For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to go to Santorini, in Greece. It started with he movie #SummerLovers then #MamaMia and that was it. Poof, obsessed. Was it Peter Gallagher's eyelashes, Darry Hannah's infectious laugh and childlike innocence, or was it Valerie Quenessen's je ne sais quoi that made me so obsessed? Was it Meryl Streep living in her shabby-chic-before-it- was-a-thing hotel with the locals that did it for me? I don't know which one sealed the deal, but I know that for as long as I can remember wanting to travel, I have wanted to go.
For years I would start to plan the trip and something always came up. Galbladder surgery, kid in college, broken furnace in my house, broken furnace in my rental unit, new position at work, dog died. One reason after another... and then came 2019 and I had a big birthday coming up that summer. That's it dammit, I'm doing it. Come hell or high water, I'm going to Greece!
So I took the leap and booked a hotel, #OiaMare, a moderately posh "hotel" which sits in the middle of a cliff in Oia at the top of the island. I made sure I had a place to spend time outside and that it had a pool. Click click click, no going back now. I figured that if I shelled out that many duckets on the hotel, NOT going would be like jumping off of a boat to get dry. It makes no sense.
Booking my flight was a little more difficult. I knew that I wanted to go on my birthday. I wanted to celebrate in a grand way and that meant I was going to be gone daddy gone on the big day. I eventually decided on a rather bizarre flight there and back but it was perfect for my intentions...do as much as possible while doing as little as possible, all at the same time. Hence the reason I was going alone. :)
I flew out the day before my birthday and the first leg of the trip was from New York to Madrid, getting in first thing in the morning. The flight was rather uneventful although I have to admit that I was like a little kid watching our progress on the seat back app. :)
At midnight Pennsylvania time, August 19, 2019, surrounded by strangers and 30,000 feet in the air, I watched my 18, 250th sunrise somewhere over Spain as we were closing in on Madrid. It was magical.
And I was 50....