Santorini: A Real Life Postcard

On this cold, rainy fall day my mind is wandering. It has wandered off on to the island of Santorini where I spent a week honeymooning with my husband. The island of Santorini  makes you feel like you’re walking into a postcard.  The white buildings beaming, the blue skies and waters that blend together can be seen for miles. There is nothing quite like it, giving you a sense of serenity while taking it all in.

We stayed at the Petit Palace, the perfect honeymoon hotel. Located just a few kilometers outside of Thira and away from the 100s of tourists in July it is the perfect spot if you are looking for some quiet and beautiful scenery. It’s nearly impossible to get tired of the view. In fact, the hotel is located at the top of a hill where tourists stop throughout the day to take it all in, snap some photos and then go along their way, not bothering anyone at all.

The Petit Palace

The trek to get to the pool, reception and hotel entrance from our room. There was an elevator but I chose not to use it every time. It’s too bad our hotel didn’t have their own private Santorinian donkey.

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The pool where we spent most of our days.

IMG_6258  View from the pool, reception area

IMG_6292 The pool. Our happy place.

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This hotel offers a breakfast package which is well worth it. You order the evening before and breakfast is brought to your room the next morning and set up  on your patio. Lets just say I had my share of pasties and Greek yogurt and cheeses, the breakfast of champs.

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Perissa Beach

Black pebble beach, known to be volcanic pebbles.

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The Red Beach

The Red Beach is one of the most famous and beautiful beaches in Santorini. It is quite small and crowded so we decided to admire the red and black volcanic rocks and crystal clear waters from above.  IMG_6412

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Oia

Oia, the most famous village in Santorini,  is known for their world famous sunsets. This is why I had previously dedicated an entire post to sunsets only. It deserved that. This picturesque village is filled with charming houses in narrow streets, blue domed churches and sun filled verandas. Oia is known to be the quieter of the villages, however,  that is not the case before sunset. The narrow streets are jam packed with tourists making their way to the verandas overlooking the cliffs, getting a spot to see the beautiful sunsets.

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 Ammoudi, Oia’s small port, known for their famous taverns serving fresh seafood and fish
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A Santornini donkey

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Thira

Thira is the capital of Santorini. This is the busier of the villages, with an abundance of restaurants offering verndas to dine at, bars, cafes, shops, discos, and hotels with views of the Caldera and sea. If you are interested in being in the center of it all this is the place to stay.

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Efharisto
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Baked Tomato Keftedes

On our recent trip to Santorini this summer we took a cooking class.  While Tomato Keftedes wasn’t on the menu our dear host, Sofi, had them prepared for us as we arrived, paired with Vinsanto, a traditional Santorinian wine.  They were so good that I had to ask her for the recipe.  The original Keftedes are fried. While I was on my honeymoon I could justify eating fried foods. I mean this was my reward after all that hard work to get into that white dress, right? photo 3Well now that I am back home I have no way to justify dropping these little bites of heaven into a pot of oil, so I decided to bake them instead. I must say they are super tasty. A couple of things to note, the original recipe calls for feta rather than parmesan and parsley and mint. Since I decided to make this last minute I used what I had in my fridge. And as Sofi says, “You put whatever you want in it”.  So I listen to the chef made my version of it. Enjoy!

10 cherry tomatoes
2 – 3 green onions
1/2 red onion
1/4 Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup of flour
1 egg
Cilantro (Add as much as you like or replace with parsley or mint)
A pinch of salt
A pinch of black pepper
Chili pepper flakes (This is not part of the original recipe but because we love spice, I had to add it.)

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DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 400 F (200C) and mist a 12 cup muffin pan with nonstick spray.

Chop all ingredients (green onions, red onion, cherry tomatoes, cilantro).

In a bowl stir together all ingredients until mixed well. If you don’t mind getting dirty, use your hands smashing the tomatoes and mixing the ingredients together thoroughly.

Spoon the mixture evenly in each cup of the muffin tin and pat down with the back of the spoon to make sure mixture is compact.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops are golden. Enjoy warm.

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Buon Appetito!

Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

Since my blog is titled “Live. Love. Eats. & Travel”, it only makes sense that I share recipes with you. It’s fall weather here in Denmark so I was craving a hearty soup. Yes it’s only August but I live in Scandinavia.  A dear friend of mine sent this to me and it turned out to be a recipe that I will make again and again this fall and winter. I slightly altered mine, but should you want to see the original recipe you can find it here at Nigella.com. Either way it is an easy, hearty, delicious soup with a kick to it. The recipe calls for leftover shredded chicken but you can substitute that with veggies, beef or keep it simple and just use noodles. Enjoy and Buon Appetito!

  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 6 oz thin rice noodles (or mung bean thread vermicelli)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 ½ inches piece of fresh gingerroot (peeled and sliced thinly then cut into skinny strips)
  • 1 fresh red chile cut into strips (the recipe says to deseed it but we wanted spicy so I kept them)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon soft brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 8 oz stir fry vegetables or bean sprouts (I opted for a handful of veggies and a handful of bean sprouts
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro (to serve)

DIRECTIONS:

Santorini: You’ve seen one sunset, you’ve seen them all…

You’ve seen one sunset, you’ve seen them all…not quite. You never seem to get tired of seeing the sunsets in Thera and Oia.  Maybe it’s because the colors are painting the sky with pinks, purples, reds and orange hues, as the sun drowns out into the horizon or the caldera, and you know you have a limited number of days to see this beautiful act of nature. Oia is known for the some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world and 1000s of tourists a day flock to this picturesque town that is carved out on a cliff. This was apparent when we we couldn’t make our way down the narrow, crowded streets of Oia as the tour buses were  arriving and dropping off loads of people at 5:30pm for an 8:30pm sunset, to get the best spot. There is only one word that can be used for the views in Santorini and that is “breathtaking”. The endless sunsets, the caldera and the blue sea are unforgettable. I can honestly say that pictures don’t do it justice but you’ll get the idea.

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It’s been a while…

Yes I abandoned my blog. It wasn’t my intent but life caught up with me. Planning the final details for my wedding, getting married in San Francisco, spending time with family and friends from around the world (whom I must thank again for everything), playing tourist in my hometown of San Francisco, spending an amazing weekend in Palm Springs for my bachelorette party and honeymooning in Greece on the islands of Crete and Santorini (please take me back!). So that is my justification for going silent this summer. The great part is the blog benefits because during my break in blogging I was able to get plenty of material. While I settle in back at home and gather all of my thoughts and pictures on my travels I thought I would share a few things of what’s to come…

Elounda, Crete

Elounda, Crete

Thira, Santorini

Thera, Santonini

San Francisco, California

San Francisco - Treasure Island

 

 

 

Obrigado Lisbon

Lisbon, you got me. I felt an excitement, like that of a child going to Disneyland for the first time, on our way to the airport for my first visit to beautiful Lisbon. It was everything I expected it to be. The old charm, colorful cityscape, narrow and curvy streets, the sunshine beating down on the city, the warm nights, the delicious food… and lets not forget the Golden Gate Bridge! I had no idea that there was a replica built across the world, Ponte 25 de Abril. The funny part about this is Daniel mentioned it on the flight, however, when I am on a plane its like putting a baby in a car for a quick ride around the block to get them to sleep, so I half remember this conversation. To my surprise I see this reddish orange structure and I suddenly feel like I am in San Francisco. On one end it even looks like the cars are driving into the hills of Marin, minus the cross on the top of the mountain. I felt right at home, until I turned around and saw the Rua Augusta Arch.

The city is much bigger than I had expected it to be with many hills,  another San Francisco trait. You can see so many spectacular views from the high points of the city as you are walking through. Should you have no desire to climb these steep hills there are trolleys throughout the city to take you around.  And again I realize another similarity to San Francisco. Maybe this is why I felt so comfortable in this city so far away from the place that I called home for 36 years.

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Portguese Ceramic Tiles, Azulejos

Azulejos are ceramic tiles used on the interior and exterior of churches, houses, restaurants, bars and even subway stations.  They are applied on walls, floors and even ceilings.  Not only were they used as decorative, ornament art, but it also served a purpose for temperature control.  These people were ahead of their time on the “going green” initiative.

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Ponte de 25 Abril

The Ponte de 25 Abril was built in 1966 by the American Bridge Company which constructed the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, but not the Golden Gate. It was originally named after the dictator Salazar, but then changed its name after the revolution of April 25, 1974, Ponte 25 Abril.

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Rua Augusta Arch

The Rua Augusta Arch is a historical site built to commemorate the  reconstruction of the city after the earthquake of 1755.  As you pass through the arch a vibrant pedestrian rode opens up with cafes, restaurants and shops.

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Rua Augusta Comercio Square

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Parque das Nações (Park of the Nations)

Since the 1998 World Expo this has become a commercial and residential area and is one of the newest areas of Lisbon.

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View from rooftop infinity pool at the EPIC Sana Lisboa Hotel. If you like to walk this is a great place to stay since you will be trekking up hills most of the way. The hotel itself is beautiful and modern with an amazing spa, an indoor pool with a relaxation area that can be used by all guests, and most importantly the rooftop infinity pool that you see here. The service is outstanding as the staff is as attentive as can be.

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Obrigado e bom dia!

I owe it to you DK

I feel as though I owe Denmark some love since winter has come and gone and and summer has just arrived. While we still have had our share of rainy days the long, sunny days are making up for it. I came to this realization early this morning as I was running through the forest. I walked the boys to school today, while they cycled, and I tried to keep up with them sprinting at times, and once I left them I continued on exploring my surroundings. Yes, I have been here for a year and a half now, but I started running outdoors recently, rather than on the treadmill, not only because I find the treadmill to be boring, but because I realize I need to take full advantage of these beautiful, sunny mornings in Denmark. And the treadmill will be there in the winter when it is below zero and snowing. As I was told, “When its the middle of winter, on those dark, gloomy days, you just need to remember the long summer days you had and more to come.” So I am spending as much time outside so I can remember these long, sunny days in the middle of January next year. While I have no concept of time at night because its only May and its still light out at 10pm I am loving every minute of it. Along with this new appreciation I’ve found that I am enjoying living in the suburbs. I’ve lived in the burbs of San Francisco all my life but when you move to a new country and move to the suburbs it can be a bit tricky because there isn’t much outside your front door. Lets face it, you want things to be easy and available when you aren’t familiar with something, especially a foreign country. But these days I make my way into Copenhagen often enough to visit friends, run errands, whatever the reason may be, and I am equally enjoying making my way back to the burbs. Something about the peacefulness, the birds chirping, the trails in the green forest, where it’s safe enough for kids to roam, the parks and nature at its best. Ask me about all of this in the winter and I might have a different view on things but for now I am truly appreciating Denmark for what it is, the city life when I want it, the seaside and the beautiful countryside the rest of the time. Since they are so different yet so close to each other I am lucky enough to take advantage of each. Maybe this is one of the reasons they say the “happiest people in the world” are here. I’ll look into the other reasons for you in another post … For now I will share some photos that I’ve taken over the last few months. Enjoy!

Tak for besøget

(Thanks for visiting)

After a rainy day

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Copenhagen, 9:30PM middle of May

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Swing in the forest near home

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Roskilde, Denmark – The ancient city dates back to the Viking Age. This town deserves its own post. More to come…

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Just another trail near home

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My favorite trail in the forest

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Hornbæk is a seaside resort town on the north coast of the Danish island of Zealand, facing the Øresund which separates Denmark from Sweden.

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Evening walk in the forest

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Hillerød, Denmark – known for Frederiksborg Slot (Castle)
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Nyhavn is a 17th-century waterfront, canal and entertainment district in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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View from the Rundtårn (Round Tower) – a 17th-century tower located in central Copenhagen, Denmark. This was built as an astronomical observatory

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Just a cozy cafe in Copenhagen

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And a church

 

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Den lille havfrue, The Little mermaid – most know this from the fairy tale by the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen.

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The changing of the guards in Copenhagen takes place every day at noon as they march from Rosenborg Castle to Amalienborg Palace through the streets of Copenhagen.

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Århus – The outdoor museum in Århus. This also deserves its own post as its the second largest city in Denmark and so charming. More to come…

 

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a blog about an American girl living in Denmark and my favorite things in life… love, living, traveling and eating. join me on my adventures.

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