Mighty Life List: What’s Next

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. 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.


  2. 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.


  3. Rebecca,

    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!!


  4. Maggie,

    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.



  5. 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.



  6. 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.


  7. 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!)


  8. 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!


  9. 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.


  10. 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** ???? ??????!


  11. 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!


  12. 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!


  13. 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!


  14. 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.


  15. 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.


  16. 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.


  17. 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!


  18. 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.


  19. 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!


  20. 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.


  21. 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!


  22. 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!


  23. 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.



  24. 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!


  25. 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.



  26. 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…



  27. 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!


  28. 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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