Vilnius Expat Newsletter - A Preview

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Hey Folks! I'm very excited that I finally launched the Vilnius Expat Newsletter. I'm hoping that this will be a great way to connect with expats in Vilnius and to share exciting upcoming events in the city that I'm currently calling home. Don't forget to sign up for your free monthly newsletter- just in time to get the May edition!

Here is a little teaser from the first Newsletter that went out...

If you are a small business in Vilnius and would like to be mentioned in a monthly newsletter please contact me at for further information.

Travel Month: April 2015

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

How was your April? On my end, April was a pretty enjoyable but busy month. I fulfilled one of my travel dreams and visited Athens, Greece. The trip was even more enjoyable than I could have imagined because of the wonderful people, delicious food, and fabulous AirBnB we stayed in (and a secret was shared!).

This month (well, the last day of March) I finally started a Vilnius Expat Newsletter and am happy to have a few subscribers. If you happen to be living in or moving to Vilnius be sure to sign up! I'll be sending out the newsletter monthly and it includes information about small businesses in the area as well as upcoming events. Spoiler: I'm particularly looking forward to the new season of Open Kitchen and will certainly be there on opening day!

I don't have any international travel plans for the month of May, but am looking forward to exploring Vilnius!

I'm happy that we are just about to make our way into May, as hopefully it will mean some warmer weather. We've had a fair share of miserable spring weather (several days of hail, rain, and wind) and I am more than ready to shed the winter coat in favor of lighter layers. 

Now for a few photos from my favorite experiences of the month...

Delicious halva from my BookaLokal experience in Athens

Yum - Greek Easter Bread

The Best AirBnB ever

What are your travel plans for May?

Sharing My Love for Faliro

Monday, April 27, 2015

On our recent trip to Athens, J and I decided that we wanted to take advantage of beach views yet be close to Athens. Faliro is a coastal suburb of Athens that is easily reached by taking the number 4 tram from central Athens to the Flisvos stop (it takes about 20 minutes). Faliro boasts beaches, numerous cafes, restaurants, and the Flisvos marina to catch ferries to nearby islands. I found the area to be incredibly relaxing (just what I needed) and I enjoyed seeing a not touristy area.

Though cafes and bakeries were abundant, it was a bit difficult to find restaurants that served sit-down Greek meals (there is a burger joint). One of the restaurants that we found and really enjoyed was Taverna to Faleraki (on Afrodites 43 and Ag. Alexandroi* - not sure if my phonetic spelling with English letters is exact - sorry it has been a while since Greek School!).

Had it been warmer out, I'd have been living on that sandy beach in the photos below. I feel like Flisvos would be a perfect city break, particularly during warm months.

If you are interested in staying in Faliro I'd suggest checking out this amazing AirBnB.

*The name of the restaurant and address in Greek:

How do you feel about staying outside of major cities?

The Best AirBnB Apartment Yet

Friday, April 24, 2015

On our recent trip to Athens, J and I knew we wouldn't have enough time to spend time on an island, so we decided to look for an option near Athens, but still on the water. J, the official AirBnB booker in our household, found an incredible option in Palaio Faliro, a suburb of Athens (only a 20-30 minute tram ride from the Acropolis). The photos posted by Yannis, the AirBnB host, were incredible but their were no reviews of the apartment. Despite this, we took a chance and booked it. I think we made the right choice...

The view from the private pent-house balcony!
Enjoying the balcony (nope that isn't a food baby...)

Enjoying breakfast outside

Did I mention it was $47 a night and Yannis provided us with tea, coffee, jam, butter, bread, milk, and juice? He was a great host who offered us more than we would have ever expected. I cannot speak highly enough about the apartment and about Yannis! The area that we were in also offered numerous cafes, bakeries, shops, a grocery store, and a couple of restaurants.

I'm still dreaming of that view...

I'm linking up with #SundayTraveler. Head over for more travel stories.

Nature is Beautiful - Let's Keep it that Way!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Happy Earth Day! 

I'm celebrating Earth Day by spending the day outside (assuming it isn't hailing again!), using little energy, and creating as little trash as possible. Let's remember that nature is incredible, so let's all work together to keep biodiversity intact. I hope you enjoy the photographs below that I took during some conservation fieldwork I conducted.

The Acropolis

Monday, April 20, 2015

Like the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, the Acropolis was one of those sites that I just couldn't imagine the vastness of until I saw it. On top of that, red poppies were in full bloom during our visit and the reds of the flowers mixed among the ruins was just incredible. I also loved that you could see the Acropolis from pretty much anywhere in the city, so it was a perfect landmark when we got a bit turned around during our wanders. Similarly, the view of Athens atop the Acropolis was incredible.

Also, don't miss the new Acropolis Museum near the base of the Acropolis. I thought the museum was very well done and I was surprised to learn that many of the statues and ruins were previously colored. In the museum their were awesome recreations of what some of the statues likely looked like in full color. It was so cool. The video showing on the top floor of the museum was also very informative and in English.

Have you been to the Acropolis? Were you blown away?

An Evening with BookALokal

Friday, April 17, 2015

I was looking for a cool experience to have in Athens and stumbled upon the website BookALokal. The cool experience I found came in the form of dinner at a local's house. In my opinion, home cooked meals are often 100 times more delicious than what you'll find at many restaurants. So, when I saw the option of having a home cooked meal at Marina's apartment in the center of Athens I jumped at it.

Marina picked us up directly at the subway stop and we walked the short walk together to her apartment. Upon arrival, she introduced us to her boyfriend, ushered us into the dinning room, and popped a glass of local white wine in J's hand. She then left us to chat away with her boyfriend while she putting the finishing touches on the appetizer - a zucchini and feta pie. Despite my many years eating and cooking Greek food, I'd never had a zucchini and feta pie and wow - what I had been missing! It was delicious. After more chatting, more wine, and the clattering of forks on our plates out came the next dish - lamb with leafy vegetables and an egg lemon sauce. Yum! I love lamb. While we were eating Marina, her boyfriend, and their friend who came to join us chatted about the special type of lamb and leafy vegetables they had purchased from the farmers market. Clearly, a lot of thought had gone into the choice of ingredients.

The highlight of the meal was warm halva with nuts, honey, jam, and dried fruit. This was easily the best halva I've ever eaten. It was perfectly sweetened and I'm just dying to try to make it myself at home.

Overall, I would rate this experience a 5/5. Marina, her boyfriend, and her friend were wonderful hosts, the food was incredible, and using BookALokal opened up a cool new option for our travels. I'd highly suggest checking out BookALokal to see if they have an experience near you. Also, if you happen to be in Athens, book a meal with Marina!

This post  was not sponsored.

Familiar But Not

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Alternate title: A Greek American's First Trip to Greece

A Greek American's view on their first visit to Greece

The smell of the incense and natural wax candles wafting out of the Greek Orthodox churches. The taste of the food. The sound of the language, the accented English, and the bouzouki music. The attitudes of the people. From my first step on Greek soil everything felt so familiar to me. Even the almost clones of my sister walking down the street. It was like I had been before, though I never have. All of that familiarity made me miss the familiarity of home. The Greeks I know in Connecticut and the food they (and I) cook. And the holidays - the sweet Easter bread and cracking red eggs with my abundance of cousins. And my big, fat, Greek family back in the States. 

I had set my hopes high for my first trip to Greece, and honestly, Greece surpassed all of the expectations that I had. Yup, that's right, I come from a big, fat, Greek family back in the US (I'm half Greek). I was raised going to a Greek Orthodox church, learned Greek dances, and went to Greek language school every Saturday morning- though unfortunately I have forgotten most of what I learned. I also indulged in (and have learned to cook) many of the yummy Greek dishes (oh my love for lamb is real).

I'm not exactly sure what point I'm trying to make with this rambling post other than Go To Greece. You will not be disappointed. 

The view from our AirBnB (more later)

Athens City Sprawl

Easter Bread

My sister absolutely got all of the Greek genes

Is Greece on your list of places to visit? Have you visited Greece?