Luncheon at Le Jules Verne was an experience to keep .
This restuarant is located at the third floor of the very known Eiffel tower . A classy way of visiting this impressive tower with a private elevator , a receptionist and your own private access to the observatory deck of the tower . With Chef Frédérick Anton ( has been a 3 stars since 2007) leading the service you would expect nothing but perfection on every cuisine that is served . Both the meal and wine were perfectly thought out .
We had the five course meal with two amuses and glasses of savory rose champagne.
Our food varies from Sea urchin to very tasty smoked lamb . The dessert was the highlight. It was called ” The chocolate dessert” , the chocolates were presented and made into temperature ( warm and cold ) you must start at the warm chocolate mouse then topped it with the cold chocolate.
This will give you one mouthful of food orgasm… It is bitter , salty ,hot, sweet and cold or I should say magic …. We closes our luncheon with a coffee paired with these cute chocolates and sponge orange cakes to nibble.
As the skies cried her heart out .. Two friends enjoys the savory rose champagne at the top of the Eiffel tower .
My dear friend ended her 50th birthday celebration here with a small complimentary mango sorbet with a handwritten in a thin chocolate sheet “happy 50th birthday Ralla ” by the chef 🙂
Giralda Tower is one of the iconic tower in Seville. At 104.2 meters or 32 floors it has dominated the skies of Andalusia for 800 years. An impressive Gothic design , it’s beauty does not only radiates outside but as well as inside . After all this is one of the four Unesco Heritage of Seville
JO AND Beth
They have been friends for quite a while now . They have experienced the hardest storms of their lives but still manages to rise up. They are now both enjoying their pension years
My admiration for these two women become more deeper when we have visited Seville ,Spain a couple days ago .
Part of the trip was to explore the Iconic Cathedral and its renown tower . Being a history geek I was very excited to get inside since I have read that Christopher Columbus was buried here . ( that is for later to write about )
Jo and Beth roamed around the Cathedral, admiring the gothic / moorish design of walls. Me, being me looked for them and told them to join me to the top of the tower.
None of us have expected that the climb would be so steep.
I went ahead and Edgar the husband of Clair would follow them indiscreet. Beth would just sing a praise song while holding the hands of Jo ..
Jo is a burned survivor. Forty- five percent air capacity of her lungs was damaged during the fire . She has some joints problem too . To be able to climb the Giralda tower would be a great challenge for her. A step at a time …a breath for every rounds she made it holding Beth’s hand .
As they approached the 32nd floor at their own pace tears of joy and contenment flows down into their eyes . While Edgar and myself cheered their conquest!
Beth and Jo are the two epitome of women who doesn’t know how to give up . No matter how hard life will treat them they would move ahead at their own paces, carrying the faith within them . It is this faith that gave them hope, the same hope that push them to persevere.
Yes , they have been through the darkest moment of their lives .. but like the climbed that they did in Giraldo Towers they did it at their own pace with faith in their hearts and if things really gets rough they would stop and cry they never questioned God instead they bow down humbly … take a breath and continue with their respective journeys
They have conquered the top , survived the battles now it is time to rejoice, enjoy and be grateful of what life will bring them .
“Courage isn’t having the strength to go on – it is going on when you don’t have strength.”
― Napoleon Bonapart
Special thanks to Edgar who took good care of them
Seventeen years ago I lost my youngest brother due to pancreatitis . He was thirty years old and full of dreams.
His death came unexpected ,his death left a huge hole in my heart . A hole that I have learned to co-exist seventeen years after his gone . Each year stronger than myself I would relived the journey that I have been through , our the last conversations and the emotions.. Seventeen years , I still felt that I have come short as a sister and a friend .Seventeen years.. I still have the “maybe if …I could have .. ”
I have admired the friendship that he have built with his friends seven years after his death Christopher one of the homeboys continue the passion that they all have . He would organize a basketball tournament among group of friends .
This is their way of giving tribute to a friend , brother , playmate .. Every year around this time .. when I would normally shed tears Randall’s cup is born.
Randall’s cup is an ode for my brother .. this is a manisfestion on how he was loved by the people that surrounds him .
At this time of the year . I would look at the pictures of these basketball tournament with a smile in my heart … I would look up thr skies and imagine that He my angel , my benjamin , my brother , my friend is smiling down at us ..
He is gone but never be forgetten .. I will love him till I will see him again
This journey started back in Dec 2018 when a couple of my highschool batchmates came to Belgium and have a small meet up. Some of them I have already met a couple of years prior to this gathering while the others …. its was ages that we have seen each other and one in particular reaaaaally don’t know me . 🙂🙂🙂 ooh the good side of it is that she is now one of my good friends .. ( love you Viv 😘)
A gathering that I thought would only be a one time affair. As a private awkward person as I am. I have gathered all my social skills for heaven knows I am quite uncomfortable in these kinds of gatherings. One of the many reasons that I seldom attended a reunion.
To my surprise it turned out to be a very fun tapok . There was no moment dullness nor have I felt uncomfortable . So , at the end of this reunion we have agreed to try to do it yearly ..
Copenhagen here we come
2019 same month but with a much larger group. Three old aquintances joined the 2019 tapok .
Seeing Noel, Ralla , Jadine for the first time after all these years made me a bit of emotional . Getting to know the lovely personas of Roselyn , Bong and Reymund adds another shade of color to this gathering . Unfortunately some of us were not able to join Copenhagen but we have tried to connect through video chat .
I believe that Bong and Reymund were not as comfortble at the start of the tapok but at the end of the week both have become the Prince of this tapok .
We have explored the food markets, trivoli , christmas markets and of course visited the little mermaid of Copenhagen . While we ate chinese food at Malmo , Sweden 🙂
Like the in 2018 , there was no dull moment only memories were made and the friendship that has been build back then have become stronger . We can’t get enough , we have then planned the next travel gathering for 2020 ..
It should have been Bilbao
High from the Copenhagen get together we then planned for our next trip . 2020, we would explore the home of the golden beaches , Guggenheim museaum and delicious pintxos ( local tapas) . Yes! We were planning to explore Bilbao with a side trip to the culinary world capital of Donastia or San Sebastien .
Planning was on going until the unforseen circumstances came … COVID 19 rule the world and taught us to plan day by day .
We hang on and hope it would be over before our actual trip . By late September gave in to reality 2020 will be not our year to have a get together ..
We would wait up for this pandemic to passed and the world to reopen …
Taking our chances, Making memories in Santorini Greece
Santorini trip was so far one of the most personal get together that I have experienced . It was very intimate . We have lived in one house and did everything as one group for we must create one social bubble as one of the safety measures that we have observed during the 6 days gathering . We even share one shampoo 🤣🤣🤣
Only those who were ready to travel joined this gathering .. it was a very small group .It was here that I have developed a much more deeper fondness of both Jen and Ralla .
I love the Sim’s morning news ( covid 19 related ) updates , Viv’s coffee and who would ever forget the night that Liv prepares for Sim’s surprise party ( pre 50 party). The respect that we have for each others personal space and stories was admirable . I just know that I love cooking for these people for cooking is my way of expressing my love for someone.
Mini get togethers
Because we simply love the friendship that we have build . Each opportunity given to us we will always try to make the best of it ..
From Rotterdam shoppings spree , Ju’s grand fab 50 bash and Irelands st.Patty we bond we document and keep it in our hearts.
Where to next …
Keeping our fingers cross, end of this year we will be exploring the land of fire and Ice …One of the homes of Aurora Borealis and the legendary Blue lagoon . Yes Iceland ! And we are ready for it … We would be embracing the new one’s that would join us . This will be on on the 25th of November till the 1st of December ..
Here is what I know, in every place that we will be exploring , it will always be magical because of the connection that we build . To more intimate breakfast and dinner talks .. to the laughs that we will share … let us make memories together .
We start here , my sister from another mother Klara and myself did our almost nightly chat . A random talk about everything that happened to us ( which I really love with our friendship) . I became fond of Klara ever since I met her in NYC ( I will be talking about this friendship more later in my future write ups) . So out of nowhere I have asked her about St.Patrick’s Day and when it is .. we talked after this nightly chat I have already booked a ticket for Ireland . I am going to spent St. Patrick’s day for the first time ( not bad for someone who is almost celebrating her golden birthday ).
What has followed next warmth my heart it made me feel loved and special . The rest of my Irish- filipino friends took time to spent and made this experience special … here we go
March 17 …
This was my first Ryanair flight .If I would base everything through the reviews that I have read … It will honestly scared me . Thus , I don’t really expect anthing with this flight . In fact , I am bracing myself for the worse scenario case .
In the plane it was comfy ( I bought a seat with extra leg space 🙂) . Ryanair left and landed on time .. We could not asked for more .
In the plane when everyone was boarded .. my seatmates an american and frenchman have started chatting about what they have been expecting about this festive event . They have chatted themselves through my dreams.
We have landed the passengers gave the pilot an applause and a shout out from a Flemish passenger ” zuipen to the max ( getting drunk to the max ) ” . french passenger answered ” Santè”
While I chatted myself through immigrations with my fellow green passengers . My good friends were outside waiting for me ..and also having their own festive moments
After almost an hour waiting for thier message to come and informed me that they were waiting outside . I went out and then I discovered that they were also waiting for me ….the waiting game is on
We got reunited and ready for the St.Patrick’s Parade to witness .
After almost two years of not celebrating this event it was expected to be very crowded and very festive . This event symbolizes not only the yearly St.Patrick’s but also freedom .. the near normal feeling of what the world was prior to the covid pandemic.
The basic covid safety rules was no longer respected ( I guess some of party goers already have a respected amount of alcohol in their system.)😄😄 More so it is very fun to walked in between these crowd with a mask of course for some precautionary measures, especially that in this event 1.5 meters distance can no longer be respected or practiced .cj,
We haven’t see a lot about the parade itself .. if you want to watch and battled yourself with these green people and the street barricade you must be very peristent .But you can also watch through the monitors of all the cellphones who have been recording the event.
I got myself a face paint to fully be immerse with the crowd ..
After the squeezing in and out , walking in between the crowds it is time to eat. Bong made a reservation at Wings a world cuisine buffet restaurant. Here you can eat any cuisine, asian , turkish ooh vegan and vegetarian too desserts is a plus and oooh the bottomless drinks for a reasonable price. I love to believe the ” reasonable price” since Bong treated us … Thank you Bong!
We all agreed that we made the right choice by abondoning the parade and listen to our stomachs . When we were done with our lunch , On our way back to our car ( we were heading to Howth) the waiting was unbelievably long . Bong even said that when the time comes for these waiting people to have their lunch it will probably dinner then .
Happy tummy is all we need as we continue our St. PADDY’ s day . Let’s go Howth
Howth is an Irish Village on the Howth peninsula east of central Dublin and only 20 mins drive from east dublin ( depending with the traffic of course ) . It is known for its Fish and Chips , posh houses , awesome pier and my own conclusion amazing early spring sunset .
Before taking a walk to the pier, We went to starbucks ( yes ! After all these years we are still a starbucks believer🙂). Had our coffee and charge dying cellphones . At this age especially when you are travelling a dying cellphone means missing out taking dramatic pictures of the wonderful views .
As we embarked in the pier , I pointed my phone lens to the sunset here and then I fell in love . It was a beauty and by force Bong , Maricar and Claire became my subjects with my picture taking quest .. I have even asked and directed a teener on how to take these pictures the way I have imagined them to look like .
Howth is pretty and posh . We will explore this village more next time
March 18 ( day 2 ) Powercourt waterfalls , Wexford and sumptous dinner
We started our day with a sumptous breakfast . A typical Irish breakfast with plenty of coffee ( on my part)
As always breakfast has always been the time ( even during our previous trips ) where planning of the day was made or I should say bucketlist places to be visited were being discussed .
Intial plan … We will be having roadtrips visiting Powercourt , Wexford and we shall were the rest brings us as long as we will have dinner at Klara’s place .
First stop Powerscourt waterfall , Wicklow
This is considered to be the highest waterfall in Ireland with approximately 121 m of cascading water that is set at the parkland foothill of wicklow mountains .
There was also a beautiful hiking trail that we have not fully explored. We were more awed by the cascading waters of powerscourt . We took some pictures .. it was here that I have discovered that our Bong is not so crazy with heights , so is Maricar and Klara . I have asked them to climb with me a little bit higher to have this wonderful picture of the falls but they told me it is safer on the level that we were standing. Me being me love heights and challenges made my way up near this beautiful waterfalls .. I bribe a lady to take a picture of me ..the result was magnificient
The rest of the crew took a picture near enough to waterfalls
A nice spot for picture taking as I see it. But there was a couple that sat there for quite awhile and I believe took three hundred pictures of the same angle . Determine to “steal” the spot subtly I stood there near enough to invade their small private space .. it was that not too rude it is more of a silent message of ” we want you guys to vacant the space it is our turn” it worked 🤣🤣🤣. Thus, asking a nice fellow to take a couple of family picture of us
After Wicklow , we were planned to go to Glendalough a glacier valley with the Irish monastic style . Unfortunately we have detour due to the long waiting hours due to traffic. We went to Wexford instead walk around a bit have our coffee break at the nearby Italian pastry shop .
Wexford it’s time to go .. Let’s meet Edgar, Klara’ s husband who is a magnificient cook .
When we arrived at Klar’s place we were met by Toby and Scarlett their four legged babies .
Edgar made a very delicious vegan version of bibingka ( a kind of filipino dessert) , a home made pancit canton and of course Bong’s Humba favorite . We could not thank Edgar enough for the delicious filipino cuisine that he cooked for us . Klar is one lucky momma
Time to pack and fly home
My flight was very early , it was 4:30 am when Bong , Maricar and Klara took me at the airport .
After my bagage was drop off …it was really time to say goodbye to this three wonderful host.
I am beyond touched Bong, Maricar and Klara for taking time off from all their daily routines . For spending time with me and make sure that I will have a good time .
To Bong who kept on asking me ” if I am okey or I am having a good time” .. Yes , Bong your shade of thoughtfulness made Ireland more colorful .
Maricar , despite of your busy schedules who have choosen to spent time with me . Thank you for making me special for squeezing me in between your momma duties , madame nurse and a businesswoman. It is good to see you after almost 4 years.. ❣️
Klara, you are my sister from another mother and we both feel our emotions with each other than verbalize it.. I will see you soon in Belgium ..I love you😘😘
“There is an unspoken bond you create with the friends you travel with.” – Kristen Sarah
After almost 2 years of not flying due to the pandemic travel restrictions , It is again about time to explore .
For the last three years my highschool batchmates and myself have agreed to try to have a yearly reunion in form of travelling .
Exploring a specific country of our choice .. This year was the much anticipated scenic island of Santorini .
While almost all of us have anticipated to see each other , to have some kind of bonding . Still a cloud of uncertainties hang around our minds as the travel restrictions and travel advisory changes every week .
I have cancelled 3 accomodations as the participants of this travel reunion were very uncertain and were depending on the travel advisory .
It was not until the last week before the agreed date that I have the final list of the attendees of this adventure .
The souvenirs were finally finalized and ready to travel with me .
Six of us took the leap of faith and decided to have a good time in Santorini .
We were arriving into 2 groups . The early birds arrived on the 26th of november while the Mighty Three will arrived on the 27th of November at 22 hrs ( 10 pm )
26th of November ( the D-day)
Ralla left Texas on the 25th she had a 19 hrs flight and will be waiting for us in Athens (Jen and myself)
Jen have to take the train from Sweden going to Denmark as she will take her flight to Santorini in Denmark. It was an exciting adventure as I call it while Jen refers it as one of her stressful trip .. Stressful in the sense that we were already boarding and Jen was still battling with the security checked in . She was one of the last 3 people who boarded the transit bus .. Ralla and myself were sooo relieved to see her and she was wearing a smile that says ” I made it “
My journey … well it was very laid back arrived at Brussels National Airport super early . That I have time to take pictures ( what else to do 🙂) . My connecting flight from Athens to Santorini have a 30 mins time so I just ran and got there in time .
Ralla was our gate informer since she was there ahead of us .
The Early Birds arrived in Santorini
We have a mixed feeling once we were landed in Santorini. We were ecstatic and the same time hungry ( 🙂🙂).
Santorini airport is a small airport and I could imagine that during peak season this airport could be very crowded ..but tonight it is just us , it took Ralla less than 5 mins to pick up her bagage . As we went outside a handsome greek ( He was soooo Greek handsome that Ralla almost forgot her orange lugage😆) with Jen’s name waited for us . He took us to our accomodation which was located at the heart of Fira / Thera( capital of Santorini) .
Our house has 2 bedrooms and a sofa bed ( this will be Sim’s cave ) . Alexandra will come and clean the place every 2 days . It has a huge terrace that would give you a chance to enjoy the sunrise every morning , the back terrace is facing the Aegean Ocean . Our host Lila was very accomodating she gave us some suggestions and provide us a good transfer transportation .
After we had our important house rules we explore our place decided which room will be ours .. ahhh the perks of being the early birds🙂.
Seattled and Hungry … so we went and explore square which was just a couple minutes away from our house . We were still in our dreamy mode , can’t believe state of mind ( we are in Santorini after almost 2 years of not flying) like little girls again we were giggling and just happy to able to have this trip.
We had our 1st dinner at El Greco. The food was just okey . Actually it is enough to feed a hungry stomach that has an excited soul . We have choosen the table outside , it was windy outside but this didn’t stop us . Jen and Ralla both ordered Risotto with seafoods while I had a stuffed vegetables , some tzatziki , greek salad and some wine .
El Greco gave us a welcome some bread while waiting for our orders and they were very nice to offer us some OuZo . A typical apperatief dry anised flavored drink .. our food arrived , the serving were gigantic that both Ralla and Jen failed to finish thier risotto.
After dinner we decided to have a late walk around the square of Fira .. the streets was quite aside from the fact that it is the end of the season already the Covid restrictions also played a huge role in the nightlife of Santorini . Tonight the streets was ours to explore ..
27th of November : The Akrotiri -Emporeio hike, Metaxi Mas and the arrival of Sim, Viv and Liv
I started the day with a short trip to the bakery , I actually love it since it gives me this feeling that I am from Santorini ( except I dont speak greeks 😜) and not just a tourist … I love walking through this empty streets , admiring the houses and saying good morning to every person that I met ( I hope they understood what I said ) . What I have observed was the breads were mostly with sesame seeds and a little bit dry. I bought some bagels and a bread with chocolates filling topped with sesame seeds
Meanwhile back at Centro Houses Jen and Ralla were doing what they have agreed to do the night before … a picture of them having coffee at our terrace ..
After breakfast , Nikos our designated driver for the next 6 days picked us up and dropped us at The Red Beach of Akrotiri . He will then picked us up in Empereio and dropped us in Metaxi Mas in Exo Gonia and from there he will picked us up and bring us back to our house
Today , we will be having the 5km( 4.8 km to be exact) walk from the Village of Akrotiri -Emporeio . I will talk about the Red Beach later since we will be revisiting the place again together with the rest of the gang.
On our way to Akrotiri , Nikos was kind enough to stopped at the Caldera for some pictures , He also told us about the products of Santorini which were cherry tomatoes and the Santo wines . He explained why the grapevines were being weaved instead of letting grow they way in France. We learned everyday some new facts about Santorini thanks to Nikos .
The Hike Akrotiri -Emporio ( the hike of revealation)
This was a 4.8 hike , for Jen who is a first timer with long hikes this is very far. The weather was warm while the hiking path was not that scenenic .
I would refer this hike as the “Hike of Revealation “. It is in this hike that I grew more fond of Jen . I admire her calmness even if google took us several times to the out of nowhere path. Her determination , to the point that she breaks her limits . Jen surprises me in so many ways ..
Ralla, I know how she love dogs but I was still surprise when she gave up her water for Georgie ( our adopted dog for this hike) who was obviously very thirsty . To me, that was an epitome of selfless love this is a huge contrast with Her hard , super independent personality .
Georgie (not his real name ) as Ralla baptize him was a street dog from Akrotiri who have decided to follow us through our hike in Emporeio.. He was so attached to Ralla that when we enter into a small coffeeshop after we have reached Emporeio he panicked and frantically retracing Ralla’s scent. He even walked in the middle of the road luckily the drivers were nice and stopped at a confused dog who have again lost his friend . The Georgie -Ralla bond had its bitter sweet ending .. and it breaks our heart that we can only offer him water .
After an hour or so hike we have reached Emporeio .
I have read about Metaxi Mas when I was reading and planning out our Santorini trip . Both bloggers and food reviews named Metaxi Mas as the Best Restaurant in Santorini.
So, I booked a table for 3, Arriving there quite hungry ( we had a light lunch and we had a death march remember ). The moment I sat and started talking to the friendly waitress I began my Fangirling moment .. you can tell that I have been reading about their Taverne and before the menu was given I already knew what should I eat.
As expected , Metaxi mas holds its “Best Restaurant” title from the starter till dessert everything was perfect .
After we ordered they have offered us a tray of meze ( cheese , olives and bread ) and Raki ( an anais flavored alcoholic drink that is popular in the islands of Greece ) . Our shared starter came it was the famous oven -baked asperagus ( its really very delicous creamy yet crunchy ) and the Santorian baked white aubergine , we didn’t have the white aubergine since it was almost w the end of their session but I think its only the color of the auberhine that was different the taste … well I think it is the same
Ralla, who have been telling me she would have an octupus cuisine in Greece eversince this trip was planned . So it was no surprise that she ordered Grilled Octupus served with Santorian Fava , this the first time I tasted a fava . It looks like hummus but has a finer texture . Jen got the grilled lamb with fried potatoes and me Grilled pork belly with sweet and spicy glazed served with fried potatoes. After our main course we had a complimentary cheesecake dessert .
So , you may wonder if we have broke the bank with all these food … the answer is No! We paid around 27 euros each which is very affordable given the quality of food that they have served .
If you are looking for a Santorian – Cretan cuisine experience then you must visit Metaxi mas in Exo Gonia .
The mighty 3 have finally arrived
Jen and I waited for The mighty 3 to arrived home .. Sim initiated a video call to asked which door was our house But instead of talking with I was talking with Jen who sat across me .. and was also saying Helloooo?Hellooo ..
We realized they are downstairs !! Faster than the heartbeat I openned the door and there they are !!! I have bonded with Viv and Liv recently but Sim … it was almost 2 years since the last time I saw him. He deserve this long overdue hug! The six of us exchanged the warm greetings a fast updates … Tomorrow will be the official start of our reunion !!!
Here, there and everywhere
Our mornings was always hectic taking turns to the bathroom .. until its time for us to gather around for breakfast . We chatted almost anything and everything . We always start with where to go , covid updates and disperse … I would always say ” omg its 9:30 Nikos will be here in 30mins “ and we disperse ourselves do all the last minute “thing” 🤣😊
We have started our walked in Fira ,Firostefano ,Imerovigli where you can hike around the Skaros Rock Viv whom I didn’t expect to join , Alvaro a Spaniard that I randomly chatted asked to talk one of our group picture , I then learned that he will be hiking around Skaros rock , So I decided to invite myself and tagged along . We werd chatting about running and hiking we were surprise by a voice ” wait for me” … And there she is so sexy as a vamp Viv! . Like Jen , I was also surprise by Viv”s strength . She walked , took some pictures and that happy positive spirit never died down even during the steep walks ..Here laughter is very infectious …. With her lighthearted spirit the hike around Skaros became more fun .
Alas ! We have reached the back of the Skaros Rock ,we paid social media homage by taking couple of picture on top of the chapel that you will find at the end of skaros hike . The chapel is facing in front the Aegean Ocean and I should say it is worth a hike
Oia , as we.all expected was very white and quite after all it is the end of the tourist session.. One of my fun memories in Oia were the Silly dogs of Sim ,not really his dogs but like Georgie the silly dogs bonded well with him . They were playful , friendly and daring . At one point they saw a black cat , chased him up to the edge of the rooftop …Sim’s reaction when he saw how these dogs ” fly ” and stop on time so they won’t fall still makes me laugh to date .
The Sunset in Oia has a different charm in the summer ( the sky turns orange ) and in the winter but it is still as pretty as what they describe it
oooh I should say one of the perks during low session is that you can buy souvenirs half a price . In one of our walks around Fira for our quest of finding the Three bells of Fira we went in a jewelry shop Ralla , Liv and Viv would like to buy some gifts for christmas . The store owner who was a very friendy woman at her late 60’s asked when are we heading back home . Ralla answered the dates of our flights, to our surprise she gave 5 of us ( sim was …I dont where ) an evil eye pendant to give us protection on our upcoming trip …ahhh Greek hospitality
We continued to explore Santorini with Nikos from Pyrgos the second capital of Santorini after the people transfered from Skaros to Pyrgos and now in Thera or Fira . Nikos , showed us the traditional houses and explained why is it on some part of the streets (uphill) in cobble stones . He said it was for the villagers protection against the pirates who have horses .
Apparently Horses cannot ran on cobblestones . It is more easier to catch the thieves .
Went up to Profitis Ilias in hope that the monastry was opened . The Monastry was close but the view on top of the mountain is worthwhle to take some pictures . According to Nikos all the small churches on the mountaintop in Greece is called Profitis Ilias church . The reason is that prophet Elijah or Ilias is often associated with mountains. He was said to have lived in a mountain grotto.
Then the magnificient volcanic sands from Akrotiri ‘s Red beach , Perissa’s Black sand and the Natural sculpture designed cliffs of the Vlychada beach . The overwhelming carved cliffs that resemble a sculptor’s work but is, in fact, a natural process owed to the volcano, the wind and the sea.
On a stormy day we explored the caldera of Fira ..It was soooo windy that Jen was afraid that the wind might blew her away ( literally) . We tried to go down to old port of Fira but it was too windy and too many stairs. We manages to witness the sunset there which is basically the same with the sunset view in Oia only cheaper . Oia is known for the posh hotels and shops.
Declaration of Love
What makes Santorini Iconic ? Is it the white washed houses ? The tanquility of the Caldera? The amazing sunset ?
All that I have mentioned above are just the cherry of the cake . What makes Santorini magical is the people that you have spent your time with.
It was the early morning walks to the bakery , the evenning visit to the grocery . That moment that I sat next to an old Greek man who was talking in Greeks while I was hold my milk waiting for the store owner who was chasing her garbage bag that was blown away by the wind on the stormy morning … learning that it is wiser and safe to used 6 clothes clips when your hanging your clothes in the evenning because the your house is facing the ocean .
And lastly , it was living with these 5 beautiful souls . To be able to be vulnerable with trust . To feel their compassion on every story that has been told .. To share that laughters on every funny stories and events that happened . To accept and respect the shortcomings of the other . These makes our Santorini experience magically for it has created this unspoken bond of friendship between us .
To Ralla, Sim, Viv , Liv and my Jen I only cook for those I love … 😘
This for YOU who have encouraged me to write again . To look into that creative side of me. You are one of the most influencial person in my life and I couldn’t thank you enough for always seeing the different light that shines in me. For being with me all through out this Journey of Self awakening.
Journey towards Self Awakening : Indestructible
Have you ever been in that phase of your life when everything works fantastic? You felt like nothing will ever hurt you . You have this bulletproof jacket that protects so hard you are actually just numbing .
Work life is great , home life you can’t complain.. YES! this is the INDESTRUCTIBLE PHASE everything is just the way you like it .
This is my life , I love to be in control of everything and can anticipate of every action that the people around me would do. I limit my circle for I want to be in control. No one can touch me, see me .. Because in my mind if I am invisible then I am Indestructible . For years I have enjoyed this lifestyle .
I called it being “shy” but its actual its being scared of exposing myself to uncertainties. Learning my lessons from the past that being Kind and Vulnerable is like a wounded animal in the middle of the jungle. I wore layers of bulletproof jacket … No one can touch me nor hurt me anymore . I am at the top of the world.
But am I happy ? .. a question that I would with all my wits justify as” being Happy is a choice to make ” an answer that would at times shut those inquisitive souls.
Until I stumbled and met this strange feelings unexpectedly.
The Pleasant Unpleasant Surprise
It was like in the middle of a calm ocean with my tiny stable boat. Every wave that hits me I am prepared every storm that comes, I know where is the nearest shore . Until one night out of nowhere a thunderstorm came along with a huge waves . They hit me insanely and my boat was capsized. Not in my wildest dream that I would ever be in the middle of these wild waters of the ocean . I don’t want to be drown with these emotions of fear ,vulnerability, shame and uncertainties .
I tried to swim ashore with every bit of my strength . But the more I struggle the more that I am sinking . All my mind was telling me was to keep a float .
But how ? I am not prepared for this … I panicked , every muscles of emotions that my soul has is hurting . For the first time in years , I met vulnerability again and I felt alive.
Long time ago I met pain , rejections, betrayal and self pity. Back then I tried to counter this with kindness, compassion and love but the experienced was too intense that I end up retreating and started to wear my jacket of protection
The feeling of being alive engulfed me with mixed emotions .. It felt so good but painful, liberating but at the same time I felt oppressed, gave trust and at same time being betrayed .
I took a deep breath dive underneath the wild stormy waters of the ocean . Swim back up with a new resolution of embracing this unexpected turned of events . Made a vow of not swimming towards my life jacket but instead face this with strength and weakness , with joy and tears , pride and humility inside me . I know if I can swim safely ashore It will be a better version of me .
In the midst of this ocean where I am vulnerable to all of these new sensations. I now learn that these wild waves broke me and taught me how to be humble and kind .
I will not resist the current of struggles instead I will flow along with gratefulness in my heart .
Not every creatures in this ocean would appreciate my existence .But I know that only those who SEE AND APPRECIATE ME matters. As long as I have these Dolphins who would lend their fins whenever I am exhausted to swim I will be okey .
The shore is already in sight and so is MYSELF .. I am thankful for YOU who made a the thunderstorm and capsized my boat . For I have learned a lot over myself.
My heart is full of gratitude , compassion, understanding and love . These are fires that will always burn inside me no matter what will the future brings .
As Ms Brenè Brown said “² Vulnerability is the core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness but it is also the birthplace of joy, innovation , creativity of belonging ,of love”.
To my Journey of Self Awakening .
² The power of Vulnerability Teaching on Authencity, Connection and Courage