Do-Over Anniversary

Things do not always go as planned. Sometimes you just need a do-over. Our anniversary was not so excellent, so we decided to have a do-over day, and it was awesome.

My last post was all about the travel woes of two twenty something travelers celebrating an anniversary. And then losing/breaking stuff and then fighting. This post is a lot shorter and a lot sweeter.

Recipe for a “Do-Over Anniversary”

  1. Wake up and decide your fight was dumb and get over it.
  2. Road trip with the car you are slightly overpaying for.
  3. Go out to a delicious dinner and order whatever you want. Even that second desert.

Turns out all we really needed for our anniversary was quality time together and delicious food.

Literally all we did was drive all around the island, stopping once and a while to take some photos and read on the beach.

Olive tree stop

Olive tree stop

Beach stop

Beach stop

Then we went to dinner at a restaurant in the smaller town of Pefkos called Tsambikos (which was, ironically, the name of the beach where I lost my phone and the rental car key got ruined).

We sat on a huge glass balcony overlooking the town of Pefkos and the ocean. We shared a carafe of local wine, gazpacho, and mussels.

View for Anniversary dinner

View for Anniversary dinner

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Logan got cuttlefish risotto and I got steak in seared truffle oil.

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We got crème brulee for desert. It was so delicious that we ordered a second one.

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This was the Greek anniversary we had hoped for.

(Un)Happy Anniversary!

­For being less than a quarter century old Logan and I go WAY back. Technically we probably met 1996 when we were in Kindergarten, but boys had cooties back then so needless to say we were not friends. For thirteen years we were classmates, and eventually friends, in our tiny 50-person graduation class. In 2009, right before high school graduation, we started dating and four years later we got married. We have spent over a quarter of our lives as a couple and that percentage grows with every passing year.

Graduation 2009!!

Graduation 2009!!

Our anniversary present to ourselves this year was hot air ballooning in Cappadocia, but we spent our actual anniversary on the Greek island of Rhodes, exploring, swimming, and, very unfortunately, fighting. Yep, the biggest fight we’ve had in a long time happened on our anniversary. While on vacation on a beautiful island. Such is marriage sometimes.

Rough place to spend an anniversary.

Rough place to spend an anniversary.

Rhodes is a pretty large island and since we had forgone visiting other Greek islands we decided to fork over the extra euros and rent a car for a few days. Activity numero uno on our anniversary was picking up our car and figuring out where we were headed first.

Rental car

Rental car

Stop one ended up being the Valley of the Butterflies, where thousands of Jersey tiger moths (yes, moths not butterflies) migrate to each year the island to reproduce. It’s their own personal love valley. Perfect for an anniversary visit. The number of moths reaches its peak in late May, so we were a bit late to observe the phenomena, but there were still some moths flying around and the valley itself is lovely. There are, however, TONS of tourists, which means a slow walk up the narrow-ish paths.

Valley of the Butterflies

Valley of the Butterflies

Stop two was Seven Springs, which looks a lot better on Google Images than it does in person. It was pretty, but honestly it looked just like any other stream in the woods, which there are a lot of in our home state of Colorado. Maybe we are just stream snobs?

Seven Springs

Seven Springs

After feeling underwhelmed by the Valley of the Butterflies and GREATLY underwhelmed by Seven Streams, we were beginning to wonder if we had simply run out of anniversary luck (how can you beat hot air ballooning in Cappadocia?). Hoping our fortunes would turn we headed to beautiful Tsambikos beach for an afternoon of seaside lounging.

Anniversary beach time!

Anniversary beach time!

After grabbing a quick lunch at one of the beach bars (we were saving our money and our calories for a multi course dinner) we headed as far down the stretch of sand as you can go to get away from the crowds and find a sliver of sand all our own. We spent hours swimming, reading, and relaxing on the beautiful beach, blissfully unaware of the nasty, rage filled nosedive our anniversary was about to take.

Happiness before the storm.

Happiness before the storm.

It all started when Logan realized that he had accidentally left the rental car key in his pocket when we went swimming. No big deal, right? Wrong. This is 2015 people and apparently we now put electronics in our car keys that, when destroyed, prevent you from actually driving the car. As in you CAN NOT start the car with a wet/ruined key. Why? Um… because we can? Really I suppose it is for extra security or something, but if you do anything to damage the key you may end up stranded at a beach in Greece in a fight with your spouse because losing/destroying valuables in the pocket of your swim trunks is actually a fairly common problem for you. Maybe that’s just Logan…

Anyway, I was not too happy about the whole car key thing, but that was really nothing compared to the fact that approximately 3 minutes after discovering the car key was broken I discovered that my iPhone was missing. Lost, stolen, whatever. Point is it was in my bag and then it wasn’t. Our cell service was suspended for the trip and there was a lock on it so it is unlikely that anyone could have accessed my information, but I had photos on there I’ll never get back and I was really not looking forward to replacing a $600 Verizon specific phone when we got home. Luckily I had been backing up my photos fairly regularly, so I was only missing the most recent shots.

 

One of the bars at the beach let us borrow their phone to call the rental company for help. Logan was taking care of getting us back on the road while I scoured everywhere I had been looking for my phone. By the time we were rescued (because we were in so much danger waiting on an idyllic beach) we were not really speaking. We were both just so frustrated and mad and annoyed with how our day had turned out.

So what did these two ultra mature married adults do to remedy this shitty situation? Why we got super drunk of course! Which led to yelling (me), and crying (also me), then some lovely puking (yeah, me again). Good times.

In the grand scheme of things underwhelming tourist destinations, broken rental car keys (which cost 75 euro to repair as opposed to 150 to replace) and lost iPhones are laughable reasons to get into a huge blowout. We are well aware of this fact. Maybe some other underlying issues we were having with travel and each other finally bubbled to the surface. I’m sure our anniversary being “ruined” (according to drunk Heather anyway) did not help. And even though the crappiness of the day felt insurmountable at the time we quickly got over it and woke up the next morning full of apologies and agreements to just let everything that had happened the day before go. It’s only money (and a few photos).

I am so lucky in so many ways, but getting to live my life with Logan is what I am most thankful for, fights and all. Traveling is not always easy, and I think traveling with a loved one can be even more difficult than going at it alone. We get to share magical and wonderful adventures, but we must also deal the ups and downs of any relationship while navigating the stress and confusion that accompanies being on the road (especially on a budget). But he is my family and I love him and I know that at the end of every drunken shouting match he will be there to hold my hair as I regretfully cradle the porcelain bowl. I am one lucky girl.

 

PHONE UPDATE

We are not in a position to drop $600 on a brand new phone and we are still a year away from our upgrade, so I ended up spending hours scouring Craigslist for an affordable phone. Unfortunately Verizon (the service we use) is the only service which requires you to buy phone specific to their company (meaning the thousands of unlocked iPhones available in San Diego we unavailable to moi). Something to do with dual antenna munbo jumbo. I briefly considered getting a different kind of phone, but I quickly remembered that I am one of the brainwashed masses than simply cannot live without an iPhone. Pathetic. I finally found one and promptly began overpaying for insurance on it.

Goodbye Turkey, Hello Greece!

Initially the plan for our “Greece and Turkey” trip was to split our time evenly between the two countries. After spending a couple weeks busing around Turkey the goal was to spend a couple weeks island hopping around Greece. Then we looked up ferry prices to the various islands. Wow-za! Greece is not an expensive country to visit, but the ferries between the islands cost more than our daily budget. At 30-60 euro EACH WAY (in high season, which is when we were visiting), we just couldn’t justify blowing our budget to get to different islands within the same country. Maybe options coming from Athens are more affordable, but coming from Turkey your options are pretty limited and are not very budget friendly.

The luxurious Greek Islands

The luxurious Greek Islands

So we switched gears a bit and decided to focus on one or two islands and travel the much cheaper and easily accessible Turkish coast instead. After a lot of research and adjusted expectations we settled on one island, Rhodes. Why Rhodes? Honestly, location. It is one of the easiest Greek islands to get to from Turkey and it is large enough that five days there didn’t feel excessive. There are beaches and good restaurants and wine and history.

Welcome to Greece!

Welcome to Greece!

We had hoped to take a ferry from Fethiye to the island but for a reason still unbeknownst to us all the ferries from the Turkish city to the Greek island were cancelled the week we were in the area, so we ended up having to backtrack a bit up the coast to Marmaris, spend an unplanned extra night in Turkey and get on an afternoon ferry the next day. We were joined by dozens of day-trippers who had taken the morning ferry over from Rhodes to spend one day in Turkey (because you can absorb SO MUCH CULTURE by shopping in a tourist market for a few hours).

Most of our five days on Rhodes were spent exploring the island by car, but we did spend our first night walking around very cute, but VERY touristy Rhodes Town. The medieval city is the oldest inhabited in all of Europe and despite being stuffed with shops and restaurants catering to the literal boatloads of tourists packing the streets there is a certain charm to the cobbled streets and centuries old architecture.

Rhodes Town

Rhodes Town

Rhodes Town

Rhodes Town

Hello fellow tourists!!

Hello fellow tourists!!

We attempted to get away from the crowds and were rewarded with some romantic exploration of tourist free side streets.

Also Rhodes Town

Also Rhodes Town

Staying inside the medieval walls in Rhodes Town is pretty expensive (although we found a pretty okay deal for our one night there, only 40 euro), so we had booked an Airbnb in a town called Faliraki, which is one of the main party places on the island. Being the old married couple we are, we had no intention of parting and had chosen this spot solely based on the $28/ night room I had found. Plus there is a beach in Falaraki, which should be a given in picking a place to stay while on a Greek Island.

Our first full day on Rhodes was spent doing a whole lot of nothing at the beach in Falaraki. Some sun, some lunch, some swimming, some more sun, some reading, some dinner, some sleep. A vacation from vacation.