Kissed by the Greek Gods

getlostwithlindsay

When you think of Greece, you think of the Greek Gods. The land was made for and by the gods. It shows in every city and every island. You can easily get swept away with its color and charm. And let us not forget about the food. I have eaten all over the world and the Greek Mediterranean diet is one of my favorites. I decided to concentrate on one island that I have been dreaming of going to for years. That island is no other than the amazing Santorini.

But before you enter the jaw dropping islands, you have to pass through Athens. I love athens. I have been here before. Since I was here for just one night, I wanted to live like a local. I seeked out some art and culture. Luckily enough there happened to be The Athens Art Festival. I decided to attend the…

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Kissed by the Greek Gods

When you think of Greece, you think of the Greek Gods. The land was made for and by the gods. It shows in every city and every island. You can easily get swept away with its color and charm. And let us not forget about the food. I have eaten all over the world and the Greek Mediterranean diet is one of my favorites. I decided to concentrate on one island that I have been dreaming of going to for years. That island is no other than the amazing Santorini.

But before you enter the jaw dropping islands, you have to pass through Athens. I love athens. I have been here before. Since I was here for just one night, I wanted to live like a local. I seeked out some art and culture. Luckily enough there happened to be The Athens Art Festival. I decided to attend the African dance version of Swan Lake. After buses and trains and walking many miles. I was outside my comfort zone (which I love) and far from city center. I was of course lost yet again. I finally found the warehouse theaters, and it was worth everything. It was breathtaking, beautiful, and tragic. Happy with my night, I had to get ready for my early ferry to Santorini.

The island lived up to it’s very big shoes it had to fill. I could feel the Greek magic over take me as I pulled into port. I wanted to beach hop, and the island is way to big to walk. We figured 4 wheels were safer than 2, so we rented an ATV. We were a little naive. It was scary, but we managed to explored the entire island. I wanted to see the famous sunset and eat fish. I did both, everyday. I saw the red beach and the black sand. We toured and sampled local wines at Santos Winery. At the winery the views could be one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. We finished our last night by riding our ATV to a local outdoor movie theater. We had no idea what to expect, but were just excited to see an English movie. And it just happened to be Pompeii. We were there just weeks before. And the magical little theater might have been my favorite thing on the island. It was all outdoors with recliner chairs and jazz playing in the background. You could drink wine and beer and sit among new friends. We all couldn’t help but share in each other complete happiness in the moment. It didn’t matter what movie was playing. It was the perfect night.

I was very happy with my last hurrah of European island hopping ending in Santorini. I was once told by a friend that Santorini was the only place she had ever been that looked better in person than it’s google images. It is true. It’s hard to explain how gorgeous the island is without experiencing it firsthand. Everyone out there make sure the Greek islands are on your bucket list. The gods created them for a reason!

Pure perfection

Sunset in Santorini

 

Beach day in Perissa

 

I am ready....is Santorini ready for me? On the loose!

 

Sometimes you just need to kick up your heels and soak it all in.

 

Santorini - Perfection

 

When you walk down to the bottom...this guy is your ride back up. I named him Milo

 

Morning coffee in the perfect mug.

 

Hey...thats my purse!!!

 

Seafood, sunsets, and rose...oh my!!!

 

African dance performance of Swan Lake. Breathtaking!

 

Sampling the finest from Santos winery.

 

Fish..it's what's for dinner!

 

Movie date! We watched Pompeii at the open air cinema.

 

Ready for my night out on the town

 

View from above

The Aeolian islands are Natures fireworks

I have decided to take island hopping to the next level. Volcano hopping sounds crazy, probably is, but I was intrigued. The Aeolian islands are about 16 miles from Sicily and only 2 hours from the southern port of the mainland of Italy.
There is a group of small islands of all shapes and sizes that have been there since 4,000 years before Christ. The island of Vulcano dates back so far that name Volcano originated from it. The main islands are made up of Lipari, the most inhabited and oldest town In Italy. Stromboli and Vulcano are the islands with the active volcanos. Panarea is called the VIP island by the locals. It is a way to say where the very wealthy live. Salina, filicudi, alicudi, and Basiluzzo finish out the list of the Aeolian islands. I did not get to visit the last four, but I had my work cut out for me with the others.
After a train ride to the overnight ferry, we arrived at the Aeolian Islands. We are exhausted by this time, the rain is falling as we arrive to the port, but it fades away when you see the picturesque views of the small island of Lipari. We were picked up by a smiling man named Marcello. He and his wife own the bed and breakfast, Al Salvatore. We will be staying at their home turned into a B & B for the next few days. He says upon our arrival, “The island cries for joy for your arrival and shines for your goodbye. Thanking you for your visit.” Doesn’t that sound nice. I suddenly changed by attitude and smiled at the rain.
I quickly found out that the islands pride are their volcanos. Every local said it was a must to visit or hike the Stromboli volcano! After a rainy day of exploring on Lipari, we made plans to take a boat ride with Capt Barney to Vulcano and explore Lipari by boat. Vulcano is an island with an active volcano, but had it’s last major eruption in 1888. It is covered in black rock and sand. The island is also known for it’s natural mud baths. The baths were hot and relaxing, but the smell of sulfur was so strong we had to throw away our bathing suits. We also smelled for the next few days. Not such a cute look.
We had a full day on Barney’s boat and were ready for our next challenge to hike the famous Stromboli volcano. You take a boat ride to Stromboli where you rent hiking gear and set off around 5pm. The hike up is 3 hours and 2 hours down. You are racing to get to the top before sunset. The active volcano is made up of coarse sand and rock. You are hiking in almost quick sand and it is a steep up hill the entire time. This was one of the hardest things I had ever accomplished hiking at 3,000 feet.
Stromboli thunders when it erupts every 15-20 minutes. The closer you get the more terrifying and amazing it becomes. We watched the volcano erupt for an hour. It was a display of natures fireworks. You become in a trance by the beauty and disbelief.
The Aeolian islands might be off the beaten path, but worth the very long trek to get there. They are beautiful and explode magic.
free facials! Natural mud baths on an active volcanoes.
island of vulcano
this is how I research my next move. Where to next on my adventure? We shall see!
Are they sure we are qualified to hike this volcano?? Am I sure about this?
Capt. Barney
Goodbye until next time
last sunset in beautiful Lipari
Morning breakfast at Al Salvatore
Quick food stop at the local stand for dinner ingredients
Quick stop at Barney's cave. Wait I think my ride just left me!!
Smelly Volcano girls
Volcano
We have arrived in Lipari
We have new friends. The birds are following us! One of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.
We made it! This is insane. When the sunset we could see the erupting lava!
what time is it? Time to hike a volcano!

Seattle shines bright like a diamond

From the moment we landed in Seattle we never once saw a cloud. The immediate sigh you get from everyone about the weather in this beautiful city did not show its true colors to me. I fell in love with its skyline, wine, food, and nature. We lose sight sometimes in the true beauty of everything around us. We quickly go through each day not looking up. Seattle is the perfect long weekend to get away and take many deep breaths. It helps to have great friends as hosts. So I will dedicate this post to the amazing Jaime and Alex. I truly believe that you can make the best of any situation if you are with great company. I had the honor to have just that!
Seattle is broken into a few neighborhoods, all of which have great character all their own. I stayed in Bellevue, but of course went by foot to get lost. If you only have a few days, like I did, you want to hit the ground running.
I asked the donut shop, the restaurant owner, his wife, and even the neighbor, where would you go if you were me? I can google all day long, but I want to know where would YOU go?
Seattle is known for Starbucks, but try something new. We went for coffee and homemade donuts at Top Pot. They were heaven and managed to last for dessert that night too. It helps if your travel buddy is a guy who is a good navigator. We all know my getting lost track record. It also allows you to just enjoy the ride and really soak it all in.
A day of trolley riding, neighborhood exploring, and just amazing food really leads you to start looking at the neighborhood that you could actually live in. I just connected to Capital Hill. It reminded me of San Francisco meets Brooklyn. Two of my favorite places. I also had one of the best meals ever. La Bete is a cute intimate neighborhood gem. I had a local tell me to run to this restaurant before it sadly closes its doors. I just hope it reopens with the same charm and chefs as before. The same lovely local owns a bar close by and we were ready to see the city at night. Liberty is everything you want in a bar. But that is just it, it does not just feel like a bar. They invite you in, explain in details the mixologist style drinks, and then guide you in the right direction. You can even get your cocktail set on fire! You need to check out this bar on your next trip to Capital Hill. Tell Andrew that Lindsay sent you!
We were lucky enough to be in Seattle during the BAM Arts Festival. Over 300 vendors and some heavenly greasy food. There is also a long list of Wineries just a short drive from downtown Seattle. We wanted to visit a few before we hopped back on the plane. We started with a bang with a very popular winery. Chateau St. Michelle did not disappoint. We had a very helpful and very happy man named Gary help us. I just adored him. That is half the experience for me in anyplace. The people. I try to connect, and to listen. Check out the winery online. They have a great lineup for concerts all summer long. After you wine taste, purchase a bottle, buy some cheese and meats from the store, and grab a spot on the grass. This is where it all kicks in. Do I really need to go back home? I could stay here all day…everyday. The nature in Seattle is beyond refreshing. Thank you Seattle for being beautiful, delicious, and making it a magical trip. I will be back…and soon!!!

Seattle Sunset from above

Downtown Seattle

Wine Tasting

Chateau St. Michelle Winery

Fish Market

BAM Arts Festival

Top Pot Donuts

Liberty Bar

Mount Rainier

Me and My wonderful host

Living the boat life in Croatia

All aboard Tuna! Tuna will be my home for the next 7 days as i travel around the top Croatian islands. I had to see them all, so by boat I go! There are 25 passengers and 3 crew members on our new floating home. There are a few boat companies that offer this trip, but we decided to go with Sail Croatia. We were very happy with our boat and our decision.

Within minutes I had quickly become friends with people from all over the world. The agenda is island hopping of course, but first the mid evil city of Dubrovnik. It is one of the most enchanting cities I have ever been to, and the filming place of Game of Thrones! Kings Landing up close and personal. It was magical…and I was geeking out!

A daily routine of morning sailing and swimming, followed by lunch, and then port a new island by afternoon. I could get use to this! I was feeling very lucky by the heavenly landscape and living the boat life. I was already head over heels for Croatia. I know that a lot of people travel to the country, but I also feel like I have found a hidden gem. As I do in every country, I hiked, ate, and tried about every local wine possible! I ate in someone’s back yard, kayaked, and danced in a cave! Let’s just say I had an amazing time, and a tan to prove it. Everyone needs to explore this amazing country!

Island hopping line-up:

Dubrovnik- Game of Thrones..no other words needed:)

Mljet- The island is one beautiful national park

Korcula- The town where Marco Polo is claimed to be born. Don’t argue with the locals, they are very sure of this!

Hvar- Climb the Spanjola fortress and don’t miss the sunset at Hula Hula Bar.

Stari Grad- Wine Tasting!

Makarska- The beautiful island has a dance club in a cave!

Split- Final stop and great place to explore, if you are not too tired. Korcula

Captain Lindsay

Dubrovnik

Fortress in Hvar

Fun times

Kings Landing

Mljet's National Park

Morning Sail

Tuna

View from my cabin entering the port of  Makarska

Winery Friends

Živjeli (cheers in Croatian)