Stories of Santorini…Part 1

Listening now…

 

It’s good to get away and it’s good to come home again. Santorini was more beautiful and more of a dream than I ever imagined.  This post is going to be in parts because there are SO many photos and just so much to say about it.

I think we definitely accomplished all of our bucket list and more.

 

We stayed at the Heliotopos Hotel in Imerovigli in Santorini. I would highly recommend staying here as the hotel was stunning, the staff were so hospitable and accommodating, and the village it is located is in super quiet, yet central enough to the busier parts like Fira, which has more of a night life.

 

I could not have been happier with our stay!

Helio {sun} Topos {place} – The place of sun

I am having serious Greece withdrawals looking at our photos  (about 800 to be exact!) and want to cry now…I just feel incredibly blessed that we were able to go at all.

 

IMG_2451IMG_2449

 

We did not know until we got there that we were at the very bottom of the hotel, so we basically had our own private area right by the water and this was our balcony and view…

IMG_2413IMG_2421IMG_2430

IMG_2414

This was our view looking to the left of our balcony…our neighboring hotel and the rock behind is Skaros rock. 

IMG_2444

off duty

100 % off duty….

off duty 3.jpgoff duty 4.jpg

 

On one of our first days we did the walk from Fira to Oia….the view along the way was incredible!

fira walkfira walk 2fira walk 3fira walk 4

church and glag.jpgfira walk 5fira walk 6

 

Once you arrive in Oia, you are greeted with this beautiful chapel and archway, with love locks!

I quickly became obsessed with the churches and tiny chapels in Greece. Many of them are white with the blue dome tops and a cross on top.

 

oia chapel.jpglove locksoia chapel2.jpgboat.jpg

oia view

The view of Oia you see as you finish your hike and venture into the town…

oia stepsdonkeys in oia.jpgflowers in oia.jpgdoor.jpg

oia shop

Oia is great for shopping, but prepare for spending your Euros…

 

We made sure to catch the sunset, especially when we first arrived, back at our hotel.

One thing I really cannot decide is if I love Greece more during the day or the night…

IMG_2818IMG_2850

IMG_2851

Here you can see the steps leading from Oia down to Ammoudi Bay to the right. 

night time.jpg

But I think I love it the best when it is turning from day to night…

Welcome to the Santorini sunset.

sunset 3.jpg

sunset 1

From pink skies…

me and sunset.jpg

sunset orange

To fiery orange. 

 

I think I will do a whole part on this alone. I could not stop snapping photos of the most stunning sky I have ever seen.

 

Actually, I could not stop snapping photos of every.single.thing.

I am so glad I did! Looking back on them now makes me want to cry, I just feel so blessed for being able to go.

 

taking pics.jpg

 

We rented a quad so were lucky enough to get to explore the whole island as much as possible! We really tried to maximize every single day. Frankie didn’t even allow me to take naps…. lol. #nonapsallowedingreece

But I am so glad we did. We visited the areas of Oia, Kamari, Perissa, Pyrgos and Exo Gonia (my absolute favorites), Fira(capital), Akrotiri… and many little places in between.

 

quad.jpgselfie quad

greece day

More parts of our Greece adventure coming up… architecture, food, beaches, ruins….what would you like to hear about?

 

Thanks for reading!

Stay tuned….#800photos

 

 

 

 

 

20 somethings guide to accepting and loving change

Listening now…

 

Get it? Never the same…Listen as you read.

 

It’s been awhile since I have done a 20 somethings guide! If you haven’t checked them out, check out my 20 somethings guide to an anxious mind,  guide to 20 somethings myths, 20 somethings guide to adulting, and a 20 somethings guide to housework. 

 

Prepare for a lot of quotes in this post. As I looked up quotes about change, I related to so many of them, I simply could not pick one.

I have to tell you all something. Change is scary for me.  I mean, I know it’s scary for everyone, but it’s scary for me to the point where I feel like I let it dictate some of my life and my decisions and that is not okay. The good thing is that I realized that I was doing that and I took action to change it.

It’s all part of growing up, right?

I just made a scary, but necessary change in my own life. I have gone part time at my current stable job to pursue working at an animal hospital part time as well.
(Doing both part time to be working full time) It may not sound like much to some people, but to me it was and is a proud moment. Working with animals is something I have been pursuing for awhile now and I realized I am not going to get any closer to that dream where I was, although my current job is stable and I do enjoy it. The benefits are great, the pay is okay, and I have great friends there. I will be there 3 years this August and knowing me, I could be there another 5, easily.

There is nothing wrong with wanting stability and this is really important to me as well. But there is something wrong with settling and being too scared to pursue anything else, simply because you are comfortable.

With this comes some compromises, and scariness, and I am still not sure this is the angle of working with animals I want to pursue exactly- but that’s okay.

So I thought maybe if I can help even one person make these scary, but unnecessary changes to their life, then I have done okay.

 

1.) Scary is good.

 

You know these butterflies? Both the scary and the exciting ones, I think we should pursue them more. I think they are intertwined and you often can’t have one without the other…

 

2.) Get out of your way

 

How often do we hold ourselves back from what we want to try because of our fear? I think most of our fears of change come from the possibility of failure. My therapist always asks me, “what is the worst case scenario?” Here’s a hint: 9/10 of the times my “worst” case scenario is really not as bad when I say it out loud as it sounds in my own mind.

 

 3.) Regret is probably worse than any scary change you make. Personally, I would rather not learn this lesson too late. 

 

 

4.)  We are built to adapt. 

 

 

Changing up our routine awakens our souls and can teach us so much about ourselves that we never knew, especially about our capabilities and strength.

 

5.)  Change is necessary to our growth. If something does not work out, you can always shift again…change as many times as you need to.

I always loved this quote from the Curious Case of Benjamin Button movie:

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.”

― Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Screenplay

 

Is there something you are scared to change right now or a scary change you have recently overcome?

Weekend roundup

Listening now…

 

 

Trying to live by this motto more often now… ! There’s a little Monday inspiration for you, which we could all use 🙂

 

How was your weekend?

 

 

 

 

This Saturday we got high speed internet on the mountain top- it was a miracle! We have been suffering with Verizon wifi since we moved in and sometimes it can be basically impossible to blog.

 

So last night I sat down to blog, all excited, only to come across the issue with WordPress where it just goes white with the W logo when I hit “new post.” (Even if I try from the dashboard)  This has happened a few times- does anyone else come across this? I have a Macbook air and it’s possible it is a browser issue or something else.

Anyway so here I am… late with the weekend post but still up before mid week, so we’re good, right?

Saturday we met some family for dinner and took a stroll around one of our favorite towns. As a blogger, I am ashamed that I somehow forgot, for once, to photograph the food!

We went to a wood-fired pizza place that we love. Then admired the weirdness that is around us.

 

window

We had fun looking at the really really strange window displays…

blog

? LOL

reliefhudson sky

 

Then later that night I met a friend at a bar I pass every day but had never been inside…it was pretty quaint!

 

blog 1

 

Sunday I helped mom in the garden and ran this little baby tired with her “Chuck it.”

It was beautiful out so I felt lucky enough to be able to lay out and try to get some sun before my Greece trip, which is coming up really quickly and time is flying by!

I brought my camera out and took advantage of the beautiful spring day!

IMG_2346

IMG_2339

Mountain Mama in all her gardening glory.

IMG_2332IMG_2333

IMG_2354

And a certain someone wore herself out with her Chuck It…

IMG_2355

Once it’s out there is absolutely no going back.

IMG_2328

And she won’t stop until you Chuck it all over the yard…twice. Maybe 3 times or 4.

IMG_2361

IMG_2335

Winding down..

squiosh 2

Who you looking at?

squish

And at last a hard day of chasing ball is done…

Easter and a first birthday!

Listening now…

(This song though. Worth a listen, I promise….XOXO)

 

It’s been a busy few days! I am so so happy that the Daffodils are in full bloom and the pink trees are out and about.  Spring is seriously like a breath of fresh air.

I was in the city all day Thursday from super early in the morning until later that night with 15 teenagers for work! It was fun but definitely exhausting.

Then on Saturday we ventured down to Long Island for Frankie’s nephew’s first birthday. The theme was “wild one” complete with baby Kenny wearing his wild one shirt with fake mom and dad tats. LOVE.

bday party

desert.jpg

Dessert is life.

frankie crown.jpgkenny and frankie.jpg

bonfire.jpg

That night we had a bonfire and a few drinks…

Easter bunny.jpg

The Easter bunny still found us!

Lola.jpg

Lola was not impressed with Easter festivities…

 

Before we headed home I said we HAVE to go to the beach- it was about 80 out! And we don’t live anywhere near a beach so any time we are near one we have to go over…. we brought Frankie’s dog Renfield with us and it was Renny’s first time at the beach!

renny beach.jpg

renny beach 2.jpg

So many smells, so little time!

beach proposal.jpg

“Monica will you marry me? Marlon.” 

chocolates.jpg

I had a surprise when I came home 🙂

 

How was your weekend?

 

 

 

A Sunday in Spring

Listening now…

 

 

This weekend started out being a lazy one, which was much needed, but then turned into a very productive one!

I listed things on Ebay, I did my homework, I answered blogger comments, helped my mom in the garden for hours today, cleaned out my car and did the dreaded dump chore!

It was in the upper 60’s on the mountain top today….so I definitely took time to enjoy the sunshine and felt so much gratitude.

 

IMG_2286IMG_2285

 

Isn’t it amazing when the ground thaws out, wakes up, and comes alive again?

You don’t realize how good dirt smells or how green the grass is until you’ve been deprived of it in the cold hard months of a long winter.

Is that our own faults for not remaining completely present in the moments in front of us? Or is that simply……human?

As humans, like the dirt and the grass, we, too, wake up in the spring again.

We roll over and stretch, yawning out the tiredness the winter brought upon us.

 

IMG_2288

 

Everyone was feeling the gratitude of the sunshine today….

 

IMG_2291

 

You could hear it in their songs. Songs of praise for the day we had in front of us…

 

IMG_2295

Perched politely, waiting for his friends to finish their Sunday brunch.

 

IMG_2296

IMG_2304

Caught ya little chipmunk….

IMG_2309IMG_2311

IMG_2312

Running away from Monday like…

 

What did you do to enjoy this Sunday?

Santorini, Greece Bucket List

Listening now…

This is going to be a long list and I may add to it as time goes along and the trip gets closer. I will do an update post once I have actually visited with where I suggest to go and pictures from the trip itself.

There is SO much to do on this little island that I have read about, it is hard to compile one list. I am not sure if every single one of these things will happen, but we are going to try our hardest to make every day count as much as possible!

We travel to Santorini from May 10th to the 19th. If you missed my Currently in March post, it has been my dream to go here ever since the first Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movie came out and that dream is finally becoming a reality!

From what I have read online (and there are SO many resources out there it’s a bit overwhelming,) there are quite a few must sees and must dos when in Santorini. When I read about all that Greece has to offer and look at pictures, I get chills.

Santorini is only 1 of the many islands in Greece, but with so much to do. It was devastated by volcanic eruption in the 16th century BC, creating it’s rugged and cliffside landscape.

Hike from Fira to Oia and see the famous Santorini sunset. (With a bottle of wine)

It has been said that people travel from all over the world to Santorini simply to see a Santorini sunset. I can see why…

Walk the steps from Oia to Amoudi Bay.

I can’t even fathom the beauty of Amoudi Bay when I look at pictures online…

Visit these towns/villages & walk around, shop, eat in: Oia, Fira, Imerovigli, Kamari, Perissa

Each little village seems to have it’s own uniqueness to it and known for it’s own “thing.” We have read that Fira is where the party is at, Imerovigli is great for shopping, and Oia is great for dining by the water and their infamous sunsets.

I definitely want to take full advantage of Greek shopping and maybe visit a farmers market…!

I need to get some beautiful Greek souvenirs and am really hoping to come home with some really once in a lifetime kind of fashion pieces that I can cherish forever and remind me of the trip. 🙂

Beaches: Perissa, Red Beach, Kamari Beach

Santorini is known for it’s unique beaches- many of them are made up of dark volcanic sand, rather than the typical white sand you think of. But they seem to have a beauty all to their own!

Immerse into the history and culture of Santorini. 

The history of Santorini includes volcanos and tons of ancient ruins to explore. If you know anything about my blog so far, you may know that I love abandoned ruins. 

Specifically, I would love to go visit Ancient Thera in Kamari and the ancient archeological site Akrotiri. 

I also definitely want to check out the many museums of Santorini!

As for the culture…

We have read that Greeks are known for their hospitality. They are also very superstitious.

I want to come home with as much Greek knowledge as possible, including some language! I want to learn as much as I can about the Greek Gods and Goddesses. I would also like to feel as much like a Goddess while there as possible.

Scuba Dive down to a plane wreck…

I have to do quite a bit more research on this and it may have to be a day trip outside of the general area we will be staying in- but I definitely think it would be worth it!

Rent a quad or moped and ride around the island. 

Because I can’t think of anything more heavenly than riding on a quad along a coastline with your hair blowing in the warm wind…it is surprisingly cheap to rent a quad for an entire 8-9 days, too. So we can pretty much rent one and park it all over the place.

Swim in the hot springs. 

This is a must for me…

When else will you get the chance to swim in a hot spring other than Greece? Just don’t wear a good bathing suit I have read it tends to stay with you for awhile….. #takethehotspringhome

Food and Drink:

Where do I start?

Here’s just some of the yummies in Greece. From what I have found so far, Greeks love their pastries filled with cheese. Count me in. Also sweet custard deserts seem to be of top priority. Again….count.me.in.

More Greek food to make you hungry.

Among my list of musts to try: Baklava (pastry filled with filo and chopped nuts and honey,) Spanakopita (savory pastry filled with spinach, eggs, feta cheese, onions, seasoning,) and I absolutely need to try an actual Greek gyro, to name a few.

Also…. WINE.

The amount of wineries I have read about whilst doing research is making me so thirsty….

Also. Dinner with a view needs to happen- and is inevitable to happen while in Greece.

“Man: a being in search of meaning. “

-Plato

“We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds”

-Aristotle Onassis

rock stairs

Weekend roundup: Girls Spa day

Listening now…

What did you do this weekend?

 

It was definitely a busy one for me! And I ate a lot of delicious food. Our area does an event called “Restaurant week” where you can get a 3 course meal for $20 per person!

WARNING: This post will most likely make you hungry. I am hungry while I write this and reliving this food I just ate…is kind of torture. 🙂

 

Friday night we took full advantage of this and went out to eat at a brewery…of course we had to get dessert since it was included, didn’t want it to go to waste!

Mmmmmmm.

 

Blog pic- crossroads food.jpg

 

The rest of the night was pretty relaxing… Sunday was our girls day we planned for mom’s birthday.

We planned a spa trip and I got an hour long Swedish massage! I have never gotten a massage before and it was incredible.

It took me a little while to shut down my brain, relax, and let my muscles go. But once I did I felt everything melt away.

spa day.jpg

 

We headed to one of our favorite restaurants after and got some pink grapefruit and ginger margaritas and delicious food!

 

blog pic- drinks at dinner.jpg

Blog pic 2

Sausage Rigatoni. MMMM. 

 

Dessert: Before and after.

Mango and coconut sorbet and salted caramel gelato and Butterscotch Budino. Holy crap.

The Butterscotch is something we must get every time we come here….so amazing.

Blog pic 6- us girls.jpg

Girls with happy bellies and a relaxing day 🙂

 

In other news…. 

 

We booked our trip to Santorini, Greece! I talked about this in my last post- and now it’s official.  Excited is an under statement. I feel completely blessed and now it’s time to buckle down and save $$$ and learn some Greek language! We go for 9 days in May =D

I am thinking of writing a blog post of my Greece bucket list!

 

Opa.jpg

 

 

Also….I have been obsessed with Castle on the Hill by Ed Sheeran all weekend.  (Listen above!)

It’s such a relatable song and I just want to sing it loud with the windows down while I drive in the summer…..

 

When I was six years old I broke my leg
I was running from my brother and his friends
And tasted the sweet perfume of the mountain grass I rolled down
I was younger then, take me back to when I

Found my heart and broke it here
Made friends and lost them through the years
And I’ve not seen the roaring fields in so long, I know I’ve grown
But I can’t wait to go home

I’m on my way
Driving at ninety down those country lanes
Singing to “Tiny Dancer”
And I miss the way you make me feel, and it’s real
We watched the sunset over the castle on the hill

Fifteen years old and smoking hand-rolled cigarettes
Running from the law through the backfields and getting drunk with my friends
Had my first kiss on a Friday night, I don’t reckon that I did it right
But I was younger then, take me back to when

We found weekend jobs, when we got paid
We’d buy cheap spirits and drink them straight
Me and my friends have not thrown up in so long, oh how we’ve grown
But I can’t wait to go home

I’m on my way
Driving at ninety down those country lanes
Singing to “Tiny Dancer”
And I miss the way you make me feel, and it’s real
We watched the sunset over the castle on the hill
Over the castle on the hill
Over the castle on the hill

One friend left to sell clothes
One works down by the coast
One had two kids but lives alone
One’s brother overdosed
One’s already on his second wife
One’s just barely getting by
But these people raised me and I can’t wait to go home

And I’m on my way, I still remember
This old country lanes
When we did not know the answers
And I miss the way you make me feel, it’s real
We watched the sunset over the castle on the hill
Over the castle on the hill
Over the castle on the hill

 

 

 

 

 

 

Currently in March

Listening now…

March has been a busy month! Honestly, I have been very busy lately and that is why I have not had as much time for blogging.

I did not even get to a “Currently” post in February. Check out my last Currently in January post to see what I was up to back then…

But if you live anywhere where this Nor’easter Stella storm hit, then you may be like me, and currently dealing with this…

#Sorearms #3feetandabove

IMG_2166.JPGIMG_2183.JPG

Currently doing…

I am currently doing a million things at once right now, hence why blogging is once a week at the moment, here’s why! 🙂

ems birthday.jpg

Birthday celebrations for a friend were had this weekend!I left my house, hooray!

School:

Right now I am working towards an Animals & Public Policy certificate which is very focused on Animal law, Policies affecting animal laws, nonprofit administration, etc. I am still figuring school out but I think this is what I am really feeling- the skills needed to work in the animal nonprofit world- I hope! I am also considering a masters in Nonprofit Administration and would like to take both the certificate and classes for that, but school is a ton of work, time, money, etc. It is very hard to go back to school once you are working full time and paying loans and other bills- hoping I will figure this out slowly but surely…:)

Vacation Planning:

vaca

Frankie and I are planning a big trip (his first time out of the country) and we are seriously looking at Santorini, Greece.  Guys, I have wanted to go to Greece ever since I saw the first Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movie which was filmed there. (Which was actually filmed in Santorini) We are waiting for his vacation time to be approved before we can book, but we are stoked! Has anyone reading this been? If so- recommendations?!

Awesome reasons to travel to Greece: (Based on my research)

  • Safe to travel to
  • Economically struggling at the moment, so cheaper goods
  • Exploring ruins! Right up my alley… so much history and things to learn here.
  • The scenery-the cliffs, beaches and blue water, blue rooftops in Santorini, the food, sunsets of Oia (or so I’ve read…)
  • Amazing Greek hospitality is something I have read a lot about
  • Greek food!
  • Greeks love to celebrate life

Time to start learning Greek language….

Currently watching…

This is Us.

I promise you you will not be disappointed. Every single episode I cry. That good-hearty, damn I needed that-type of cry. I think it comes down to the show being about the core of family, love, loss, meaning of life, and purpose. It’s just so good, you have to watch it for yourself!

Currently reading…

When I do have free time, I have been reading…

I am not as obsessed with this book and have been taking longer to get through it than when I read my recent faves, “Behind Closed Doors,” “The Memory Box,” and “It Ends with Us.”

It’s good so far and follows the story of an ex couple, recently divorced, whose daughter Anna goes missing.  I have not gotten very far but it seems to shift between their lives and search for her and the kidnappers vague story of taking her…

Currently playing…

I recently picked up a Nintendo 3 ds with my Amazon gift care and Animal Crossing: New Leaf. I used to have this game and played obsessively, then sold my ds because I needed money at the time, then immediately regretted it and missed checking on my town and my villagers. (I realize I am strange, by the way) Plus there has been an update since then that allows you to scan cards into the game with certain villagers and you can ask them to move into your town.

Anyway, I have been reconnected with AC New Leaf!

For those of you who don’t know, Animal Crossing has been around for awhile. I used to play back when I had a gamecube…

It is a game where you control your town as mayor and work to make it better- creating new public works projects and ordinances and meeting and creating relationships with your villagers (who happy to be really cute animals who talk to you.)  You can work on your house-paying off your loans and decorating, earning money to do these things by catching bugs, fish, and shaking trees for fruit and selling them. The seasons change in the game too, and there are frequently events and holidays, following real world time.

Does anyone out there play?

I also want to pick up Pokemon Moon…

What have you been up to this March?Share with me!

A Sim Story: Part 2

Listening now…

Well, have you been wondering what’s been going on inside the world of my Sims? If you missed part 1 of Sergio, Luna, and Aurora’s life story read that first. 

Well, we moved into a new little house in good old Oasis Springs. Right on the creek which is beautiful because you can hear the creek and the summer sounds!

new house

Aurora has been loving gardening at the new house and we recently got our hands on a “UFO” seed- in Sim world, this means an “Unidentified fruit object” and is supposed to be a very alien looking plant. Apparently they are supposed to be hard to acquire, but we somehow just had one in our inventory- my Sim must have picked it up without me noticing.

03-05-17_9:25:37 PM.png

03-05-17_9:56:47 PM

The very beginnings of the UFO fruit.

03-07-17_7:00:59 PM.png

Growth!

In work life, Sergio got promoted to Detective! This is only about level 4 of the career track I believe, so he still has some opportunity for advancement.

He has been loving arresting people more than ever and gets paid more to do it now.

Arrest.png03-06-17_10:32:48 PM.png

celebrating promotion.png

Aurora and Sergio love to get alone time after they put Luna to bed…and celebrations were definitely in order the night Sergio got his Detective promotion!

02-26-17_5:35:34 PM.png

They have been enjoying fishing right behind the new house too and we hope to have a whole room of different fish!

 

 

In other news, Luna’s birthday is coming up and she will turn from a toddler to a child soon! We are debating on having another baby soon, but I just don’t think Sergio and Aurora are ready yet…

Plus, they still have to plan their wedding…sometimes they just don’t want to think about it all!

 

03-06-17_10:18:59 PM

Must keep date night going…. #Karaoke

 

That is about all for now, but there will definitely be more Sim story to come!

Any ideas where we should have the wedding?

Stay tuned…