In honor of our first year anniversary, I thought I would do a little throw back to the first European trip Tyler and I embarked on. AKA our honeymoon.
To this day, our honeymoon is the most special and incredible trip we have ever been on. Definitely because we were so excited and partially because we spared no expenses. YOLO. But seriously, this was one for the books. Looking back, I am very grateful that I insisted on writing everything down in a travel journal each day. It has been very helpful for this blog post as I try to string together the blissful events that occurred last year. It went a little something like this…
We hopped of the plane at
LAX Mykonos with 2 hours of sleep and a shit ton of luggage. Seriously, Tyler and I have come a long way in terms of our ability to sleep on planes and to cram as much into as small of suitcases as possible. I still remember the horrible jetlag I experienced, but I was trying so hard to be the cool wife and not lose my shit after being married for just 24 hours. In hind sight, it was probably not the best idea to take an 8am flight halfway around the world the day after your wedding. Still no clue how I happened to wake up on time with no alarm to get us on the plane, but it was the first test of our marriage.
All of the travel and strife was definitely worth it when we finally got to our hotel in Mykonos, The Mykonos Grand, and saw the insane views.
The water was so clear and perfect and our hotel was so romantic and beautiful. We spent the first day in awe of our surroundings and soaked in the view and the beach before taking in our first sunset. We made it our mission to watch the sunset every night as the views are most spectacular from the Greek isles.
Needless to say, after our extensive travel day and running on almost no sleep, we did not get off to an early start on Day 2. Instead, most of the day was spent lounging on the beach and trying to adjust to the new time zone and enjoying being married. The balcony of our hotel room was definitely one of my favorite parts of the trip. Spectacular views.
Dinner at Kalita
Being the adventurous duo that we are, instead of spending Day 3 relaxing at the beach, we decided to take the short ferry ride to the island of Delos which kind of reminded me of Pompeii with the very old ruins. The waters on the ferry were pretty rough and I think Tyler got a little seasick, but we made it to the historic island. We greeted our eccentric tour guide who made the group reenact what life was like back in the glory days of Delos, and we learned a lot about the history of the ancient civilization. The most memorable moment of the tour was hanging out in the amphitheater, which is where I imagine Tyler and I would have spent most of our time if we had been around way back then. The island also had a plethora of cats, which I definitely loved, although it was a little strange seeing as the only people who live on the island are archeologist who are excavating the ruins and security guards who protect from looting. When the city was abandoned in 88 AD, looters came from time to time taking the treasures from the once precious city.
After the tour we headed into the city of Mykonos for a little sight seeing and food eating. The town is beautiful with white buildings with vibrant blue, green, and pink trim. We saw the windmills and the famous beautiful white church. We had our first round of gyros (which it turns out are not lamb in Greece, but more often are pork or chicken, who knew?).
Dinner was at Iterni where we had the best food of the trip so far with gnocchi and lamb and Wagyu beef.
We ended the night by going to see Steve Aoki at da clurb, Cavo Paradiso, halfway across the island. Mr. Aoki decided he was too cool to start his show until 2am, so we waited for him to come on in this Vegas style club around the pool. He finally went on and it was an epic rage until the shoving and jostling got to be too much for us and we decided it was best to head home. Fun fact about Mykonos is that the island is so small that there are only around 20 cabs on the entire island. So most of the time, you’ll call your hotel and they will route a cab to your place. We left the show so late that our hotel was legit worried about us and breathed a sigh of relief when we made it back in one piece.
Day 4, our last day and night in Mykonos was spent hanging at our resort. It was a beautiful day for swimming and the water was chilly, but perfect. Tyler tried his luck at getting all the way to the really far out buoy and and made it. Since I am not as great of a swimmer, I watched nervously from the beach.
We ended the trip with one last amazing sunset and dinner at Kounelas Fish Tavern. This place was more casual, and they let you pick out your own fish (and make sure to give you its head too)!
We definitely ended on a high in Mykonos with the beautiful sunsets, the gorgeous scenery, the amazing food and wine, and the beach. I had big expectations for Santorini, but ended up almost having a meltdown within 20 minutes of arriving on the majestic island.
On Day 5, we decided to go by ferry from Mykonos to Santorini which is probably the easiest mode of transportation, and had incredible views. We thought that upon arriving at the port our hotel would send a car to pick us up. Apparently, we were supposed to call them and arrange this, so instead we hopped in a cab with a local. Do not get in a taxi in Santorini. It was terrifying. Our taxi driver was a stereotypical Greek man with a temper. While sitting in traffic another driver honked at him because he was blocking the street. He motioned vulgarly toward the other driver and got out of his car to yell at him. The other driver also got out of the car and the two were yelling face to face in the middle of the street for what seemed like an eternity. The yelling match must have put him in a bad mood because he drove like a bat out of hell for the rest of the way through the narrow, winding, really high up streets towards Oia. I had never been so glad to get out of the car at our hotel, the Mystique.
Looking back, the cab ride debacle was worth it, because the view from our hotel was incredible. It was what you imagine when you hear the word Santorini. It is on a cliff overlooking the caldera (the two volcanos that were formed 2000 and 500 years ago). The brown rocks and the white buildings are a beautiful contrast to the dark blue waters.
Oia is known for having the best sunsets, so we made sure to catch it at supposedly the best viewing spot in town. It was magnificent and everyone clapped when it was done. Which we found hilarious. One girl even shouted “encore!”
On Day 6, we started the day with hotel breakfast and a lounge by the infinity pool overlooking the caldera before heading to the next town over of Fira. We decided to eat lunch in this cute little garden wine bar, and afterwards I convinced Tyler to get his first pedicure. By fish. We stuck our feet in the tank and lots of tiny fish came and started sucking at our toes. It was a weird experience, and I’m not convinced it worked, but hey – it was kind of cool.
Dinner on Day 6, the one week anniversary of our wedding, was the best dinner of the trip. We were seated on a rooftop terrace with a prime view of the incredible sunset. Once we sat down, we were handed a glass of champagne to enjoy with the view. The food was on par with the view and the wine wasn’t so bad either.
Day 7 was the best day of the whole trip, a sunset catamaran cruise complete with authentic Greek dinner. We shared our boat with 3 other couples on their honeymoon and 3 crew members. Fortunately for us, none of the other couples were drinkers, so Tyler and I had all the wine to our self! ha! We started the boat tour at the black beach and then passed by the red beach and the white beach. We were sitting up front for the best views, until it was clear that we were in the splash zone and we were soaking wet. Luckily Tyler and I didn’t get seasick like some of the other passengers and we were excited to swim in the hot springs towards the volcano. The active, newer volcano warms the water around the base and it is like bath water, but smells very strongly of sulfur (which we learned lingers even after a few showers). After swimming, we hopped back on the boat and sailed into the clear dark blue water for dinner, which was amazing. We had Greek salad, fried feta, bread and olives, chicken souvlaki and veggies. And plenty of wine.
On Day 8, we continued our adventures in Santorini and decided to explore the city like locals. We wanted to go to the local beach, but to get there we had to walk down about 50 flights of stairs. At one point we had to walk behind a group of donkeys that was blocking the pathway and I was nervous because I didn’t want a swift kick to the face by the ass. Luckily they didn’t attack us and we were able to make it to the beach for lunch and some beers. After lunch Tyler found some cliffs to jump off of while I took in the scenery. Somewhere during this day we also discovered our favorite local beer of the trip – Crazy Donkey – of which Tyler bought a commemorative t-shirt. We ended the night having dinner at a Japanese restaurant in our hotel overlooking the caldera. Simply beautiful.
On Day 9 we got a little crazy and decided to rent a car to explore the island. Tyler took the job of chauffeur very seriously and expertly navigated the narrow, winding street in our tiny rental car. The only mishap we had was that we were basically out of gas and there was a beeping noise going on in the car that we couldn’t figure out. Too far into the trip we realized it was due to the fact that the parking break had been on the whole time. Which was only figured out when Tyler tried to punch the gas and we didn’t move very quickly. Anyway, we made it to the Perevolos beach, or black sand beach. We had a great meal of chicken souvlaki and spicy cheese salad by the ocean and then decided to soak up some rays.
We continued our trip around the island to check out a local winery. The tasting they gave you had about 10 wines! It was really windy up above the caldera and we were warned to keep an eye on our glasses. The lady next to us did not heed this warning and all of her wine glasses smashed to the ground. Sucker!
Our last night in Santorini was spent enjoying each other’s company over a nice seafood meal. We also got to see one last miraculous sunset. I definitely wanted an encore.
We left paradise to go see the ancient city of Athens. It was a good thing we were so relaxed after our stay in Santorini because the airport was the most disgustingly unclean hectic place I have ever been. But anyway, Athens was different than I expected. It is a huge city with many houses and neighborhood areas. We started off by exploring close to our hotel for lunch and then decided to go to the changing of the guards, kind of like in England, where the guards cannot talk and you can take pictures of them doing goofy things. Every hour on the hour, new guards come to replace the old guards and they do a little dance. Pretty neat to see and you can get waaay closer than you can to Buckingham Palace.
We spent the rest of the day taking in some ruins and having dinner with the best view of the Acropolis.
With plans to do our main sightseeing in Athens on Day 11, we hit the hay early. We woke up and started our adventure at the ancient ruins of the Roman Agora. There we saw the beautiful Corinthian columns, and some cats. We then went to the library of Hadrian to see where there once stood a great library complete with lecture halls and storage for papyrus scrolls. It was crazy to imagine what had been there so many years ago. But if I thought that was crazy, we were really in for a treat when we made it to the Ancient Agora, which surrounded the Acropolis. It was an area with many ancient ruins and a ton of trees. There was also a museum housing all of the artifacts that had been found there over the past 2000 years in chronological order. We saw many pots and plates as well as weapons and jewelry. There were also some head statues and views of the Parthenon.
The Parthenon itself was a magical place, set high up on . a hill, with beautiful views of the sprawling city. We walked around the whole place and took many selfies. We probably spent the most time here out of any of the ruins and it was spectacular. My only compliant is that the ground was very slippery and we almost fell on our faces once or twice. And also it was insanely crowded and hard to get a pic without people in the background.
After this grueling day in the sun, we decided to enjoy some good drinks and good food for our last night of our Grecian honeymoon.
Our wedding and honeymoon were so incredible and it has been great to look back and reflect on how amazing this past year has been. There’s no one else I’d rather travel the world with.
Until next time, Greece!