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Bonjour! I’m Erin.
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Though I said we would be doing ‘absolutely nothing’ in Santorini, that wasn’t quite how it turned out. Our days started with champagne and fresh fruit and breakfast overlooking the caldera, and ended with cocktails while we stared in awe at the sunset every night. “Look at it now!” was an oft repeated phrase, for every second of every sunset was prettier than the last, the sky changing hot orange to pale pink in minutes. There was gelato before lunch, casual strolling through Fira and Oia, amazing dinners with even more amazing views, jugs of house wine, and dessert at every meal. I ate cake for breakfast, we laid on lounge chairs on our terrace and read in the afternoons, and generally stuck to no schedule whatsoever. It was incredible. We did enough without doing too much to feel rushed or too little to feel lazy. We loved Athens, but we both felt the honeymoon didn’t really start until we got to Santorini.
We stayed at the Alta Vista Honeymoon Suites, three elegantly appointed private cave villas with a shared pool, in Firostefani, halfway between Fira and Imerovigli. I totally and completely understand now why people return year after year to the same resort or timeshare; this place was heaven. It didn’t have to do much, because the view and the island compensate for a lot, but our stay was phenomenal and we almost didn’t leave. I know, I know, how can I love any place as much as I love Paris? I’m sorry, have you been to Santorini yet? It’s self-explanatory. The view of the caldera is literally enchanting, and I never got used to it in the six days we were there.
On Saturday, we went to the Athens Central Market, the long (and loud) halls of fish mongers, butchers, and produce stands. While not a typical tourist destination, multiple guidebooks (and Trip Advisor) recommend a visit if you’re in town. And what a neat experience it was! Purveyors shout their prices over one another, throw fresh buckets of ice on top of their displays, slice open fish right in front of you. Who knows what goes on in the butcher stalls, because I gave them a wide berth and refused to venture down those aisles. Some things are better left unexplored, yes?
I should mention that this was Jamal’s second trip to the Market that day; unable to adjust to the new time zone and sleep in, he had gone bright and early at 7:15am. I, on the other hand, have no such issue when it comes to sleep. Ever. I might as well be a particularly narcoleptic Sleeping Beauty. So when you throw in a 9hr plane ride and a 7hr time difference on top of my normal snooziness, plus the fact that we were on vacation, I was happy to catch the second, later showing of Jamal’s Great Market Adventure. But really, you have to go if you can. It was here that we bought all the ingredients for our dinner. We might have been the only tourists in the place, made all the more obvious when Jamal was yelled at for handling the produce before buying. That was a fun cultural difference; at our market in Philly, you’re encouraged to fondle all the tomatoes you want before handing them to the vendor to weigh and bag them for you. In Athens, that will earn you a stern, “DO NOT TOUCH,” from a gruff Greek produce man. We are still laughing about it. Jamal got in trouble!
We were only in Athens Friday and Saturday before flying to Santorini at the ungodly hour of 6am on Sunday morning. Photos from the island all next week (and maybe the week after that), pinky promise.
Have a good weekend, kiddos!
We were warned before we left for Greece for our honeymoon by a few well-meaning friends who have been to/lived in Athens that the city might seem underwhelming or worrisomely run-down, and to expect shuttered stores and graffiti. Of course, it would be different once we got to Santorini, since the small island is almost exclusively a tourist destination, but in capital Athens so much of the city had been affected by the recent economic turbulence, it was impossible for people to not brace us for the worst case scenario. I think we were expecting to land in Syria, honestly. Continue reading
We’re home! And tired! I have a few hundred photographs of just the sunset in Santorini as well as a few hundred of the rest of the honeymoon to sort through and edit, and the same amount of piles of laundry to attend to. If you give me a day to recover from this jetlag and to eat my way through the European chocolate I brought back with me from the duty free shop in the Athens airport, I promise I’ll have stories and photos aplenty to share with you on Wednesday.
In the meantime, how are you, kiddos? What have you been up to? How was your week? I’ve missed you!
Sorry for the radio silence around here this week, kiddos. We are leaving for our honeymoon today! The past few days have been a flurry of activity and working long hours and laundry and packing 10 days worth of clothing into a carry-on suitcase. My luck with checked luggage is beyond awful; on my trip to Paris this year two different airlines managed to lose my suitcase for a combined 72 hours, both flying there and coming home. I’m not taking any chances on the honeymoon. Nothing says romance like wearing t-shirts from tourists shops in Athens for the whole trip.
Our itinerary has us flying directly into Athens for two days, and then heading to Santorini where we are doing absolutely nothing for six days, and then back to Athens for a day and a half. I have a few light posts lined up for next week, but I’ll be on Instagram for sure.
Have a great week!
Back when we were planning our honeymoon, the idea of returning to work for 10 days between the wedding and Greece didn’t seem like too big a deal. In reality: WHAT WERE WE THINKING?! This has been torture. Sure, it’s nice to have some time to reorganize everything post-wedding, but I am packed and desperate to get out of my cubicle, onto a plane, and into a sundress on the Mediterranean. To distract me, let’s talk wedding vendors.
September 22, 2014 / wedding /
It was such a delight seeing these photos from my brother earlier this week. Experiencing the day through his eyes and seeing things from a guest’s perspective was a treat. The wedding was a magical, dizzy blur, to be honest, and there were details in the photos he snapped that I missed entirely. I never even saw our custom cocktail napkins at the bar! My friend Herbie designed them, along with our Save the Dates, invitations, table numbers, place cards, and labels for the special cider one of Jamal’s groomsmen brewed for us –aptly named “Love at First Cider.” We have the best friends.
Another dear, dear friend of ours –a poet himself– read a Pablo Neruda poem during our ceremony, and if I had to pick a moment where I was closest to dissolving into tears, that would have been it. Amazingly, I held it together the whole day.
My twin nieces were darling little flower girls, a role they took very seriously, and with only minimal eye-rolling when I begged them to practice their petal-scattering technique over and over (and over). My 10 year old niece was a junior bridesmaid; in a twist of wonderful symmetry, I was a junior bridesmaid when I was 10 years old in my brother/her parents’ wedding, and here she was 17 years later as a junior bridesmaid for me. Jamal and I both wished we could have seen the girls walk in, instead of being at the back of the line, trying to catch a glimpse down the aisle.
Oh, speaking of: yes, we walked in together. In addition to not wearing white, not having a first dance or parent dances, and not cutting the cake, this was one more silly wedding tradition we decided to do away with. After my dad passed away, I had always sort of pictured my brother walking me down the aisle, but the screaming that suggestion produced from my mother is still making my ears ring. It wasn’t worth the fight, so Jamal and I found another solution, which guaranteed us a sweet, private moment together before marching out there, and allowed us to unintentionally ‘fight the patriarchy’ at the same time. Did you know that Swedish couples traditionally walk in together? Having done it now, I’d recommend it for every bride-to-be. Who better to cling to than your soon-to-be husband?
September 18, 2014 / wedding /
I have a million things to say about Saturday, about how perfect and wonderful and amazing and smiley and gorgeous everything was; about how I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat; about how I was wrong (I admit it!) to be as unenthused as I was leading up to it; about how my bridesmaids are divine angels who kept me laughing and relaxed the entire day, from 10am at the hair salon with my favorite bagels and quoting movies left and right, to a dance party to the Spice Girls just minutes before we went downstairs and lined up with the guys; about how I wouldn’t change a single thing, not even the rain because it was moody and delicious; about how I lost my voice from singing all night on the dance floor; about how my new husband (!!!) and I ate a hoagie at 2am on the floor of our hotel suite…but I haven’t even begun to come down off this cloud of dizzy joy to process everything. So instead, here is a sneak preview of our wedding photos, provided by our photographer just two days after the wedding. Inna shot our engagement photos as well (one year ago tomorrow, in fact!), and I don’t know why I was surprised by how perfect her photos from Saturday are, but I’m simply awestruck.
I’ll be back soon with details of the day, our vendors, the timeline, fun recollections, but this will have to do for today.
September 16, 2014 / wedding /
Well, those eighteen months went a lot faster than I thought they would. Here we are, on the eve of our nuptials. Every detail I’m capable of attending to has been attended to, but I’m sure the day will throw some surprise curve balls at us (rain!). I’m taking everything as it comes, and will try to be present and enjoy every single second, because everyone who has been through this machine before has said it’s over in a flash. Oh, and I’ll be trying not to feel too uncomfortable when everyone stares at me. Related: have you ever been to a wedding where the bride passes out from too much attention?
I’ll hopefully be back here on Monday, with maybe some sneak peek photos from our photographer or shots of the day from various sources. If I don’t check in immediately, forgive me, it’s nothing personal. It’s just that I’ll be eating everything fatty and sugar-coated within a ten mile radius to make up for all the ‘dieting’ I did leading up to tomorrow. Once I’ve got a husband, I can totally let myself go, right? DONUTS.
You can read more about wedding stuff here. xoxo
I stumbled upon this beautiful door near Place des Vosges one afternoon in May and was stunned by how vibrant it was. It provides a pretty, literal segue into a topic I’ve been meaning to address for a while now: my upcoming wedding (six weeks away! yikes!). You’ve heard the old wedding adage, “Something old, something new…” This is my something blue. Sorry, bleu.