Halloween 2014

I know I’m a week late on this post- but WHATEVER- the costume creation process struck at the last moment- per usual and after that …well…I needed a time out.

We originally had planned to be something else, but in the end we were: Smokey The Bear and a Forest Fire.

only YOU can prevent forest fires!

only YOU can prevent forest fires!

Do YOU want to do something similar?

Here’s how:

I bought a nude colored corset from the shapewear section at Bloomies for the top , then covered it with leaves I collected from the street- placed like a cool top made from leaves would look…I also added matches on the top section of one bust. I glued everything down with fabric glue- the day before Halloween.

close up of leaves and matches

close up of leaves and matches

photo 2

I also bought a Devil costume from Amazon and used those chaps and hot pants for the “fire part”. Also part of the “fire”: red clip in hair extensions, fake cigs tucked into the corset and red lip liner with orange eye shadow for the eyes and chest.

Now, onto Smokey- BTW- someone let Al know that this is Smokey’s 75th Anniversary so points for being relevant!


We actually used a cop costume we bought last year but didn’t use, bought a nose, bear hat and park ranger hat from Amazon- and PRESTO- Smokey the Bear. I added a bit of flair by using black eye liner to trace the *Smokey* on the hat and give it that *ashy* look.

a make your own cookie bar came from JoAnn Fabric, Pillsbury and Oreo Cookies- plus some faux lights from the Dollar Tree

a make your own cookie bar came from JoAnn Fabric, Pillsbury and Oreo Cookies- plus some faux lights from the Dollar Tree

We also threw a pretty impromptu Halloween mini party- and let me tell you- next time you’re hosting anything…hit up a Dollar Tree/Store whatever is in your zip code. I nabbed SO much stuff on Halloween on the cheap.

glow in the dark necklaces, etc make great party fun

glow in the dark necklaces, etc make great party fun

Cost effective and festive? YES PLEASE.

Now, let me start thinking about the 2015 costume…

What It’s Really Like To Attend The 2014 Nike Women’s Global Media Summit

By now you’ve probably seen at least one of the crazy amount of #NikeWomen instagram photos (over 98 THOUSAND!) and you have an idea that Nike unveiled some major sh*t in NYC this week.

But who were these women from around the Globe and why did THEY get to experience this Willy Wonka-esque sneaker, gear & inspiration factory??

The beauty of a personal blog is that I get to tell you the stuff that editors may think is fluff and explain what it’s really like to attend “Camp Swoosh”. Let me guess, you’re asking yourself why did SHE get to go and not ME? I have no flipping clue. Nike maintains this Wizard of Oz like veil around everything… it’s safer not to ask questions and feel #blessed (the most overused word of 2014) if you are along for the ride.

Which takes me to my next point- if you are someone who needs details and information- this “camp” isn’t for you. You’ll be asked few questions ( Travel info, sizing, dietary restrictions, fitness level) and told…pretty much nothing which is 90% of the fun. Here’s what I knew:

  • I was staying at the Trump Soho
  • Flying on American leaving Tues night and returning Thurs night
  • And I’d be “geared up”, so pack maybe one workout outfit. (And I got this info cause I asked)

That’s it. You jump off that cliff and let go of the urge to want to plan ever detail. I later learned all the women in my group were  pondering over the same questions: Will I have time to shop? Will I be able to see my friends? Where will dinners be? Will I get nap time? How hard and often are these workouts and will I embarrass myself?? Smart right? Makes bonding with strangers pretty seamless.


this was waiting for me at the hotel

this was waiting for me at the hotel

Wake up (I flew in late the night before) and look at the most crazy skyline from my window on the 29th floor. Don’t want to get out of bed but have to be down for breakfast at 8:15a- meet my local Nike rep, Lisa and she tells me that we’ll be rolling with the crew from Canada and their rep most of the day. I also learn that there’s one other Chicago girl in the house- Bolaji from Social Life Chicago.  Over breakfast we chat with the girls and are told that we’ll be walking to Spring Studios and won’t return until 4pm (SIX HOURS later).

When you sit in a room awaiting a Nike presentation, the sheer scope of what they are doing is overwhelming. There are faces and languages from around the world, shoes you’ve only dreamed of that the Taiwan girls are rockin’ like it ain’t no thang, and being in the presence of Women that this company deems “important” is pretty inspiring.

Nike CEO Mark Parker took the stage, welcomed the room and explained that the newest products aimed to elevate their game like never before focusing on: the sports bra, tight and Flyknit shoe. Mr Parker added;  “I’ve been designing for 30 years and I’ve never been more excited about the future”.

Next, Amy Montana , Nike’s PGM summed it up: “Today’s female does it all and wants it all. She’s the female who trains but also does yoga and likes cool sneakers”.

Truth Amy. Truth. Then….this happened:

Elite Nike athletes including; Skylar Diggins, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Allyson Felix, Sanya Richards-Ross, Adelina Sotnikova, and tennis champ Li Na debuted the new collab with Brazilian designer Pedro Lourenco.  And yes that was Karlie Kloss, Damaris Lewis, Joan Smalls and Jeneil Williams floating down to also walk the runway.

Models in Pedro. KK front and center like WOAH

Models in Pedro. KK front and center like WOAH

Pretty pretty bad ass.

Next we were taken to a room and paired with a Nike Top Trainer (mine was Ingrid Nelson and she rocked) to talk about our fitness goals so they could recommend a training plan that mirrored Nike’s app, and help us decide what workout gear works best for us.

Then we got to see, feel and learn all about the new products.

leggings and tights are all about expression - with wild and fun patterns

leggings and tights are all about expression – with wild and fun patterns

Neon everywhere

Neon everywhere

We got to chat with the head designers from all parts of the company- if you don’t think I geeked out over the sneaker designer’s job then you are wrong.

are these real pony hair? NO- faux real- you can wear them guilt free

are these real pony hair? NO- faux real- you can wear them guilt free

By this time I’d been chatting it up with Sasha Exter, my new Canadian babe friend and she’s filled me in how Canada’s e commerce scene STINKS. She’s also a former tennis player, now turned runner/blogger and I demand her twitter handle so I can stalk/keep in touch.

The rest of the afternoon we lunched, then took in a seminar on what Nike is doing to preserve the Earth with their sustainability program. A program called Nike Grind uses 28 million shoes to build new shoes- woah mamma. And the new flyknit shoes leave virtually no waste behind- compare to half a bag full of garbage like before.

Next, we spent time learning about the social media and digital component of the company that is 65 million women strong. Michelle Beadle narrated the panel and can I just say that she is one of the BEST at what she does? Truly- she’s intelligent, witty, engaging and makes it look so easy- and it’s not.

We also got time with the very talented and zexy designer Pedro Lourenco who showed off pieces from his new Nike x Pedro Lourenço Collection. Think- “I planned to work out this morning, but then my friend called with a crisis and begged me to go to brunch with her- so I’ll walk there, that counts right??”- his collection is a flawless mix of function and fashion.

love a man who prefers a selfie over a traditional photo!

love a man who prefers a selfie over a traditional photo!

team Chicago & Canada in front of Pedro's logo

team Chicago & Canada in front of Pedro’s logo

Try to snatch some Pedro when it drops on Nov. 13 at select stores or online here: nike.com/nikelab.

By now it’s 4pm, we’ve just gotten back to the hotel and nerves are kickin’ about this looming workout that we are leaving for at 5pm. Thankfully the MASSIVE bag filled with gear provides me a distraction and I am almost late because I’m trying to snap a few selfies (clearly they didn’t work well).

I can't...just can't.

I can’t…just can’t.

trying to do the "I'm half smiling and looking for good light- BUT I'm really showing off this cute shrug" thing.

trying to do the “I’m half smiling and looking for good light- BUT I’m really showing off this cute shrug” thing.

if standing on a bathroom sink to get a selfie is wrong...then i don't wanna be right

if standing on a bathroom sink to get a selfie is wrong…then i don’t wanna be right

I make more friends on the limo bus ride over with the women from LA, Miami and Mexico City- dying laughing over each other’s view of dating in our city.

Normally you go to Cipriani for a meal, but when we walked in we saw that this place had been transformed into a giant studio with dots on the floor and black lights that made our gear glow. Nike Elite trainers walked around chatting up the women who looked especially nervous (me) and I hung with both Noah, who is a Barry’s Bootcamp Master Trainer and my girl Emily– a trainer from Chicago!

does your gym look like this??

does your gym look like this??

The 45 min workout featured six zones ranging from- warm up to high intensity to cool down. It’s available to do at home via their app and I’ll be honest, it was a great workout without killing yourself.

Champagne was presented as strangers all high-fived and hugged- WE DID IT!

After a quick shower, we feasted with the same chicas from the bus ride earlier and two ladies from San Diego. I must have asked 23 year old Emily Polachek a zillion questions about what it’s like to write for Competitor Magazine, but I traded her some life advice in return.

Then we hit up like 3 clubs till 4am. SIIIIKE- I passed out the second I got back from dinner.


Oh hi 7:00am- not so nice to see you- but I’ve got to be in the lobby at 7:45 for our morning sesh!

Bolaji and I decided to suck it up and do the early workout which was led by the uber trendy ModelFit Studio. This place has a cult following of actual models and Justin Gelband – who was leaden our workout- has been dubbed “The Model Whisper”.


The 30 mins consisted of; a step platform, light ankle weights, a mat and one 3 lb dumbbell. The movements were small and deliberate – think barre or pilates- and DAYUM it was short but a full on ride on the pain train. If you’re in NYC- check out one of their classes for sure- bonus if you work out next to Chrissy Teigen or Irina Shayk who are regulars.

I'm that real sweaty one in the highlighter colored shoes and Bolaji is next to me in the red pants- we are both trying not to barf city

I’m that real sweaty one in the highlighter colored shoes and Bolaji is next to me in the red pants- we are both trying not to barf city. Oh and this was on ModelFit’s insty account…like workout or you’ll look like them. (j/k but ….)

Next we sat and listened to an elite athlete panel, led by Olympian Alyson Felix, discuss how Women in sports are constantly challenging stereotype and continue to break boundaries. I literally wanted to high five everyone in the room afterwards.

A Surfer, WNBA star, 1st Female Marathoner, Tennis Champ, World Class Track Star and Paralympic step on to a stage....

A Surfer, WNBA star, 1st Female Marathoner, Tennis Champ, World Class Track Star and Paralympic step on to a stage….

Bolaji and I tried taking photos, but we looked pretty bent after the workout- unlike some MAJOR sassy ladies who have to be instagram fashion stars.

Think…ski cap w/veil paired with gold running shorts, a blazer and sneakers- the street style at this thing was the bomb.

The Summit continued thru into the evening depending on what part of the World you were from- since we had already taken in the full experience- I jammed all of my new gear into my suitcase and hit the road for the flight home to Chicago.

Nike, anytime you want me to JUST DO IT, I am in.

COMING SOON: 5 Nike Products To Obsess Over From The 2014 Summit – via SunTimes Splash, and How Nike Products Are Changing to Make Your Workout & Life Easier- here on zee blog

Knife Party

Who starts classes on a Sunday?? Apparently- this girl.

The more I’ve been working on my culinary skills, the more I realize that I really don’t have many…so I’ve decided to do something about it and utilize the fantastic culinary school that’s right up the street.

So yesterday Al dropped me off for the 10am knives course and I waved at him and walked into Kendall College like a nervous student all over again.

Kendall offeres tons of courses for the “home chef” that range from one-day to ten weeks, depending on what you’re looking to get out of them.

The class was filled with around 15 of us, mostly female, and we were all given an: apron, chef’s hat, cutting board, knife, scraper (I’m sure it has a chefy name but I don’t know what that is), towel, bottle of water and bowl full of various veggies to cut.

my kitchen station

my kitchen station

I love watching, then doing – and I found Chef Patrick Williams extremely easy to follow and very helpful. Turns out he went to MSU back in the day and played football there too- bonus points!

We diced, minced, chopped, julianned, peeled, cored, sliced and pounded our way thru the bowls- which would eventually become lunch of:

Mexican Potato Salad

onion, avocado, cliantro, salt, roasted red peppers, garlic...and some other magic

onion, avocado, cliantro, salt, garlic…and some other magic

Pineapple Salsa

pineapple, roasted red pepper, onion, cliantro and lots of other stuff that tasted good

pineapple, roasted red pepper, onion, cliantro and lots of other stuff that tasted good. oh and yours truly sautéed up those peppers. 

and Grilled Flank Steak with marinade and corn tortillas.

we learned that the most important thing is to let the steak rest for a bit before slicing

we learned that the most important thing is to let the steak rest for a bit before slicing

Did I learn a lot? Without a doubt- I’d be doing almost everything wrong – including holding the knife.

And I’ve always given props to Chefs, but now that I’ve tried on their shoes, I have mad respect and realize how much training they have just to walk out the door of a culinary school with a basic degree.

It is NOT as easy as it looks, but I plan to have fun trying!

Falling For The LOB/SHOB

Apparently the “LOB” and “SHOB” and all these other weird ways to say “longer than a bob around the shoulder area” is very “in” for hair right now.

Truth be told, I normally don’t follow the trends and stick to my boring long style…but Al had been begging me for some time to loose the extensions and while we were on Honeymoon,  I did just that.

Left with a mullet, when I got back to Chicago I went to see my girl Nicole at Studio 110 and asked her to clean it up.

Like most women of 2014, I brought a Pintrest page with me , full of examples of what I wanted and didn’t want. But mainly I wanted to look like this Olsen twin:

yes, I have no idea if this is Ashley or Mary Kate and that's fine with me

yes, I have no idea if this is Ashley or Mary Kate and that’s fine with me

Nicole said she was totally down but in order to achieve this look I’d need a few pieces of extension in the front to achieve the uneven length, even though my hair was that long- the pieces would add depth. AND she refused to cut it this short off the bat because she knew there was a possibility I’d freak out going from looong to short.

Smart woman.

Here’s what it looked like post-cut (which she did in less than an hour BTW):

one of the creepiest selfies in history- taken at Exhale after acupuncture

one of the creepiest selfies in history- taken at Exhale after acupuncture

Now, I am aware that I’m in a bathrobe and not 90 lbs, but she did a pretty stellar job- no??

Al LOVED it, and said it was “beautiful and classic” so of course I immediately rushed back to have more cut off the shorter side to “edge it up”.

Then it was time for color so Tina of CM Salon took me a shade lighter, added a few pieces back in and Nicole cleaned it up again…resulting in:

less creepy selifie

less creepy selifie

According to these two- the key to this new style are the blunt ends that keep it looking fashionable and not “boring”.

All three of us were pretty shocked to discover that my hair was actually pretty healthy underneath and I’m hoping that with some daily Biotin pills, it will grow on it’s own…if I don’t give up and go long again first.

If you’re thinking about doing this- I must warn you…it’s more work than you think. The pieces in front need to be stick straight in order to look chic, and that means investing in a good flattening iron (I went with this brand per Nicole’s advice).

When I was in NYC this week , I went to a super cute blow dry bar called BDry and opted to mix it up and go with “beachy waves”.  Not her fault at all- but real bad move on my part. Those flipped up ends made me feel 10 years older and took me right back to my 2010 hair (which makes me cringe so hard I won’t even post a pic).

My advice? Go for it, if you’re ready to put in a touch of work. In the end, you can always clip those bad boys back in or go see Tina for a new weave.

1st World Problem Alert

WARNING: This is a blog post about style- for a charity event.

If you don’t want to punch me in the mouth…then please, read on. 

Charity events in Chicago are like Lulu pants in Lincoln Park- on every block- all the time.

Let’s be honest…unless you’re directly involved with the cause- you probably ignore the invites on Facebook like they are Farmville requests and I get it- I’m right there with you. But one event that I’ve loved for years is: The Green Tie Ball. 

I actually think I’ve blogged about it before (read: too lazy to check) because here’s the deal: it’s fun. Really fun. 

You can eat your face off, dress up for a theme party, dance like half of Chicago is watching and gamble your life away with fake money at the tables. It’s so much fun that you almost forget… it’s for a good cause and you’re not just dumping your $$ into the local field of dreams*. *bar where you meet no one ever

This year’s theme is The Great Green Gatsby. (EYE ROLL, SHUT UP) 

I understand that Carey and Leo are played out…but are they? Who doesn’t love channeling old Hollywood glam? 

A few weeks ago when I was shopping in heaven* (*at Randolph Street Market), I stumbled upon this nasty* (*like Janet) green vintage dress with gold beading for $60. I slipped it on and prayed and it happened to be my size. 

to the left to the left

to the left to the left

BUT I haven’t had the proper place to wear it yet- for some reason dancing around my house in front of my dogs and husband isn’t really cutting it. 

the detail is pretty insane, no?

the detail is pretty insane, no?

NOW, I recently decided (with a STRONG nudging from Al) to cut my hair and drop the weave…so I’m not really feeling crazy hair AND wardrobe. My weave =’s Linus’s blanket and without it- safe style appeals to me way more. 

SO…I’m debating between this LBD and the obvi choice….I can always rock this little ditty at a holiday party.

Thoughts in the comments would be much appreciated. 

love this anything but basic black number

love this anything but basic black number


How To: Have An Incredible Honeymoon

I’m not sure who thought up this whole honeymoon concept (I’m too lazy to Google it) but dayum- I’m glad they did.

I don’t care if you’re debating on a honeymoon destination or just you’re next trip- please listen to me when I tell you to go to Greece.

WARNING: This blog contains details- you may get bored reading them and I really don’t care. (RIP JOAN RIVERS!!) This is for people who need tips/advice/or just have wanderlust.

Choosing a spot to moon your honey is tough and we chose Santorini and Crete because it felt like the ideal mix of culture and beach.


To get to Santorini from Chicago we flew thru London Heathrow- great shopping- INSANE policy on liquids. If you don’t pack your one little ziplock and have it out- you will suffer. (Trust me…you’d rather spend time in Harrod’s and Boots than with a Mr. Bean wannabe taking an hour dissecting the contents of your carry-on)

After a 3 hour and change connection to Santorini we finally arrived at the Katkieis Hotel. I probably looked at photos of this destination 100 times, but the moment I saw it in person, I swear I began to plot my new career as a yoga instructor or goat cheese farmer in this magical place.

We are soooo happy to be here! And a little jet-lagged and delirious.

We are soooo happy to be here! And a little jet-lagged and delirious.

The Katkies was a dream for many reasons including; their placement on the main “drag”, their simple but spacious rooms, the daily breakfast (free!) on your private terrace, the staff who is at your 24 hour disposal, and the infinity pool that overlooks the view.

the view from our terrace was terrible, right?? *and every day was this clear and stunning*

the view from our terrace was terrible, right?? *and every day was this clear and stunning*


Example: if you order a bottle of wine by the pool and don’t finish it, they will keep it on ice for you until you want to drink the rest.

Where to Eat:

Taverna Katina. Down in Ammoundi Bay there are a few fishing taverns where the fish is so fresh that the server asks you to follow them into the kitchen and point to the fish on ice and choose the catch you want to eat. This was one of our favorite meals of the trip…we recommend the; fish of the day, grilled octopus, greek salad, and I’m really not sure what else we ordered…but it was all killer.

Tip: wear sneakers if you walk there, you have to either walk down a ton of steps or take a donkey to get to this spot. ( I think you can also opt for a cab, but really – who does that- live a little)


Sunset Restaurant. Also in Ammoundi Bay, same scene…but the food wasn’t AS good. Maybe it was an off night- and let me please tell you that our meal was still amazing…but the octopus wasn’t as tender and the grilled lobster didn’t blow our minds. Still pretty unreal setting and food.

Sunset Restaurant

Sunset Restaurant

Roka. Multiple members of our hotel staff recommended this local place to us, but I was a stubborn donkey and wanted to take in as much of the view as possible and didn’t listen at first cause this place is tougher to find and doesn’t overlook the “sunset view”. Well guess what- we finally got sick of the tourist jungle and took their advice- and thankfully I’m good at admitting when I’m wrong. ALWAYS TRUST THE LOCALS. This lunch was incredible. Order: the fava, eggplant in a jar, greek salad, bread, baked feta with honey, and chicken risotto.  This place is kinda hard to find, but ask the people where you’re staying or any shop owner and they will guide you.

Random Gyro stop by the bus station. I’m not sure what blog I read, but someone mentioned a spot near the bus station and this HAS to be it. They make their gyros with FRENCH FRIES in them. I don’t eat meat and I was still in love.

Tip: Trip Advisor rates this gelato place called Lolita’s #1 place to eat in Santorini. Well, it happened to also be close to the bus station so we tried it and in my opinion someone is stacking the on line deck- aka- writing fake reviews. Either that or fat Americanos think gelato is a food group.


We took the hotel’s advice and rented a small power boat for an afternoon and let the Captain and his first mate show us the places you can’t see easily by land. We saw; the stunning red sand beach, the hot springs, a bay with ship wrecks, and a little spot with a cliff jump. Our Captain Mikas was super cool and cooked us one of the most incredible meals we’ve ever had in that little kitchen. On board they had; rafts, snorkeling gear, wine/beer/ozo, towels, a jack for music via your i phone and infinite knowledge of the sea and surrounding area. I would gladly eat Ramen for a year in order to save up for this experience.


Saiiiiling (on a motor boat)

The red sand beach via our boat

The red sand beach via our boat

Al rented a little convertible one day so we could go see the Black Sand Beach. The roads were pretty simple to navigate and driving around was a cool little trip on it’s own. The hotel and “Beach Clubs” are all partnered so ours set us up with one of the local places where we could rent chairs and grab lunch. The black sand is something else, let me tell you…and the swimming off the beach was clear and warm.

the sand is HOT

the sand is HOT

I may or may not have had some vino on the boat. Al may or may not take that hat no matter where he goes

I may or may not have had some vino on the boat. Al may or may not take that hat no matter where he goes

On the way back we stopped to shop in Fira- which is the more touristy area, filled with shops and cafes. It’s worth stopping if you’re not staying in that area just to walk around and play tourist.

We stayed in Oia, and every day we looked at a set of stairs even more daunting then the ones to Ammoundi Bay that ended with a few docks and the most aqua water you’ve ever seen. We were advised that the trip was; steep, hot and hard- but of course we wanted to try it and I’m glad we did.

down isn't any easier

down isn’t any easier

we swam off the dock before the climb back up

we swam off the dock before the climb back up

Fitness freaks- no need to worry about working out while in Santorini, there are so many chances to climb stairs and streets that you’ll get a major burn sesh without trying.


Casual, casual and casual. My friends who’d been there told me to leave my heels at home and pack comfortable sandals and sneakers and they were spot on. Sundresses, shorts and tunics are all you’ll need because even the “fancy” places aren’t dressy and I felt totally normal rocking sneaks with my dresses at night.

Sneakers are cool

Sneakers are cool

They have little shops that sell everything you’ll need and may not want to travel with, stuff like: sunscreen, beach bags, floppy hats, and even fake Ray Bans for around $10 a pair. Leave your stuff at home and use a carry-on- it’s so much easier.


Coffee shops don’t open until around 9am, yeah…we didn’t get it either. Plan for that if you’re an early riser, but on the flip side- the local bakeries make the most delicious pastries and things you just must try.

The sunset’s are famous here- and everyone gathers by a church for the view, but there are better spots to watch from that are less crowded along the way.

Stay in Oia, or split time between there and Fira so you can see both sides of the island.

Alpha Beer is delicious.



We literally didn’t want to leave Santorini, and attempted to extend our stay at the hotel but it was booked. I’m convinced things just work out like they’re supposed to and they did because Crete is the bomb diggity.

To get there we took a huge ferry which nearly lead to divorce. Why?

A. I get seasick at times and the two hour ride can be bumpy- I was dreading it.

B. There are around a thousand plus people that rush on this via huge ramp and if you’re claustrophobic (like me)- it is terrifying.

Once we were on though, it was pretty easy. We were sat facing an incredible young Russian couple who was their with their family for a wedding and the conversation and wine they treated us to (because I may have been crying during boarding and acting like an American psycho) really distracted me and the ride flew by without issue.

We checked out several hotels in the Elounda and Agios Nikolaos area of Crete (it’s a HUGE island- we opted for one of the popular beach ends) and split time between the St. Nicolas Bay Resort and Elounda Beach Hotel.

Both were great for different reasons:

St. Nicolas Bay had a more traditional feel, and with it’s blue and white umbrellas and chairs that sat on rocks overlooking the sea- were right out of a film. The breakfast (included in hotel) was a massive buffet of delicious Greek and American choices. They have several restaurants to choose from, they show films outside along the sea, the town is walkable (and full of places to eat and shop) and Nicos- who is the manager will take care of you 24-7.

you are not dreaming, this is the view from your chair

you are not dreaming, this is the view from your chair

Elounda Beach Hotel sits on a property with it’s sister resort- the Elounda Bay Palace. Between these two resorts there are around; 16 restaurants, shops, tennis courts, a spa, several pools, an amphitheater, 2 bays with water sports (wake boarding, SUP, water skiing, kayaks, paddle boats, speed boats), and 23 different kinds of room choices. 23 CHOICES- out of around 400 total rooms. This place is massive- but it doesn’t feel like it. Al and I both are very into the small hotel feel, and somehow this had that- but with a more modern feel.

Our room allowed us to jump right out and swim in the sea, and was literally the most amazing room either of us had ever stayed in (I’m not saying what kind we chose because that’s gauche- but if you are having trouble deciding- message me in the comments and I’ll be more specific).

the ladder back up and view from our room

the ladder back up and view from our room

We took full advantage of the water sports, which were run by a group of guys around our age and a few who were even younger at heart.

Al wake boarding like a  champ in front of our resort

Al wake boarding like a champ in front of our resort

There is a tiny market right off property that has everything you’ll need (rafts, goggles, snorkels) for way less and the owner has an adorable French Bulldog named Gonzo.

not only can you buy the raft on the cheap, he will use his electric pump to inflate it for you as well.

not only can you buy the raft on the cheap, he will use his electric pump to inflate it for you as well.

*breakfast was also included and was a massive spread of every dish you could imagine, including champagne.

Honorable mention goes to: Blue Palace Resort , which we also checked out in person. It’s a massive resort that feels massive and has pretty much everything you’d need in a resort – including private pools with most of the rooms.


Normally we never stay on property while on vacation, we like to get out and explore- BUT the Greek restaurant Kafenion was so unreal that we ate there twice. *order the farmer’s salad, octopus, souvlaki, and dish of the day*

One of the bros from the water sports crew recommended a spot across the water called Kantouni and we took a small boat to get there. The salt baked sea bass was so amazing that I joined Trip Advisor just to leave a review. It’s outside and has twinkling lights and is equal parts romantic and relish.

Trip Advisor’s #1 was a local place on the water in Elounda called Lotus Eaters and it was very good too, part of that was because of the friendly owner who also waited on the tables.


Swim in the sea. The water is crystal clear and the perfect temp, plus there are no sharks or scary things which I clearly appreciated.

Take a boat to Spinalonga Island– which used to be a leper quarantine until 1957. There is a book called “The Island” about the area and Island that you should read before going- it really adds to the history and appreciation. *there are a few books by the same name…so please click on my link if you’re unsure which to read* The trip was a quick ride for us on glassy water and we spent around 30 mins on the island- wear sneakers, go early, bring water.

On The Island post exploration

On The Island post exploration

Walk around Elounda, Plaka and Agios Nikolaos and eat at the local fishing tavernas…we had plans to eat in Plaka but were bummed not to make it there.

Visit an Olive Oil farm or museum- we didn’t have the time but it was on our list. And speaking of that- CONSUME AS MUCH OLIVE OIL AS POSSIBLE.

You think you’ve had olive oil? Just wait- this Creatian stuff is referred to as “liquid gold” for a reason.


Packing is the same as Santorini, but men should pack a pair of pants or two just in case shorts aren’t allowed in the restaurant.

Print your boarding pass before getting to the small airport- you will bypass hours of lines and frustrations.

Swimming was my fitness in place of steep Santorini- we spent most of our time in the sea.


We flew home on Aegean Air and connected in Berlin then flew Air Berlin home. Customs was a breeze compared to Heathrow and even though we had under an hour connection- we made it with time to buy a pretzel. *business class on Air Berlin is like a 5 star hotel, and if I could travel like this all the time- distance would be no big deal. The service, food and comfort made me sad to get off the 8+ hour flight.*


The only reason we were looking forward to coming home was to see our little pigs. Greece- you are the honey to our moon.