• A Day in Malta!

    Valletta, Malta…today we arrived at the walled city of Valletta on the small island country of Malta! Close to Sicily, the harbor approach into and out of the fortress of a city is magnificent. Yellow hued limestone rises from the Mediterranean setting a striking scene.

    Famous for it’s Maltese cross and a major part if the Crusades, Malta retains it’s historic feel and charm. I am drawn to the building facades with their ornate balconies and porches. These buildings look like utterly unique to this country and the whole place is a mix of Italian and French styles.

    The uniformed guards look very handsome as they patrol the palace. So much of the architecture has a military tone with canons and protective details. The best view is from the Saluting Battery where you can literally have a Birdseye view of the entire harbor enclosed within the fortress walls.

    For now I am just enjoying the view of this gem of a country.



  • Final Bon Voyage!

    Nafplion, Greece (Nafplio)…before leaving this town for my last night on board my yacht home of the last two weeks, Seabourn Odyssey, I tried to extend my day hanging out in Old Town Nafplio. I wanted to procrastinate packing and facing the reality that this part of my journey was coming to an end and my friend, Nichole was leaving me to go back to reality while I continued on my exploration of the world!

    We shared a great two weeks sailing this magical part of the Mediterranean. I have explored with and without her and she has relished time without her usual deadlines or to-do lists! I have ate way too much and drank myself beyond my usual limits!

    Seabourn provided a beautiful accommodation and worry free yet luxurious way to see places I never would have gotten to on my own.

    Back in town, hanging bougainvillea is draped across the walkways of Nafplio and swung from balcony to balcony…it is a beautiful contrast in comparison to the unusually painted buildings of the old town. Not the usual blue & white I have seen allover Greece, this town challenged conventional beachside color stories with burgundies, russet browns, deep turqs, and ochre yellows and mustards.

    I spent some time talking to a local cobbler and was fascinated by his collection of lasses and forms..I wish I found him earlier in the day so I coulda had a chic pair of Greek custom sandals crafted for me!

    I am not leaving Greece behind yet…tomorrow is hello Mykonos and goodbye to my yacht for now!

  • Being Neighborly!

    Argostoli, Greece…today I find myself in Kefalonia, an island in the Ionian Sea of Greece.

    I didn’t think I had much of a story to tell here, but as I walked along the waterfront I spotted a small fishing boat and a fisherman dangling over the side of his boat. Hmmm…A small crowd formed chanting “Rebecca, Rebecca”! Did someone fall overboard?

    Nope, it was just the neighborhood Sea Turtle that the fishermen in the area nicknamed Rebecca (doesn’t sound very Greek!) had come by for lunch of some leftover fish…so cute! The turtle would circle and then bob her head above the water so the fisherman would feed her a small fish that he couldn’t sell…

    Never know what your gonna encounter! I don’t know why but I started chanting Rebecca too, all the way back to port…I guess there is always a story to be told!




  • Going to Great Heights!

    Kotor, Montenegro…I am captivated by the setting of this place. It feels like it was carved out between limestone cliffs and mountain peaks. The hills rising above it are laden with lush greenery and ancient fortresses.

    Another walled city with Renaissance and Baroque influences, Old town Kotor is a perfect setting for the many cafes that line its streets…Huge umbrellas, misting fans, and comfortable loungers abound and the waiters are happy to let you spend the whole day relaxing and observing the many that come and go through the city gates. No pressure, just milk a drink slowly for hours, while staring out on the old stone buildings covered with shutters set against the rugged mountainside behind them. I loved all the Juliet balconies covered with plants, but one stood out with its cluster of hanging succulents. I am admire succulents and have many in my apartment, but I had no idea they could look so lush and hang so nicely…just another lightbulb moment!

    Outside the city walls, Yachts of all sizes come and go all day in and out of Kotor Bay. The bay is sheltered amongst the mammoth hillside and the deep dark blue color of the water is very different from what I have seen in it’s neighbors, Croatia or Greece!

    Even though many islands can be easily visited from here, my afternoon is happily spent planted cozily at a cafe. Just for this moment, I sat there feeling that time was just standing still and it felt so great!







  • Power Shopper!

    Kotor, Montenegro…sunny skies greeted our early arrival today into this picturesque town nestled in the base of a gorgeous mountainside.

    I love getting inside perspectives of places from those in the know, so when the opportunity to set out with the ship’s chef into the local market presented itself, I thought this would be a fun intro into today’s port and it’s culture! Unfortunately, the early bird gets the worm and in order to have our pick of the liter, we had to set off very early on our expedition.

    Fresh tiny blueberries picked this morning on nearby hillsides, wild raspberries & plump blackberries in abundance…exceptional homemade olive oils being peddled by the woman who bottled them…robust fruit & veggies straight from remote village farms…cured meats with the animal’s hoof still attached all made for a taste of local flavor!

    Our South African chef assessed it all and bargained with the vendors as a crowd grew around him. It seemed the whole waterfront market was abuzz trying to get him to select their goods. We walked away with kilos of berries, some homemade cheese, and a type of local prosciutto that will all find their way into our lunch and dinner tonight! I always love a market, but getting to do it with an expert came with the added perk of a lot of taste testing of the fare on display. Yum!

    Now that’s called working for your dinner!






  • Water, Water, Everywhere!

    Venice, Italy…I set the alarm for 6 am this morning to watch the magnificent sail into Venice! The cool air and cloudy skies were a welcome change of pace from days of boundless sunshine and soaring temperatures.

    Venice assaults you with historic beauty, ever present smells, a crush of tourists, and the singing of gondola drivers. It’s an overload on the senses…some moments amazing and some overwhelming!

    Getting lost in the winding streets is a must…the best designer clothing shops, exquisite fine jewelry, Italian crafted leathers, and of course Murano glass blown into every imaginable thing all abound down unsuspecting alley ways.

    I made my way thru St Marks Square to the Rialto Bridge and then a much needed rest stop at the Italianate Danieli Hotel overlooking the Grand Canal. Throughout the day, I marveled at the Carnival masks and decor and see people buying it up in droves…what will they do with those masks back home?I guess they are just caught up in the moment…

    I passed on a gondola ride this visit and thought a delicious Italian lunch Venetian style sounded perfect! The concierge recommended “Corte Sconta” and said I would love the seafood & pasta…navigating my way there was definitely a challenge but after finding this little gem, I was seated under a trellised ceiling filled with a bounty of grapes. The setting was perfect and the food was even better! Seafood made with Venetian flair; carpaccio of fresh tuna for starters followed by homemade pasta of red snapper and eggplant and tagliatelle with anchovies. These mild anchovies gave a rich salty taste and were an incredible compliment to the pasta. I hate anchovies but loved this dish! It always pays to step out of the norm and leave your comfort zone behind!

    The wonders of Italy never cease…








  • Abbondanza!

    Ravenna, Italy…we made a beeline across the Adriatic Sea and landed at Ravenna, Italy. Another tiny town I knew nothing about! Famous for it’s ancient Mosaics and its tie to Dante.

    This is no place I ever thought of visiting, but I never met an Italian town I didn’t like… You always know when you are in Italy; even in a small town like this there is the unmistakeable mix of food and fashion done only in a way the Italians can do it, set amongst holy sights and ancient architecture!

    I am mesmerized by all the sights: I go from ogling into store windows obsessing over the best looking sunglasses & chicest designer fashions to marveling at intricate mosaics at the Basilica di San Vitale and then stumbling upon Dante’s tomb. Just as I walk into a shop ready to spend my euros, the gate comes down and the store closes…it’s lunchtime in Italy and nothing gets between an Italian and food!

    So twist my arm, I shall do as the locals…MANGIA time! I wander into a crowded little storefront that looks more delicatessen than restaurant,” Pasta Fresca e Piadina”. I am in love! Freshly made pasta is laid out, you choose the pasta, and then Mama takes it to the back and cooks it up with fresh sauce!
    They also love Piadina here more than pizza…it’s like an Italian quesadilla filled with a myriad of options. I guess I’ll have to try it all!

    I can’t forget fashion! I notice the hip Italian men rocking raw edged scoop neck tees…back home everybody is still pushing how low they can go in the v neck, but here it’s the scoop…the men do have great clavicles! I even see it layered, another Italian signature…
    Women here are also are mix masters; ethnic, 80’s, Chanel, color, etc all at once! How do they make it look so right? A major chunky statement necklace seems to be on every Woman! Ok, I think I carb loaded and need a nap….









  • Pleasure Principle!

    Hvar, Croatia…I may have found Nirvana! A gorgeous Mediterranean town surrounded by crystal clear Adriatic waters. Boats, water taxis, and yachts line the harbor and the cobblestone passageways are littered with beautiful young people vacationing from Sweden, Norway, Holland and beyond…gorgeous friendly blondes tanned by the hot sun, all hanging out on boats and rocky beaches looking to have the time of their lives! I see a sailboat rocking to the music as these model-esque beauties line the deck in the latest beach wear! This place exudes the jet set lifestyle of the Cote d’Azure or Capri but at real people prices.

    The entire area is filled with archipelagos with amazing swimming spots…mostly rocky surfaced but yet picturesque. Small speedboats are easy to rent for the day for under $100 to take you from cove to cove for an afternoon of swimming or simple taxi boats offer their services every 20 minutes.

    I found a beautiful St. Tropez style beach club within walking distance to town called “Bonj les Bains”… Stunning is the only word to describe this cabana laden club built into the hillside. The chicest platforms are suspended over the clear water outfitted with shaded lounging beds and bottles of champagne resting in buckets of ice!

    Relaxing here, I can see the coves in the distance full of yachts and boats with swimmers enjoying the Adriatic! I am asking myself, Why haven’t I come here before?







  • Dumb, Dumb, & Dumber!

    Katakolon, Greece…I woke up this morning to the town of Katakolon, the gateway to Olympia. As much as it may be interesting to see the original home of the Olympic games, I decided to invest my time at a day swimming in the crystalline Greek water.

    I strolled through town at first and was amazed by the silly stuff that is being hawked to tourists…ugly leather sandals, bad linen wear, and Greek “evil eyes” made into every imaginable charm, and that’s only a few of the atrocities I saw!

    My striving to have “out of the box” experiences has begun to compromise my sanity…I made a series of silly choices today; I rented a 4 wheel ATV (more on that later), forgot to pick up a towel on the ship before disembarking, and left my beach shoes behind. The latter two were not the biggest deal, but the first was totally STUPID!

    I knew I wanted to go to the beach, Agios Andreas, which is little over 2 km from town…how to get there? Bus (no way after my Athens experience), Taxi (seems so unadventurous), or rent a Motorbike (seems so cool).
    I stopped at the motorbike rental spot and the guy gives me a once over as I stood there in my Marc Jacobs shades and says “you sure you know how to drive a motorbike?” Hmmm…I guess not!
    The rejection and doubt drives me to rent a 4 wheel ATV! This decision is as bright as a burnt out lightbulb! Me, driving a bike with a clutch? I barely can work an automatic vehicle! Well, looking like the Great Gazoo from the Flintstones in my helmut, I take off for the quick ten minute ride to the beach. I get out of town and on the first hill, it stalls! I call the store and they come to my rescue…I flooded the engine and drove in the wrong gear! Well I continue to do this and stall 3 more times, but at least I make it there and back in one piece…a few tantrums, but no injuries!

    The water was amazing, but it was a rocky pebbled beach that woulda been much easier if I had my beach shoes. Regardless, it was a great day with a large dose of dumb thrown in to make the memory that much more interesting!






  • Gone Fishin’!

    Gythios (Gythion),Greece…Anchored at this tiny port in the Peloponnesos, today is a scorcher with temps above 100 degrees!

    This sleepy fishing village seems like what Greece was like years before mass tourism. A bit worn and shabby, the waterfront is full of stucco buildings set again a hilly terrain. The harbor is littered with fishing boats that earlier brought in today’s fresh catch…I loved seeing the fresh caught Octopus left hanging in the sun to dry like a load of newly washed laundry.

    You know you are in Greece by the crystal clear waters that are like an aquarium surrounding you. This isn’t a place of big sights, pulsing nightlife, or travel guide must-sees; rather a glimpse into the simple life…
    relaxing at a waterfront cafe, listening to stories from locals, and soaking in the slow pace. Of course, indulging in the freshest of seafood and delicious Greek delicacies is a must.

    I happened to stumble into the gallery of a local artist along the waterfront…I enjoyed his enthusiasm for this place and he gave me a few pointers…he told me the beach at Skoutari is one of the most lovely in the Peloponnesos.

    It’s been proven time and again this trip, that there are design moments to be found in unexpected places…a cafe along this stunning waterfront had the most interesting perforated “Tyvek” like tarp used for shade…Now where can I get one for my roof deck?

    For now, I am chillin’ like the locals until tomorrow, which will find me ready to soak it all in at a new spot!