Tell us about your Rome adventures.
We started in Rome, and that was so much fun. I love big cities, and this is a big city. It gave us a chance to walk around. And it’s one of those places where anywhere you walk, you’re going to see things around every corner like the Trevi Fountain. I think that was probably one of the kids’ favorite things.
We spent three nights and two full days in Rome. On our first day, we walked all over and saw the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps and got some pasta. Then the next day, we did the Colosseum and the Forum. And the third day, we did a bike tour out to the aqueducts and down the ancient Appian Way, which was cool but very bumpy and muddy, which the kids loved.
Tell us about your Pompeii adventures.
We took the train down to Naples from Rome and did a day tour in Pompei. It wasn’t my favorite tour…a two-hour tour just scratches the surface of what you can see because it’s huge. I really wish that we had done it independently without a tour company.
But what we did discover on that tour was a little winery on Mount Vesuvius called Sorrentino Winery. We went for a wine tasting and lunch. You’re sitting on Mount Vesuvius! It was an experience the adults and the kids enjoyed. https://www.sorrentinovini.com/en/
Tell us about your Santorini, Greece adventures.
We flew out of Naples on Ryan Air. We found a $10 flight to Santorini (if you don’t bring suitcases, so for that reason, we only traveled with backpacks).
Santorini was really for me as I had never been before and had always wanted to go. I didn’t realize how much the kids were going to love it. It’s really talked about as a romantic couple’s destination, which it is, but we were there the first week of April in the offseason, and we had a great time.
We had so much fun exploring. We walked up to Fira from our little villa every day. The food there was amazing was my favorite food in Greece. There’s a cable car in town that takes you down to the water.
Then we took a boat out to the caldera (the flooded volcanic crater), which the kids absolutely loved.
The thing I was most excited about was the ATV tour I found. Unfortunately, they called to cancel the day before as someone on their team got COVID.
We ended up getting a tour with the company that gave us our airport transfer. They drove us around to places on the island, including Black Beach and Red Beach. My kids just loved it. They could have stayed on the beach and just played in the waves all day. That was another highlight of the trip for them.
Tell us about your Athens, Greece adventures.
Athens is one of my favorite cities in the world.
Right when we flew to Athens, we went out in the countryside to the Hellenic Donkey Center, a non-profit donkey rescue. This was one of the things I was most excited about as it was such a different experience. As soon as we got out of the car, all the adults were like, oh my gosh, this is so beautiful.
It’s an idyllic little farm. They matched us all up with donkeys. And then they talked to us about how to take care of them. You do not ride the donkeys! We got to brush our donkeys, and then we literally took them for a walk in the countryside.
The kids AND adults loved it. We were all fighting over whose donkey was the coolest. We bought t-shirts from them, which support the rescue, with our donkey’s letters. Then they made us a homemade meal afterward. It was an amazing experience. And I know it’s one that the kids are never going to forget.
We took a tour to Delphi, which everyone loved. My son, who is almost 13, got into mythology when he was young, reading all the Percy Jackson books. So, being able to see where the temples to the gods were was mind-blowing for him.
We went up to the Acropolis, which my son was just absolutely tickled pink by.
My favorite part is just walking in the Plaka. And the history everywhere you turn.
Then we walked to Lycabettus Hill, the highest point in Athens. It was about an hour walk through these little neighborhoods and side streets. It was so much fun seeing the culture and the little shops and the restaurants.
We got to the top of the Hill, and it was really crowded. But there’s a little cafe up there we ended up sitting down at and getting some food and drinks. The view is stunning, and we got to hang out there as the sun was setting in Athens and the city started to light up. I would highly recommend hanging out there.
What’s the next trip you’re planning?
Our next adventure is Paris. The kids are really excited. My daughter is almost eight, and a couple of years ago, she saw Fancy Nancy. Nancy’s talking about Paris, so my daughter has always wanted to go.
And after getting KeeKee’s Big Adventures in London, the kids want to go to London. They have already planned out our travel itinerary, and it’s so cool to see them take such an interest in our adventures.
They also loved reliving our Rome and Athens adventures with the KeeKee Big Adventures books.