The Highlights and Hiccups of our Grecian Honeymoon

I’m baaaaaaaaack!

Kah-lee-MER-ah, Everyone! (That means ‘good morning’ in Greek! And yes, I wrote it phonetically, because I do not have the Greek alphabet on my keyboard, nor would most of you be able to read it if I did not do so.)

Thank you to Misty and Deanne for keeping you all company while I was away!

Greece was magnificent! We thoroughly enjoyed our pre-wedding honeymoon (yep, it’s backwards thanks to Joe’s gig schedule, but I’m just happy we got to get away).

The Highlights:

We started in Santorini, which was breathtaking.

DSCN1062I would like to go back now please.

We stayed in one of the southern most cities, Akrotiri, which is the historical part of the island. It was quiet and scenic as our room overlooked the caldera, with Nea Kameni (the volano island) right in the middle.

This is what breakfast was like each day.

DSCN0832I miss breakfast in Greece.

We rented ATV’s a couple times and cruised all around the island, checking out the northern most city Oia (pronounced Eeh-ah), relaxed in Perissa on the Perevolos black sand beaches, and headed down to the southern tip where we watched the sunset from the rocks around the lighthouse.

DCIM100GOPROOia

DCIM100GOPROPerissa

DSCN1140Lighthouse

Our next stop was Athens. We left the beaches and wineries of Santorini for the Capital city. We got lost – in a good way – on the streets of the Plaka. We buzzed about Adrianou Street and ventured out to dine in street cafes where we listened to local musicians and stared up at the Acropolis.

On one of the hottest mornings of our trip, we trekked to the Acropolis. And it was totally worth the heat.

DSCN1188Behind us is the Parthenon – the Temple of Athena, Goddess of War and Wisdom, and whom Athens is named for. The temple was completed in 438 BC.

DSCN1193Just one view of the city of Athens. The population is estimated to be 10, 767, 827 people!

We visited the National Archeological Museum, the largest in the country. My favorite room showed the items and murals found in ancient Thira (Santorini) in the ruins of Akrotiri – an ancient trade port that was covered for centuries by volcanic ash and uncovered in the 1800’s. We walked the ruins in Akrotiri, and had to wait till we got to Athens to see the murals that were recovered there.

DSCN1289

Famous Mural – The Boxing Boys

Did you all read Deanne’s guest post about the Greek Changing of the Guard? We did see the Evzones.

DSCN1316

We had a date night at one of the most famous outdoor theaters, Cine Thissio, which was built in 1935.

DSCN1219

And of course, the FOOD was amazing!!!

DSCN0831DSCN0852DSCN0925DSCN1007DCIM100GOPRO

DSCN1303DSCN1365

The Hiccups:

1.)  Shockingly, I’m sure to you all, we only got kind of lost one and a half times. The first was after our ship docked in Piraeus and we had to find the metro to connect to Athens and check into our hotel. This was all after 9 o’clock at night, so it was dark out and there weren’t any signs for the metro that we could see.

We basically got there by meandering the city and following some other tourists for a bit, all while dragging our luggage along. We were hot, sweaty messes when we finally checked into our hotel. Oh…and I had what I thought was motion sickness, but ended up being vertigo, so I threw up a bunch that night!

2.) Yes, I got vertigo – actually still have vertigo – and that made touring Athens interesting. We had to take several breaks throughout the day for me to sit and cool down and start believing the walls and pavement were not in fact coming after me. For the record, vertigo sucks.

3.)  The second time we got lost was our first full day in Athens. We had a map of the city, which was in English, but once you venture away from the main streets of the Plaka, most street signs are only in Greek, so the map didn’t help a ton. And it was also 99,000 degrees Celsius. Yes, Celsius!

We were literally wandering inside the very mouth of Hades!

4.) And this one is minor, truly. But, I did get me some sun poisoning in Santorini. As any good ginger knows, being in too much sun will cause one to self combust, and sauntering all over that beautiful island caused my arms to break out in some form of minor hive-age.

I paid a visit to a pharmacy in Fira where a very kind Greek woman helped me purchase what I hope was Grecian benadryl and anti-itch cream. The “Greek-adryl” box was entirely in Greek and her only counsel on the drug was to take it for 5-6 days. I didn’t know the dosage or whether the stuff was non-drowsy or what, so I resigned to only taking it at bedtime, wherein I seemed to conclude that it was in fact the drowsy version. It worked wonders on our final flight home in which Joe tells me there was some serious turbulence and a lightening storm that I completely missed. :D

The anti-itch cream made me laugh as it was in Greek and Grenglish? My favorite part of the tube is where it read that the cream helps with “the itch of elderly people” followed directly by “contact with jellyfish.” It was most comforting to know that if I came in contact with either an old person or a jellyfish, I was covered itch-wise.

That’s our story! All in all, a very happy honeymoon!
As they say in Greece, “Cheers” or “Yah-mas!”

DSCN0873DSCN1041Ready to do a helmet wearing PSA if asked!

DSCN1067Yah-mas!

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41 responses

  1. Awww, you two are adorable! Looks like Joe got a haircut as well, yes? All in prep of the wedding, I imagine. What a lovely honeymoon you had. Greece looks amazing. And the food. Wow. Glad there were only a few hiccups along the way.

    1. Really? I think his hair is kinda long. He needs another haircut. Both of us have hair that grows really fast.

      And um…yah the food. *drools*

  2. Looks amazing. Now you can settle in and have a good wedding! Why worry about two things at once – Right?

    1. Exactly! Say, Ms. Traveler! Have you ever been to Greece?

      1. No – but it’s on my list.

  3. Gorgeous photos of you two and Greece! So sorry you weren’t feeling very well through some of it. But you’re a trooper and obviously made the best of it. Smart idea, honeymooning before the wedding! Glad to have you back. Try to hide for a awhile to avoid the last of the wedding chaos and rest up for the big day. Xxoo.

    1. Hide? They keep calling me! LOL. All I did all weekend was sleep to try to tame the jet lag and/or vertigo. I do feel much better now. No more major dizzy spells, just a constant light-headedness. (Do you think that’s how blonde’s feel? hehehehhe j/k) ;)

      1. Fortunately for you and I, we’ll never know! Redheads forever! Glad the vertigo is easing but even light-headed ness has got to be annoying and distracting. From this moment on, don’t answer your phone! Sending hugs, my little ginger friend.

  4. Looks as if you had an amazing time – lovely photos!! So glad you enjoyed it!! Have a beautiful wedding – sorry we will miss it! God Bless and have a perfect day on the 19th!!

    1. Thank you Dorie! I especially loved Santorini. It was just so gorgeous! Someday we’ll go back and visit the other islands too.

  5. Great trip. Great tale. Great pictures. I’m so glad you had a great time taking one of the most splendid vacations possible. Wow, ancient Greece…doesn’t get any better than that. I’m glad, too, that you’re back safe and sound.

    1. Yah, if we could do it over though, we’d plan the historical sightseeing part in Athens first and the scenic, relaxing part of Santorini last. That was the best – and a first for us. We’re always traveling to metropolis areas and packing in all we can. Slowing down to island life was new to us and VERY ENJOYABLE!

      1. I see the wisdom in what you’ve learned and completely agree. Glad you’re back!

  6. Beautiful photos! So sorry you got vertigo and sun posioning :-( But now you have some great reasons to go back… to return without the burden of those symptoms. :-) Also the pictures of all the food and that little breakfast balcony look amazing!

    Welcome back!
    Kelly

    1. Ohmygosh yes! We’d love to go back. All weekend I kept saying “I miss real greek yogurt,” “I miss greek sunsets,” “I miss greek gyros,” and Joe just turned to me and said, “You miss GREECE.”

  7. Unbelievable, Jess!! Happy pre-wedding honeymoon! Looks amazing and the food….OMG, the food!! Those dishes are pieces of art. WOW! :)

    Glad you survived the vertigo (i get it often and YES, vertigo sucks!) Happy to hear that your mystery cream and Benadryl helped. I will be here to listen if you need to cry over the fact that you are no longer in Greece. :)

    1. Any tips for getting rid of the lightheadedness? What should I do? I went to urgent care when we got back and they gave me an antihistamine for lightheadedness, but that’s it. I heard there are exercises you can to realign your ear crystals. Thoughts? Advice?

      1. I wish I had some good suggestions for you. I usually just have to wait it out. The antihistamine does help. I have heard about the ear crystal exercises but have never tried them. I do know someone who has and it worked for them! Maybe we should both look into it. Hope it passes soon. :)

  8. LOVE LOVE LOVE the pre-wedding honeymoon! Stories for a lifetime, babe. Congrats!

    1. Thank you Myndi!! Great stories indeed! And you’ll love this because you’re into collecting little happiness-esses (yep, it’s a new word): A lot of shops sold beautiful hand painted dishes and each one we saw I remarked how I loved them and wanted to fill our cupboards with them, but there’s no way they’d make it back in one piece in our luggage. Finally, Joe suggested we get one small bowl and we fill it with things from our trip. So we have this gorgeous hand painted colorful bowl in our living room that’s filled with lava rocks I picked up from the Aegean Sea, some loose change Euros, corks from Greek wine bottles, an evil eye good luck charm that was a gift from a shop owner who learned we were honeymooning, and one hand crafted olive wood wine stopper I bought at a winery we toured. *love*

      Oh, and I bought two awesome new coffee mugs!! *squeee* Happy dishes!

      1. OHMYGOSH. Perfection. Total perfection.

  9. What a lovely trip! Thanks for sharing your fabulous pics and stories. I hate that you had vertigo while there. Ugh.

    Oh, and I was wowed by that 10 million number in Athens, especially when I looked it up and realized that’s twice as many people as the Houston metro area. Even for us Texans, Athens is big. ;)

    1. Yah, when we overlooked the city from the Acropolis, our jaws dropped. It’s just so compact with buildings but goes on for miles.

      Want to know a grody secret though? And thankfully Deanne warned me, but their sewer system isn’t very good, so all over the city, when you use the restrooms, they have signs in them to not throw the toilet paper in the toilet. You have to toss it in a garbage can next to the toilet! Pretty gross. Thankfully, the hotels didn’t have that, but many restaurants, public bathroom areas, the airport, etc. all had the signs.

      1. Ick. But then again, some of my in-laws have a farm/ranch with a tank and you have to throw away your used T.P. there too. So there you go! Something rural Arkansas and Athens, Greece have in common. ;)

  10. Love this! Brings back so many memories, especially that spectacular view near the Acropolis. And yes, the food is AWESOME. I don’t know how the Greeks do it, but every dish was better than the one before it. Thanks for the shots of Santorini – on my bucket list now. :)

    1. OMG we LOVED Santorini! And don’t believe people when they say there’s nothing to do there! We got a lot of comments from family about why we stayed there a whole week – what was there to do? We had plenty to keep us busy and still relax and wished we could have relaxed more!

      My favorites: the ruins of Akrotiri, Santo Wines, the Wine Museum, visiting the Crazy Donkey Brewery – the owner is from CA!, the view of the caldera at the Red Beach, the total relaxation of the black sand beaches, the lighthouse (bring snacks, wine, and a camera and watch the sunset!) Take a sunset tour on a boat to visit the volcano, hot springs, have lunch in Thirassia, and end in Oia to see the sunset. And definitely rent an ATV and drive around and see the vineyards, Greek families herding goats, check out the chapels!

      We just loved it!

  11. Thanks so much for sharing with us. Love the pictures!

    1. Writers conference in Santorini??? *raises eyebrows*

  12. How many times did you and/or Joe utter the phrase, “It’s all Greek to me?” I’m just curious.

    This looks like a fantastic pre-honeymoon! So much history…and the food! (It’s ALWAYS about the food). The heat would probably make me miserable, but I’d be miserable at the Parthenon, so who cares? Welcome back home. Onto the wedding!

    1. Actually we never did! But stay tuned because I’m planning a whole post about the Greek language that I think you’ll dig.

      And yah, my sentiments exactly. I didn’t feel good, but it’s like “Hello, I’m standing on something built in the 400 BC’s!” You just suck it up and try to remember the moment because you know it’ll only last so long.

  13. Love the pics, Jess! The honeymoon looks like it was fantastic. And, um…I can’t believe no one else here said it, but one of the things that gives a gal vertigo is pregnancy. You might want to give that a quick check to rule it out. :-)

    You had the trip of a lifetime and I am SO happy for you!!

    1. You are wicked and I have Nexplanon (birth control rod that sits in one’s arm) so tough cookies, Hansen!

      And yes, the trip was amazing!

  14. Susan Dahlstrom | Reply

    I loved your photos and travelogue. Wonderful memories to last a lifetime! Wishing you a perfect and wonderful love-filled Wedding Day!

    1. Thank you Susan!

      Our fridge is decorated by all the cute LOVE cards you ladies wrote us. Makes me smile every time I see them. :D

  15. Thanks for taking us along! Great pics! Can’t wait for the wedding!

    1. You’re a travel bug too, Patricia! Have you ever been to Greece?

  16. Fab pics. What a lovely honeymoon.

    1. Thank you Emma! It was beautiful. Hope you’re enjoying your travels!

  17. karenmcfarland | Reply

    “we only got kind of lost one and a half times.” LOLOL! You truly crack me up! Yes, you are unique. You don’t get lost one time. Or two times. No, YOU get lost one and a half times. It’s just too much!

    Okay, now I can say it. Oh My God! “Hello! Back to Greece we go!” Yeah! And the breakfast. Well, everything. Perfect pre-wedding, backwards honeymoon Jess!

    Congrats to you both! :)

    1. Yah, it was one and half times. And I’d get lost one and half times more if it meant going to back to Greece!

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