For 25 years , I have spent my summers in the Hamptons. It is tradition that every Memorial Day weekend I pack up my car and head to my favorite summer destination. I know the best restaurants, the hidden beaches, and the most fabulous shops. But this year with my son living in Denver with his new wife and the house just being filled with little old me and my husband on the weekends we decided to change things up a bit.
Why not rent out our house for the entire summer ?
And we actually found a renter and did it.
At first the idea of not being on the South Fork this summer was preposterous, until my husband dangled the ultimate carrot: Greece.
Admittedly, my husband and I are very well traveled, but I have never been to Greece and he hasn’t been in ages so we thought, why not? Everything I have heard about the Greek Isles is nothing short of a fairytale: the clear blue water, the super fresh seafood, the sun, the sand, the sunsets, the souvlaki. I was sold.
We set out on our Greek adventure mid July. The plan was to spend time with friends in Mykonos, then take a ferry to romantic Santorini, and be tourists in Athens. I know, I know cue the envy. I will tell you, this trip did not disappoint.
From the moment we stepped foot in Mykonos I was in love. The clear water is no exaggeration. The buildings are stark white and there are winding roads and stairways leading you to hidden overlooks with views that boggle the mind and leave you breathless.
We stayed at the Mykonos Grand Hotel. Holy wow did we have a view for the ages! We had this incredible balcony where we could take a hot tub and watch the sunset I mean it kind of doesn’t get better than that. Our dear friend Della Rounick had a whole itinerary of things for us to do on her island. First stop, Panormos Beach Club
The water was refreshing, the dry, crisp wine was flowing, and the food was simple, yet flavorful – the best kind. Plus,there was a party atmosphere that was absolutely contagious. My favorite part of Mykonos was sunset at Della’s. Her home was stunning and her own artwork was as spectacular.
You can imagine how hard it was to say goodbye to such a heavenly place, that is until I disembarked in Santorini.
My jaw dropped when I looked out to be greeted by huge cliffs and sparkling white homes – so different than Mykonos. We arrived at our hotel, Mystique, dropped our bags, and set out for a rooftop meal at 1800 just in time for one of Santorini’s world famous sunsets. The food was delicious and fresh, but the sunset was the main attraction.
Since the sunset is the thing to do every evening we ventured out to Ammoudi Beach the next evening.
There were hoards of people watching the sunset as we made our way down the hundreds of steps to the beach. It was quite a workout! We could have ridden the donkeys instead.
Thankfully we burned off enough calories so we could do serious damage on the lobster pasta at Dimitris Taverna. A much appreciated recommendation from David Rosengarten. Seriously, if you find yourself in Santorini, do a couple of extra laps up and down stairs to indulge in the lobster pasta. You will not regret a single bite. My husband and I loved wandering the black sand beaches in Santorini and discovering fantastic local spots with the freshest seafood we have ever tasted.
The days passed all too quickly. The next thing we knew we were in Athens. We had one fast and furious day in this city jam packed with history and the best street souvlaki in the universe. We saw the Parthenon, The New Museum, and then we treated ourselves to a rooftop dinner at the Hotel Grande Bretagne so we could take in a panoramic view of this spectacular city.
Our trip to Greece is not one I will soon forget. The combination of the deliciously fresh fish, the architecture, the beaches, and the incredibly friendly and gracious people were enough to make me fall in love.
Sorry Hamptons, Greece and I are in love.