Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Cyclades Celebration

I think a 30th birthday is something to celebrate and since, my little sister turned 30 last month, we celebrated! We traveled to Greece for some island hopping. I was so excited to be on a trip with my sister. Usually, I am with work or friends and never with a family member. This trip was memorable and quite special to me for many reasons...Lizzie and I are 3 years apart and we were each other's first friends. I can't imagine my childhood without her constant companionship. So, a week together flew by leaving us with fond memories and great tans.
Our island hopping took us to 2 islands: Paros and Santorini.
 Paros is a great place to rent a car and drive around visiting beaches and small towns. We spent a couple days on Paros and enjoyed the freedom of driving around and exploring the entire island. We found a beach lined with olive trees with crystal clear turquoise water which was perfect for effortless back floats.  In the mornings, we drank espresso frappes and soaked up the sunshine. Then, in the evenings, we ambled through the streets and sipped on Greek beer and ate a lot of salads.
Santorini was a completely different experience...
We stayed at a resort with pool overlooking a vineyard and the sea. The town was walking distance and the scenery was stark white buildings down a sheer cliff. The sunsets were epic and the towns more lively. We laid out by the pool, sipped local wine and walked many miles on cobblestone streets (up and down the cliffs). We shopped for gifts to take home and saw cave paintings.

History, culture, delicious food and ocean breezes were our constant companions in Greece. The celebration was fun and I can't wait to travel with my sister again. My only hope is that next time all three of us (sisters) can go.

Amalfi Adventure

Last month, I travelled to the Amalfi Coast with a friend before a work conference in Umbria. We spent a few days soaking up the sun, trying Aperol spritzers and eating copious amounts of delicious food. This was one of my favorite trips and I can't wait to return. We stayed in the quiet town, Maiori, where we could walk everywhere and stay across the street from the sea. The days were long and relaxing and the nights were filled with friendship and laughter.
Getting to the Amalfi is not the easiest route. We spent time on a plane, train and a bus. The road is narrow, windy and hugs the mountain closely. The sea is a brilliant aqua and the hills are terraced with citrus. Limoncello flows freely and the seafood is remarkable. 
We took a day trip to Capri with the intention of laying in the sun until it rained. However, the rain was one of the highlights of the trip. At first, I was upset but we ended up laughing until the sun broke through the clouds giving us ample warmth after the showers. 

I can't wait to return to Maiori and spend even more time on the shores relaxing. Life gets crazy and when I look back on this trip, I can feel a sense of calm because for the first time in a while, I felt completely at peace.