I was invited to Santorini by Gabifresh to celebrate her 30th birthday. I'm not a mushy person, but I felt honored to be asked and to share this milestone in her life in such an amazing way. Gabi and I became friends a few years ago. We share a lot of commonalities like background and blogging, but more important than that she is really an awesome person in character and in the plus size space. I admire her honesty, integrity, and drive. Whether you know or not, she always advocates for women and has helped so many women, including myself, in the influencer space. She is a friend that doesn't mind me calling to bounce an idea off of her or share something confidential to get it off my chest. With that being said, I don't want to embarrass her, but I know there is just so much that a person can convey online, but yes, she is even more awesome in person. I think you can always judge a person by the people that are around them. I got to share this experience with 14 other fabulous human beings, a lot of whom I didn't know, but that I missed immediately after leaving. Okay, okay, so let's move past the mushy stuff and onto some trip details.
I want to do a breakdown of the trip, so if you ever consider going you'll have some help guiding you there.
Accommodations: Everyone wanted to know where we stayed. So it was one of the white stone places that you always see in the photos of Santorini called Villa Fabrica. This place was gorgeous!!!! I can't gush over it enough. It's like a mini hotel and great for groups. It reminded me of my experience in Jamaica where we got a villa for 12 there (just a budget note, it is easy to stay in luxurious accommodations when you have the numbers to be able split the cost). Villa Fabrica has 8 bedrooms, 3 pools, a chef's kitchen and panoramic views. There was a chef that came in for Gabi's birthday dinner and the chef's kitchen provided the space to make that happen. I heard from someone Villa Fabrica was the second highest point on the island, so that gives you an idea of the view. Staying there was like staying at a mini castle. The only downside to staying there was the steep uphill walk to the Villa. It was literally on top of the hill. When I was reading the reviews that seemed to be the only drawback that people had to say. In a keeping it real moment, I was the fattest person there and my knees suck because of a ACL tear that I did some years back. With that being said, I've been working for the last month to strengthen the muscles around my knee, so that helped a lot. I was able to get back and forth up the hill, but it may have taken me a little longer than everyone else. Because Santorini in general has a lot of steep hills, if you aren't used to doing a lot of inclined walking then I think it would be a very good idea to get your body used to that type of walking 1-2 months before you go. If you can help it, you don't want any mobility issues to keep you from having an awesome time in this beautiful place. And know at the top of every hill is something worthwhile and amazing, so that rough hike up is soon forgotten.
Santorini Yachting Club: Oh My Geez! I'm going to say this was my favorite part of the trip. We did a private sunset boat cruise with the Santorini Yachting Club. This included a tour around that island, an delicious dinner, stops so that we could get out swim and snorkel, and watching the sunset on the water. This is another one of those things where if you have the numbers you can do a private cruise at minimal cost. I think it cost us $130 per person. The crew was magnificent, helpful and helped to make our time on the boat memorable. As a person who gets motion sickness very easily I wanted to do this activity really badly, but I didn't want to be green the whole time. To prep, I took Dramamine. I know it makes a lot of people sleepy, but I would rather be sleepy than nauseous. I think the excitement of the boat ride warded off the sleepiness. I did get a little queasy, I actually took a 30 minute nap on the boat and felt fine after I woke up. My nausea was very minimal, so I was thankful for that. The crew did have some gum for nausea, but they ran out before I could get a piece.
Kamari Beach: We spent some time at Kamari beach which has some beautiful views of the island's coastline. You'll want to note that it is really rock and water shoes are a must. Although the rocks and sands are black the water is extremely clear. I was swimming and looked down and saw my entire body. Just let me say that I am side eyeing the United States' treatment of our waters and beaches. I swear we only see clear water here in Miami.
Food: The food was so excellent in terms of quality (another U.S. side-eye) and taste. Don't expect to be able to grab something quick here. They don't really do fast food, a lot of the items are made fresh and from scratch. Every morning, I ate greek yogurt like it was ice cream. LOL. The dairy there was just so flavorful and rich. The feta cheese....TO DIE FOR! I found myself being obsessed with Greek salad, yogurt and feta cheese. All the meals we had prepared via the Chef and the boat ride were just so good. The seafood y'all! I could go on and on just know that the food will be so good.
Clothing: We had guidance on what to bring for the group photos. Shout out to Azu, one of Gabi's friend is the "organizer friend." On trips like these you always need one person who is organized. Anyhow, besides the looks we were asked to bring, I expected to be either be in a swimsuit or I wanted to wear some tourist-y/comfortable clothing. I am a blogger, but honestly I didn't want to be a blogger on this trip. I just wanted to be comfortable, enjoy the sites, and not really worry about clothing. I think you can't take the blogger out of me at this point. Even in my effort to relax I still planned out a lot of looks...even if they were comfortable. The cool thing about going on a vacation this late in the summer is that a lot of summer clothes were on clearance. I am going to run through my looks below:
- Yellow Maxi Dress - ASOS | Shoes - Lane Bryant (sold out)
- Black String Bikini - SwimsuitsForAll (sold out)
- White Bikini (high waist) - Lane Bryant Top | Lane Bryant Bottom
- White Jumpsuit - JIBRI (sold out & super old)
- Red Swimsuit - Lane Bryant Top (sold out) | Lane Bryant Bottom
You may have noticed I did a few of the Lela Rose x Lane Bryant swimsuits. I have another one that I often wear on snap. The fit and design are so good on these suits that I actually own three. As far as fit goes, they are probably my favorite for my body type. A lot of them are on clearance now, so if you wanted one and they weren't in your budget, they may be now.
Santos Wines: I love winnnneeeee (in Oprah's bread voice)!!! Santos wines had refreshing wines, all of the cheese you could eat (and I mean all of it), and breathtaking views of the island. We did a wine pairing. I love wine, but I am a light weight when it comes to drinking. I got through about three samples before I had to stop. LOL.
Athens: I was in Athens briefly over night because of an early flight. I stayed at Hotel Semiramis. It was super swanky and super inexpensive. I paid $139 for a room with the view of the pool and a garden. I wish I could have gotten to enjoy it more, but I was so exhausted I passed out. I would definitely recommend. Their restaurant was so good.
Thank you guys for hanging out with me via social media on my Santorini trip. It was amazing to be able to include my social peeps along the way. While traveling, I Snapped (via Garnerstyle), Instagrammed, and even did a Facebook live. I love sharing with you guys and it could give you a glimpse into a trip you might want to add to your bucket list. If you want to see more photos from the trip check out the hashtag #gabithreezero on Instagram. I could probably post about 30 more photos, but I want this to be able to load on your computers. LOL.
Santorini Crew (Left to Right): Azu, Ally, Cammie, Fluvia, Christina, Gabi, Nicolette, Monica, Drea, Ines, Me, Dannielle, SolangeOutfit & group photos by Lydia Hudgens.