Mighty Life List: What’s Next

21st August 2009

Hi. I haven’t slept in a while, as I’ve been preparing for the next leg of this adventure.

As many of you already know, Intel is sponsoring ten items on my Mighty Life List. So far, I’ve:

1. Redesigned Mighty Girl.
2. Taken tap lessons.
3. Gotten a little closer to my goal of tasting 1,000 fruits.
4. Gone swimming with bioluminescent plankton.

The campaign has even inspired me to get moving on some of the more personal goals. On my own I’ve taken Hank camping, given him his first ice cream cone, and played with some sparklers on July 4.

So what’s next? Well, very shortly, Intel is putting me on an airplane to Greece. The country where they keep the Feta and the philosophers.

I’m feeling a little overwhelmed with gratitude as I type this, and honestly I’ve been weepy over the last few weeks whenever I think about any of it. That could also be sleep deprivation, of course, but let’s not split hairs.

I’ll be visiting Athens, Santorini, and Mykonos. If you’ve been to Greece and you have any tips, please let me know in comments. I know from reading all of your lists that lots of us dream about Greece, and I love knowing that. So if you’ve made your own Mighty Life List, please don’t feel weird about linking to it, because I like it when you do.

I’m traveling with Laura and Aubrey, who are both very fun, so that means no sleep in my immediate future either. Our main objective on this trip is to watch the sun rise over the Agean.

You guys, I have always wanted to do that.

Intel is making my site more interesting by sponsoring my Mighty Life List over the next few months. They’re paying for my trip to Greece as part of their Sponsors of Tomorrow campaign, and also because they are nice people in general.

87 thoughts on “Mighty Life List: What’s Next

  1. Nicole

    go skinny-dipping in the mediterranean. I did it when I was in Greece and LOVE the fact that I can say “I’ve skinny dipped in the Mediterrenenenneneaaaaaauuunnnn”. When you tell the grandkids, they’ll be so proud of their vixen grandma.

  2. Nicole

    and one more thing – it’s hotter than Hades over there in August. Keep bottled water on you. And do stop in as many tavernas & cafes as you can for refreshment and snacks, (its also the closest you’ll get to everyday Greek life).

  3. Nicola Proctor

    Try some Retsina… it’s a really nippy native white wine which is stored in pine barrels; you can taste the pine. Delish-refreshing! Ooh, and maybe take some of those shoes that you wear while swimming — when I went to a place called Halkidiki a few years back it was BEYOND beautiful but the sand was really sharp and hurty! Have fun!

  4. Kristin Steiner

    Wow! I’m totally jealous. I don’t currently have a Mighty Life List (unless my grocery list counts), so I’m living vicariously through yours. Have fun, take lots of pictures, try some new fruits and get a tan, would ya?


  5. Alex

    Ooh, so jealous! Greece sounds amazing. You’ll have a blast.

    No mighty life list yet…perhaps yours will inspire me to create one! (And then maybe Intel can hop on over and fly me around the world, too. Ha.)

  6. Rebecca

    Greece is so beautiful, especially the islands with the super blue green water, white washed homes with blue shutters and doors. I’m so jealous!

    In Santorini, there are three options for getting to the top of the island: 1) donkey, 2) enclosed chair lift thingy, and 3) walking. I highly recommend walking it. That’s what I did and you appreciate all the views that much more.

    Athens and Mykonos both offer great, affordable jewelry and I bought my aunt the most beautiful scarf on Mykonos.

    And make sure you try some pastitsio, super yummy!

    Have fun!

  7. Accidental Olympian

    Once in Santorini,you MUST watch the sunset from the Island Sunset Bar. I am not sure if that’s the official name of the bar, but they are in ‘downtown’ and you stand on this amazing deck, 600 feet above the sea and watch the most amazing sunset of your life. Drink a shot of Ozzu just to make the night truly Greek.

    Next you need to visit the black sand beach on the far side of the island, as well as the red sand beach. You’ll have to walk from you car to the black sand beach, but once you’re there you’ll be so happy you made the trek as it’s truly surreal.

    And lastly you need to go see a movie at the outdoor movie theatre. It’s like a movie theatre, bar, and garden all in one. I’ve never been to anything like it and it was the most interesting and fabulous evening.

    OH, and if you can, go on one of the catamaran tours around the island. Snorkeling in the ocean near the volcano crater while the sun sets is life changing.

    Take me with you…

  8. nelking

    1. Ouzo 2. The ruins at Delphi (home of the Oracle) probably 5 hours away but it’s where you really understand what it’s like to worship greek gods. 3. If you can’t make the trek to Delphi, more Ouzo and Gyros.

  9. rachellake

    Oh, Maggie! I’m so glad you are getting the opportunity to go to Greece, and a bit jealous.
    I spent every summer of undergrad living in Athens and traveling around the whole country.

    My advice, while you are in Athens, is to see what is playing at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, the ancient theater at the base of the Acropolis. Those performances will change your life. My very favorite thing to do, however, is to wait until dark and then walk around the pedestrian path that encircles the Acropolis and historic ruins. Seeing the Parthenon lit up at night is the most breathtaking sight I have ever experienced. Sunset from Lykavitos hill is beautiful as well, although it’s quite a hike to get up to the top.

    And you must visit the sandal man. His family has been making shoes since the early 1900s, and you can get custom fit leather shoes for around 30 euro. I wear mine every single day. (http://www.melissinos-poet.com/)

    Santorini is surreal, like you aren’t really even on earth. I would suggest watching the sunset in Oia, simply because it is amazing, but getting to the village early enough to explore before the tourist hordes arrive. There is a small bookshop, Atlantis Books, with an amazing story and collection of books. If you have time, the red beach at Akrotiri is amazing.

  10. jULIA

    I could talk about Greece for the rest of my life.

    On Santorini:
    -Ride the donkeys whenever you get the chance. My college roommate was all about riding the donkeys and I thought she was crazy, but what she didn’t tell me is that there are a lot of steps between the Aegean and just about any town on Santorini, and those donkeys are better about climbing stairs in either direction than I am. Ride the donkeys.

    -Also, there is a great shop just off the main path in Fira that sells great olive oil. Buy a bottle. Or five.

    -Do the tour in the pseudo-old looking sailing ships that tour around the caldera on Santorini. They take you over to the island in the middle of the caldera, which is actually the highest point of a crater. We think island, they say crater. Hike around it – definitely worth it. Also, they let you jump off the boat in a way that would never be allowed on an organized tour in the United States.


    -Lord, go to Delos and don’t be cheap like me and not pay for a tour. Pay for a tour and hike up the mountain because you won’t get a better feeling about what it must have been like to birth twin gods on Delos 5,000 years ago anywhere in Greece than you will from atop of that mountain.

    -As awesome as people say it is, the sunset in Oia on Santorini is not nearly as awesome as any sunset I saw in Mykonos Town. The sun got so large and so orange and so vibrant I just about died. See, let’s compare.
    Okay, okay, they’re similar. But I found sunsets much prettier away from the 1.5 million other tourists.

    Rent a car on either island, even if it feels like you might die driving it. We rented a car on our third island (Samos), but should have done it on Mykonos to see more of the island. It was definitely worth the life risks involved.

    I’m not a huge fan of Athens – if you’re there for a few days, consider doing a tour to Delphi. It’s a lovely drive really interesting. If you can’t go to Delphi, make sure you spend some time away from the Acropolis near the Temple of Zeus. We went there in late afternoon, early evening and it was very perfect being in the midst of an ancient ruin while Athens bustled around us as people went home from work. Also, the new Acropolis museum just opened, so be sure to check that out.

    Finally, eat a Greek Salad for lunch every single day because you will miss them when you are no longer there.

  11. Leslie

    I can’t tell you how wonderful your life list makes me feel. I think I need to take mine out and give is a whirl.

    BTW, tap dancing is so wonderful!

    And Oh! I went to Mykonos–there is this little deserted island that is just a taxicab ride away where the only inhabitants are peacocks. I went skinny dipping there and I highly recommend it!

    And you deserve this wonderful list to be crossed off!

    Enjoy and I can’t wait until the next post!

    – Leslie

  12. Jason

    Maggie here is my lifelist – published it on FB a few days ago. Really enjoy following your Life List Journey

    1) Start my own Snowboard, Wine. Biking Community and Adventure Experience B2Bs
    2) Ride One leg of the Tour De France in the Alps or Pyrenees
    3 )Have a loving and healthy family
    4) Take my future family snowboarding or skiing on 5 Different Continents
    5) Be a role model for god daughters and god son
    6) Teach my future wife and kids to play tennis
    7) Take master chef cooking class
    8) Help someone rebuild their house
    9) Find a cause, commit, and change lives
    10)Write a meaningful blog

  13. teri

    Ahhh! Greece is my favourite place in the world! Here’s stuff you should do in Santorini:
    – Go to Atlantis bookstore in Oia. Everyone goes to Oia to watch the sunset, but I go for this adorable bookstore built into a stone wall with a great selection of English books, including Greek-origin authors, and a great staff.
    – If you can stomach it, rent a car – it’s really not that bad driving around if you’re careful. Stop on the side of the road and buy the delicious weird little tomatoes that only grow in Santorini. Make sure to order the deep fried tomato balls at tavernas.
    – Wineries! Some of the best in Greece are in Santorini.

    In Athens my favourite time to wander around Plaka (the area around the Acropolis) is at night when it’s cooled down a little. Try hard to avoid the tourist restaurants around Plaka, but there are a few good ones in there (Brettos is great wine bar, Kouzina had the most amazing food). Gazi is a good area too if you want to get out of Plaka.

    You should check ferry schedules while you’re in Santorini to see if it’s possible to make a side trip to the island of Folegandros – it’s tiny, stunning and still pretty untouched compared to the other Cyclades islands.

  14. rahree

    download Fleet Foxes “Mykonos” right now (as if you don’t have it already – duh.), and listen to it non-stop until you get there. and then send me a picture.

    pretty please.

    have FUN!

  15. Erin

    Take a boat ride to the nude beach on Mykonos. The water is so clear you think you’re going to run aground, but it’s 50 feet down. Wear goggles and put your head under the surf and be amazed at how you can see everyones’ legs thirty feet away. Wander around the little town on Mykonos, see the pelican and the dog with the light blue eyes (if he’s still there!) Take lots of pics of the white houses with the blue trim and the blue Aegean.

    Do make the trek up to the Acropolis. There’s really nothing like standing up there and walking in the steps of the ancient Greeks. And hte view is killer!

  16. Erin

    Oh, and learn this phrase: Enna birra parakalo. I’m sure the spelling is off, but that’s how you pronounce it.

  17. beyond

    i have been to different parts of greece many times (my parents lived near athens for awhile) and i absolutely love it. LOVE.
    even if you have no ‘plans’ and do nothing but go for strolls and eat in tavernas all day long you will have the time of your life.
    please eat an authentic greek -with a slab of feta on top- salad for me!

  18. Stacey

    hi there,

    greece was one of my favorite vacations of all time! if you haven’t booked your hotel/place in santorini, i’d love you to consider where we stayed:


    i couldn’t have been happier with this place! it’s what you dream of in santorini – a true cave house to stay in, a greek owner who brought us wine on our first night, amazing views, etc., etc. and it wasn’t crazy expensive!

    i also LOVED the island of Milos – under-rated, but completely beautiful and off the beaten path. some of the most AMAZING beaches i’ve ever been too:


    If you go to Milos, you must go to Sarakiniko – it’s a white smooth rock beach unlike anything you’ve ever seen – you’ll feel like you’re on the moon:


    It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

    What a fantastic trip! You can’t go wrong – my only advice is to squeeze in an island like Milos, off the beaten path of the super-touristy Santorini and Mykonos – I really think you’ll be so happy you saw something so spectacular and quiet…

    Have a blast!

  19. Seanie

    I get all teary-eyed every time I read that your crossing more things off of your list!

    Have a blast in Greece!!!

  20. Lynda

    OMG! What do you want to know! I am a Canadian married to a Greek! We have businesses there and spend every other summer there with our children!

    Email me with any specific questions! ANYTHING! Shoot!

    Things I ALWAYS have on hand when I travel there:
    Baby powder (no thanks to 40 degree C heat and chafing…but it depend when you are going? Bring a small one, if possible.)
    Pepto Bismal (you never know!)
    Tylenol or Advil (impossible to find!)

    DO NOT DRINK THE WATER. I even use a bit of bottled water in a glass to brush my teeth. You will thank me for this.


    If you can, stay in Thira in Santorini. The views are A M A Z I N G overlooking the volcanic islands and the sunset is spectacular. There is also a black sand beach in Santorini. A MUST SEE.

    So excited for you!

    YAMUS! (Cheers!) Kalo taxithi! (Have a good trip!)


  21. Lynda

    PS Have fun and …after reading the other comments if you do partake in topless sunbathing (which locals frown upon but foreigns all do!) WEAR SUNSCREEN ON THOSE PARTS. Let’s just say, I have seen one too many burnt boobies over the years! OUCH!

  22. Laura

    Aaaahhhhh, so exciting! I got a little teary on your behalf reading this. It’s going to be wonderful – especially Mykonos!

    I don’t have any idea if this would even be an option for you but my sister went to Greece & Turkey and said that while both were thrilling, Istanbul was a more delightful experience than Athens in the end…..for whatever that’s worth.

    Have fun!

  23. AmandaL

    Go to the fish markets and eat what the locals eat, even if it’s little small fish you eat whole, fried with their heads still on. If you’re going to do it, DO IT UP. I promise you, they’re delicious.

  24. Michelle


    Can’t wait to see all the photos and the stories you’ll have to tell about this one.

  25. Sophie

    My sister, two friends and I just spent a month there. If you get the chance, there are boat trips in santorini that take you to the volcano and the hot springs.

    My only other advice is avoid quadbikes like the plague. Our trip ended 6 days early in Santorini when my sister and I drove off a 10m/25ft embankment and got airlifted to athens. They are the devil.

    Otherwise have an amazing time.

  26. Sarafina

    Oh! I just got back from Greece! I want to go back right, right now! For Santorini, I have two big recommendations:

    1. Visit Ammoudi Bay. It’s on the caldera, right below Oia. I thought it was the most beautiful spot in Santorini. There’s a little swimming area, shops, and restaurants, plus a beautiful place to walk along the shore.

    This is Ammoudi: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sarafina65/3774847630/in/set-72157621778050735/

    2. Red Beach: Wear practical shoes! It’s quite a hike to get to, but ever so worth it. Completely beautiful. Be mindful that there’s no closed-off changing area, so wearing your suit under your clothes is a good idea. My dad changed in a cave and one of the beach chair rental ladies walked in on him. Hilarious for me, not so much for him. Or her.

    The water is somewhat cold and the bottom is mostly smooth rocks, not sand, so it’s a bit slippery. Still, it was so beautiful and wonderful, I highly recommend it. There’s also a bunch of rock-stacking going on at Red Beach, so if you want to participate, you should! It’s fun!

  27. Sarah

    It has been several years, but our favorite memory of Santorini was the wine tasting we did while watching the sunset. After a bit of Internet research I think it was Santo winery. Have an amazing trip!

  28. margareto

    Be sure you know how to say thank you in Greek (usually the nice people at the hotel will tell you how to say this – Ef-KAR-ees-tay, I think?)!

  29. Claire

    Oh, you will love it so! I used to go on holidays to Greece with my parents and it holds such a special place in my heart.

    Definitely visit the Acropolis and Parthenon. Remember a hat and water and sunscreen if it’s during the day, it is so hot but the views at the top are thrilling.

    I second the recommendation to buy sandals and jewellery. I still have examples of both that I bought in Kalymnos when I was 14 (I am 32 now). They were made to last!

    Spend an evening sitting in a taverna in a harbour, drinking Retsina or Ouzo as you listen to the boats clinking together and the hairdryer-like mopeds buzzing up and down the roads. The harbours always used to be thronged with fairy lights from ehat I recall,

    The food! Eat proper Greek salad, olives with feta and oregano, Souvlaki, lamb Kleftiko, spanakopita (amazing pastries filled with spinach and feta, Dolmades, Greek yoghurt and honey for breakfast (the honey is wonderful), Avgolemono soup (egg and lemon – sounds odd but is brilliant)and the unparalleled Baklava to indulge your sweet tooth.

    The phonetic pronunciation of thankyou is ‘eff-ha-ree-STOH’

    If you get chance, watch the film ‘Shirley Valentine’ before you go and see her love affair with Greece. It is such a beautiful part of the world and the combination of blue see, bright sunlight, white houses and lemons everywhere does something magical to you. Growing up in rainy England, I remember my mum empathising with Shirley Valentine to the extent that she cried with joy when we stepped off the ferry that took us to our first Greek Island. It’s one of the best memories I have.

  30. Shauna

    In the thiseio area of Athens there’s a fab taverna called Elias … the name of the street is Eptahalkou.. You order juicy lamb chops by the kilo… amazing side dishes like lemony potatoes and wild greens, yum Greek salad and the most addictive fried cheese, saganaki. Unforgettable :)
    The Acropolis is amazing but go as early or late as humanly possibly as you can FRY up there! Those ancient columns bounce the light like nothing else on earth :)

  31. P

    Mia beera not ena.

    Water shoes because lots of Greek beaches have pebbles.

    Tourists go topless, not locals.

    Try frappe (pronounced with an accent on the e). It’s iced coffee. If you like coffee, you’ll love this. Sketo is no sugar, metrio is two teaspoons, and gliko is sweet. Me (“meh”) yala is with milk, horis yala is no milk.

    To really see the islands, rent a car and drive around. It’s very cheap to do this and there is no need to reserve ahead. It can be done the day of. Bring a swimsuit and a cover up. Stop along the way and take a swim in any beautiful beach that strikes your fancy. A boat around the islands is also great. Bring lots of sunscreen and wear a hat to avoid a scap sunburn.

    In Athens, get up early. It’s too hot to walk around mid-day. Greeks eat dinner starting around 22H00.

    September is better than August. Less people, better weather.

    Have fun! Greeks are very friendly people. Always say hello and goodbye. “Yiasas.”

    Panagiota the Greek.

  32. meg

    Fantastic, Maggie! And this time we want some pictures for *sure.*

    I’m spending my last day in London right now coming home from my honeymoon, which was all about us drinking whiskey in Scotland, something that was on *both* our life lists. And all I can say is that when we did it, 100 yards from Edinburgh Castle… it felt like flying.

    Wishing you exactly the same. You deserve it, if only for giving each of us a little more space to dream every day.

  33. laurie

    Oh ye of the sweetest gig on the Internet…And I don’t know Aubrey but Laura Mayes will rock this trip I know. :) Congratulations.

  34. donkee

    I went to Greece eons ago. It was a 24th bday gift for myself and I went alone. I went to Athens and Santorini.

    Although the Parthenon was awesome, Athens was a bit too crowded for me. I did get lost walking around a couple of times – but I just kept walking, stopped and ate at cafes, then eventually found my way back to the hotel. Those were the wonderful times!

    Santorini was unbelievable! I went in December, so I practically had the island to myself. I met a few other travelers and we hung out together for a few days (dude from LA that goes to Santorini 2x a year, a psych dr from the army and a bunch of veterans on break).

    I stayed near the top of Thira and saw the sun rise and set in my room (crazily breathtaking). At night, I saw a few shooting stars. At the square, there is a tiny hole in the wall that had the best gyros. I didn’t even like gyros to begin with! Lots of cats everywhere…dogs too. A couple of them walked with me along the caldera all day and followed me to my hotel…hated to leave them outside.

    Have fun and bring your best camera. Sunscreen is a must, seafood all day everyday. I got by in Santorini speaking French (what little I knew), but since you’re going in August, there will be a lot of people there fluent in English or you can learn a bit of Greek.

    There was an old man in the middle of Thira with a wood shop that I stumbled upon. It was his father’s and his father’s father’s, etc. (pictures and portraits on the walls). He didn’t speak English nor French and I didn’t speak Greek, so we couldn’t speak to each other. But he somehow asked me to sit with him and break open walnuts with a hammer to eat and had a shot of vodka. We sat in silence for half an hour to 45 minutes doing that. Then it was time to leave…it was the best time I had on that vacation!

  35. GirlsGoneChild

    ONE MORE THING! At every Greek bodega they sell greek yogurt with this amazing grain and honey that you cannot but in US. You will know when you see it and it’s AMAZING. You must eat it every day for breakfast.

    Also! Rent a paddle boat and have yourself a jolly topless picnic on a private beach. But please oh please doc your boat properly. Nothing like being stranded half naked on an island with nothing but your areolas.

  36. Bianca

    If you can, visit the wine museum in Santorini! It’s filled with hilarious robotic exhibits and a wine tasting is included with your admission.
    Also be sure to take the ship to the volcano island and the hot springs, I also recommend renting a four-wheeler for 24 hours–cheap and not as scary as the scooters.

  37. Saffoula

    You are one lucky lady, that’s for sure. Do not rent scooters!! They rent the worst ones to Americans because they know we don’t know how to ride them. Accidents are commmon. In 2002, we took an insider’s tour of Santorini with a local guide named George, who is German. He had a van. See if he is still around. He took us all over and to see an elderly man still making bread in a wood stove and to a small winery with excellent vin santo, an island specialty. A sunset cruise to the crate with swimming is a must. The best part of Greece is the magical moments that cannot be planned. Wait for them and they will happen. Just watch out for those Greek men, called kamaki (fishermen for the girls), they are consummate professionals.

  38. Katie P.


    The world will always be full of people who have got it worse. There will always be someone who hasn’t been able to experience this or hasn’t been able to experience that. It’s really awesome that there are people like you to volunteer and help them get some of their special moments in life, like with your foster child. However, it’s not fair to fault someone because they were given the opportunity and took it. If everyone in the world said, “Well, I guess I’ll just take my lot in life and deal because I feel bad for all the people who don’t have it like I do” no one would experience anything!

    Have a great time, Maggie!!

  39. Michelle


    I’ve loved keeping up with you over the years and am so excited for you and your Life List. When you first published your list I was inspired to update my own list that I had been keeping since college.

    Greece is on my list as well. I think there is something so intriguing and romantic about standing in the spot where Aristotle taught, in ruins that have existed for thousands of years. Maybe it is a universal desire to connect to our human history and intellectual evolution. Maybe it is the gorgeous white churches contrasting against that vibrant blue water. Maybe it is the delicious food.

    Enjoy your fantastic adventures.


  40. Jennifer

    Hi Maggie,

    I spend a fair of time in Greece researching my dissertation. Here’s is what comes to mind:

    Athens–Go to Dakos in Kolonaki for fresh, modern Cretan food. Go to a nearby cafe to watch the beautiful people of Athens congregate. Go to the newly-opened Acropolis museum (you will beat me to it as it was still closed when I was there last in April). If you have time for a day trip, go to Delphi and see where the oracle gave prophecies. It is still mystical. You can hire a driver to take you: http://www.greecetravel.com/taxi/

    Mykonos: I have never been, but Have Fun! And if you need a break from the party life I second whoever mentioned going to Delos (you cannot stay there overnight, but just daytrip from Mykonos).

    Santorini: It has been a while, but if there is still a spa built in to the side of the island, get the “Aphrodite Spoiled Rotten” package.

    A fun thing to taste: mastika (a gummy product made from the Chian mastic tree).

    Have fun! I cannot wait to see your pictures.


  41. Anna

    Greece is magical. From Myknonos, take the ferry to Delos — and walk the breathtaking ruins from a once-vibrant ancient city — inexplicably still teeming with life. To escape the heat of Athens, consider a day trip to Sounion to see the temple to Poseidon, perched on a cliff overlooking the sea. Then, take a swim and split a plate of fresh calamari at the taverna on the water.

    This will be the trip of a lifetime. Have a beautiful time.

  42. chiquita

    Oh my. I love Greece. We went there on our honeymoon and had a wonderful time even though my husband was injured on our first day in the islands. Santorini is amazing. Enjoy. (it will be hard not to!)

  43. SoniaBonia

    A lot of what people have already said I would second. Read the Henry Miller book. That’s a requirement. Also, go to Byzantinos in Plaka. Its by the outdoor movie theater. Order the tortellini. Die happy. I went with rachellake (comment 13) last year. Do everything she says- she really knows her shit. I would also add to go out to the Temple of Poseidon in Sunio one night- its magical. Enjoy!

  44. Dangercat166

    Be advised, it is a tad smoky in the area of Athens right now. Horrid wildfire is sweeping through the area and even burning homes.

  45. Franca Bollo

    I should send you the Baedeker’s Guide to Greece I had in my hand when I met your husband at the House of Shields. Unfortunately, it’s from 1988 when I went for five weeks.

    On Santorini, rent a moped and visit Oia. Mykonos, get away from the throngs of tourists by taking the boat to Delos. Athens, get up at the crack of dawn and head up to the Acropolis before everyone else. Say hello to the cats as you pass through the Plaka.

    Have the yogurt and the skordalia … but not together. Count how many Georges you meet. Have a 500 ml bottle of Henninger in a ??????? (taverna but it’ll look like “tabepna” which what we ended calling them as in “Time for a Henninger at a tapebna?”)

    I read The Magus before I left but would also recommend Dinner With Persephone by Patrica Storace. Either will help get you into the spirit of the place.

    **Sigh** ???? ??????!

  46. Flirty Archivist

    Ah, so much fun that you’re going to have. Okay: in Athens, go for cocktails on the roof of the Grand Bretange.

    Get a copy of SHIRLEY VALENTINE to watch on the plane.

    Nova is the best ferry line from my humble standpoint.

    Drink lots of rose, especially now.

    Explore beyond the Plaka in Athens. There are some great places to be found that are not on the tourist path.

    Have fun!

  47. Hillary

    Hi Maggie –
    I’m not a big fan of Athens, but I went pre-Olympics, so I’m not sure about the improvements. So my first tip to people visiting Greece is fly into Athens, then get the hell out! I studied in the Peloponnesus for a few weeks in college, and the one thing I remember is eating throughout the region. Make sure you eat the olives and feta from every different region you hit – they are all wonderfully different. And I think someone else mentioned already, to carry a big waterbottle and drink, drink, drink! Bon Voyage!

  48. Megan

    I’ve had a list knocking around for a bit. Your prompt is a good excuse for me to polish it up and post it.

    Hope they put out those fires before you land!

  49. Miette

    Couldn’t agree more to those who’ve suggested a wet flash of skin. There’s no sensory experience in the world like that of bared boobs in the Mediterranean – and I’m not joking in the slightest – you haven’t lived at all until you’ve experienced the individual boob buoyancy unique to the saline level of this body of water and the fat content of your own boobage.

    It’s what mermaids do.

  50. Binkytowne

    There is a tiny island next to Santorini ( I don’t know what direction- east? Southeast? Google it) It’s called Anafi. Not as touristy as Santorini and just as beautiful. Saw the most magnificent sunset of my entire life there. It’s a boatride away.

  51. Beverly

    My favorite thing to do in Greece: on an island (any island will do) go to a local grocery store or corner store and buy a bottle of Greek brandy and pistachios. Find the closest beach or pier and enjoy. My friends and I had so much fun doing this.

    Also, for what it is worth, Delphi was amazing. So beautiful and it really did seem magical. If you are able please check it out. It is about a 1.5-2 hour drive from Athens.

    Have fun! Oh and there are a ton of stairs in Greece. You have been warned.

  52. Belle

    I honeymooned in Athens and Crete…I remember that museums were free in Athens on certain days. I loved it…but it is a cramped, crazy city so enjoy the islands. I remember red retsina fondly and can’t find it here…so definitely get that. And quince jam, and oh the coffee!

    Others have mentioned Cape Sounion – morning, sunset – whenever. The wine-colored sea!

  53. Sharon

    Bon voyage! Make sure you take pictures of the darling pelicans that sit in the middle of the street in Mykonos. And, as 2 people above did, a tour to Delos is a must.

  54. Lindsay

    You’re gonna have so much fun! I was there this summer for 2 weeks, and I STILL dream about the feta! Eat a salad everywhere you go- it’s amazing. Go swimming as often as you can (preferably begin said swims by jumping off a sailboat). Go dancing in Mykonos (just follow the really loud, really bad pop/techno, and you’ll be able to find a club). Enjoy a Mythos beer. Wear tons of sunscreen.

    And, fergodsakes, have fun!

  55. Jamie

    This post couldn’t be more timely, as I am prepping to leave for Athens, Crete(Elounda), and Mykonos in a week. I’m stealing all of the suggestions here, and hope you all have a safe and happy journey.

  56. michelle

    i’m so proud of you! i know it sounds weird to hear that from a stranger but i’ve followed your blog for two years now. it’s just wonderful to see someone with so much talent be recognized and start to have more opportunities. i hope you have a wonderful trip and i can’t wait to read all about it!

  57. Meg

    You must get a gyro while you are there. My husband still salivates when he thinks about his 1st Authentic Greek Gyro. We were in Athens, they shaved the lamb right off the spit (sorry if you are a vegetarian!) and added green peppers and tzatziki sauce.
    Oh and since you love to shop for unique clothing, there are incredible flea markets set up everywhere with temptations at every booth. The art at the flea markets are breath taking too.
    I can’t wait to see your pics and read about your trip!

  58. Cyndi

    Maggie – my husband and I just returned from our five year anniversary trip to Greece. We also visited Athens, Mykonos and Santorini. Spend as little time as possible in Athens. Hit the high spots (plaka, ruins, etc) and get to the islands. While in Santorini we took a catamaran sailing trip through the caldera. We used santorinisailing.com and it was AMAZING. By far the most wonderful part of our trip. Another day we rented a smart car (scooters are not my friend) and visited all of the beaches (black and red) as well as the light house and wineries. We stayed in Oia and could not recommend it more. The views are so amazing and the town is adorable.

    Mykonos has a totally different feel than Santorini. Much more urban in my opinion. The bus was very easy to navigate so we didn’t rent a car or scooter.


  59. Stella

    Wow. I’m speechless because this is just so awesome. Way to go, Ms. Mason.

    Definitely agree with Greece being on many life lists, including mine…which is unfinished. I still feel like I have things to add! But I will link it when it’s done (or at least, I feel it is, I don’t think it will ever be done!)

    Have a good one!

  60. Jodini

    GREECE! So excited for you. I visited Athens, Mykonos, Ios & northern Greece 10 years ago with my greek friend Evangelia, and had the most amazing time. Beware of the delicious bread & olive oil combo. I came home 10 pounds heavier, but it was worth it.

    Athens is the most humid place I have ever been.
    Be prepared. I can handle heat, but had to shower a couple of times a day.

    I would strongly recommend a translation bookwith phrases. Mine came in VERY handy.

    Paradise Beach and Super Paradise Beach in Mykonos are worth the visit. Rent a lounger, and soak it all in. Happy hour everyone starts dancing! You will have many chances to dance on a bar in Mykonos.

    Enjoy, wish I was coming with you.


  61. Tina

    I had the best holiday of my life in Greece!

    My recommendations for Mykonos:

    – We stayed at Villa Konstantin and were absolutely delighted. The family that ran it were super helpful and friendly. The views were stunning and it’s just a short walk from the town center. Highly recommended: http://www.villakonstantin-mykonos.gr

    – Devour syrupy baklava from Mandarini, the best I’ve ever had. This is their card with contact details: http://www.flickr.com/photos/oceanic-ii/960026645/

    – Look at the jewellery store beside the famous Mykonos windmills, I bought a gorgeous ring there which is one of my favourite souvenirs

    I also agree with the people saying don’t linger in Athens – see the essentials then get thee to an island as quickly as possible!

    Staying away from scooters also seems highly prudent…


  62. La Sybarite

    Sometimes the most enjoyable part of a trip is the anticipation, so here are the things I’d do to whet my appetite for a Grecian holiday:

    1. Re-watch the closing ceremony of the 2004 Athens Olympics. No single televised event has made me want to travel more than these ten minutes.

    2. Re-read Edith Hamilton’s Greek Mythology while sipping on an iced Nescafe with Herb Alpert accompaniment (not as illogical as it sounds, I swear! I just last night posted about all of this, and somehow, it makes sense.)

    3. Start liberally applying self-tanner to my knockers. All the topless tanning I did in Greece never once made a dent in my mammarian melatonin.

    4. Make a list of all the people for whom I’d buy those pom-pom slippers Greek soldiers wear.

    P.S. – I’m brand new to your blog but already a big fan. Looking forward to your further adventures!

  63. Jamie

    Retsina- ew. Ouzo- eh. Frappes??? Oh God, delish. I never liked olives before Greece.

    The sunset at Oia on Santorini is really *that* lovely.

    If you have any time, learning the Greek alphabet/pronunciation is not a bad idea (and not really that hard). There are so many English speakers, but being able to look up at a sign and sound out “metro” (and later, “beer”) in Greek was awesome and practical.

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