Santorini

I could rack my brain for hours and hours and would still find it difficult to come up with a place more beautiful than Santorini.

The magnificence of the white buildings, surrounded by blue skies and blue seas is absolutely breathtaking! You will not see one tourist without a camera in their hand ready to capture the next available piece of beauty. I use the word ‘available’ because there are literally queues of people lining up to get a shot of the next gorgeous view.

We disembarked the ship and got on our coach to get up to the town. The views were spectacular along the way which had us excited but unfortunately, our tour guide spent more time talking about the different varieties of food growing there, and their multiple stages of ‘ripeness’ instead of actually sharing any decent information.

If anyone does have any questions, though, on the ripening stages of fava beans or cherry tomatoes, please do let me know.

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One word: Gorgeous!!

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Kuşadası, Turkey.

The next stop on our cruise was Kusadasi, Turkey. Neither of us had been to Turkey so we were equally excited to see it as Greece.
We had booked a tour not knowing it began at 7am so when we found out, almost cancelled. We are both shockingly bad in the morning, particularly me, and we were dreading the alarm call from the afternoon before.
I am now so thankful we did not cancel!!!

We disembarked the ship and ambled onto the tour coach with no make up, sunglasses on and heads down! Shortly after, our tour guide came over the mic on the bus and we very quickly realised, it was going to be a fun few hours. We could tell he knew what he was talking about from the start and to boot, he had a great sense of humour. Before arriving to our first stop, we were already having a good time.

Our first stop was believed to be Mother Mary’s last home in her final years. It was a little red brick house which has been mostly redone with some of the original stone.
We couldn’t take pictures inside, but it was small and simple. There were items which belonged to Pope John Paul as well as Pope Benedict.
Amazing to think that Mother Mary lived and walked on the same floor as we walked on.

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We didn’t know what those were; we thought maybe papers with people’s wishes on them. A lot looked like they had been there for a really long time.

After that, we were on the bus again heading to Ephesus.

For someone who loves history, it was an incredible place to visit. Ephesus was an ancient Greek city built in the 10th Century BC. It once had a population of 30,000-50,000 people in the Roman period but was mostly destroyed by an earthquake in 614AD. (Though it had been abandoned years before that.)

The marble slabs were the exact same as those walked on so many thousands of years ago.

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PicMonkey CollagesdThese were toilets…… cold!

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The library was magnificent…it was rebuilt basically from scratch but using as much of the original stone as possible.  You can see the difference in the pictures between the slabs that have been there when it was originally built and the new ones. I believe our guide told us 60% of it was original. That blows my mind!!

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It was an incredible visit and one of the highlights of the trip.

Afterwards, we visited a carpet making warehouse where they had made the most incredibly beautiful carpets, some tastefully changing colour in different lights. Beautiful!! I wish I could have brought one home. Over a delicious traditional warm apple tea, we learned about the intricacies of carpet making while freshly made carpets pounded the floors at our feet in a dramatic display!

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Even though we were only there for a few hours, Kusadasi really impressed both of us with their friendly people, beautiful green mountains and incredible historic sites.

I hope it won’t be too long before going back for a proper stay.

Happy Monday!

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Mykonos.

A few photos from the first stop of our amazing 4 day cruise around the Greek Islands.

I always knew how beautiful the Greek Islands were supposed to be and always had the dream to visit them one day.
Finally, last week, our time came to see some of the most beautiful places we have ever been to.

Mykonos. Our first stop of the cruise and one of our favourites.

We got there late afternoon and even though we would be having dinner on the ship later that night, we headed straight to try some of the local cuisine.
A big part of travelling for me, especially to new places, is trying the local food. It was a good way to immerse ourselves in the culture given the little time we had.

We stopped off at a little outdoor cafe/restaurant, ordered our hummus and pita, chicken souvlaki and baklava and watched travellers from all over the world pass us by, each with a camera swinging on their necks. Who would not want to capture every moment of a place so beautiful?

I kid you not when I say, this little roadside cafe served the BEST hummus, souvlaki and baklava I have ever tasted!!! Incredible! My mouth is actually watering at the thought of it.

Feeling full and extremely satisfied, we walked around the small cobbled streets, lined with white buildings and blue doors. Each little turn revealed new and exciting hidden treasures. Shops full of beautiful art work, jewellery, clothes, souvenirs and pottery lined the streets.

We were already wishing we had brought more than just hand luggage.

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DSC_3324Birthday Tradition! DSC_3369Birthday Tradition!As we walked back to the ship, we watched the sun going down over the city. Incredible!

DSC_3395Birthday Tradition! DSC_3397Birthday Tradition! DSC_3398Birthday Tradition! DSC_3403Birthday Tradition! DSC_3407Birthday Tradition!Beautiful beautiful place – I genuinely cannot wait to go back.

I know the first place I’ll be visiting.
Yum.

Happy Wednesday!

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BABYMOON

I decided I wanted to see some sunshine and the beach before I hit my last trimester and couldn’t travel anymore. We only had a week off work but still decided to go transatlantic for some guaranteed sunshine – Florida. We got to see blue skies, friends, go shopping (Little Baby’s wardrobe expanded), dine well, swims, walks on the beach and of course spent time with Suzie, my car!
While I was super excited for all of the above, he was most excited for the below two items:

Big Gulp from 7-Eleven and Cheetos!

Alan wanted a real American breakfast experience. We had great breakfasts at the hotel, but it just wasn’t what he was looking for. I decided Cracker Barrel was the way to go. Old country American…. he loved it!

We weren’t let down with the weather… blue skies 6 out of the 7 days. Maggie and Joe visited us at the hotel – we spent the day on the beach and by the pool… the boys talked about beers and boy stuff, and Maggie and I caught up on life! The worst part of the day was that I couldn’t use the waterslide at the pool.. it was fun however, watching their faces as plunged into the water at high speed!

Mid week, we went to Miami for the day…as I listened to music in the car, Alan watched for alligators all the way along Alligator Alley. Unfortunately, again, there were none to be seen. {Thank God we found one in the lake at our hotel a few days later; otherwise, I fear Alan would have completely given up on Florida.}

We visited South Beach and watched the world go by over these bad boys…..

We then visited the American Airlines Arena for the first time to watch Miami Heat play the Minnesota Timberwolves. After living in the States close to 7 years, I never once went to a NBA game so it was pretty exciting. Sadly, by the time the game had started, I was falling sleepier and sleepier. We had fun though! Alan came up with a few choice phrases such as “Nuttin’ But Net” which kept me very entertained.

The night prior, in preparation…

I had a surprise visitor from Tampa..
Eva and I were roommates and teammates at University and hadn’t seen each other for about 4 years. How fast the times passes, but the greatest thing; it felt like nothing had changed at all. Ok…slight understatement from the pregnant person, but, you know what I mean.
We went to 5th Avenue for dinner, ice cream and chats.

Back at the hotel and under the sun…

I feel like I already had my own mini babyshower. Thank you so much to Eva and Liset for the beautiful presents for Little Baby, and to Gloriana who sent something all the way from Mexico to Florida as a surprise. (My friends are cooler than yours)
Muchas muchas gracias chicas!!!!

On the last day, we did a maternity photoshoot. Neither of us ever did one before but had so much fun with it. A few photos to come in the next post!

Completely unimpressed with having to leave, we bid Florida farewell for another few months. Next time, I imagine it will be a hugely new experience! :)

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