Italy & Greece 2019 PART TWO

Happy Friday!!!

Friends, can we have confession time?

Summer Shay is kind of…well…a little bit…sort of…lazy.

I’ve realized this about myself this week and though I should probably do something to rectify the situation, instead, I’m just going to confess it to you.

I have a whole list of things that I need to get done.  All three girls need haircuts, two kids need to see the orthodontist, there is this caterpillar situation in my house that needs an exterminator’s attention, my office is overflowing with just stuff that needs to be purged, I need to go to Trader Joe’s…the list goes on, but every time I tell myself I’m going to do one of those things, I shake my head and think “ah, I’ll do it when school starts”.  Anyone else?  I have this “Jimmy Buffet summer is here” attitude and because of it, I haven’t washed my hair in daysssssss.  Hahaha!  Please tell me that I’m not alone.  These lazy days of summer are getting me waaaaay behind on my to-do list 😉 .

I have PART TWO today of our Italy/Greece vacation recap for you!  If you missed PART ONE, then hustle on over HERE and catch up before you move on.  In today’s post, we hit our first three ports…two we loved and one, we did not love (but we sure did laugh a lot while we were there!).  Scroll to see…

So, here we are getting off the ship for the first time…but at this point, I think it’s like 4:00 in the afternoon or something (it was later), and yet, this is the first picture I have of the whole day.  So, let me give you a quick synopsis of what we had been doing until this point: we slept in, we ate breakfast, we read books by the pool, we had lunch, we cleaned up for our first port in Kotor, Montenegro…exceppppppt our ship wasn’t allowed to stop in Kotor, Montenegro (apparently, at the port in Venice, we were not allowed to leave on time which meant our ship wouldn’t make it to Kotor on time, so they called an audible and rerouted us to Bar, Montenegro…).  Um, Bar was, um, not Kotor.  We had so many fun things planned to do/see/eat in Kotor, so, we got off the ship in Bar and tried to figure out a Plan B.

A look back at our ship as we headed off to check out Bar.

Erika and I have been on so many trips together, had so many adventures and it NEVER gets old!

This little park area was our favorite in Bar.  The trees were pretty, and it was right by the water.

And that’s the last picture I have.

Bahahaahaha!

Maybe Erika has more on her blog today, but friends…that’s legit it!  We didn’t have transportation, so we had to walk…and we did for about an hour.  We walked up and down the streets, went into stores, asked people some questions about other places we could go, laughed and laughed and laughed at a host of random things, but the area was very industrial and there wasn’t much to do (I’m bummed we missed Kotor!).  That being said, it was an adventure, and I’m thankful that out of all of our ports, this was the shortest one.

Later that night back on board the ship, we sat in the atrium and enjoyed music…

…and laughed with other passengers sitting around about how that day was a bit of a bust.  No worries though because the day morning we woke and our port was AMAZING!!!!

Our hey there day three on board the ship!  We were in CORFU, GREECE!!  Whoop!  Whoop!

This day did not disappoint!  The four of us were up early and off the ship as soon as it docked.  We had a private tour awaiting us for the day.  Andrew and I don’t always do tours when we travel because many times, we like to see the sites on our own, but we did have three private tours and one a-mazing relaxing day scheduled on this trip.  As soon as we got off the ship, our private tour guide was waiting with a van to spend the day taking us around the island of Corfu.  My favorite part of his tour was HIM!  He was so knowledgeable!!  I learned so many things about Corfu just from sitting in the car and listening to him talk to us about their food, agriculture, politics, religion, educational system, crime, tourism, winter activities, and on and on and on.  We spent the whole day with him and by the end, I just wanted him to hop on the ship with us for the rest of the trip because I enjoyed him so much!  He was an excellent guide (and driver!) for this day.  Our first stop was here at the beautiful Achilleion Palace.  We took a self-guided audio tour through the palace and learned not only what it was originally built for, but also how it was used during World War 2 by the Nazis.  I found it all so interesting, and the grounds very beautiful.

I love a good site-seeing day!

The views out the back were spectacular!  You could see both the hills and the ocean.

 

 

Next stop, some very old ruins that also had an amazing view!

We climbed up the old rock steps to take it all in.

On one side of the ruins, there was a really pretty resort.  Side note, I wish I lived near the ocean.

Our next stop, an old monastery.  They passed out skirts and shawls to the ladies not wearing pants and sleeves.

Guys, THE FLOWERS!  I mean, dang!  I wish I lived by the ocean WITH the gorgeous flowers.  Greece, you are beautiful!!  The monastery sat atop a hill with spectacular views.

Hello, views!

Look how beautiful the water is!  While we were here, there was an artist selling paintings from University students and both couples bought one to bring home. It’s the perfect way to always remember this trip.

Later that afternoon, our driver took us to the Old Town portion of Corfu for a late lunch at…

…Bougainvillea.

At the end of the trip, we all agreed that this was our VERY favorite meal!

 

We started with traditional Greek salads and this baked sheep’s milk cheese thing.  It was insane!

They brought out fresh calamari (please note, we ate all the cheese! Ha!).

There was live music!!  Here are the performers stopping for a pic!  And then we continued to eat…the boys got fish (it was so fresh!), and the girls shared this Greek pizza thing.  The whole meal was just perfection!  I think I might move to Corfu now.  I can blog from there, right?

After a very full day, it was time to head back to the ship.  We cleaned up for dinner…

…took a few pics…

…and then enjoyed Cagney’s Steakhouse on board the ship.

This was our first port in Greece, and honestly, when I went to sleep that night, I thought there was no way it could be beat.

AND I WAS WRONG.

The next day, we were sailing to Santorini Island, and it was everything and more!  But first…we had to get there.  Our ship was supposed to arrive around 1:00 PM, so we spent the morning sleeping in a bit, enjoying breakfast and lunch on board and…

…sitting by the pool and taking in the scenery!  This particular portion of sailing was really spectacular because the ship just kept going by the cutest towns and islands.  Every single one of them more beautiful than the last.

See?  Our whole morning was sailing past the prettiest towns.

We were anxious to jump off the ship as soon as it arrived in Santorini, but first…

…we had to tender.  Do you know what tendering is?  It’s when the ship can’t pull up to a dock at a port (because either they don’t have one, it’s already full or it’s not big enough for the ship), so you take a smaller boat from your big ship to the land.

My view from the tender to Santorini.

When you arrive in Santorini by ship, you can either take that cable car thing up (see it there), walk all the way up or take a donkey up.  Yup, a donkey.

On the way up, we took the cable car thing.

I just thought it was so spectacular how everything was carved into the side of the mountain.

We made it to the top and our private tour guide was up there ready and waiting for us.  And you know what?  I loved her too!!  On this day, we had a driver and guide to take us all over Santorini.  I thoroughly enjoyed this guide too!  She was able to explain so much to us about the lifestyle and culture of the island while also making sure we understood its history and roots.

We made a big circle around the island on this day (we didn’t have to be back on board until that night), and our first stop was way up here for the spectacular views (with a bit of wind thrown in!).

After that, we headed to Oia and loved it so much that we asked her if we could stay here longer rather than moving on.  All four of us decided that if we ever go back for a land vacation to Greece, we would want to stay in Oia and spend several nights.  Not only was it absolutely stunning, but it was quaint and charming at the same time.  There were no cars, just narrow little streets filled with shops, boutique hotels and restaurants.

 

 

Give me #alltheOia!

 

We were now further along on the island in Oia, but you could still see our ship anchored out there.

We walked up to see the Byzantine Castle ruins right there in town too.

This was a picture looking out the other direction.

Can’t stop, won’t stop with Oia.

As we were strolling along, we found this adorable book shop tucked down below.

Kensington is very much into Greek Mythology.  I had told her a few months ago that when I was in fourth grade, I loved Greek Mythology, and so she bought herself a book and now, she likes it too.  In this book shop, I found her another (in English) Greek Mythology book for kids, and she was thrilled when we returned home.

The outside of the book shop.  See any smiling faces down there?

After a really nice day in Oia, our guide wanted to take us to the other side of the island for dinner.  Yes, please!

Look how charming this restaurant is!

I thought the menu was charming too 🙂 .

 

Our guide was very helpful when it came to ordering here.  These were the appetizers she recommended and they were FANTASTIC!  We had this zucchini cake, meatballs and fried tomatoes.  Insane!

Ohhhhh…and then, she had us order the calamari which came with fried peppers and fried LEMONS!  The friend lemons were so good!  Who knew?!

For dinner, she told me to get the salted cod.  Yes, ma’am!

We’ve decided that Greek food is our new favorite.

When it was time to return to the ship, we needed a group pic in Santorini…

…with the ship in the background.

And then, we decided to walk down instead of taking the cable car thing.  Yup, we walked alllll the way down…and besides having to try hard not to step in donkey poop, it was SPECTACULAR!  I’m pretty sure my legs are still sore from it though.

We made it back to the tender and took in last views of beautiful Santorini.

 

 

The city absolutely glowed at night as we sailed away.  The sunset was spectacular setting over the city as well.

Awe!  Greece, I’m a big fan.

Don’t forget, Erika is blogging Part Two today as well!  You can read her version HERE.

We have our last baseball tournament this weekend, so that’s what I’m off to do.  I hope you have a happy and healthy weekend yourself!  I’ll see you back here on Monday! xo

 

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78 Comments

  • Reply Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog June 28, 2019 at 4:51 am

    Getting more jealous the more I read! So fun! Looks like everyone had a great time 💕✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

    • Reply Stacey Mazurek June 28, 2019 at 8:35 am

      Shay, my daughter also loved mythology as a child. She grew up and became a archeologist! Right now she is in Rome where she directs an archeological study at Ostia Antica. Every summer she goes back to Greece ( you need to get to Delos and Delphi for some awesome Ancient sites). She is also a university professor teaching Greek and Roman history. So who knows where the love of mythology will take Kensington.

  • Reply Ahna @ Hammers N Hugs June 28, 2019 at 5:26 am

    Santorini – WOW. I’m not sure what has me drooling more the scenery or the food. Just beautiful!

  • Reply Erika Slaughter June 28, 2019 at 5:44 am

    You got some GREAT pics of Santorini!! Apparently instead of pics that day, I was just frolicking around like a cast member from Mamma Mia!

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama June 28, 2019 at 5:53 am

      I literally just LOL!

    • Reply Alison T June 28, 2019 at 9:59 am

      Erika, thank you for a Friday laugh. That comment totally made me giggle. 🙂

  • Reply Tanya June 28, 2019 at 6:16 am

    I’m loving your trip recap. After seeing this, along with Cassie’s Greece trip, I’m putting it on my bucket list…maybe next summer!

  • Reply Amanda Wells June 28, 2019 at 6:18 am

    I went to that bookstore and got my daughter a book on Greek mythology too! It was the cutest little bookstore EVER!

    • Reply Lidia June 28, 2019 at 8:54 am

      Ahh this brings back memory ❤❤❤ We took Greek cruise last year in Sept. Same thing, we were so disappointed that our ship wasn’t able to stop in Kotor due to high wind. Santorini is my favorite! I want to go back! 😊

  • Reply Kasie Miller June 28, 2019 at 6:22 am

    Yep, it’s official: this is becoming my dream trip! Am loving the recaps by you & Erica!

  • Reply Kristi June 28, 2019 at 6:26 am

    Love following along on your trip!! So fun!! And so much yummy food!!! How do you do that and not feel blah and bloated the rest of your trip?!? What’s your secret?? I need to know!

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama June 28, 2019 at 6:32 am

      Who said I didn’t?! Hahahaha! That’s all part of the experience! That being said, we walked a TON!!!

      • Reply Kristi June 28, 2019 at 6:52 am

        Haha! Yes, that helps! Does Andrew come back from a trip of indulging, super ready to clean things up??

  • Reply Narci June 28, 2019 at 6:30 am

    Oh my goodness. Mark it down in your travel agent logs : next big trip for the Dreffs has to be Greece. I’m in love!

  • Reply Carrie June 28, 2019 at 6:31 am

    Kensington should read the Percy Jackson series, loads of Greek mythology behind it! My oldest is 11 and started reading it at age 8 ( but she was reading at a 6th grade level at that age) and still is obsessed with it. She can tell you ANYTHING about Greek mythology and any fact about Greek Gods. She very much wants to go to Greece!

  • Reply Sheaffer Sims June 28, 2019 at 6:35 am

    GORGEOUS! The scenery is stunning and all of the food looks amazing. And I love that picture of you an Andrew on the stairs.

  • Reply Molly June 28, 2019 at 6:43 am

    I’ve always been stand offish to going on a cruise because I think of those little towns being jam packed with people all getting off the ship. Is it super crowded when everyone is doing the same thing? Hubby and I want to go to Greece next summer!

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama June 28, 2019 at 8:30 am

      The crazy part is that everyone does different things! Some people are on wine tours, some people are heading out on smaller boats…seriously, the options are endless!

    • Reply Kaitlin June 28, 2019 at 9:17 am

      We actually stayed on the Island of Santorini and it was crazy how jam packed the towns would be when the cruise ships arrived. We island hopped all around Greece by taking the ferry boat. It was great to see so many islands but actually have a chance to relax on the islands vs just touring them. Oia is a beautiful city in Santorini but can be nearly impossible to walk through come summer. We stayed in Thira which was 15 minutes or so from Oia with still the same incredible views but less people and crowding! Still busy but not jam packed.

    • Reply Betty June 28, 2019 at 4:29 pm

      If you want to avoid crowds, skip the cruise and stay in Oia. That way you get the quiet mornings and evenings to enjoy the beautiful town and then you can escape to other areas when the dozen cruise ships each with thousands of people descend on it midday.

  • Reply Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams June 28, 2019 at 6:45 am

    Loving day twos recap!! I LOVED Corfu too (it was the only Island I ended up seeing while I was in Greece). You already have me sold on this cruise girl, I think it’s a better way to explore Greece!! Can’t wait for more. Have a great weekend!

    Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams

  • Reply Donna June 28, 2019 at 6:48 am

    Such a beautiful trip! I know about tenders from watching Below Deck on Bravo! If you haven’t watched it I bet you would like it! It would be a good summer binge show, when the kids aren’t around! 🙂

  • Reply Megan June 28, 2019 at 6:58 am

    Has Kensington read Percy Jackson and the lightening theif? Those were my favorite and it’s fictional series but based off of Greek mythology! I loved Greek mythology growing up and now love your recs. Glad you had such an amazing trip!

    • Reply Megan June 28, 2019 at 6:59 am

      Thief** embarrassing haha

  • Reply Julie Psurny June 28, 2019 at 7:31 am

    Not a travel related comment but if Kensington is a fan of Greek mythology (and I know she likes musicals…or at least Sutton Foster haha) you must have her listen to the music from Hadestown. You’d both love it!

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama June 28, 2019 at 8:29 am

      Awesome!! Thank you so much for the rec!!

    • Reply Jen June 28, 2019 at 4:20 pm

      Can you please link the brackets you wore in Corfu? Thanks!

  • Reply Christine Munoz June 28, 2019 at 7:33 am

    So beautiful!! Can you link the light blue hoops you were wearing?!

  • Reply Alexis June 28, 2019 at 7:35 am

    If you ever get back to Santorini you must hike from Fira to Oia. THE BEST views on the entire island.

    ps-hate you didn’t make it to Kotor but at least it gives you a great reason to go back! It’s beautiful.

  • Reply Ralinn June 28, 2019 at 7:47 am

    The book shop you found makes me so happy. Greece looks like an amazing place to visit. I’m glad you have great friends to travel with.

  • Reply Taylor June 28, 2019 at 7:57 am

    When I’m feeling lazy my hair is the first to go too!!

  • Reply Katrina Goodman June 28, 2019 at 8:01 am

    My husband and I took a Mediterranean cruise in 2012. I had never had Greek food before then. The. Best. Food. Ever. We go to Greek restaurants in Houston & cook Greek food all the time now. Sign. Not the same as being in actual Greece but it will have to do! Loving your posts!

  • Reply Erin June 28, 2019 at 8:02 am

    I mean, I’m motion-sick just looking at some of these pics (HA!) but wow what gorgeous scenery!!

  • Reply Doubts Tracy June 28, 2019 at 8:04 am

    Thanks for sharing Shay! Great pictures, looks like you all had a wonderful trip.

  • Reply Amy Azza June 28, 2019 at 8:29 am

    Your trip looks fantastic! And don’t worry Shay.. not only is Summer Amy lazy.. Fall Amy, Winter Amy and Spring Amy get lazy too! 🙂

  • Reply Katie June 28, 2019 at 8:34 am

    Love your pics. I have a hard time getting good group photos of everyone when traveling. Your pictures are great!! I’m curious. Do you just use an iPhone, or do you have another camera? Do you have any sort of selfie stick, or do you just ask people to stop and take your photo?

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama June 28, 2019 at 11:45 am

      Just an iPhone! We have a selfie stick but didn’t bring it this time, so we just ask people 🙂 .

  • Reply Kathy June 28, 2019 at 9:15 am

    Love all of the pictures you shared today! It all looks absolutely amazing and makes me so excited for the cruise you are planning for us in September 2020!! 🙂

  • Reply Carly June 28, 2019 at 9:40 am

    It looks AMAZING!!

    I’ve never done a cruise because I get severe motion sickness and I’m terrified it would be awful on a cruise.

    I know you said you don’t tend to get sick on the actual cruises, but how do you handle ports? Other people driving in wind-y towns makes me sick just thinking about it!! Do you take meds or anything?

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama June 28, 2019 at 11:44 am

      I don’t take meds but I do certain things to help me. I sit up front, I bring club soda, I bring crackers, I take off my shoes (it works!), I don’t look down at my phone/map/etc and I get lots of air from the A/C.

  • Reply Kate June 28, 2019 at 9:51 am

    The fact that you feel lazy makes me feel better 😂 It’s so easy to get in that mode in the summer but I feel it’s a much needed rest! I tell myself the stuff will be there but I want to spend as much time with my kiddos as possible because these summers are going too fast! (My oldest is 12)

  • Reply Karen June 28, 2019 at 10:04 am

    Love your pictures and your posts. Greece looks beautiful and now I would love to organize a trip there with my hubby. Also, could you link up to your outfits on the cruise? I know you identified some yesterday, but I loved your outfits and jewellery in these pictures. Thanks!

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama June 28, 2019 at 11:43 am

      If I didn’t link it, it’s because it’s old/not available. Sorry about that!

  • Reply Mother of 3 June 28, 2019 at 10:15 am

    Wow those are some spectacular views and the photos of you two in your borrowed skirts and shawls really made me smile.

  • Reply Patty Anderson June 28, 2019 at 10:23 am

    This cruise was on my bucket list even before I read your recaps. Amazing! Just curious as to which company you prefer for private tours? We’ve been so happy with every Viator tour we’ve taken all over the world, but there are probably other outstanding ones out there, too. Thanks for the amazing recap!

  • Reply Danielle June 28, 2019 at 10:24 am

    We were stationed in England for 5 years and Santorini was one of our favorite places. Thanks for bringing back memories with your amazing pictures!

  • Reply Susy June 28, 2019 at 10:35 am

    A resounding Yes! to private tour guides—available around the world. When shared with another couple, or a larger family group, the cost is reasonable and such an important investment. You have travelled around the world to see a place, and learning the history, the local culture, the changing politics and daily life is precious understandings when you may only be there once! You can check Trip Advisor, guidebooks and other sources for detailed suggestions on drivers/guides. Get to know them personally over email and you will be friends before you even arrive. They can be worth their weight in gold!

  • Reply Bobbie June 28, 2019 at 11:34 am

    Have you seen Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants? (It is currently on Netflix—put it on the other day to remind me of my teenage years!) That is all I could think of when reading this! What an amazing trip!

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama June 28, 2019 at 11:43 am

      I haven’t!!!

      • Reply Bobbie June 28, 2019 at 11:54 am

        It’s a cute movie! And you would love it, especially all of the scenes filmed exactly where you were!

  • Reply Laura G. June 28, 2019 at 11:45 am

    Where is your star and moon necklace from!?

  • Reply Colleen T. June 28, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    Looks like such an amazing trip. Can you post the link for your Rayban sunglasses? I know you have the past but would appreciate it again and the light jean shorts you have and the black dressier outfit. Thanks so much. Love your style clearly….:) Can’t wait to read more about the trip!

  • Reply Amy Mc June 28, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    I’m SO sad for you that you didn’t get to go to Kotor. We took a similar trip in October with MSC Cruise Line and Kotor was our favorite surprise treasure. We did a Tuk Tuk tour there and it was spectacular! Oia is absolutely amazing and I definitely want to return someday when I can stay there for a few days.

  • Reply Morgan June 28, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    Isn’t Oia just SO delightful?! When we were on Santorini we stayed in the village of Imerovigli, which is between Fira and Oia…the views of the caldera from our hotel were spectacular, and there was the most wonderful restaurant called Iris just down the road. Now I need to go back!

  • Reply Amanda @ That Inspired Chick June 28, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    Just seeing that Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants was mentioned above and YES, you should watch it! (And the second one too.) Now that been to where they shot a bunch of it, you’ll love it even more. And we did a unit on Greek Mythology in elementary school and I loved it so much!!
    That Inspired Chick

  • Reply Diana June 28, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    I know you’ve mentioned you sometimes get motion-sickness, do you take anything like Dramamine on cruises? What about the tendering boat to the island? I want to do a cruise so bad but I’m nervous about getting sea sick! Thanks!

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama June 29, 2019 at 6:20 am

      Oh yeah, that makes me NERVOUS! I have most definitely thrown up on tenders before! We tendered twice on this trip and both times, they were super short, so I was fine.

  • Reply Donna June 28, 2019 at 4:19 pm

    I love these pictures and your commentary about Greece! I have never traveled much and would never have been able to imagine how beautiful that part of the world is! Thank you for sharing your memories with us!!

  • Reply Leslie June 28, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    That picture of you and Erika in the shawls and skirts is priceless! I laughed out loud! For all the fashion things you have on your blog – that is the picture I love the most! That should be on your Christmas card!

  • Reply Jess June 28, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    Hi! We spent a few nights in Oia last summer and saw our rental in your pic! If you go back and decide to do a land adventure, I’d be happy to give you travel tips! 🙂 ~ Jess

  • Reply Carol June 28, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    Such a fun trip!
    Can you share how you chose a private tour guide?
    Thanks!

  • Reply Carol June 30, 2019 at 9:47 am

    Your hair is looking amazingly smooth and gorgeous!

  • Reply Emily Hodgson July 1, 2019 at 12:50 am

    Okay I’ve been wondering forever, do you know what lens color your Ray Bans are?? I absolutely love them!

  • Reply Kelly Lane Nation July 1, 2019 at 8:40 am

    Okay…every time you post a pic wearing those hot pink heels I fall into an internet black hole searching for some like those. UGH! Any recommendations?

    • Reply Mix and Match Mama July 1, 2019 at 8:54 am

      I love them too!! I bought them from Nordstrom last year and haven’t seen them since. They’re like a neon, so they’re super fun!

  • Reply Elspeth July 1, 2019 at 8:56 am

    This looks incredible! Love hearing all about your travels!
    http://www.elspethsdaybyday.com

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