It would not be a complete travelogue if I didn’t mention that this was the most amazing birthday week of my life. I am not a huge “celebrate my birthday” person and I prefer not to note it on social media in general. That is not to say I don’t embrace my day of birth because I do like to spend the day doing things I’ve always wanted to do. When I turned fifty, it was mid-week and I took the day off work to cross off a long-time bucket list item to visit the home Edith Wharton lived in in Lenox, Massachusetts. That day was pretty cool too. But back to Greece.
Yoga for beginners
It was infertility that first attracted me to yoga many years ago. A flyer in my doctor’s office promoted a class for people struggling to get pregnant. I would have tried just about anything back then so I timidly showed up to the home-like studio with nothing but a brand new mat and worries about the myriad problems keeping me from conceiving. It was gentle and peaceful and I felt better for going but I was pretty sure it wasn’t going to help me get pregnant so I stopped going after a few sessions. I eventually became pregnant and he’s about to turn thirteen! It wasn’t easy but that’s a story for another day.
Free Time Fun in Amorgos
You might find it curious that I’m on my fifth day of blogging about a yoga retreat I attended in Greece and I have yet to mention much about the actual retreat. This would be the main event of the trip and I don’t feel equipped yet to tackle it. I’m also in Florida right now and the journal I kept for the week is in New York and it’s crucial to retelling the story. The retreat is the star of the show.
So today lets talk about the extras: what we were up to in our free time. The Spa at Aegialis was pretty darn amazing and Lana and I decided to make a visit on our second day there. I made my massage appointment for the following day and Lana was interested in trying out the silk-like ropes that were hanging over the indoor pool. One of the brochures showed a woman balancing while completing some kind of impossible (to me) acrobatic move and Lana was determined to give it a try. I volunteered to be her cheerleader and videographer. She gave it her best and I think she did pretty awesome but we found it was going to be impossible to immitate the maneuver.
Yesterday I mentioned the absolute badassery of the morning buffet at the yoga retreat, but food in general is a serious endevour for the Greeks, or at least that was my impression from my brief time there. Meals are far from the fast food culture of America where 20 to 60 minutes might go into the preparation of a meal which is then devoured in 10 minutes. Food was a celebration on this trip and meals lasted between two and three hours (except for the breakfast buffet where you could linger as long or short a time as you wanted). And Aegialis went a step beyond by growing much of their fresh produce which was offered at each meal. Continue reading “Greek Food”
On the Island
The balcony of our temporary suite
Amorgos is breathtaking. We didn’t realize the extent until we woke to the bright sunshine and gentle Aegean breeze the next morning. Having arrived in the wee hours of the morning and after taking turns showering, (there were now four of us sharing a suite until our regular rooms would be ready later that day) we selected our beds and were ready for some serious sleep. The other two girls, like us, were college friends and we were immediately comfortable in each other’s presence. We had all suffered through a long day of travel and it proved to be bonding.
Getting to Greece
On July 17th I left my family in Dewey Beach, Delaware and drove 6 hours to my home in upstate New York. I had been on the road for a week and a half, first stopping in Williamsburg, Virginia for a week at a resort we had bid on in a live auction a few months earlier (before my plans for Greece were made). There were only a few hours in between to do my laundry and pack for Greece and I was certainly cursing myself for not leaving Delaware sooner. But I wanted to squeeze every minute out of our annual family beach trip.
After a few hours of sleep, I was back on the road, this time north to Montreal. My friend and co-pilot by my side, the tune’s of XM’s Yacht Rock radio bringing us back to the memories of our youth. The three plus hour ride passed in a blink as we reminisced and talked excitedly about the trip ahead of us. There were still many hours between us and the promised views at our resort in Amorgos, Greece, one of the furthest islands from the mainland of Athens where we were flying into. It was actually closer to Turkey.
Oh, The places you’ll eat
What more is there to look forward to on vacation than all the places you’ll eat while you’re away? Usually when I am in Florida on my own, I’ll eat most of my meals at home, but this time I’m with a friend so it’s been fun planning where we’ll eat. Solo vs. friend trips are very different but both are awesome.
On our first day here, we decided to go with Thai food since that is what we do 90% of the time when we get together at home. It’s usually healthy and good and they have gluten free options for her. Most places these days do so it’s easy to eat just about anywhere. We were also both starving when we arrived on Thursday afternoon and decided it would be best to have a decent meal before heading to get groceries. This is always a good idea!
We ended up loading the cart with a mix of fruit, breakfast items, chips and ice cream. I am totally addicted to Popcorners Kettle Corn chips and could probably live on them for the duration of this trip but I restrained myself by buying just two bags. We are only on day three and they are just about gone. I’ve also discovered mini Klondike bars which I will eat two at a time since they are small.
Yesterday I introduced my friend to the yumminess of Zaxby’s which is a fast food chicken wing place. I was a little nervous (you know how you want someone to like something you are crazy about) but she ended up loving them too – plus wings are gluten-free. So maybe another trip before we head home?
I think today is the day to introduce her to my favorite breakfast place. They have the most amazing buttermilk biscuits, fruit plates and corned beef hash. My mouth is watering thinking about it. OK, time to get up and ready to go! Have a wonderful Saturday wherever you are and whatever you do!
What’s in my bag? Traveling light
Frontier Airlines charges you ala carte for all your travel needs. From checked luggage to carry-on to seat assignments, there is a fee for that. But if you are traveling light, it’s possible to scoop up a really good deal! Today I’m heading to Orlando with nothing but a personal item which will fit under the seat in front of me. This wouldn’t be at all possible without having a fully stocked home on the other end of my flight. I don’t need clothes or toiletries so that makes it a heck of a lot easier to do.
What’s in my bag? Mainly books. I’ll have my iPad Pro, Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic, The 6-Minute Diary, my Big Dreams journal which is part prayer book, part vision board and part darn good advice I’ve clipped along the way. I have a small bag of makeup, some electronics related stuff (cord, charger, headphones) and my card case with a little cash. And it wouldn’t be a trip without a well stocked Kindle.
Looking forward to some time in the Florida sunshine while enjoying our future retirement home. It is really the perfect time to be there because I usually come home re-invigorated to de-clutter because our Florida house has the perfect amount of stuff and no clutter. I will be ready to roll up my sleeves and tackle my clutter project in a weeks time.
My definitive packing guide for a spring trip to Costa Rica
A few weeks ago I was here sweating over what I should pack for Costa Rica. Now that the trip is behind me, I can share my experience of what to bring on the trip in a more helpful way. Anyone clicking on this post was probably questioning the veracity of the headline because it left more questions than answers about what to bring on a trip.
I must first do a little bragging that I mostly hit the nail on the head with what I ended up bringing. I made a few notes to myself about what would have been nice to round it out. Here is my definitive list for a week that included San Jose, light to moderate hiking in the rain forest (sans rain) and a couple days of activities that included horseback riding and zip lining.
Here was our seven day itinerary: Continue reading “My definitive packing guide for a spring trip to Costa Rica”
The people at the airport
When I’m flying solo, the experience is significantly more enjoyable for me (click here for exhibit A), particularly for an early morning flight as is the case today. I arrived at the airport earlier than I needed to be because I overestimated how quickly I’d be ready and we live about 5 minutes from the airport. Plus, I can never sleep the night before a flight as I have a deep seated phobia about missing my flight (this has happened twice).
The airport is prime people watching territory. There are business flyers, families, solos and there looks to be one group of ladies trip flyers (this group grew significantly and looks like a large group of college kids going on spring break!) Of course I’m curious where everyone is going and what they are doing at their end destination. My flight is going through Baltimore and Phoenix with a final stop of Santa Ana. Some of these people will likely be changing planes at any of these destinations.