TPP Guide to My Hometown!

As you all likely know by now, Kevin and I have been spending the summer in our coastal hometown of Stonington, CT. Whenever I share something about the Stonington area, like downtown Mystic or the nearby Rhode Island beaches, I am flooded with questions about where to eat, what to do, and places to visit in the area. So I’ve wrapped up all of my hometown favorites into one blog post that includes our favorite local spots to eat, drink, shop, and visit in the area. While Mystic itself is amazing and cute, some of our favorites are in other parts of town (no more than a 15 minute drive), so those are included as well! Let’s dive into the hometown tour!


Places to Eat/Drink:

Okay, this needs to be said right off the bat. And by said I mean screamed from the rooftops. If you eat at Mystic Pizza, you might as well be wearing a fanny pack and using a selfie stick because you are the tourist of all tourists. I say this with love: don’t do it. The food is mediocre at best, the vibe is not great, and the movie wasn’t even shot there. Do yourself many favors and eat literally anywhere else in town. There are some killer spots in the area and this is…not one of them. 

Now, let’s really get into it…

Engine Room – one of our all time favorite spots in town! Engine Room is known for its craft beers, yummy cocktails, and pickleback shots. Okay, maybe they’re not known for the last one, but I sure do enjoy them. Their menu is full of delicious comfort foods and you really can’t go wrong with anything you choose. This is where we had our rehearsal dinner, so we definitely have a soft spot for it!


Ford’s Lobster – a local’s dream. Ford’s doesn’t look like much, just a lobster shack on the water, but the food is outstanding and the view is unmatched. BYOB and highly recommend the lobster BLT!


Sift Bakeshop – if you’ve heard of Mystic, you’ve likely heard of Sift. It is home to some of the most amazing pastries I’ve ever had. The giant chocolate chop cookies, macarons, and croissants are my favorites!

Mix at Sift – Mix is the new rooftop bar at Sift! Delicious cocktails, bites to eat, and a gorgeous rooftop view


Red36 – if you are looking for a great spot on the water, Red36 is it! The vibe is nautical, the oysters are great, and the froze is even better. I would say their food realistically is a 6/10, but we definitely frequent this place for the dockside vibe. 


Rise – an awesome breakfast place in Mystic. They have the classics and also their own twists on things like breakfast sandwiches and pancakes! 

Pizzetta – if you insist on eating pizza while in the area, Pizetta is one of our favorites! They have a great outdoor patio on the river and live music each week too.

Deviant Donuts – weekly rotating specialty donuts the size of your head. That’s pretty much it. Check out the menu beforehand (they only do donuts Thursday-Sunday), and get there early, as they usually sell out! The Samoa donut is my favorite of all time.


Breakwater – located in the Stonington Borough, Breakwater has one of the best ocean views in town. Their happy hour is killer and the back deck is sure to provide a gorgeous sunset.

Zest – my favorite stop for savory scones and coconut butterscotch cookies (truly to die for). This is the bakery we got our wedding cookies and cake from and they are just the best! Zest is located in the Velvet Mill, where you’ll find Beer’d brewery, so stop and grab a treat while you’re there!

Dogwatch – honestly, this recommendation is mostly for drinks and a ~*vibe*~, but Dogwatch is right in a marina on the water, so their sunsets are fantastic. If it is open, head back to the “dogpound” for a drink during golden hour!


Water Street Cafe – a small, local spot with some of the best food in town. Their menu rotates daily, but their steak-frites staple is to die for.

Milagro Cafe – another small, local restaurant with the world’s best margaritas. They’re so fresh and so big, so brace yourself if you order a second round. My go-to order is a mango marg and fish tacos!

The Malted Barley – located in downtown Westerly, RI, The Malted Barley is one of our spots for great nightlife and even better pretzel sandwiches. Weekends they usually have a DJ, but stop by midday or in the evening for homemade pretzels or sammies and a craft beer. 

Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream – local ice cream in the heart of Downtown Mystic. Prepare for a bit of a line during the summer, but it’s worth it for the waffle cone.


Things to Do:

Visit a winery – there are three in town and all within 15 minutes of each other. Each vineyard has its own vibe, but I like them all! 

  • Jonathan Edwards Winery – where Kev and I got married, so it definitely holds a special place in my heart. The rose is my favorite of all time. 
  • Stonington Vineyards – where I worked for the summer! A very chill spot with music on Friday nights in the summer. Bring your own blanket or chairs and chill for the day or evening.
  • Saltwater Farm Vineyards – the building is an old airplane hangar, so it’s a very industrial, cool vibe. We got engaged here!

Visit a brewery – Beer’d Brewery or Grey Sail Brewery are two awesome ones in town!

Shop and walk around in Downtown Mystic – there are lots of cute stores to walk through (Rochelle’s is my favorite for clothes!) and lots to see. At twenty of the hour, the drawbridge will go up to let boats pass and it’s actually pretty fun to see! 

Kayak or Paddle Board on the Mystic River – there are a few local places that rent by the hour. It’s a fun way to see the river and the beautiful homes and boats along the shore. 


Visit the Mystic Aquarium – if you have kids, or just like sea life and want to feel like a local on an elementary school field trip, visit the aquarium! 

Visit the Mystic Seaport – honestly, hear me out. As a kid, I wish I was more interested in the history that the town has to offer and I actually think the Seaport is pretty cool! The planetarium is my favorite!

Walk through the Stonington Borough – this is one of my favorite parts of the entire town. The borough is a quaint little fishing village, home of one of the last operating fishing and lobstering fleets in the state and to many adorable historic homes. Visit the town docks to check out the boats or walk to the very end to DuBois Beach to see a panoramic ocean view where you can spot RI, NY, and CT from one spot! 

Hit the beach or grab ice cream in Watch Hill, RI – one of the biggest perks of my hometown is that it’s a short ride to some of Rhode Island’s best beaches. My favorite is Napatree Point in Watch Hill! But if you don’t feel like hitting the beach or you’re visiting in the off-season, you could simply walk through Watch Hill and grab a lobster roll or ice cream at St. Clair Annex, a drink at the Ocean House, or wander past Taylor Swift’s house (it’s okay, we’ve all done it). 

Visit Clyde’s Cider Mill – we all know fall is my favorite season, and there’s nothing that says fall at home than a visit to Clyde’s! It’s exactly what you’d think: the best cider, warm cinnamon-sugar donuts, and all the feels. 


Well, I think that about sums it up! Honestly, if you are looking for a weekend getaway or to spend a few days in a quaint, New England town, Stonington is the place for you! It really does have it all. Although summer is coming to a close, we’ll be back…at some point likely forever. 

If you visit, please reach out and let me know where you go and if you need any other recs or ideas, I’m your girl! Enjoy my home! 

How We Spent the Summer in our Hometown… on a Budget!

Living in a city during a global pandemic is…not ideal. After months of quarantining just the two of us, Kev and I decided that for our mental health and wellbeing, we would attempt to spend the summer in our hometown of Mystic, CT. We thought a little water, some sunshine, and a change of scenery (when would we both ever be able to work from home again?!) would do our souls some good. So we set out to find a place we could spend the summer months without breaking the bank. 


In May, my mom happened to be walking and stumbled upon a rental in a great area. She sent us the number and we called, assuming that the rental would not be simply for the summer months. To our surprise, our landlord was understanding of the situation and willing to rent to us from May-August. We were thrilled! But then the reality of it all hit and we found ourselves asking, “how in the world will we furnish this place without spending a fortune?” Together, we compiled a list of things that we would need, what we had already that we could bring with us, and what we would need to purchase. When I say “list,” what I really mean is a color-coded, room by room spreadsheet with price lists or where specifically each item was coming from. I’ll admit it, I went a little overboard…but it worked! 

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Our goal was to spend the least amount possible and to only purchase what we needed. To do this, we had a few major strategies:

1 – Take what we could from our Boston apartment that we wouldn’t need while we were away and was easy to transport

For example, we had just gotten a new TV stand, so we were able to bring our old one and the TV from our bedroom to use for the summer. We brought our extra sheets and towels, an old clean shower curtain, some kitchen favorites (how adult to have a favorite mixing bowl, no?), and a few photos and all of our plants for decor. 


2- Reach out to family and friends (hello Facebook!) to see if anyone had the items we needed

Between items our families had stored away for us (like our old bed and our kitchen table we took down to fit our Peloton…lol), items they had but were not using (a bedside table, a coffee table Kev’s grandfather made years ago, and an area rug for the living room), and those that friends were looking to get rid of (like a window AC unit and a set of pots and pans), we only needed a few big things.


3- For the things we could not bring or find from others, we purchased budget friendly items

This may have meant outfitting our entire kitchen for $75 from the Dollar Tree (plates and bowls for a dollar each, what?!) and ordering a few items online spending about . Here is what we ended up getting:
-A super cute, but not super comfortable, couch from Wayfair – $285

A floor lamp because we have no built in lighting – $80

Curtains for our big living room windows – $30 ($5 per sheer from Walmart)

-A few organizational shelves and miscellaneous decor items (linked here!) – roughly $150

-I was also fortunate enough that Comfy Sacks provided me with this awesome bean bag lounger that I have been living in all summer. Check out the video below to see how it went from a small box to a six foot lounger:

Obviously, we were very fortunate to be able to spend the summer away and still keep our Boston apartment. We used our vacation/travel fund for much of our time in Mystic because, you know, traveling in 2020 isn’t quite happening for us. It was worth it, though, to spend time in our hometown and with family while we had the opportunity. 

If you are planning a visit to Mystic, be on the lookout for a blog post with some of my favorite local spots! And stay tuned for updates on our move back to Boston…and into another new apartment. Send good vibes because, boy, are we going to need them! 

Cricut Send a Little Joy Card Tutorial

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cricut. All opinions are 100% mine.

Three Cards

Hi friends! As you are all well-aware, we are living in a crazy time. While many of us are fortunate enough to be staying at home to stop the spread of COVID19, there are many essential employees working hard to keep us safe every day. They are putting themselves in the line of fire on the front lines to ensure that we are as healthy as possible. So, I’ve teamed up with Cricut to send them a little joy, using my Joy! If you want to join in and send a little joy to a doctor, nurse, first responder, or those who may not be able to share joy with their loved ones in person, like nursing home residents, here are a few ideas to get you started.


Cricut Joy machine

-Cricut Joy Insert Cards

-Cricut Joy CardMat

-Your computer/phone for Design Space

-Some double sided-tape or glue

Card #1: Thank You Heart


You can find this template here. This card is the quickest and easiest of the three to make.

To make this card:

  1. Make sure your Joy is on and connected to your computer or phone
  2. Open the template in Design Space and press “Make It”Step 2
  3. When asked how you will load your materials for the project, select “On Card Mat” and then select 4.25” x 5.5 for your material size on the “review artwork” screen
  4. Load your Insert Card onto your CardMatStep 4
  5. Press continue and load your mat into your Joy machineStep 5
  6. When you are done, unload the machine
  7. Using double sided tape or glue, stick the insert to the inner cover of the cardStep 7
  8. Optional step: using glue, stick the middle section of the letter “A” directly onto the insert. I prefer to do this, although you do not have to!Thank You Heart Card
  9. Send away!

Card #2: Sending You Sunshine

Sending You Sunshine Card

You can find this template here. If you are like me and prefer to stick the middles of the letters (ex: the “d” and “e” in the word sending), this card is a little more time consuming, but still relatively easy. Follow the same steps as above to make this card!

Card #3: Strong, Brave, Selfless

Strong Brave Selfless Card

You can find this template here. If you are like me and prefer to stick the middles of the letters (ex: the “o” and “g” in the word strong), this card is the most time consuming and difficult of the three. Follow the same steps as above to make this card!


I hope that this post helps inspire you to send a little joy to those around you during this scary time! These cards are heading straight to my nurse and first responder friends (along with a coffee) to say thank you for all that they do! Sending love your way!

*This post contains affiliate links

Honeymoon Guide: Paris

Welcome to part three of the Honeymoon series! If you’ve made it this far, you’re either a champ who has read all three parts or are just interested in Paris. Either way, I’ve got info for you! Paris is somewhere I have always wanted to visit. I studied French from middle school through college and always dreamed of studying abroad there (spoiler alert: I didn’t, but that’s a story for another time). So, when Kev and I began planning the honeymoon, I pushed and pushed for Paris. It was a place I had been dying to visit since I was an awkward preteen and I was thrilled when we finally booked it. I may have even cried when we got there and I saw the Eiffel Tower. However, looking back now, I definitely think this could have been part of another trip. Transitioning from the beachy, island vibes in Greece to the more city and touristy feel of Paris was tricky, but nonetheless, it was an amazing few days!


Where we stayed: Hotel Le Littré

Our hotel was a very typical European hotel, in my opinion. Nothing crazy or exciting to report about it (especially after those we had in Greece). However, it was decently central to most things!

What we did: We actually kept ourselves very busy in Paris! We spent a bit of time on tours and sightseeing, but also spend a TON of time picnicking and riding Lime scooters all over the city (truly my favorite way of getting around). Here’s a little highlight reel:


-Dinner in the Eiffel Tower: this was the FIRST thing that I booked when I found out we were going to Paris. It was definitely a splurge experience, but it was so worth it! We took the lift to the first floor, were greeted inside the restaurant with champagne and a view of the Trocadero as the sun set, and then dined on the tasting menu. More on the food below!

-Picnic on the Champ de Mars and in the Luxembourg Gardens: we picked up a small blanket for 10 euro at the Monoprix (what someone described to me as the French version of Target lol), stocked up on cheese, crackers, veggies, and of COURSE a Jambon-Beurre (ham, cheese, and butter on a baguette) from a local bakery, and headed to our picnic spots…occasionally by Lime scooter.

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-Fat Tire Tours Bike Tour: this was something I was a little hesitant about, but it ended up being one of my favorite parts of the trip! We took beach cruiser style bikes around the city with a tour guide to see all the major sights. We stopped for just enough background/historical information from our tour guide and then proceeded on. We did this our first morning in Paris and I think that was a perfect time because it helped us to get our bearings of the city!

-Louvre: okay, hear me out here. I hated this. Sure, it was cool to go because it’s Paris and you feel like you should wander around and see everything inside. However, I’m not a huge art person, so I didn’t love it. I was more interested in the historical artifacts and the architecture of the building. It’s also HUGE so you have to really know what you are looking for. And don’t even get me started on the entire room of people pushing through just to see the 8×10 Mona Lisa. If you’re into art, this is likely the place for you…it just was not for me.

-Musee d’Armee des Invalides: Kevin and I tend to lean toward museums that have more to do with history, so we decided we wanted to check out the Army Museum. It had a TON of cool stuff, but we had been walking around all day and our feet hurt so bad that we could barely enjoy it. I probably would get an audio tour for this (if they have one) because most of the info is in French.

-Paris and Montmartre Night Tour (with Champagne): picture this – you’re basically Lindsay Lohan in Herbie Fully Loaded and are riding in the back of the French version of an old VW bug without a roof riding through Paris at night. Your tour guide shows you around the sights of the city as the sun is setting, then drives you up to Montmartre where you get out just in time to watch the sun go down over the city with a glass of champagne in your hand. Sounds romantic, right? Well, you hop back into the car with a bottle of champagne between you and your new husband (or wife) and you’re eager to see the rest of the city lights. Only, the car doesn’t start. The engine won’t turn over and the driver jokingly says we might have to push it up the hill in front of everyone sitting outside Sacre-Coeur watching the sunset. Except he’s not kidding. So, you and your husband (or wife) climb out of the back seat and, with the help of a random Frenchmen, PUSH THE CAR UP THE HILL UNTIL IT STARTS. The car putts away and you chase it down, hop back in, and chug champagne as you drip sweat and drive around Paris until you return back to your hotel. If that sounds like your type of thing and you want a potentially hilarious story to tell, sign yourself up. Honestly, though, we did see some cool spots of the city that we didn’t see on our bike tour, but we probably could have done so without Herbie.



-Bonus: sunrise photoshoot! We had a friend who has a photography business who happened to be in Paris while we were, which turned into a magical sunrise photoshoot by the Eiffel Tower and through the streets of Paris. 10/10 would recommend!

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Our favorite spots to eat:

-Any local patisserie or café where you can grab a pain au chocolat in the morning!

-Some of the many crepe stands: our favorite Nutella crepe was from Café de la Place but we also got another yummy one (along with a ham and cheese gallette) from a cute spot along the walking path of the Seine)

-La Cantine au Troquet: this might have been the best meal we had in Paris. It was a small spot near our hotel recommended by our bike tour, with a menu written only in French on a chalkboard (I finally got to put my French skills to use here!). The steak was unbelievable and so was Kev’s pork chop. Honestly, my mouth is watering thinking about it.

-Café les Deux Magots: the BEST cappuccino and pain au chocolat combo for breakfast! We stopped here after taking photos and it was delicious!

– Le Relais de l’Entrecôte: if you are in the market for steak frites, this is a must! You sit down and they literally only ask you how you’d like your steak cooked. It’s served with a yummy sauce and perfect shoestring fries. Oh, and don’t be alarmed when they come back with round two!

-58 Tour Eiffel: this is the restaurant on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower! We did the 9:30pm seating and did the tasting menu, which we decided just to lean into and try everything (although I could NOT stomach the foie gras…ew.). We had a truffle ricotta tart, squid ink pasta (delish), lamb, and an unreal hazelnut dessert. The menu changes seasonally, however, so you don’t know what you’re going to get! It was a fun experience!

-Laduree for macarons: self-explanatory.

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Well, that’s it! You’ve made it to the end of our honeymoon (and so have I, so now I’m sad). Paris was a magical city and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

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Again, if you have any questions, feel free to comment below or reach out on Instagram or email! Happy Honeymooning!



Honeymoon Guide: Greece

If you made it through part one of this blog series, congrats! We’re now on to the fun stuff! And, well, if you didn’t read part one, you may want to check it out if you have some more general honeymoon questions. Oh, and if you’re looking for Paris, check out part three. But here we’re talking about one thing only: Greece. And man, was it amazing. Kevin and I spent eight days in Greece, in a few different places. We spent a single night in Athens upon arrival, but then the bulk of our time was spent on the islands of Naxos and Santorini. Below, I’ll give you a bit of information about where we stayed, what we did, and our favorite spots that we ate while we were on both islands!

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A quick note about travel from island to island: we were scheduled to take the high-speed ferry both from Athens to Naxos and then later from Naxos to Santorini. When we arrived in Athens, we were informed that there was a 24-hour ferry strike the next day (the day we were scheduled to take the ferry to Naxos). We ended up booking a 40-minute flight from Athens to Naxos rather than spending another night in Athens and taking the 4-hour ferry the next day. It was definitely a bit pricier (we were covered by the travel agency), but a quick option if you are short on time! As for Naxos to Santorini, we took the ferry without a problem and it was just a bit over an hour. We also made friends in line that we, to our surprise, found again later in our trip!


First Stop: Naxos

Naxos is a smaller island in Greece and, to us, felt very much like a small beach town. We stayed in a gorgeous hotel right on the beach, but within walking distance to the downtown area. Truthfully, we had nothing planned for our time in Naxos. We spent most of the days alternating between the beach in the morning and the pool in the afternoon, walking into town for lunch and dinner each day. The water in Naxos was very calm, so we even purchased pool floats to just relax and float in the sun for hours on end! I loved Naxos and thought it was a perfect way to start our honeymoon off!


Where we stayed: Nissaki Beach Hotel – an adorable hotel right on the beach with a gorgeous pool (see below), great rooms, and awesome service


What we did: A whole lot of relaxing. We chilled, read on the beach, swam in the pool, floated in the Aegean, ate a lot, and ran to the Apollo Temple for gorgeous ocean views.

Our favorite spots to eat:

-Yasouvlaki – cheap, delicious gyros and souvlaki. We ordered the Greek bruschetta, two gyros, and bottles of water for 11 euro. We may or may not have had lunch there twice

-Waffle House – some of the best gelato I have ever had. You can smell their waffle cones from a mile away. Waffle House is on a cute back street and gives you all of the Grecian town vibes. Again, we may have gone more than once

-Dal Professore – gorgeous sunset views and amazing food. There are quite a few great spots nearby for drinks and dinner as the sun sets, but this is one that we particularly loved the food at. We ordered lamb meatballs to start and shared fresh sea bass for dinner. Pro tip: if you don’t like to look into the eyes of your fish before you eat it, ask for it deboned!

-Like Home Bar – another great sunset spot (you can watch from their deck!) with yummy cocktails! We only grabbed drinks here, so nothing to report on food

-Bossa Café- again, we only grabbed drinks here in their big comfy chairs, but this spot is right on the water and has a fantastic sunset view. Not to mention you get an entire mini cheese board with your drink order.

-We also ate at the hotel’s restaurant, right on the beach! Locals told us our hotel has some of the best food in town, so venture to it for a great meal!

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Second Stop: Santorini

If you are looking to visit only one island in Greece, Santorini would be my recommendation. I mean, I’ve only visited two, but after talking to others on our trip about other stops they made (ex: Mykonos), Santorini seemed to be a favorite all around! We stayed in Oia, at the very tip of the island. The sunsets were gorgeous, the food was delicious, and we walked just about everywhere (aside from the excursions we went on). It was one of the most romantic, beautiful places I have ever been. A much different vibe than Naxos, but absolutely amazing. In Santorini, we had a few more things planned than we did in Naxos because we felt like we were ready to explore and venture out a bit. Don’t get me wrong, we definitely spent plenty of time by the pools as well (even getting lunch delivered to us there the first day, ha!), but I loved both of our excursions and would highly recommend them to anyone visiting Santorini!



Where we stayed: Katikies Resort

Before you Google this one, I feel like I should tell you that this was our splurge hotel for the trip, but it was worth every penny. There are three infinity pools, the service is unbelievable, and breakfast was delivered to our balcony every day. We didn’t eat at the resort for our other meals, aside from lunch one day, but it is supposed to be delicious. I just couldn’t fathom spending $36 on a spicy tuna roll…lol


What we did:

Kevin and I spent plenty of time by the hotel pools, walked through the town of Oia, and had two planned excursions while in Santorini.

  1. Sunset Catamaran Cruise – this was quite possibly my favorite part of our entire honeymoon. We were picked up at our hotel, driven to the opposite end of the island, and boarded onto a Catamaran with about 20 other people (this is where we encountered our friends from the ferry again!). We spent the day on the boat, which sailed around the entire island and also stopped at two different beaches where we could swim and snorkel. They anchored for a bit of time at one of the beaches to cook a delicious Greek meal (oh, did I mention beer and wine are included?) and then we ate together as we sailed toward the sunset. We anchored again in the waters off of Oia where we watched the most beautiful sunset from the front of the boat outside of Amoudi Bay. Highly recommend!
  2. Cooking Class and Wine Tasting Experience – this was also SO much fun! If you love to cook (like me) and enjoy wineries (also like me), this is a tour for you! We did a shared tour, which we actually happened to share with another couple from the Boston area – a teacher and a lawyer to make it even smaller of a world! Again, for this tour we were picked up at our hotel and brought to the locations. We stopped at two wineries, tasting at Boutari Winery and then cooking and tasting at Artemis Karamolegos Winery. We learned all about how grapes in Santorini grow in a basket formation, rather than up, and tried some of the delicious Santorini white wines (no reds there!). We cooked up Greek salad, fava beans, tomato fritters, and pork with a wine sauce and then feasted on our meal in the beautiful winery restaurant, Aroma Avlis!

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Where we ate:

-Oia Gefsis: a very cute spot with an even cuter roof deck! If you make a reservation, they have sunset view seating, but we chose to watch it elsewhere (okay, we watched it in a parking lot with a bottle of wine and some Pringles) and then venture to dinner after. Food was amazing!

-Melitini: Kev will tell you this was his favorite meal in Santorini, and I would have to agree. Food here is tapas style, so we shared a few different mouth-watering plates. Our favorites were the saganaki and grilled octopus. I was nervous to try it at first, but now I am hooked!

-Santo Winery: this is an absolute MUST in Santorini for the sunset views. It is in Pyrgos, so we spent a bit of money to take a car there from Oia (they don’t do metered taxis so they can basically charge what they want – it was 50 euro one way but only 35 back…annoying), but truthfully, it was worth it. The food was amazing and the views were even better. Definitely make a reservation here!

-Pitogyros: we thought we had the best gyro in Naxos, but these were even better! A bit more expensive, but delicious for lunch!

-One place we did not eat that I wish we had was down in Amoudi Bay. We never got around to venturing down the many stairs to get there (particularly because two days we had lunch/dinner on our excursions and then we opted for Santo Winery instead), but all who we spoke to that did had wonderful things to report about the fresh seafood right on the water!

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Wow, I’m already wishing I was back in Greece! If you visit any of the places mentioned above, please let me know so I can live vicariously through you!



Now, on to Paris!