Club Vit in Greece

When I was invited to attend Club Vit’s 20th anniversary meeting in Mykonos this year, we had planned to bring Westley along for his first vacation abroad. But after our exhausting road trip in January, we decided to leave him with my in-laws so that we could enjoy the Greek islands like honeymooners for our own 10th anniversary. We left from San Jose for a cheaper flight, which also gave us a chance to score some Din Tai Fung soup dumplings before taking off. Connecting through Frankfurt and Athens, we made good use of airport lounges before arriving in Santorini. We stayed at the Kapari Natural Resort, named one of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World, which offered a warm welcome, a luxurious cave suite, and dinner at the excellent hotel restaurant with grilled octopus and superb pappardelle. The next morning, we awoke for a 5-hour kayak tour that included the Red, Black, and White Beaches along the southern coast of the island. Melody did not venture far with her snorkel gear, but the aquatic fauna was quite sparse anyway. Afterwards, we enjoyed homemade sandwiches while petting a sea urchin on the beach before losing the kayak race heading back to shore. Dinner at Ouzeri in Fira included delicious aubergine and lobster linguine for two, and ended with a scenic but long stroll back to our hotel in Imerovigli. On Tuesday, we awoke early for our 3-hour hike to Oia, but it was not early enough. With no shade and the sun beating down our backs, we were drenched in sweat by the time we arrived for breakfast. We shopped framed arts and photographed blue domes in the picturesque town, then tolerated overpriced juice and slow lunch service before hopping on a bus back to the hotel. For dinner, we joined friends at Metaxy Mas for delicious Greek fare amidst a scenic backdrop and stray cats. Having completed both upper and lower body workouts from kayaking and hiking, we relaxed on our ferry ride to Mykonos on Wednesday, only to realize when we arrived that our posh hotel was miles away from the main town. After catching up with folks at the welcome dinner buffet, we spent the next few days mostly confined to the hotel with the same routine – conference in the morning, poolside restaurant for lunch, and back to our air-conditioned room for a nap and gaming in the afternoon. The new Zelda: Breath of the Wild is both beautiful and captivating, although it would’ve been even better to dock our Switch and play on the big screen. After sundown, we headed into town each evening to sample local cuisine from a souvlaki stand, a rooftop garden restaurant, and a seaside diner. Although the hotel shuttle service was inconsistent, we still enjoyed our outings along with a round of drinks with new friends the following night. Our last evening gala led us through Little Venice to the Sea Satin, where we dined on giant grilled fish and puffed pastries a la mode. We watched high-kicking Greek dancers as the sunset cast its colors on the island’s famed windmills, then concluded with children of retina specialists breaking plaster plates on the floor without eye protection. We flew to Athens on Sunday after a brief flight delay that landed us at the sun’s peak. With nearly 110-degree weather and the city sanitation workers on strike, we could hardly enjoy our hot lunch at Psaras. We finally made it to the Parthenon, taking frequent breaks between the reflective white marble walls of the Acropolis, then called it quits and returned to our hotel lobby for some ice-cold juice. We recovered after a nap, shopped along Adrianou Street for souvenirs, then went to Michelin-starred Spondi for a forgettable dinner. We returned to our hotel rooftop for a glimpse of the Acropolis and a final kiss shot before our flight home the next morning. We got pork-cheek ramen and listened to Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me from NPR on the drive back from San Jose. With the unrelenting sun and heat, our vacation was not as relaxing as we hoped, but we were glad to be back with Westley again.

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