First Day on Santorini

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We left Athens without a hitch this morning. We are actually getting pretty good at getting 90% of our packing and organizing done the night before we leave so the travel mornings are not so hectic. Ilise has become a lot less stressed on our departures and everyone is lending a helping hand. We had a minivan waiting for us and in less than 30 minutes we were curbside at the Athens Airport. We decided to store 2 of our suitcases at the airport rather than drag them to Santorini, so we will pick them up when we return.

Santorini from above
Santorini from above

We landed on the island around 11 AM after a short 35 minute flight. Getting our bags was a piece of cake and our driver, Jimmy, was waiting outside for us. We hopped in the van and headed for The Bird, an apartment complex owned and operated by Rossetos. The place is a bit small, but the apartment we have includes a roof deck where the kids did their workout with Karley this afternoon. I really like Rossetos and look forward to spending some time with him this week.

This is off-season on Santorini so the place is pretty quiet, but it is exactly what we need right now before the next 12 weeks of sightseeing craziness that will happen around Europe. This place is absolutely gorgeous. Having been to a lot of places around the world, this is close to the top. I still love New Zealand for pure beauty in so many different ways, but the blue ocean and the mountains on the island, along with the simple architecture make Santorini really special. Right behind our AirBnB unit is an amazing hike that I look earlier today that heads straight up a small mountain. I’m looking forward to taking this hike just about every morning.

View of our neighborhood from the mountain
View of our neighborhood from the mountain

After arriving at our apartment Rossetos provided us with a rental car. We are 5 people and this car can maybe fit 4 midgets, so we will see how we all pile into this car during the week. I’m sure we will make it work, but it will seem more like a fraternity prank than something we should be doing on this trip! The one great thing about the car is that it is a stick shift. Yeah 🙂  I’ve been wanting to drive a stick for a few years and now I can. We took the car and went to the super market, which seems to be the pattern whenever we get to an apartment. Having two growing teenagers costs a lot of money when it comes to food. We got some food, brought it back to the apartment, fed the kids and then jumped back in the car and headed for Fira, the largest town on the island and the social mecca of the island. The party animals that we are, we went looking for a bigger supermarket to see if you we get some better produce and some items they just didn’t have in the small market by us.

About 2 hours later, after driving down to another beach area, picking up an old man who needed a lift into town, getting gas and finding really great oranges, we headed back to Perissa. When we returned we decided to drive around the neighborhood and we ran into our landlord. He told us about a few restaurants that we should try, so we went for another drive before heading back. I believe we will be having dinner tomorrow night at a place down my the harbor. We met the owner today and told him we would be back. I’ve invited Rossetos to join us, so I hope that he has a quiet night so he can enjoy a meal with us.

Panorama from the top of the mountain
Panorama from the top of the mountain

It was a wonderful excursion even though Ilise is starting to feel a bit under the weather. We met a few restuarant owners who are friends with Rossetos. It seems like everyone on this island knows Ressetos, so I think we are in good hands. After all the driving I climbed the mountain behind the apartment and it felt great. The hike took about 50 minutes to get to the top and about 35 minutes to get back down. I took some amazing pictures on my phone and when I returned it was time to make some dinner. Simple dinner of pasta (plain for Noah) and some meatsause for the rest of us. Now dinner is done and I’m tired and ready for bed. So, I’m off to take a shower and call it a day. Another amazing day in the books on this trip.

To a life well lived!

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