the heat radiating beneath our feet from the volcanic rock. After the volcano, we jumped in a hot springs and took in the therapeutic properties of a volcanic mud mask.

By night, we visited Oia. Oia is the quintessential Greek town with white and blue everywhere, it looks just like a postcard! There are close to 60 churches in one Greek village and there are more churches than houses in Santorini. Greek Orthodox churches are marked by a blue dome, which signifies being closer to the sky and heaven.

In Santorini, there are more donkeys than taxis and more wine than water. The Greeks are known for: white eggplant, olive oil, cucumbers, kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes, and sweet wine. We tasted all of the above and even sampled sweet wine for a sunset wine tasting. Oia is a major tourist hot spot and hundreds of people gather at the summit each night to watch the sunset.

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Santorini Ice cream copy

By the end of the night, I ate lots of gelato and learned how to write my name in Greek. Santorini was by far my favorite city, I think I’m still dreaming about the blue and white 🙂

 

Santorini Sunsets

Athens and the Greek Islands

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Hello my Greek friends! 1 year ago, I booked a trip to the Greek Islands and it was one heck of an amazing trip. The trip started on July 15 with an 8 hour flight to Amsterdam. When we arrived in Athens, our tour directed greeted us, 40 ladies in total! We arrived at our first hotel, Hotel Alexandros (via a Barbie pink tour bus). We rallied for the Welcome Dinner and ate falafel, hummus, fried eggplant, lamb kabobs, Greek fries, and gyros at a beautiful open-air rooftop over looking the city. P.S. the Greeks serve fries with every meal, even inside the Gyros! MY MOUTH IS STILL WATERING!

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In 10 DAYS, I hiked to the top of Athens’ ancient and famous Acropolis. I saw Santorini sunsets. I cruised the azure seas of the Aegean Sea and ate lots and lots of yummy food 🙂

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On the second day, we toured the Parthenon and the Acropolis. The Acropolis rises 150 m above sea level. It means “the Sacred rock” in Greek and signifies the highest point in the city. Our tour guide told us the myth of how Athens became the birthplace of modern civilization. In the original myth, Athena and Poseidon had an epic face-off. Poseidon violently threw his trident into the highest rock and salt water flowed down the mountain, while Athena planted an olive tree. Athena and Poseidon allowed the people to choose the victor and they chose Athena, naming the city after her! The Parthenon is now dedicated to Athena.

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After the hike up the Acropolis, we finished the day with a walking tour around the Plaka district followed by a traditional Greek dinner. We ate fried zucchini, fried feta, kabobs, and Greek yogurt with honey. We also toasted with Ouzo, a Greek aperitif, which tastes like a mix between black licorice and jelly-beans. γεια μας (cheers)!

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Athens was truly incredible! History, Greek mythology, and feta galore! It was heaven!

Athens and the Greek Islands

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM ALL THE WAY FROM DOWN UNDER

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!! Wishing the happiest birthday to the most marvelous Mom in the world! Although I am down under, a day doesn’t go by when I’m not thinking of you! You inspire and amaze me every single day! You’re my best friend, mani buddy, and partner in crime! Wish I could be here with you today to celebrate you and your special day! Can’t wait to see you and throw a big celebration when I’m home! Here’s to endless cake, smiles, and margaritas! I love you so much Mom! Hope you have a great, wonderful, and amazing day! Love you lots

Meg

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Love you lots

Meg

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM ALL THE WAY FROM DOWN UNDER

SEA LIFE AQUARIUM

Last Sunday, I went to Melbourne’s Sea Life Aquarium and it went swimmingly! What better place to go look at sea creatures than Australia?! Here, we saw penguins, sea horses, crocodiles, sea turtles, and plenty of string rays! They also had coral caves straight from Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef! Perhaps my favorite part of the Aquarium was the overhead glass bridge referred to as Mermaid Caves. Here, I some of the most frightening sharks and string rays pass by right over my head! It was absolutely amazing!!

It was definitely am amazing day an an awesome opportunity to see some indigenous Australian fish and sea creatures! We even found Dory and Nemo 🙂 Luckily, I survived and didn’t get eaten by a shark!

Lots of love,

Meg

SEA LIFE AQUARIUM

St Kilda, Light the Night, and Luna Park

Last Friday, I had the pleasure of attending a lovely birthday party in St Kilda. St Kilda reminded me of beachy California and it was equipped with boardwalks, surfers, and lovely eclectic shops! St Kilda is also home to Luna Park, a cool retro-style amusement park build around 1912. St Kilda was beautiful and incredibly beachy and we got to see many lanterns pass by along the beach as a part of Melbourne’s annual Light the Night Leukemia event. It was such a great night and warm weather as well! At around 80 degrees, we killed it in St Kilda!

Lots of love,

Aussie girl, Meg

St Kilda, Light the Night, and Luna Park