Winter to Spring UK fashion

A wise friend of mine said to me recently, “You remember those three days last week of really nice weather…. Yeah, that was summer.” Now although that is quite the exaggeration, it is not completely far off to say that summer days in the UK are few and far between.  That being said, I have compiled a list of fashion ideas to help you get from Winter to Summer here in chilly England.

  1. Your number one staple here is a good pair of jeans; paired with a chunky winter jacket and boots in winter and then with a baggy tee and pumps in summer. Definitely something you should keep at the front of your wardrobe.
  2. A tailored blazer is great for those more formal occasions, with a turtleneck underneath for winter and some woollen accessories, or with a satin came and a fedora for spring.
  3. Boots are a living staple here in England, they come in all shapes and sizes and are the best possible option for footwear. Because I am one of those types who catches a chill simply by opening the fridge, I can always be seen in a decent pair. Wear knee high ones in winter with a wool trim or cut out ankle boots in the spring.
  4. A decent scarf – try something with a pop of colour, keeping a neutral palette of clothing and then allowing colour to come through in your accessories is the perfect way to establish a decent full wardrobe.
  5. Stockings – The best thing since sliced bread for a London lifestyle. Wear them under jeans for those super cold days in winter or with a dress in spring when it’s just a little bit chilly or your legs are borderline transparent (such as my own).

I have kept the list pretty vague because I am aware that everyone has their own personal style, and that prints and designs will differ. These items have really helped me though and I hope to post some more photos of our adventures around England soon.

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3 Greek Islands: 1 Day

We sailed away from the bustling, busy streets of Athens to enjoy the peace and beauty found out on the Aegean Sea…

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Greece has many islands accounting for 17% of its territory. Authorities have estimated 1600-6000 islands exist (kind of large range there) 166-277 are said to be inhabited.

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The weather in May has been a bit moody. Most days are sunny and around 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit, while some days storms roll through with lightning, thunder, rain and 60 degree weather. There is also a lingering fog that settles into Athens every once in awhile.

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This day it was supposed to rain, but we got lucky. These pictures are of the various islands we passed on our 36-mile cruise to Hydra.

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Hydra

Hydra is 50 square kilometers and the southernmost island of the Saronic Gulf. It has a rocky coastline and it’s highest peak is 593 meters high. After seeing many islands without much going on, we saw civilization nestled into this little pocket.

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As we got closer, you can see just how charming this little town is. It is truly a breath of fresh air and a whole different world from the huge city of Athens we had been in just a few hours earlier. hydra up close.JPG

An interesting thing about Hydra is there is a ban on all motorized vehicles. There are many hiking trails you can walk, or if you are the adventurous type, you can saddle up on a donkey for your exploration.

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As you walk through Hydra, you find restaurant after restaurant with large outdoor seating areas. The colorful couches with comfortable looking cushions just beg you to have a seat, soak up some rays, and sip a coffee or cocktail. You can also browse through shops for clothes, shoes, natural soaps in our case, and souveniers. Each hour on the hour the clock tower bells ring, reminding you time is indeed passing on this little paradise.

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I could imagine staying in one of those houses nestled up on the hill and living the slow island life for awhile.

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If you visit, there are many places where you can swim too. Molos ,Kaminia and Vlyhos are recommended spots to ride or walk to.After Hydra, we headed off toward Poros while enjoying a tasty all you can eat buffet on board and chatting with some new Greek friends we met.

Poros

Poros is an island which is somewhat quiet yet cosmopolitan. It is known for its beautiful beaches, lively waterfront and pine tree vegetation.

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Sailing seems to be the thing to do in these parts.

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We got off and walked all the way down the dock, past boat after boat after boat, and found another clock tower.

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It was quite cool cruising into this area as both sides of the waterway are lined with buildings. It would be fun to stay and cross back and forth.

Aegina

Our last stop for the day was the island of Aegina. Aegina is only 17 miles from Piraeus where we began and used to be a rival of Athens in ancient times. It is 33 square miles and 2/3rds of it are composed of an extinct volcano. However, the land is fertile and the main crop grown here is …pistachios mmm.

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We walked down the waterfront to find many pistachio stands, ice cream shops, fresh fruits and vegetables, and luxurious yachts and sailboats.

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We couldn’t help but notice this church, so walked down to take a closer look.It is the  Panagitsa church originally built in 1673 and rebuilt in 1906.

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Aegina is also home to the Temple of Aphaea. This is a temple dedicated to the goddess of Aphaia which was built in 570 B.C. on the remains of an older temple.

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After Aegina, it was time to sail home to our home for the month in Athens. We were lucky enough to have an amazing sky to take in on our ride back to town.

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Just beautiful

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How Can You Get There?

There are a few ways to get to the Greek islands. You can take a ferry, fly, rent a yacht with a sea captain, take a speed boat, or take a cruise. We opted for the one day cruise which takes you to each island. We were picked up bright and early in a nice charter bus at 7 am and were dropped back off around 8p.m.. We booked through Key Tours and they took care of everything. It ranges from 85 Euro to 99 Euro per person and includes lunch, entertainment, and shuttle service. The boat had 3 floors, bars, snacks, shopping, and people from all over the world which made for a good time. onedaycruisewholeboat.JPG

Traveler Tip: One of us gets seasick pretty easily and he made it through without a problem despite choppy conditions at times.

These islands were really nice, especially Hydra. I’m really wanting to come back and stay on Crete or Mykonos next time. Athens has some very good food and interesting historical sites, but the islands are a breath or fresh air and nice change of scenery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Visiting The Ring of Kerry and the Wild Atlantic Way

“Which country is on the top of your list for places to visit next?” He asked.

I sighed. For a travel lover like myself, this is my favourite type of question but not after midnight when I’ve already been awake thirty hours attending to a birth.

With a sleepy yawn, and some slight annoyance, I listed off a few desires places…”Morocco, India, Ireland, Peru…”

The next day, as we walked the dimly lit streets of Fort Langley, he took me into the new pizza parlour, ordered a drink, sat down at a table in the corner and pulled out an envelop from his coat. Two tickets (and a lap baby) to Ireland and Israel.

Tears.

People asked us why we chose these two, vastly different countries to visit. Perhaps it is due to the small, yet strong Irish blood that still pulses through my veins. Or maybe it is my wild and desperate need for open air, green pastures, rolling hills and crashing waves.

Ireland, especially the Skellig Coast, Ring of Kerry and the Wild Atlantic Way, was exactly the kind of magic this free spirit needs.

Cliffs of Moher

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It is perhaps the most iconic scene of Ireland’s west coast, the Wild Atlantic Way. Truly as breathtaking as I ever could imagine, both because of the stunning nature beauty and because we seemed to visit on one of the windest days! While I knew the Cliffs of Moher was notorious for always being windy, this day seemed exceptionally so! I was almost pushed completely to the ground at least three times and it was hilarious to watch people try to walk against the wind, getting pushed from side to side!

It was the epitome of the Wild Atlantic Way! However, due to the harsh winds and our concern that Chayton would get too cold (he had completely burrowed himself into Chris’ back!), we only spent an hour or so at the Cliffs of Moher before continuing on our way.

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Adare Town

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I mean, is this not the cutest little house you’ve ever laid eyes on?! I can just imagine the sweetest little elderly couple living here, with fresh scones baking in the oven and a pot of tea warming on the stove.

This may not be the case, but I sincerely hope it is!

Adare is the most picturesque little Irish town and if you are in the area, you must stop for a little visit!

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We dropped in for a snack of Sticky Toffee Pudding and Coffee at The Blue Door Restaurant in Adare and of course, took a few photos with the adorable thatched houses on the main road before continuing on.

Killarney National Park

We got to the park right in the middle of golden hour and it is off-the-charts-stunning! Around each bend of the road, Chris and I were both gushing over the visual feast that our eyes were taking in. We pulled over to snap a few photos and I’ll let them speak for themselves!

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Westcove Farmhouse Bakery

Finally, late in the evening, we arrived at our new home for the next few days. Our host, Jane, welcomed us to “true rural Ireland” and made us quite comfortable in the rentable apartment of her working farmhouse and bakery. She knew that we would be tired from a long day of travel and graciously left us some freshly baked goodies and her own home-made Black Currently Jelly on the kitchen counter of our cozy one-bedroom apartment above her farmhouse.

Chayton and I enjoyed a bubble bath in the big soaker tub and we settled in for a restful and comfortable sleep.

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The next morning we woke chirping of birds and a little horse grazing next to the Atlantic Ocean outside out window.

We were ready to visit the Skellig Coast!

 

…stay tuned for Part 3 of our Irish Adventure.

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