Today I am joining in with Andrea at Momfessionals, Narci at Grace and Love Blog, & Erika at A Little Bit of Everything Blog for Friday Favorites. And I am sharing some of my Greece Favorites! Because, if you follow me on any of my social media platforms, you know I was in Greece last week! (And if you don’t follow me yet, you should: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Bloglovin.)
Okay, moving on from my shameful self promotion…
|| DAY ONE: SUNDAY ||
My flight out began Sunday night. Sunday afternoon, I began freaking out. I have never traveled alone (without Greg or my family) and I was becoming fearful. I fed that fear and finally, had to make the hard choice: to continue living in irrational fear or to remember God’s faithfulness and trust. I chose the latter. You can read more about the fear, here.
Before I had to face that fear, I tried to prepare myself as best I could. I decided to pack only carry-ons. You know, so I wouldn’t have to worry about my bags making it all the way to Greece and so I wouldn’t have to conquer the baggage carousel. (I told you my fears are irrational.)
I also purchased two Boobypacks. Yes, Boobypacks. I saw them on Shark Tank and decided this would be a must-have for my travels. Honestly, I am so glad I did. Think fanny pack meets adorable sports bra/crop top/tank. There are convenient zippers underneath the armpit, so I could store my extra cash (remember Greece is in financial crisis, so I had to bring a lot more money with me than I had intended) and even my passport without worrying they would get stolen. They are perfect to wear on their own. (Honestly, I wore them under a tank, partly because I have had 4 children, so I cannot rock a crop top quite so well and partly because as a boy mom I try not to wear such low cut tops on their own. That said, they are most definitely adorable enough to wear on their own and I plan to wear them on their own when I work out. In my home.) Oh and did I mention, they are water resistant? So when I got doused by the Mediteranean Sea, I didn’t have to worry about my valuables getting soaked too. Just me and my now see-through shorts.
And because they are an amazing small business, they are giving one Boobypack away to one of you! More details about the giveaway are at the bottom of this post. (*These views are my own. While I did receive a coupon code for my Boobypacks, I was not compensated for my statements here.*)
|| DAY TWO: MONDAY ||
Monday brought more flying, you can read more about my thoughts during the flights, here. We landed in Zurich and I was thankful to have slept through the early evening/night. I was transitioning time zones well, which was good because finding coffee in the Zurich airport was near impossible.
I arrived in Athens with a 6 hour layover. I was nervous, but I decided to make a quick visit out of the airport and into Athens to see the Acropolis. With the financial turmoil, the metro was free so we jumped on and crossed our fingers. Just kidding, I researched for hours while still in America, and still with data, and found this amazing site. It detailed each step from the airport to the Acropolis and made me feel like I could do it. And I did. So thank you fellow blogger for your perfectly detailed instructions. I would have been scared, sitting in the airport for 6 hours if it hadn’t been for you.
I arrived back at the airport with one hour left. I still ran to my gate, because, well, I’m a little crazy. I arrived in Chania, Crete close to midnight.
|| DAY THREE: TUESDAY ||
I stayed in a house with a lot of my family. Most of whom wake up much later than I do, so I enjoyed breakfast on our balcony with my Aunt. Greece is a slow, relaxed country. People stay out late, rest in the afternoon, and generally understand rest. It took me the entire week to understand that it is okay to sleep in. Old habits (even ones I don’t appreciate), die hard.
After breakfast and waiting for everyone else to wake up, I asked my Yia-Yia to walk to the Agora (market) with me. She also showed me one of the homes she grew up in. Hearing the stories of her life, the ways they lived, and being able to experience those places with her, standing where she stood, was incredible.
Her home in Chania is now part of a neighbors home. Just down the street and alley from where we were staying. The Agora was an incredible marketplace filled with fresh produce, fresh fish/meat, and small shops selling handmade items. It’s a large hustle and bustle in an old building. One that my Yia-Yia went to when she was a child, to help her father sell their produce and livestock. It is slightly different today, but to know I was standing where she stood so many times, all those years ago, was pretty surreal.
After the craziness of the Agora, my Yia-Yia went home to rest (as is Greek routine. The Agora was actually setting to close, as we left, for the afternoon: 1:30-4pm), while my sister and her family showed me the way to the Venetian Harbor and Old Town. You can walk to everything (which is great because driving in Greece is a little crazy) which allows you to truly experience the sights, sounds, and smells. I loved it all and tried to absorb all I could. Hearing Greek music and the Greek language reminded me of the days growing up with my Yia-Yia and Papou. Seeing the effects of World War II, the mess, the rubble, still, after all these years was amazing. And something that helped me reflect on the mess that I am. You can read more about my reflections on the mess of life, here.
That evening, we went to the ‘Cretan Diet Festival’ in Rethymno. The festival was unlike any here in the States. There was free food and drinks, though fighting the crowd of Greek people flocking to the free food was a little crazy. (Really, only slightly crazier than our family holiday dinners.) There were tents for handmade artisans (where I purchased a few items for myself!). And then, at the end of the night, there was live music and traditional Greek dancers. I think this was the first moment I completely fell in love with Crete. The dancers wore traditional clothing, reminding me of a few Greek dolls my Yia-Yia had in her home as I was growing up. My heart cried out at the memories come to life. And my soul sang. For a small glimpse at the jaw-dropping dancing, click here.
A look back at my Greece Favorites will continue next week. I will be talking about the Samaria Gorge in Chania, exploring the Venetian Harbor and Old Town, and a look back at my roots with visits to Fones and Nippos.
Now, onto the GIVEAWAY! Boobypack has graciously offered a 100% discount on any Boobypack on their site!
1. To enter giveaway, click the Rafflecopter link below!
2. Giveaway will close Thursday, July 23.
3. The winner will be announced on the post: Greece Favorites: Part Two, July 24. As well as contacted via the Rafflecopter information provided.
4. This giveaway is open to everyone. boobypack is generously offering a coupon code for 100% off any item in their shop. http://www.Boobypack.com
5. All entries will be verified. If one of your entires cannot be verified, you will be disqualified.