Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My Big Fat Greek Adventure - Kalispehra, Santorini (Part 2)

My posts are getting waaay long!  But there's so much to share!  I decided that I needed to dedicate one post to the beaches.  So this post will be dedicated to the other day adventures we had on this beautiful island.  Once again, here is the map of Santorini.
Santorini is named from Santa Irini.
But it is also known as Thira, which is also the name of the main town and port.
Truth be told, I don't really know which name is used by whom.  I'm assuming that Thira is used by the locals, and Fira is somehow easier for the tourists to understand.  But I could be completely wrong.  The th and the f sounds are really similar.  But to keep it simple, I'll just use Thira.
The white on the cliff is Thira.
We traveled to Thira on July 11th, the same day we went to White Beach and had our Fiat Panda.  This larger town is another major location for hotels and hostels, and there is a lot more shopping and museums to visit.

You want to be careful about where you park, as they will tow you away without hesitation.  But there are large lots of free parking around the main area of the town.  From the lot we parked in, we could see the other side of the island.
Santorini is actually quite small.  But there's so much to do!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Big Fat Greek Adventure - Kalispehra, Santorini (Part 1)


The other major towns, Oia and Fira, are up high on a cliff, and thus without beaches.  The northern part of the island does have some beaches, but we weren't able to visit them this trip.  One of the first things we discovered about the beaches of Greece (and really, perhaps most of Europe) was that we were definitely not in the conservative United States.  So:
The girls were tanning as well.

Monday, July 26, 2010

My Big Fat Greek Adventure - Kalimera, Santorini

On July 8th, at 7:30am, Jenny and I boarded a tiny aircraft headed to Santorini, one of the most gorgeous islands in Greece.
Santorini from Olympic Air's window
Our plane tickets told us that the flight would take approximately 50 minutes, which was about 10 minutes more than the flight from Boston to Montreal.  But we learned that that 50 minutes must have included boarding the bus that would take us to the tiny plane from the airport gate.

You know how when a plane gets to the right altitude, the flight attendants proceed to distribute snacks and drinks?  Then maybe 15-30 minutes later they start collecting your trash?  Well, this flight was so short that everything was super rushed!

*Plane reaches perfect altitude, seat belt signal turns off*
*Flight attendants start handing out drinks and snacks, which were cute little cookies that looked huge on the box, but were actually tiny!  It's like they multiplied as I opened the box.*
Flight attendant:  Here's your snack.
Me:  Thank you. *I start opening the box and were surprised by the tinyness of the cookies*
*Seat belt signal turns on*
Flight attendant:  Okay, give us your trash! We're landing!
Me:  But..wait..I just got my snack!  Aaahhhh!!

Seriously, as fast as you can read that scenario, that's how fast it happened!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

My Big Fat Greek Adventure - The Parthenon and Democracy at Its Best?

We had decided early on to stay in Athens for a very minimal amount of time, mainly because others have told us to do so.  While there's definitely a lot to do around Athens and the mainland, my friend and I were focusing more on the rest and relaxation that would be taking place on the beach.

However, the one place I knew I needed to see was the Parthenon.

Word of advice:  If a travel book suggests that you go see a popular tourist site very early in the morning or later in the afternoon, I would listen to that advice.  Otherwise, you will get stuck behind a massive amount of people who came from a cruise.  Also, bring sunscreen.
Damn tourists...
It's really not as bad as it could have been.  But it was a very hot day, and I unfortunately did not put any sunscreen on.

Friday, July 23, 2010

My Big Fat Greek Adventure - Long Flights with Funny Ladies

What an amazing July it's been so far!  I'm so excited to share my adventures in Greece with my friend, Jenny.  So, let me get to it!

Long Waits and Rides
On June 5th, Jenny and I embarked on our long-awaited trip to Greece.  We were a little bit late getting to the airport.  But since we didn't have to check any luggage, we were pretty much right on time.

We had a stop-over in Montreal, Canada, where we discovered the wonders of Canadian ketchup.  Yes, that's right, Canadian ketchup from Heinz.  As we took several bites from our fries, we realized there was a slight sweetness to the ketchup.  We laughed, saying that maybe they put maple syrup in the ketchup.  Apparently, we weren't that far from the truth.
Liquid sugar???
Definitely better than corn syrup.
After about 3 hours, we were officially on our way towards Greece.  Unfortunately, we were on a plane that didn't have television screens for every chair.  Fortunately, the company was pleasant.

We sat next to this woman who was flying home to Lebanon after visiting her sister in Montreal.  She talked to us quite a bit, asking us how we met, where our families are from.  She even proceeded to show us her pictures from her trip.  The poor woman does not sleep at all on the plane, so she makes a lot of stray observations.

Well, she noticed a couple to our left and a couple to our right.  Of the couple on the right, she basically observed that they must have been brother and sister, since they didn't really talk to each other even though they slept on each others shoulders.  Of the couple on the left, she quietly pointed out how ugly the guy was when he was sleeping..with his mouth wide open!

Generally, I'm pretty good at sleeping on the plane.  I discovered that turning one of those travel pillows so that part of the arms fits under your chin.  Your head gets a rest, and you prevent falling asleep with your mouth open.  Win-win for everyone.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Stateside Once Again

Hi everyone!!!

I missed all of you!  But I just wanted to let folks know that I'm back in the States, but I'm in Los Angeles and without my personal laptop.  I'll be updating soon!

I can't wait to share my adventures in Greece!

Monday, July 5, 2010

My Big Fat Greek Adventure - Taking Flight

From Logan Airport, Boston, MA


Toesies of the Month - July 2010

In 24 hours, my friend and I will officially be in the beautiful country of Greece!

Now, considering that we're planning to be mainly beach-side, and I've been convinced to get on a donkey (though I don't know if the donkey will let me get on it!) to check out Santorini's volcano, us girls had to do some prep for the vacation.

Aside from packing, there was waxing, calling banks and credit cards, photocopying important documents, and of course getting our nails did.

It's even more fitting that I wait to get my nails done with my friend, as she was the one who introduced me to the magical world of pedicures.

We used to go to this tiny little nail salon near Washington and Venice in Los Angeles (any of you who know your L.A. geography would note that this is in the area fondly remembered as "South Central").  There seemed to be more male nail technicians at this one location.  But the pedicures were a mere $12.  No spa chairs, but they did airbrushing for nail designs.

Though I've upgraded and have discovered the amazingness that is the spa chair, I still miss those cheap prices.

I didn't mention this in my post about my final days at work, but part of the memory book included a gift certificate to Brookline Natural Nails!  I had to laugh when I saw it, considering that I remember several people asking me about where I got my toes did.
Ready for Greece!
Top Color: Sephora by OPI - Mermaid to Order
Designed by Cathy at Brookline Natural Nails, Brookline, MA
Color:  OPI - Sonic Bloom
Occasion:  Greece, baby!
July 2010
This was definitely not a bad way to start our 4th of July celebrations in Boston.

We followed up our pedicures by going to another amazing place that my friend actually introduced me to while she was visiting me here.
I love the North End in the Summer!
Oh, Giacamo's Ristorante.  There's always a line here, so if you plan on eating here you should go when you're not hungry.  By the time you've gone through the line, you'll be hungry.
Butternut Squash Ravioli with diced asparagus
in a prosciutto mascarpone cheese cream sauce
Oh, pillows of heaven.  I know this is going to sound gross, but I'm just going to put this out there.  These delicious little pillows are just amazing to put on your mouth whole, then just let the flavor explosion take over your senses.  I have discovered that I really enjoy putting whole things in my mouth just for the explosion.  ("Shut yo mouth!"  "What?  I'm just talking about pillows of heaven!")

After we food-drunkenly exited the restaurant, we talked about how we were going through the different stages of grief.  But then, we ended our 4th of July evening on a roof deck in the Beacon Hill neighborhood area of Boston (across from the State House).
The couple that lives in this complex are fellow Californians, so it was nice to be among people we could relate to.
Sun setting.
After some more drinks, and making sure that I don't nick the pretty nails, I was able to enjoy the fireworks over the Charles River.
Can you just hear the patriotic music?
So, Happy Independence Day Everyone!

I'll try to keep updating about our travels in Greece!!  Otherwise, I'll see you all on the other side!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

8Things - Simply Summer

Aahhhh, July.  July is here, y'all.  There's so much going on right now, and so many things left to do before I leave in a couple of days for Greece (*squeeeee!!!*).

But here are 8 things that I simply must do this summer aside from my trip.

1.  Watch Fireworks.

2.  Absorb some Vitamin D.

3.  Sing my heart out at karaoke.

4.  Listen to live music

5.  Watch a movie outdoors

6.  Be mesmerized by the bonfire at the Quarry Hill Party.

7.  Visit my best friend.

8.  Float in the ocean.

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