• Sunset Farewell!

    Santorini, Greece…a perfect way to end my visit to the Greek islands was with a trip to Oia to see the most stunning sunset! Oia, a tiny town perched high atop the island is a quick jaunt from the main town of Fira.

    Bleach white buildings set amongst blue domed churches and cobbled walkways are clustered in this picturesque location high above the islands harbor. An artist’s dream, the tiny walkways are filled with galleries, shops, and balconied cafes. This is probably the Greece so many picture as this tiny town with the big wow has been the subject of many an artist’s brush and lens. Pure magic!

    Greece has been a great part of this summer’s travels and as I depart tonight from Santorini, it will mark my final visit to Greece this year…thanks Greece for being the star of my journey so far!







  • Volcanic Eruptions!

    Santorini, Greece…this volcanic island in the Cyclades is today’s day- long stop…our ship is anchored off the coast and the choice of either cable car or mule ride up the hill to the town of Fira awaits us. I think everyone knows the cable car wins… It’s a brutal 90 degrees and can’t imagine what those poor mules smell like!

    The town is wall to wall tourist shopping, which I quickly pass…We head to the main square to find transport to the beach.

    Today is beach day and the choice of black, red, or white sand beaches is today’s big decision. We opt for black sand of Perissa and take the public bus in order to get there! Black volcanic sand is tough on the feet and is very HOT!

    Greek music is blaring from the restaurant and the clear waters are lapping at our feet…oh Greece, you really know how to spoil someone!







  • Nothing like Old Friends!

    Mykonos, Greece…the difference a few weeks makes! I am back in Mykonos, this time as a cruise passenger…it’s the end of the summer season and they are ending it with a big bang here! It’s the infamous XLsior party, so the tiny island is crawling with gay men from allover Europe. Add together these hordes of European revelers with almost 3,000 party craving men from a cruise ship and that equals chaos! Elia beach was wall to wall testosterone; the sand was barely visible…what happened to my lovely chill daily hangout that I made my routine just a few weeks ago?

    The parade of muscles is total overkill! But the vibe is definitely energetic and contagious.

    I am traveling with my friend, Jeff…I have known Jeff since our sophomore year of high school in suburban Chicago. We have remained friends and sporadic travel buddies for decades! It’s amazing that after knowing one another for 30 years, being a thousand miles apart, and living totally different lives we still can’t diminish our adolescent fun we recreate when we get together! I feel blessed to have several good friends who are joining me for different segments of this long travel journey…this 10 day cruise will be with Jeff and we will amuse each other with our teenage silliness and desire to just have a great time!

    After a day at the beach, it was time for the sunset tea dance at Hotel Elysium…the setting was perfect perched over all of Chora with Mykonos’ spectacular sunset as the backdrop for an evening of amazing dancing. We danced on chairs, tables, ledges, you name it! Gorgeous people, great music, beautiful setting, and good friends…as the commercial says: “priceless!”

    I enjoy traveling whether it be with friends, family, or alone…but it’s magic to have people in your life with whom you “click” and can meet anywhere in the world to have the time of your lives!






  • Words to Live By!

    Mykonos, Greece…today is my last day in Greece! Tomorrow I take off for three weeks exploring Eastern Europe…

    I want to soak up every last moment here, so I am perched on my preferred chaise on my favorite beach of Elia again. Mykonos has not disappointed me this trip! I could settle into this life for the summer; lazy mornings after late nights, friendly people just looking to have fun, long days beachside, delicious homemade food using fresh homegrown or caught ingredients, and views you cannot get out of your head everywhere you turn!

    Last night I encountered an artist childishly painting words on canvas like paper…they struck me…simple words for simple feelings in a simple place! We make things so complicated sometimes even though the least complicated things give us the most pleasure…

    All my senses are engaged and I am truly feeling everything the world is handing me! Travel is about so much more than just sights!




  • An Affair to Remember!

    Mykonos, Greece…it was a matter of time before the romance of the Greek islands got me! Yup, I met someone and having a lustful fling! I guess this is part of the journey…but when did I get so romantic?Is it the salt air? “Opah”! Cheers to Greece and the swarthy man that is making my time here even that much more memorable!

    It’s hard not to feel sexy here! But walking around holding hands, PDAs allover town, letting him spend the night, and breakfast on the patio with that incomparable view are not frequent activities for me. Wow, it’s a fun change!

    To top it off, I broke down and shared his motor bike…off we went with me in back letting him drive us to the beach for a day of frolicking in the water…It looks like a scene from a Fellini movie with me being scooted around on his bike…I am feeling so carefree I even forego a helmut in order to look cute! I know, no judgements necessary…

    On this trip’s road to self discovery, many lessons have already taken hold…but right now I am learning that it’s fun sometimes to let it all go, indulge in fantasy, release your inhibitions, and trust someone else to lead you a different way. Even if its only for a moment, I want to soak it all in and see a different side of my Gemini self emerge!


  • Greek Oasis!

    Elia Beach, Mykonos, Greece…yesterday I decided to try Elia Beach, Mykonos’ longest and most acclaimed stretch of sand. It’s less of a party beach and more a chill and swim spot…

    Another bus day, Elia is simpler to get to with a direct bus, no water taxi needed! The ride was uneventful but pulling up at my destination turned out to be the main event…the long sandy beach, plush loungers set under grass umbrellas, and astonishingly clear water told me today was going to be another good day! I can really get used to this!

    The left side of the beach is straight and the right is gay…neither exclusively but predominantly. I spent hours doing NOTHING! Of course, more gawking at beautiful people, swimming for hours, and just sleeping in the shade of my woven grass umbrella…there is a beautiful restaurant as well, but why leave my spot, I’ll be decadent and order “in”! The service was so friendly and the plate of fresh summer watermelon hit the spot! I am not sure how I am ever going to leave this…






  • We are Family!

    Mykonos, Greece…waking up to this view is amazing! Hotel Gorgona in Tagoo is a simple 10 minute walk from town (going is better than coming back) and has incredible views, clean modern rooms, and an out of this world pool! I am stunned that I am staying here for 100 euros a night (US $122)!

    This family run hotel makes you feel like you are visiting a cousin or aunt, when mama sees me walking up in the evening, I hear “Richard!” in that Greek drawn out accent…it’s like coming home, except this home is set in a postcard!




  • The Long Way Home!

    Mykonos, Greece…I am truly changing my ways..well, in some ways! On this island, taxis are scarce…I usually swear by the reliable comfort of the private car & driver type of transport, but that is not an easy solution here. So, I am going to have go it in a whole new way.

    A long day at the beach, I was ready to get back…After waiting awhile for the water taxi, I tried very hard to find a nice air conditioned taxi to take me, I had zero luck and came up empty…The bus it is going to be!

    Well the bus looked fine until the sign saying 45 seats was spotted by a crowd numbering over 70 strong. Now the craziness starts! I couldn’t help myself and had to be the difficult diva; after pushing my way onboard, I had no ticket! The driver is screaming at me to go to the mini-mart to buy a ticket!?! No way, I throw 3 euros at him (ticket was 1.20) and proceed to board…ok that tantrum worked!

    Now the bus is packed beyond belief…is this legal? Are we gonna flip over? We all think it, but no one is gonna do anything about it! Pulling into the final station, I decide this diva needs some retail therapy and an indulgent dinner…who cares that I am in my swimsuit with a towel strewn over my shoulder…This is Mykonos not St. Tropez!

    The town has tonnage of shopping…even Louis Vuitton got in on the action with a summer pop up store. You can find everything, but the locally produced items are coolest to me! Hand-knit and hand-loomed sweaters, cobbler made sandals, and intricately woven scarves. Scarves! Everyone knows I LUV a scarf! To my surprise a Greek widow (Traditional Greek women wear black exclusively after their husband dies) was the artisan at the loom. How cool! She loved my interest and tried to teach me some things. I am on sabbatical, no work!

    The sun was setting and I topped off the evening in a little seafood taverna in little Venice: fresh mussels simmered in a broth of tomato,feta,and scallions with delicately fried zucchini on the side! Delicious! I needed extra bread to soak up every last drop…

    As I walked back to my hotel along the waterfront, I relished that tangerine haze that hangs on the horizon after the sun sets. I came across the town stork on his nightly stroll right before I get “home” in time for my “disco nap”! I must get refreshed for another late night on the town!




  • Becoming a Beach-a-Holic!

    Super Paradise Beach, Mykonos, Greece…getting around this island can be a bit of a chore! Most visitors rent scooters or 4 wheelers, but I think after my last outing on these, I’ll continue to pass on that idea! The roads wind and slope and as much as I want to do it, my inner voice is saying “No way!” Plus, you hear horror stories of vacationers getting really hurt on the treacherous dirt and stone roads… So I shared a taxi with others from my hotel to Platys Gialos, where I could hop a boat to Super Paradise for the day. I think I am off to a late start at 1 pm, but not here! Everyone sleeps in and gets to the beach around 3ish…the taxi boat makes stops at Paraga, Paradise, and then arrives at today’s heaven. There is no schedule and it leaves whenever the cantankerous skipper wants to. Remember, no rush…you are now on Greek time!

    Settling under my rented straw umbrella, I take it all in. How much more gorgeousness can I take? Beautiful bodies and sexy faces everywhere clad in the skimpiest attire! I look ridiculous in my staple black Banana Republic v neck tee…I don’t own anything that comes close to what I am seeing, and most likely no one would appreciate me trying to pull off the look! I thought my new Club Monaco 70’s inspired short-short swim trunks were cute! Forget it! Its not about fashion here, sexiness rules; you either have it or you don’t! Men and women all wear the same: the skimpiest bikini bottom and no top accessorized with the only fashion statement: designer sunglasses!

    As the day goes on, more and more arrive and the 5:30 beach party gets into full swing…by the end of the day you know who are really islanders, as by then all the cruise day trippers have returned to their boats in port.

    The water is to-die-for! Clear and cool, it deepens quickly and you never want to get out…there is a lovely breeze to keep things cooled, but that can fool you about the sun’s intensity!

    Life’s concerns have melted away…my biggest worry is to make sure I don’t miss the water taxi back! Thankfully the lifeguard blows his whistle every time a taxi boat approaches, so I should be ok!







  • Club Crawl!

    Mykonos, Greece…last night is a bit of a blur! The party starts late so you gotta get on that bandwagon…
    I went out a bit after midnight and things were slowly waking up. I started at Babylon, then next door to Jackie O. The crowd was good and the music was even better! Kudos to an amazing mix that had the crammed bar dancing all night….

    A few excellent Mojitos and then Ouzo shots did me in and I pray I didn’t make too much of an ass of myself! I really loved the vibe of Jackie O, but Mykonos is priced like NYC with drinks at 12 euros…so be forewarned it gets expensive quickly! This row of clubs/bars are located right past the old port along the sea wall…when you go outside to get some air, unsuspecting partiers
    like myself get sprayed with the crashing breakwater against the sea wall! Nothing less cute than a drenched fashionista!

    Around 3 am, the hot new club, Glam, started pulsing with a really crazy good-looking crowd! I am drunk and in heaven…laser lights, go go dancers, hot Europeans, blaring music; life is good! It reminded me a bit of the old days in NYC when everybody partied together: gay, straight, whatever…

    I did not have the endurance that this crowd does and gave up around 4:30 am…I wanted to get to the beach Sunday and not sleep all day!

    1 pm with a headache, I am beach bound…more on that later!