6.10.19 ATHENS 

Electra Metropolis Athens is equivalent to and about the same business-like downtown luxury level as JW Marriott, only nicer! The rooms were crisp and clean, the entire hotel had an aromatherapy type of scent, and the staff was 1st class. The showers were great, bed was comfy! The view on the 10th floor for breakfast was to die for, our room view wasn’t the best! I would have to say this hotel was definitely worth whatever we paid. 

6.10 Day 1 Athens: The Greco’s Project for lunch $74.33, National Gardens, Panathenaic Stadium , drove around in electric scooters $9.66, Temple of Olympian Zeus, back to Electra Metropolis Athens to meet Mia, Louis Vuitton $1870.92, Gucci, InTown Cafe $83.86, Da Vinci Gelato (Kris bought!), and Anafiotika Plaka. We spent $2038.77 in food, transportation, & other miscellaneous necessities (:

6.11.19 ATHENS

You really dont need more than a full day here in Athens, but we only had a partial day before we had to leave for Mykonos. We were picked up from the airport and dropped off at the port in a pretty nice Mercedes van! Getting around Athens is pretty easy, I don’t think renting a car is necessary, of course depending on what you want to do. For us, shared scooters and their ride share app Beat was sufficient for us. Athens is more downtown like with the sight seeing stuff close by. I don’t think we missed anything we (I) wanted to do, other than Gucci & Hermes

6.11 Day 2 Athens: Breakfast view, Acropolis $90.76 via Beat $3.92, Chanel $380.05 via Lime $8.92, Athens airport with Aegean Airlines. I forgot to mention, just as Kristefer and I were about to leave Chanel via Hive, some grouchy old lady yelled at us in her what I assume is Greek accent, “THOSE ARE FORBIDDEN HERE!” about the scooters. Oh, ok thanks lady lol. As we were headed down the street she sees us and yells at the top of her lungs “WHAT DID I SAY!??!! FAAAACCCKKKK YOUUUUUUU!!!!” Kristefer and I damn near fell over on our scooters laughing hysterically…but really, she yelled so loud she may have popped a blood vessel or twelve… It was $16.33 in hotel taxes. We spent $499.98 in food, tickets, transportation, and miscellaneous necessities (:

6.11.19 MYKONOS

Fun fact: Mykonos has over 1000 churches, which is about 1 church for every 4 people!

Myconian Korali is very nice 5 star resort. The staff was incredibly friendly, nice & very accommodating. It may be slightly older in decor, but everything was nice. 

There is a lot of uphill walking from the entrance to our building, and lots of up and down stairs to our room. If any of the staff saw you walking, they got in the golf cart and offered you a ride even if you were 50 feet away! Not that I didn’t want to walk the really short distance, but you kind of felt bad for not accepting the nice gesture and make us not walk lol.

I have found you HAVE to pay attention when you’re walking ANYWHERE as the grounds are mostly uneven stone, it is easy to trip or miscalculate a stair since the stairs are not all the same height…Heels are a big no no here in my opinion, I mean unless you’re ok to break a bone or 10…

My ONLY complaint was the stairs were not all even. There were several set of stairs to get to our room, was kind of like a maze. Some sets the top stair was maybe 2” tall, and some bottom stair was 2” taller than the rest of the set. 

The rooms were really clean, and our housekeeping lady was so sweet and friendly. The rain shower had really good pressure, but be careful when you turn the shower on because the thin handheld rectangle shower head could be pointing directly at you so when you turn the water on it sprays you so hard you feel like you’re getting power washed with thin piercing icicles…scared the shit out of me. The toilets are high so my feet dangled and didn’t touch the floor. We had a nice private hot tub outside and a roomy patio overlooking the water. 

6.11 Day 1 Mykonos: Remezzo $279.54, Little Venice, Louis Vuitton & Chanel, Queen of Mykonos $26.43,  Babylon Bar $32.33,  Gelarte $15.88. We spent $354.18 in food & beverages.

6.12.19 MYKONOS

6.12 Day 2 Mykonos:  Transportation via Aegean Taxi app to Vioma Organic Farms $56.95 (€50), food & beverage at Vioma Organic Farms $56.95 (€50), transportation via Aegean Taxi app to hotel then Little Venice  $56.95 (€50), Windmills, DaVinci $19.33, Lotus $22.78(€20 ), 1 minute 20 second ride to resort $13.67 (€12), relaxed at pool with drinks $41.14 (€37), dinner at Noa $168.15 (€148.50), Stay over tax $18.22 (€16). We spent $454.14 in food, beverages, and transportation.

It was nice the hotel provided transportation from airport and to port for ferry. We contemplated renting a vehicle, but decided against it and to just get driven around, using mostly Aegean Taxi app. I would suggest renting atv or mopeds instead of a vehicle or taxi apps if traveling further around the island. Overall, I would say Mykonos was nice and welcoming, 2 days was enough for us…

6.13.19 SANTORINI:

I would have to say Champion Jet Ferry was overall fine for the purpose. It wasn’t amazing, but it wasn’t terrible. It was definitely nicer sitting in Platinum Class. We didn’t feel like the boat was moving (or stopping) until we looked outside. We weren’t crowded at all, unlike the coach sections. I would HIGHLY recommend upgrading your seats. From my understanding, it was not much more to do so.

Andronis Arcadia…..HOLY HOLY AMAZING! I really cannot say enough nice things about this new resort. The owners clearly knew how to pick the staff and knew how they wanted the level of luxury and service to outshine and impress. I wish I got the other ladies names from guest relations so I can give them recognition. Both was wearing sophisticated, flattering, tan uniform outfits: one was tall with short blonde hair that walked us to dinner our first night. Another had dark brown shorter curly hair that found us at the pool to let us know the boat was running 30 minutes behind. Dimitra and the other two ladies could not have been anymore amazing and offered several times to assist us in any way needed. Most of the staff we had eye contact with smiled and nodded and or said hello. There were maybe a few of the landscaping/maintenance staff that didn’t, but I am not complaining about that. I see them working hard maintaining the property, I would assume they are just exhausted. I think the only 2 things I would suggest would be 1) to put hooks by the shower to hang towels for easy access after shower instead of hoping I don’t slip getting my towel I hung all the way across the bathroom by the door, and 2) maybe offering rides to top of resort if they see a guest walking haha. I honestly was looking for things to critique so neither of those two are issues at all, but from previous experience would be nice small touches to add and really make this resort more above and beyond than they were with us and our stay. Dimitra and her staff were absolutely amazing and treated us like we were Royalty VIP. From making reservations, to recommendations, to arranging private drivers in Mercedes, to gifting Kristefer with the robe he loved wearing and sleeping in.  Andreas was our breakfast and pool server. He is very well mannered and really friendly. On our last day Eddie gave him a little something for being so great with us on the few times he spent taking care of us, only to find out at check in he applied that money towards our bill! We said that was specifically for him and wanted him to have it! The unsure and honesty really showed us the kind of person he is, and how much he loves his job.  Maybe they aren’t allowed to take special tips and we would not have known otherwise, but we were literally in awe that he did not take the tip for himself, even though I heard Eddie specifically tell him we wanted to give this to him, he STILL applied it to our bill! I hope they still gave it to him as an appreciation from us, really what a nice young man! 

I may also add, I don’t think anyone under 18 (or 21 even) should be here. Don’t get me wrong, but this particular resort doesn’t seem to cater to underage or loud party like crowd. I personally don’t think they should only because the decor and ambiance is too upscale, chic, and relaxing I think youngins may hinder other guest experience and change the ambiance. The vibe of this resort appears to hip and chic, yet sophisticated and mature. 

There are not many places that I would choose to return to, not because we didn’t have a good experience, but because there are so many other places in the world to visit. I can honestly say, Andronis Arcadia would be one I would ABSOLUTELY LOVE to make a point and return to, and to be curious if it was the same experience or better!

6.13 Day 1 Santorini: Lauda $386.10 (€339),  Solo Gelato price unknown…


6.14 Day 2 Santorini: Breakfast,  Amoudi Bay for private Caldera Yachting Cruise tour of Santorini island $1256 + $170.86 (€150) tip,  Lolita’s Gelato,  Catch $100.60. Totalling $271.46 (not including tour).


6.15 Day 3 Santorini: Breakfast,  Sigalas Winery $136.67 (€120),  Solo Gelato,  Two Brothers $28.23, Murphy’s $11.79, Amudi Bay to Armeni $125.33, Ammoudi $23.85. Totalling $325.87

I have to say, this was definitely the most luxurious trip we have ever been on…it’ll be really hard to top this one:

Here comes the scary part….What we spent…. Total paid to Dyane Shanahan at Lake Forest Travel $5070.08

  • Total round trip tickets, 4 Premium Economy, nonstop from ORD to ATH $10,068.12
  • Airplane travel insurance $752.12
  • 6.10 Day 1 Athens $2038.77
  • 6.11 Day 2 Athens $499.98
  • 6.11 Day 1 Mykonos $354.18
  • 6.12 Day 2 Mykonos $454.14
  • 6.13 Day 1 Santorini $386.10
  • 6.14 Day 2 Santorini $271.46
  • 6.15 Day 3 Santorini $325.87
  • less VAT refund ($289.29)
  • does not include any cash euro we used

Making this a grand total of a whopping total of “only”……GULP………………….. =================> $23,946.69 <==================== But hey, we got 2 free upgrades to 1st Class lol…I’m guessing it’ll be a real long time that we ever spend this kind of money on a vacation. Was it worth the money? Absolutely! Will we do it again? Probably not, we have 2 college loans to pay off….

A few notes for our next long trips…Pay attention and keep note on how much it is for 1st class, and make sure to get upgraded (: When I went to check us in online, it was “only” $555 to upgrade each seat. Buy compression socks, they supposedly help with leg and feet swelling! But what helps with the rest of the body swelling???

I also HIGHLY recommend using a travel agent/travel planner when going out of the country on long trips. When I planned our Thailand and Dubai trip, that was the most stressful thing, I am so glad it worked out! I spoke with 3 other travel planners that was highly recommended and didn’t work out for us, due to “trust.” Eddie reminded me our long time friend and cheer mom, Dyane Shanahan, just went to Greece and to see what she has to suggest. I am so glad we did! Although its been a while that we have hung out (since the girls stopped all star cheer together in high school), Dy clearly knew what I would and wouldn’t like. I literally had no part in the selection of hotels, that was all Eddie and Dyane! Great job guys!!! For me, it is a peace of mind to have someone in the States as our contact person, incase something happens we wouldn’t be on the phone with a random at some 800 number, which we did have to contact her for something small and she took care of it asap, in the middle of the night…Clearly, we forgot the time difference in Greece is 9 hours ahead, but she still responded and took care of it! Thanks Dy!!

The itinerary we had was perfect for us. We weren’t part of any tour, we were pretty much on our own time, we saw what we wanted to see, we ate where we wanted to eat, and we did what we wanted to do, all keeping on the go with relaxing twice for an hour or so, and relaxing on the yacht. I’m glad we did the trip this way instead of the mock itineraries we got from a few other travel planners. We didn’t take any of their plans since I lost trust in the ones I spoke with. I do have to say, using a travel agent to book our accommodations and travel (other than to and from ORD), was definitely a great idea. Athens we wanted to stay downtown, Mykonos we didn’t want to be in the middle of town but close enough, Santorini I didn’t want to be on the water like those gorgeous Instagram pictures for a few reasons: 1) it’s further from town, 2) there are only 30 something taxi on Santorini so getting a ride without a concierge with a private driver would be difficult, 3) lugging our luggage up and down those crazy steep stairs = no thank you, 4) tourist traffic going up and down those stairs by your room or resort = no bueno, guessing would be not so private. Our resort locations were perfect for what we wanted to do. The only thing I wish we did was take more pictures of us together everywhere!

Normally, Eddie and I do one long trip and several 4 day trips during the year. By the 3rd day I am more than ready to come home. I’m not sure if it was because Santorini was the icing on the cake, the bang of the shebang, or that they were clearly told we are some kind of Royal celebrities, but I was actually not ready to go home. I have NEVER said that for ANY of our vacations. I would like to make Santorini a layover stop on one of our European trips in the future and stay at Andronis Arcadia, I feel like there was still maybe another day of exploring.

It definitely brings emotions to my heart knowing we are in a place where we have the means to gift our family an experience we hope they will appreciate and forever remember. We hope one day they can do the same with their family and pass on making forever memories in their lives & show how much they are cherished, and that family time means everything to us. I had a better than expected family vacation, and I never would have thought we would ever be able to do this, BUT how often do you celebrate 25 years of marriage, right?? I am so grateful we have our perfect family to want to share this memorable experience with. I love us…..

xox ~ j