Our vacation was truly nonstop, we hit so many stops throughout our time! We went to Amsterdam, Paris, Venice, Sienna, Sorrento, Capri, Positano, Pompeii, Athens, Santorini, and Milos. We had held off on international travel as a family until this point since the kids were little and I wanted to make sure it was a trip that they would remember. At 8 and 10, it’s safe to say that traveling with them is so much easier now and I’m thrilled we made the decision to make this trip the best one yet. We were able to do long days of museums, sightseeing, shopping, and late dinners in a way we couldn’t have when they were younger.
One of my favorite parts of traveling in general is tasting new foods and seeing how other countries live. Immersing ourselves in the culture and experiencing simple things like how to do laundry in a new place, or how recycling works (in Venice it’s fascinating), is something that provides such interesting perspectives. I also love seeing all the beautiful boutiques and emerging fashion designers, it’s not everyday that you can see their work firsthand in their cool shops. Being able to see what fascinated my kids was especially cool. My oldest child loves fashion and design - and it was Men’s fashion week in Paris so there was so much cool street style for them to see.
Hitting so many amazing stops on this trip made it hard not to shop for souvenirs everywhere we went! I really love to look for jewelry when I travel since it doesn’t take up much space and it reminds me of the destination whenever I put it on. I bought some snake earrings that I love, and a fun necklace with a mouth on it that reminds me of an upcoming collection you’ll see for Valentine’s Day! They came from a shop called Nomad in Athens. I also got some fun tea towels that have sardines and feta cheese on them from Flâneur Souvenirs & Supplies. I know I’ll use them over and over in my kitchen and think of the trip and the amazing food.
Speaking of food…Wow. I was most impressed by the Greek cuisine, although I eat Greek food whenever I can, we don’t have a lot of it in Philadelphia so it’s not typically on my radar. The food scene in Athens was especially inspiring. I had some really amazing vegan food there - and since I usually feel best when having a mostly vegan diet I would love to learn more about how to recreate some of the dishes. First on my list is to make the perfect greek salad, tzatziki, and eggplant dishes - and then baking wise the lemon tarts and orange tarts were delicious and oh-so pretty - It would be great to tackle those next.
It was super fun being able to dress for this trip. Lightweight cotton dresses were by far the best - I alternated between a pink one that I love from Mata, a blue and white print (perfect for the Athens and Santorini) by Rachel Pally and a colorful paisley dress from Ba&sh that I picked up in Paris. Silver Birkenstocks for daytime were ideal when trekking in the heat - and then Espadrilles by Castaner for nighttime paired with gold jewelry.
Now that we’re back, laundry and unpacking are on the top of the to-do list! I try to get it all done on the first day or two so that it’s easier to settle back into life. The kids go away to camp for a week so I’m planning on really catching up on projects that were hard to work on abroad, and getting back into a routine. I’m not a morning person but usually traveling helps throw my natural time clock off enough that I get to enjoy getting up earlier. This always helps when I return home, those extra morning hours help! Now that I’m back, I’m also trying to incorporate more exercise into my weekly routine to help with my ability to manage stress and to train to be ready for trying to surf and for more kayaking which takes a lot of strength. Currently I’m listening to No Stupid Questions and Prof. G’s Pivot podcast (I love Prof G's books, and stumbled upon the podcast. I find their conversations (and disagreements) to be fascinating coverage of today's news and economics), reading the Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo and The Guest List, and learning to DJ with my oldest child (so fun!).
We’re so close to fall but I am eager to squeeze in the last bit of the summer fun. Slowing down a little, spending time with friends, and enjoying moments by the water swimming, relaxing, and kayaking are how I’ll wrap up such an amazing season.