February 22, 2017

THE OPTIMIST + WEAR 18

For our Valentine’s celebration we got fancy in our neck of the woods hitting up The Optimist in Atlanta’s Westside.  Truth be told, we went earlier than we normally would so that I could capture everything. Dustin totally gets it though I’m not sure the people around us knew what was up… The atmosphere and presentation are just too stinkin pretty to experience a third time and not finally get some shots!

Madewell jacket and jeans, Baggu purse, Bussola boots

I wore a shirt I picked up while buzzed shopping in Santorini late one night. Def paid wayyyyy too much for it but I couldn’t get over it’s unique construction *keep scrolling for better view ;)

The restaurant has lots of seating options to accommodate whatever type lunch or dinner you’re trying to experience whether it’s hopping over for $1 oysters or throwing down to celebrate a holiday or special event. I’d like to go and hang on the oyster bar side which is less formal but equally as stylish as the big open side.

Ford Fry’s The Optimist brings a seaside fish camp experience to landlocked Atlantans. From fresh oysters from the Alabama coast and Maine sea scallops to whole roasted Georgia trout, guests enjoy high-quality, sustainable seafood from the country’s best suppliers. Tucked in an old ham-aging house, The Optimist serves up beer, wine, and handcrafted cocktails with hickory-roasted fish and raw oysters, while beach-food classics like hush puppies and lobster rolls transport you to your favorite coastal haunts.

EL CAPITAN | Amaras mezcal, Ancho Reyes chili liqueur, broVo chocolate, Giffard orgeat, lime, sea salt, star anise

First things first. WE LOVE MEZCAL. Yep, that needed all caps, it’s that much love. Both of us could drink it neat but when it’s offered in a cocktail-even better.

Much like our marriage, we shared everything <3 Started with oysters from the South and East Coast and Spanish octopus.

Look at that beauty └໒( ♥ ◡ ♥ )७┘ What… I didn’t keep that shell to take home and show Flynn (our cat)…and definitely didn’t put in with other shells and stones…

CHARRED SPANISH OCTOPUS | crème fraiche, marbled potatoes, chorizo, chimichurri

Not going to act like I’m some kind of rising food blogger chef star I’ll just say, nom nom nom! And add that the crispy grilled end was the tastiest part!

OPPORTUNIST PLATEAUX | oyster, king crab, shrimp, ceviche

This mahi and snapper ceviche was an explosion of flavor every*single*bite. I voted it and the lobster the best I’ve had of both ever and that’s saying something since I’ve had them in both Mexico and Greece! (humble brag much….)

Didn’t save room for dessert so we settled with a nightcap then went home and watched Lady Gaga music videos (sharing our glorious singing along skills on IG story) and sipped on champagne. Life is good with this one <3 *looking at you Dustin!

And because I couldn’t get dolled up (for me this is dolled, I’m pretty casual most days!) and not get Dustin to risk his life in a busy cut-through, here’s some more photos of my look:

See you again soon you delicious and beautiful restaurant youuu :*

and see you on Instagram <3

February 15, 2017

GREECE | LEFKADA THREE

Last portion of the Greece trip to cover is the exploration of downtown Lefkada’s narrow roads and shop-lined alleys.

The day we went walking and shopping around was raining on and off some times pretty hard. Which probably sounds like the most unideal time to go, which it is but when it comes down to choosing to use a clear day for shopping or beach-I’ll always choose beach!

Each stop on our Greece trip was a different neighborhood and shopping district experience. In Athens it felt like a big European city, Santorini was pure magic and unlike anywhere I had ever been and Lefkada was a sprawling island of smaller beach towns saturated in cafes and shops.

It was easy to get lost but with the help of Eagle Scout master navigator, Dustin, we cruised from one plant-lined alley to another and actually made it back to the car despite it starting to all look alike.

All these photos were shot on my phone and are unfortunately not the most clear but if you look closely this gate is so beautiful!

This moment was one I was happy to capture. Perfect timing, no one else around. Just Dustin and I huddled under the world’s cheapest umbrella and two friends making due on their moped.

Cactus gets a bath :)

See what I mean by ‘all starting to look the same’?

Since it was raining it was very quiet.  But it opened my imagination to think of friends having conversations between the two buildings outside the windows or a curtain blowing out in a Summer breeze with no interruptions.  I appreciated the streets to ourselves :)

If the three posts don’t already show it, Lefkada is out-freakin-standing!

On the way back to Athens to our cheap hotel room for the short night before flying home we made a pit stop in Corinth.  First we got one last Greek salad and chicken kabobs then we went to the archaeological site.

Did you know a traditional Greek salad doesn’t have lettuce but is rather on a bed of tomatoes? We didn’t! Neither of us can eat many raw tomatoes so we shared the feta/onions/cucumbers/olives every time we ordered :P

This site was pretty free-range. Only a few things roped off allowing you to get really close to structures. There was also a museum that was loaded with artifacts. Not pictured (because I got in trouble) are the real remains of two soldiers they discovered in the early 2000’s in the real grave! That was really cool as was all the treasures, housewares, statues and snail shells we kept finding around outside by the hundreds if not thousands. Def snuck a few of those home, shhh!

If you’re on a Greece trip and can swing this DO IT but it’s not something to go way outta the way for. With 227 inhabited islands there’s plenty to see and do there ;)

Greece, DONE! Whoop!

Hope everyone had a lovely Valentines Day! We sipped champagne, made a good din and did household things. The fancy dinner is set for Saturday!

Back-logged outfit posts to come <3

January 31, 2017

GREECE | LEFKADA TWO

In the last post I mentioned we had weather that restricted our plans and while that’s true it also led us to some random adventures, which we’re always up for! Plan was to (in no order) explore city one day, beach hop another then rent a boat and private beach hop a different day. The boat didn’t happen because of the threat of storms but all the beach hopping did!

After the 5 hour drive from Athens to Lefkada and checking into our Villa that first day didn’t leave too much time to beach bum it up but we threw on our swimsuits anyways and bolted to Kathisma Beach.  Didn’t end up swimming but did watch the sunset from the rocky shore, grabbed a Mythos and hung out until we were hungry.

I mean just look at those layers of beauty!  I wish you could hear the sound the water made rustling around all those stones.  Sounded like one of those rain sticks that are made from a dried cactus and have the beads loose inside, this!

On the other side are some folks camping out in tents~dream camping spot!

Skipping around here but after day one came the real rainy day when we went to the Fall. Afterwards we had to stop for gas and I wanted to get a drink from inside.  While walking under the pump I thought the over hanging was higher than it was and went to stand and crushed the top of my head, jamming my neck and biting down so hard on my teeth it hurt my gums and knocked the breath out of me. I was so taken aback (read: embarrassed) that when the guy pumping our gas and Dustin asked if I was ok I said yes but really wasn’t. After getting back into the car I realized how badly I had hurt myself and lost it. So many tears!  After some Greek Ibuprofen and ice pack, I took a breather walk and found all these pretty stones by a beach I don’t even know the name of since I was that out of sorts. Even with puffy eyes, a swollen noggin, achy neck and nose I was unable to breath from, I managed to get this snap of said pretty stones. HA!

And collected handfuls to take home, including that center stone that’s pink and dark grey ;)

Next day, after getting a lay of the land, we set out to pack in as many beach stops as possible.

Agios Nikitas Beach | Lefkada, Greece

We caught wind of a small beach near Milos Beach (a private, by boat only spot), Agios Nikitos, that was walkable. Turned out to be the perfect alternative!

While walking down the narrow cobble stoned town that led us to the beach we noticed visitors carrying yoga mats. “Why the yoga mats?” we wondered. Well, it’s to protect your bum from all the rocks!  Smart thinking locals, smart thinking…

Stetson hat, Hershel Supply bag, towel from Athens, Target swim top and Old Navy bottoms

Found the least rocky area we could and set up a little spot earlier in the day before it got crowded with other visitors that were in the know about “where the Greeks go to vacation” most of whom were from Europe. We found ourselves being the only Americans at several spots in Lefkada.  Whereas in Athens and Santorini we were definitely not. We thought of it as a good thing, being that we were in the know thanks to our Atlanta buddy who’s Greek-American.

Lounged and swam and then went for an adventure. We knew that Milos beach is typically reached by boat but we were real close to so we climbed around the rocky shoreline to see if we could spot the private beach from around the bend. After climbing and realizing we’d have to go back, get our stuff, climb back over, set up, enjoy, pack up and hike/climb back-we opted out and just got a few snaps and went back to our set up and swam around some more before heading to beach 2/3 that day.

Back to Kathisma to rent chairs with drink service!

And collect more stones…While these are pretty smooth, Dustin and I both agree when swimming and walking around, water shoes are a must. Even the littler stones I’m stepping on here hurt after a minute or two.  Learn from my mistake and buy decent ones, my dumb looking water shoes were so cheap they actually backfired on me and COLLECTED ROCKS!  D wore his Chacos and those were ok, also trapped pebbles between foot and sole but were great when it came to climbing and jumping.

Dustin going for a jump! That rock was fun, a hike and leap or two and then you jumped off and swam to shore and did it all over again. We are such water babies!

Kathisma beach | Lefkada, Greece

Along the beach are several bars and restaurants blasting techno and serving seafood. None of them were anything to brag on in particular but fun atmospheres and can’t beat THIS VIEW ^

After Kathisma beach it was Porto Katsiki to watch the sunset. We sat in two places, first directly on the beach with other sunset gazers and then climbed up to a bridge that was unfortunately closed for safety reasons, we heard this was likely from an earthquake as there were around 2-3 other spots that weren’t open because of the same reason. Still got all the views from the top of the walkway down to the beach, I mean:

THIS. If you look closely you can actually see the bridge I’m talking about in the top right of the mountain-side. Yep, not safe in the slightest!

Looking back on my notes we were in Lefkada for about 2.5 days. I’d say we packed in as much as we could considering we wanted to not feel too rushed along the way.

Coming up: Day three of exploring the little beach side town