Thursday, August 20, 2015

Greece, August 2015

While the Great European Driving Vacation of Two Thousand and Fourteen was AWESOME and I'll remember it forever...I'm still a bit tired from it.  Even a year later.  So this year, for our 'summer holiday' (I'll miss the Brits and their concept of holiday, sob) we wanted one thing and one thing only:  amazing weather and a pool.  I guess that's two things.  Whatevs.

We started in Santorini.  We flew Easy Jet from Gatwick, it's about an hour ride to the airport, five hour flight, then we picked up a rental car and drove to this AMAZING house in Oia. It was FABULOUS.  Washing machine (no dryers), stove, full fridge, hot tub on the deck, pool right out the front door.  FABULOUS.

Let me tell you something I read about in exactly ZERO guide books and blog posts when I was planning this trip: in Greece, you can't put toilet paper in the toilet.


Yes.  You wipe your butt, and you put the tp in the garbage can.
HOW IS THIS A THING?!?! HOW COME NO ONE WARNED ME?!?! I thought it was just bc Santorini was sort of small and run down, but alas, every bathroom I came across in Athens, a HUGE city, had that same angry man reminding you to throw the tp in the bin.

What.  The.  Fuck.

So be warned. The place we stayed, I swear to God, the lady came and emptied the bins ten times a day.  But it was still SO WEIRD.

The first day, we just played in the pool and hiked down to Katharos Beach, which, if I'm honest, sort of sucked.  Sorry.  But after you've been on the beach in Guam...yeah.  Katharos ain't cuttin it.  They did have a super cute beach bar that we went to twice though, it was a two minute walk from our door.  The food was decent, and the staff was AMAZING, and the view wasn't anything to turn your nose up at.

Then the next day, we headed to the town- the stuff you see in the movies.

It LITERALLY took my breath away.  AND? Fifteen minute walk (kids <ahem mama> are so slow) from our house.

For anyone who thinks it's all roses and sunshine with these kiddos- they're pretty badass, but they're also just regular kids.  This above is what we're dealing with most of the time.  Still worth it to travel, but let's be honest- this is hard.

Anyway.  We grabbed some gyros here and it was the second best food we ate all week.  Apparently gyros aren't common in restaurants? We could ONLY find them at this little sort of street food time shack.  Although we didn't look THAT hard, bc these were so good.  We ate there twice too.

But hands down, without a doubt, the best place we ate all week was Floga.  Best view, best service, and absolutely some of the best food I've ever eaten in my life.  Best meal I ever had still goes to this Italian place in Bath (what?!?!) but seriously- this was a CLOSE second.  I had the chicken souvlaki, Nick had the lamb chops, and we got two plates of buttered noodles for the kids.  The kids ate all our food, all their food, and we all licked the plates.  It was TO DIE FOR.  And this view?!?! FORGET IT.

So Floga.  Figure out how to get there and GO THERE.  Trust me on this. I literally took this pic just sitting at the table eating.  It was SO COOL.  Yall.  It was SO COOL.

All right.  Oh, we also got gelato um...every single this place.  It was really good.  I was too busy stuffing my face to take a pic.  I got coffee one day, biscuit one day, and strawberry the next.  Anyone want to hazard a guess how much I gained on this little holiday?

The third day (it's the THIRD DAY) we drove about an hour to Eros Beach bc the fantastic lady running the houses said it was nice, and it really was.  For a non-Guam beach anyway.  The rocks were small enough to not hurt your feet, although NOT sand, and the waves didn't actually knock my kids out. We ate at the Theros Wave Bar and it wasn't that great.  You could also pay for a chair and umbrellas and stuff, but it was like fifteen euro and then you had to spend at least twenty euro on snacks and drinks AND they were set too far back from the water to keep an easy eye on the kids.  So no go for us, but if that's your thang, it looked pretty relaxing.

After that, we were pretty much done.

Played at the pool, drove back into the gorgeous part of the city to eat and look at how amazing it was one last time, then hit the hay.

It was no lie about a thirty minute plane ride (we flew Aegean Air) from Santorini to Athens.  We had some dude pick us up at the Athens airport (I can get the info from Nick if anyone needs it) and he drove us to this pretty spectacular apartment. I would say the coolest thing about Athens was the apartment.  Sorry.  We just weren't huge fans.

But the view from the sofa was pretty rad.

The first day we just sort of walked around our (totally adorable) neighborhood and found a few places to eat before heading back to the apartment to swim.  We did get our first views of the acropolis though, and it was cool.  Ish.

The next day we did the hike.  We went early and the walk up is actually pretty shaded, but the top is (obviously) the hottest and most crowded place on earth.

I don't know why I didn't love it.  Was it because we didn't do a private tour like we did at the Coliseum?  Was it because it was too hot? Am I just a horrible bitch? Who knows.  But I was...underwhelmed. To say the least.  Yes, it was cool that it was built so long ago.  But that's about it.  I feel awful, I really do.  But Athens just didn't make my skirt fly up.

I did think it was totes aborbs that the kids were (as always) more impressed by the rocks than anything else.  Ava was sort of interested in the mythology (thanks Percy Jackson) but even she didn't seem TOO enthusiastic about the whole endeavor.

Mostly, everyone (mama included) just wanted to get back to the apartment to play in the pool.

So final verdict? Santorini is a DEFINITE can't-miss.  I say skip Athens, but then again, how can you go to Greece and not visit Athens? I bet no one ever will.  But for us, at least, it was just meh.

We flew home on Friday on EasyJet.  Our flight was delayed an hour (thanks London rain) and then we got caught in traffic (thanks London commuters) and it was basically the trip from hell and I vowed never to fly again, until we PCS next summer.  I just absolutely HATE flying. From here on out, if we can't drive, Mama ain't goin.  For reals.

Anyone going to Greece? Anyone been and think I'm crazy for not loving Athens? I bet I'm the only one.  But whatevs.


  1. The toilet paper stuff is gross! Wouldn't that create more waste than just having it disintegrate?! I've been to Greece, but only an island, Mykonos. Didn't end up in Athens and have no desire to! Love that you're honest about traveling with kids. It SUCKS but it's also worth it. That's what I got out of our Scotland holiday, it was hard and frustrating but the next day I'd talk about the great stuff we saw/did the day before. But I hate to fly, HATE it, so somewhat prefer driving since we have to still take a portable crib with us. The joke is that I dislike traveling so much but love to explore places. Glad you had a wonderful time! Sounded absolutely lovely (mostly the food)!

  2. Again...what can I say? So jealous of your travels. I hate flying...and will not driving or nothing until I get over myself! ha ha