I’m a planner. For sure. I love organizing and scheduling and planning everything out to a tee. With this in mind, you may assume that I lead a very “planned-out” life.
Despite my greatest efforts, most of my life is unplanned at this point. I’ve actually grown to love it. I’ve grown to appreciate the unexpected.
Anyway, all this to say, Senior Spring Break in Greece has been part of the plan for what feels forever. So, given my track record, you can probably understand why I was a bit hesitant to get fully into it. I was just silently waiting for the curveball.
But it didn’t come. Nothing. Everything was going to plan and suddenly I was flying across the world to meet my best friends in Greece.
I never want to forget this trip. Not just because everything went to plan (although it still makes me smile to think about), but because it was the kind of trip I know I’ll tell my grandkids about someday. The time I was 18 in Greece with my best friends in the whole world. WHAT. A. STORY.
So… Let the recap begin!
I arrived in Athens about 12 hours before my friends, so I spent that first day eating gyros and wandering around Athens with a couple of other ladies from our tour group. It was such a cool experience to be in a new city with new people. I was learning and absorbing so much.
That night, I got to finally reunite with my friends at dinner. The rest of the night was filled with presents and laughs and lots of “I can’t believe this is happening” moments.
Day Two began with the first of many chocolate croissant feasts. I know that France should have the best chocolate croissants, but honestly, the ones from our hotel in Athens were unbeatable. So like, hit up the Divani Palace Acropolis for some BOMB croissants.
Yeah so anyway…
Bus Tour of Athens + Panathenaic Stadium
We then set off for our bus tour of Athens and met our tour guide for the day… Costa Dina.
Now y’all, when I tell you this woman can talk, I mean she can TALK. I don’t even know how to describe her other than to say that she had some strong opinions and shared them all in extreme depth.
Homegirl really went on for 10 minutes about how graffiti is “aesthetic pollution”, and spent even longer passionately arguing why the statue of Alexander the Great should be in Athens.
I don’t want y’all to think I’m being ungrateful. She was a wealth of knowledge which is obviously an ideal characteristic in a tour guide, but I’ll just mention that my principal (who is a NUN) even thought it was excessive and tried to shut it down. Costa Dina didn’t listen though lol. That woman walks to the beat of her own drum and other people’s objections meant nothing to this queen.
Lunch at the Plaka
Temple of Poseidon
We then took a 45 minute bus drive to the Temple of Poseidon. Costa Dina was still talking (of course), but everyone was too busy admiring the view to take any notice. It was seriously the most beautiful drive. Everyone was in awe of what we were seeing.
Our Night in Athens
The Theater of Epidaurus
We later arrived at the Temple of Epidaurus. We had the nicest tour guide this day. His name was Elias and he was so sweet and kind and we all adored him.
The rest of the day was really chilled out. We went to this beautiful pottery store and drove back to Athens. After dinner, we went back to the hotel and changed into sweats before wandering around the Plaka. This was the night we found our absolute favorite gelato place. Just like everywhere else in Greece, the employees were so nice. It was such a nice and relaxed night.
Day Four was Easter Sunday! We went to Church that morning but didn’t understand a thing because it was all in Greek haha. Also– we were the only ones celebrating Easter since Greek Orthodox Easter is the week later!
Beach Day in Kiato
Last Night in Athens for a While
This last night before our cruise was so fun. After we got back from the beach, we changed for the night and drove to where all the bigger stores are. We ended up running through this square thing to see the changing of the guard (which was really cool, btw) and wandering through the streets until we ran into real-life Mormon missionaries. Now when I say we were stoked…
My two best friends and I have been so fascinated with Mormons ever since we did a project on Joseph Smith and Brigham Young last year for APUSH. We also adore so many Mormon mommy bloggers. All this to say– we were SO thrilled when we ran into them.
We ended up talking to them for a while and they were SO sweet and interesting. We still can’t believe that happened haha.
We then made our good night even better by getting gelato! Are you surprised?
Day Five was the first day of our cruise around the Greek Islands! We spent the first few hours wandering the ship unsure of what to do, but once we learned we had unlimited free drinks, we found our home at the beloved Selene Lounge. We loved this lounge, guys. Like, it was the running joke that if you’re ever bored or looking for someone, you should go straight to the Selene Lounge. It was such a good time. We sat around for hours drinking diet coke and iced coffee, and definitely got carried away. One day I accidentally had 7 coffees. I didn’t mean to– the waitress just kept bringing them over and I lost count haha.
I’m just going to say it: Our night in Mykonos was the best night of my life. I have never felt so young and free and content. Forever seeking nights like these.
Day Six began with a 3:45am wake-up call. Yep. I’m 100% serious.
Although Samos required a super early morning, it was definitely worth it. It was super quiet and cute. Also, the people were so kind. 10/10 would recommend.
That night, we went over to Patmos. Patmos was nice, but we barely had any time. Especially since our food took so long at the restaurant we went to. It was such good food though. So, worth it. I think.
I really loved Rhodes. We had a full day there, so we got to explore on our own, go on a guided tour of the city, and go to the beach. It was absolutely stunning, and the history was so fascinating! Also– the shopping was best there by far! So many good finds at decent prices!
A Night on the Ship
We had dinner on the boat that night. The whole thing was pretty bougie until a bunch of the waiters began to dance on the tables. Like, we’re talking full air guitar on the table. Then somehow my friends and I started a conga line. Around the entire restaurant. Yeah not sure what that was but it was fun!
After dinner, we went to karaoke and the disco. Karaoke was so much fun. A bunch of us all sang songs and were hyping each other up and it was honestly the best time.
It was such an unusual experience since most people on the ship were other American high schoolers. So even though I was in the middle of the Aegean Sea, it all felt so familiar.
Crete was quite a surreal experience for me. Those who know my family personally know how much we adore my Great Grandfather. His legacy is great and strong and lives on every day.
My Great Grandfather fought long and hard in the Second World War, spending crucial time street fighting in Crete. Eventually, he was also captured as a Prisoner of War in Crete. All this to say that being in Crete on ANZAC day felt so right. And I’ll always be thankful for it.
While in Crete, my friends and I bought the best €1 donuts and spent way too much time in Bershka. It was SO good. We took up the entire dressing room for too long, trying everything on, and walked away with bags full of clothes.
Santorini was everything I thought it would be and more. We spent hours taking pictures, exploring, eating, and laughing. Such a beautiful night!
Last Night on the Cruise
My friends and I really showed up to Karaoke that night in matching neon. Yep. We’re those people. It was a blast though so #sorrynotsorry.
The Oracle of Delphi
The Last Night
We spent our last night back in Athens, and man, was it one for the books! The most random and hilarious night ever.
The next day was filled with our beloved chocolate croissants and goodbyes. Croissants = FAB! Goodbyes = not so fab :/
This trip gave me memories of a lifetime, and inspired me for the year of travels that now awaits me.
I’m so thankful.
All the love.