Some nights I still lay awake in bed dreaming of Mykonos. I'll try to take you there. Imagine: An abandoned beach at midnight. A full moon so bright it resembles the sun. No other sound than that of the waves tumbling and the gentle breeze that rustles the palm leaves. You breathe in clean, ocean air and sigh as you dig your toes a little further into sand that's still a little warm from the day. Then you look up to see a sky sprinkled with more stars than you've ever seen your entire life. And brighter than you ever knew stars could be.
There was some sort of stillness in that moment - and a feeling of peace.
This was one of those times in my otherwise busy and chaotic travel days where I found myself. Where I pictured myself as a little spot on the earth, so small and maybe insignificant and yet so free. I felt really empowered. I was in the driver's seat, I was in control, I was the cause of where I was standing. It's hard to explain otherwise why this moment is so impacted in my memory; why still to this day it is like chicken and waffles to my hungry soul. I'll never forget that feeling standing there.
Mykonos was by far the greatest island I went to -- close second was Santorini. The white washed buildings and streets, the food, the nightlife, the scenery, it was just to die for. Be warned though - it gets hella windy at night! Bring a jacket! We danced and partied our butts off every night and every day were in awe of the beauty that surrounded us -- the clear blue water, soft sand beaches, quaint downtown city, rich cuisine and the lively energy of the locals.
We stayed at the Aphrodite Hotel a little outside of the main town (only a short bus ride away) that sat directly on its own private beach in front of two rocky hillsides (which are hike-able and which we later did hike) that are affectionately known as "Aphrodite's Boobs." The story in Mykonos is that if you hike up one of Aphrodite's ta-tas and place a rock atop one or the other said ta-ta, you will have good luck in love. Welp, I hiked up both and put a rock on both, just, ya know, in case one boob was luckier than the other.
I think it may have worked, honestly, as a month after I came home, I met my current boyfriend of 9 months now who I'm also co-habitating with in Tampa. (Thank you, Aphrodite!)
They also had an amazing beach bar restaurant just a two minute walk down the road called Thalassa. And there is where I partook in THEE BEST Mousaka I've had to date!
Did Someone Say...Party?
When in Greece, one must toga, right? And toga we did. This was just a small gathering at the hotel pool and bar area the first night we arrived - but what a blast. Definitely the first time everyone let their guard down and we all really bonded. We simply used bedsheets and safety pins! Check with your hotel to see if they have any extra sheets you could use for your own toga fun.
Also, as I mentioned this trip was filled with a lot of local pub hopping and one wild, famous beach party at Paradise beach. The special drink there is a green cocktail called "Devil's Tongue" which (I neither will confirm or deny) knocks you into tomorrow. I won't say much on my exploits here so as to retain some dignity, but I think it says a lot to mention the DJ of the party was an ex-Italian porn star named "Elephant-Man" and his speedo was, accurately, in the shape of an elephant. I'll leave it to your imagination exactly how and where this "elephant" was portrayed.
I couldn't make any of this up if I tried.