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Fun Kids Travel

Crete :: The Largest Greek Island

After a very crazy ferry experience, we arrived into Heraklion, Crete about 2-3 hours later than planned. Our Airbnb hosts let us know that our place was within walking distance to the port, so that was the plan…to walk, with our luggage, to our apartment. If you can imagine a hot afternoon at the Santorini port filled with delays and little amounts of food, followed by a chaotic ferry ride, then navigating a new city in the dark with our luggage…well, moods were not happy. We made it to the apartment and then went and found a gyro shop and called it a night.

The next day was filled with exploring the square and shopping. EG discovered her favorite shop (which we ended up visiting several times while we were there). After an afternoon rest, we went to Peskesi. In each place we went, I tried to book us a nice dinner at least once. Ya’ll. There’s a reason this restaurant is rated 4.8 stars out of over 8000 reviews on Google. The atmosphere was so beautiful and the food was literally amazing. With a farm to table concept, they prepare local Cretan foods with such quality and taste. Gosh is was amazing, and we loved it.

Day 2 was beach day. I knew we couldn’t come all the way to Greece and not have a beach day, because these waters are so clear. We rode the bus to Agia Pelagia Beach and wasted the day lounging under the umbrellas and relaxing to the sound of waves. It was heavenly. We didn’t stay too long, because we had EG’s 18 year old photo shoot planned and a visit to Ligo Krasi Ligo Thalassa for dinner where we had quite the cultural experience eating fish that was caught that morning and trying ouzo (to which EG gagged). Luckily, the loukoumades (Greek donuts) helped to cleanse the palate.

We decided to spend our last full day with more shopping and trying out one final restaurant that was on our list. Heraklion’s streets and old vibe are beautiful, so we really enjoyed just walking the streets and seeing what was around the corner. After an array of shared appetizers at Plani (followed by some more complimentary ouzo), we strolled to the port for one last glimpse of the waters at sunset. It was a bittersweet moment as my heart sank a little bit knowing that our time was about to come to an end but also so very thankful for an amazing 10 days with my daughter!

I highly recommend taking your kids on milestone trips! You definitely won’t regret it!

Fun Kids Travel

Breathtaking Santorini

Our next stop on our Greece adventure was Santorini. We spent 3 nights there which seemed like the perfect amount of time. It’s a small island! Since our flight left Athens super early, we landed early enough in the morning for a full day of fun. We took the bus from the airport to Thira (or Fira). The bus was super easy…just walk outside and there they are (they do only accept cash so be prepared for that).

Since we couldn’t check into our Airbnb yet, we walked to Kaffeine for a coffee and pastry. This proved to be a good find, because we ended up going there every morning! The kind lady working there introduced us to bougatsa. So good!

We stayed in a fantastic Airbnb. The night before we left for Santorini, I got a message from our Airbnb host that we weren’t going to be able to stay in the place we booked. The previous guests got COVID and the hospital was full, so they couldn’t leave. She graciously found us another place to stay…a brand new place owned by her friend that wasn’t listed yet. It was beautiful and so nice. We definitely scored!

Santorini is unlike any place I’ve ever been. The views of the caldera and the blue waters of the Aegean Sea are spectacular. Truly. We tried to soak in every minute of it. We did a lot of shopping, roaming in and out of the cave-like maze of shops. We also tried to eat our way through this island! Here are the restaurants we visited and loved…

Stolen Fruit ~ Their acai bowls were amazing.

Yogi ~ Amazing gyros.

Lucky’s Souvlaki’s ~ As the name implies, you’re lucky when one of their souvlakis passing through your lips.

Lotza (located in Oia) ~ The view was amazing as was the food. We had the fava starter and mousaka and pastitsio as mains. SO good!

Our other activities included an island day cruise with Santorini View. They pick you up from where you’re staying and take you the port. This 5 hour excursion was a beautiful way to see the island. And the lunch was fantastic. I found the service to be exceptional and would definitely recommend some kind of island cruise if you’re in Santorini.

We also took a bus to Oia one day. There’s a lot of things to love about this iconic town where everyone goes to get their sunset photos. (We tried that, but the crowds were insane.) The views are beautiful (as they are from all the caldera towns), and you can actually walk down to Amoudi Bay. We started walking down, but there’s a lot of stairs, and they’re steep, and it was really hot, so we didn’t go all the way down. If you want to see a glimpse of what it’s like, watch Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. And yes, there are donkeys walking up and down it! I loved visiting Oia but would definitely choose to stay in Thira again should I ever go back to Santorini.

After a very fun 3 days, our next stop was Crete. To incorporate all modes of travel, I decided to take a ferry on Seajets to Greece’s largest island. We took the bus down to the port. They only post the bus times the day before so you just have to walk to the bus station and find the handwritten note with travel times. Very efficient. I don’t know about all Greek ports, but the Santorini port is CRAZY. It’s utter chaos. Don’t spend more time there than you have to. It’s hot. There’s not much to do, and there’s not many covered areas. Our ferry was late which I guess is also pretty typical. When it came, they yelled something out, everyone got up and started walking toward the ferry. I assumed we were in the right crowd. We were toward the back of the line and once we were in the cargo area where the cars pull in, the gates closed. No one had checked our ticket, so I was really hoping we were bound for the right place. Luckily we were. Whew!

Family Fun

This Crazy Dog of Ours

My phone made a “memories” album as it does every once in a while. This one was titled Four-Legged Friends. Some were sad reminding me of our sweet Snowy. Some had me rolling my eyes at the sight of Bandit, the very weird cat that made us his family. Can’t believe I actually took a photo of him! Then there was a brief appearance of River, the rabbit who helped us realize that we are not rabbit people. Pepper made an appearance as well, the sweet stray who now lives with our friend in South Africa. Ironically, most of the photos were of Posey, the crazy Jack Russell who traveled via airplane so she could live the good life with us in America.

This dog is crazy as evidenced by the handful of photos that graced my Four-Legged Friends album. They made me chuckle and maybe they will you, too. Or you can laugh at me, that I’ve become THAT person who dedicates an entire blog post to a dog. 😜


To Trying New Things

I love trying new things. To experience something new, especially with people you love, is just so life giving. I’m such a perfectionist that I used to stress out if the new experience wasn’t enjoyed by all. How silly is that! I’ve had to learn that the joy resides in the act of trying, even if it’s a flop.

Last Friday we tried two new things. We went cherry picking. I’ve been apple picking when we lived in Connecticut, but picking cherries was new for me. I learned a few things… 1. Pick them with the stems on. They’ll last longer. 2. The darker the cherry, the sweeter (at least for bing cherries). 3. Cherries that accidentally drop to the ground are just as good to eat.

After cherry picking, we went for bison and elk burgers. I’ve eaten a lot of different meats (crocodile, zebra, warthog, kudu, just to name a few) but never bison or elk. Both tasted amazing. I highly recommend!

Today, try something new. You’ll be so glad you did!

Fun Thoughts

10 Things

Every Friday, I will be posting 10 things I’m grateful for. Join along with me by posting your blog link in the comments of your own 10 things or simply comment with what you’re thankful for.

1. Jobs that allow us to work from anywhere. My current office consists of a lounge chair on a deck overlooking the Sacramento Mountains with the occasional hummingbird and elk visit.

2. Driving lessons. We’ve moved from a quad to a real car. Pops, if you’re reading this, don’t worry. She’s only driving to the trash bin and back.

3. Outdoor grills. We’ve grilled everyday this week. Everything is just so much better on the grill.

4. That Jeremy Price has been found. It’s been a long time coming.

5. Decks. With outdoor tables. I’ve always wanted a deck with an outdoor table on it. It has made eating dinner the past week an event as we eat, talk, play games, and enjoy nature. Warms my mama’s heart.

6. Needy dogs? Not sure if I’m entirely grateful for that but… Her happy place is being outside, only if someone is out there with her. As I sit and work with her by my side, I guess I’m grateful that we were able to bring her over from South Africa before travel restrictions and everything hit.

7. People. With all the unrest going on in our country right now, I’m just grateful for people of all colors from all places. It makes the world beautiful.

8. Organization. I rest so much better when everything has a place, and it’s in it. Sometimes it drives my family crazy.

9. My quilt! My mother-in-love has been on a mission to make everyone in the family a quilt. I got mine right before our trip to New Mexico. She was spot on in picking out the color scheme. I love it!

10. Binge watching season 3 of Somebody Feed Phil on Netflix, because one, sometimes it’s good to make yourself be still and two, I just love his quirkiness. The only bad thing is that it gives me the travel itch which is not good right now!

What are you thankful for?