My Life in Boston

mostly about food, but also about sneakers, make-up…and now, my kid

Month: November 2015 (Page 1 of 4)

5 Things to Keep in Mind When Flying Budget Airlines Like Wow, Easyjet, and RyanAir

As a general rule of thumb when flying with these budget airlines, be prepared to travel light, light, light! There’s a reason why airfare is so cheap. But sometimes flying on the cheap is the only way to go. Here are some general rules to keep in mind.

5 Tips for Flying on the Cheap

1. Invest in a luggage scale.
You will need it. Each of these airlines have different weight limits. If you go over, you pay a certain amount for each kilo you’re over. So, avoid any surprises. I picked mine up for $7 from Primark and it was pretty accurate.

2. Limit yourself to one carry-on when you board the plane.
Purses, man bags, duffles and etc. will be considered as additional carry-on.

3. Pay for check-in baggage 48-72 hours before your flight.
Shell out the money for more luggage weight if you can to get bags checked-in for peace of mind. Traveling is stressful enough without having to worry about if you made weight or not. It’s like you’re training for a fight or something. It’ll be a hell of a lot cheaper than on the day of when they will take you to the cleaners.

4. Know what part of the plane you’re boarding.
Front, middle, or back? Easyjet allows for boarding from both ends so you don’t want to dash to the front of the plane if your seat is at the back.

5. This one is specific to RyanAir but PRINT OUT your boarding pass.
They will charge you 70 euro if you don’t have it printed out — that’s 70 euro for each boarding pass. It doesn’t matter if the flight info is on your phone. They don’t care.

I learned these valuable lessons during my recent London-Greece adventure. It was my first time flying this way where I had to actually buy a luggage scale and use it. If I didn’t have to lug my dinosaur 17″ MacBook Pro around, I would’ve been fine, but it accounted for nearly half of my allotted weight. My next laptop will definitely be smaller and lighter!

My Personal Experiences

Be aware that once you make your connection to Reykjavik in Iceland, they will be all about the one bag policy. Do not mess with them. No ifs, ands or buts. Don’t think that because you flew out of Boston or Gatwick carrying two bags on board that you’ll be fine. It’s a ruse! They will get you at Reykjavik.

When I flew out of Boston, the WOW Air check-in person let me through even though my carry-on weight was over. I even boarded with my purse and my carry-on with no issue. None. But then, I got to Reykjavik in Iceland and WOW Air was not having it. One bag — ONE bag! I was like madwoman trying to jam my purse into my rolly bag. They tell you this when you’re at the boarding gate.

The Mister got dinged as we were heading back to the States. He hadn’t experienced WOW Air up until that point. We left Gatwick airport with no problems even though the Mister was carrying a small duffle bag and a backpack. However, when we made our connection to Reykjavik in Iceland, he got slapped with a $70 fee to check a bag because there was so way that duffle was gonna fit into the backpack.

It’s kinda bullshit, but now we know and hopefully you will too.

We were flying out of Athens to Santorini and, luckily, our friend gave us a head’s up about the boarding pass situation where they will ding you for 70 euro if you do not have it printed out.

As a matter of fact, when the Mister and I were in line waiting to board, one gentleman found out the hard way. He was livid. I don’t blame him.

I really didn’t have any issues flying from London to Greece via Easyjet. I would however, stick to the one bag rule of thumb just to be safe. Also, know where your seat is. You board from both ends of the plane. Luckily, the Mister was on top of this and steered us to the right direction. Fun fact: some refer to Easyjet as Sleazyjet.

Traveling can be an anxiety-ridden experience, but I hope that what I’ve shared here helps make it less painful.

My mistakes, your gain 🙂

Souvlaki 24/7. There’s Always Room for Souvlaki. Really.

You can eat pretty well for 3 euro in Greece provided you love souvlaki! And, I do. Although, there was some confusion as to what was a souvlaki, what was a kebab, and what was a gyro? In the end, I really didn’t care as long as it was delicious!

And, as a french fry connoisseur, it was a brilliant sight to see fries crammed into pita bread along with hunks of meat and tzatziki sauce. I think I had at least one souvlaki for every day that I was in Greece. Some were perfection and some were not. And, even the ones that were not were far superior to the ones in Boston.

It was a win-win situation all the way.

But, here are the more memorable souvlaki/kebab/gyro that I had:

Greece 2015 | by Lillian Lee
This tiny shop was part bar and part souvlaki stand. When we walked in, all eyes were again on us. We really stood out. We weren’t even sure if we were standing in the right line. We just followed along. It was great to see the cook make each one to order. Unfortunately, this particular souvlaki did not come with fries. *gasp* The horror…

Greece 2015 | by Lillian Lee
We popped by one of the many souvlaki places in Thira/Thera on Santorini Island. We decided to try as many of them as we could. This one we ate while inside of our rented Smart car.

Greece 2015 | by Lillian Lee
Also tried out the mushroom kebabs, which were actually pretty tasty. We thought the balsamic vinegar would be overpowering, but it was mild. Also from the Souvlaki Bar.

Greece 2015 | by Lillian Lee
Dining al fresco on our deck overlooking the Aegean Sea on Santorini Island. We kept it classy.

Greece 2015 | by Lillian Lee
We went to Thira/Thera a lot to eat while on Santorini Island. Here’s a platter of kebabs grilled over coals by an old man.

Greece 2015 | by Lillian Lee
On our last day milling about the city of Athens, we decided to try this neighborhood joint out. The only people we saw were working guys. Again, when we went in, we stuck out. This was by far the greasiest souvlaki we’d ever had on the trip.

Greece 2015 | by Lillian Lee
But, really, the best of the BEST souvlaki that we had on the entire trip was from day one when our friend took us to the center of Athens. It was so delicious. And even though we kept getting harassed by panhandlers and had to watch our bags like a hawk, it was well well worth it. I think about this particular souvlaki all the time. Nothing compares.

And, as shown, there can indeed be stories behind every souvlaki ;P

Greece 2015 | by Lillian Lee

Coffee at the Superfly Cafe in Athens, Greece

What a cool and fun cafe & bar!

The Superfly Cafe and Bar was on the Mister’s radar. So, on our last day in Athens, we went to search for it. We even walked past a few other cafes to get to this one.

We looked out of place again — surprise, surprise. But, the barista/bartender greeted us and made us feel so welcome. Our fredo expressos came out in cute jam jars.

Greece 2015 | by Lillian Lee
Comfy seating was available everywhere. You can find a couch or a table with a suitcase for a table top. Take your pick. There were young people hanging out, having their coffee, and smoking away.

Greece 2015 | by Lillian LeeThere were pinball machines.

Greece 2015 | by Lillian Lee
We sat near an old Commodore computer and some lady pin-up posters.

The one thing that threw me for a loop, I must say, when in Athens was the smoking while indoors culture. I take for granted not having to inhale smoke in small, confined spaces because within the hour my throat got dry and I started coughing. Not fun.


Superfly Cafe and Bar
Athens, Greece

Greece 2015 | by Lillian Lee

Traditional Greek Food in Athens

We hadn’t planned on having traditional Greek food made by grandmama when we walked into Μαύρος Γάτος. We were actually looking forward to more souvlaki. But, it wasn’t available and so we decided to try out the other food like stuffed peppers and moussaka instead.

Again, when we walked in, we stuck out. Grandmama seemed really excited by our presence as did all the other locals dropping by and other customers dining. I wonder if this is how celebrities feel when they walk around and everyone is looking at them? Although, the looks and attention we get are of a different variety.

Everyone was super welcoming and nice so we enjoyed it.

Greece 2015 | by Lillian Lee
The moussaka was pretty tasty. The Mister liked this dish more than the stuffed peppers and I was the complete opposite.

Greece 2015 | by Lillian Lee

Greece 2015 | by Lillian Lee
Grandmama really liked having us because she gave us a slice of Greek cake. We weren’t exactly sure what it was but I’m assuming there were nuts involved. It had a paste-y kind of texture to it too.

I’m glad we decided to veer away from our go-to souvlaki. It hadn’t even occurred to me during our time there to even try more traditional food. Happy accidents indeed!


Μαύρος Γάτος
Athens, Greece

Greece 2015 | by Lillian Lee

Ninnola Gelato Artigianale in Athens

There’s always room for dessert even if you feel as if there’s no more room in your stomach. Our meal beforehand was off the wall.

But continued onwards to Ninnola, makers of artisanal gelato, which was a close walk by. The shop decor immediately transported me straight to Brooklyn. There was even a baby blue retro scooter inside — super cool.

I only tried a couple flavors before committing to a scoop of the Kinder Bueno (hazelnut) and the vanilla ice cream laced with strawberry & chocolate. Loved the gelato and the combination 🙂

Modern Greek Cuisine in Greece

You would think we would be sick of kebabs by now, but no. We wanted to try this “marinated spicy souvlakia”.

Our friends love this particular restaurant (which I unfortunately did not get the name of) and wanted to share with us what modern Greek food is all about. We headed out to a suburb of Athens lined with small streets, boutique shops, and a little cinema. It was definitely the swankier part of town.

Greece 2015 | by Lillian Lee
A nice starter salad of spinach and pomegranate.

Greece 2015 | by Lillian Lee
Fried cheese drizzled with honey.

Greece 2015 | by Lillian Lee
Three types of grilled mushrooms with a honey vinaigrette. I just couldn’t get enough of these.

Greece 2015 | by Lillian Lee
A lovely shot of tsipouri to cleanse the palatte. Yamas!

Greece 2015 | by Lillian Lee
A phyllo dough nest with chicken and a cream sauce made with mastic. This was a stand-out. I’d never had any of these flavors before.

It was great to experience the variety of Greek cuisine. Prior to coming to Greece, I never had fantastic Greek food. Now, I know.

Greece 2015 | by Lillian Lee

A Day at the Parthenon on the Acropolis at Athens, Greece

Greece 2015 | by Lillian Lee

After studying six years of latin and learning Greek history at Boston Latin School, it was a surreal moment to finally climb up the large steps to the Parthenon and experience the size of the massive columns. But, even as breath-taking is seeing how visible the Parthenon is around the city. It’s a part of the cityscape — you look up and it’s right there.

Greece 2015 | by Lillian Lee
The Caryatid Porch of the Erechtheion on the Acropolis at Athens. I’m glad that I caught the Greek exhibit at the British Museum while in London since most of the original statues are there.

Greece 2015 | by Lillian Lee
Hello, Bojack Horseman
. Sorry, I just couldn’t resist.

Greece 2015 | by Lillian Lee
The Temple of Athena Nike holds a special place in my heart. I’ll always remember that time when my high school teacher marked my answer of Nike as one of the Greek gods and goddesses as incorrect. I was right, dammit.

Greece 2015 | by Lillian Lee
The Temple of Olympian Zeus with the backdrop of the city of Athens. It’s kinda remarkable to see the ancient past and the modern times together.

Greece 2015 | by Lillian Lee
The Odeon of Herodes Atticus, an outdoor theatre below the Acropolis which is still in use today.

Greece 2015 | by Lillian Lee
The Theatre of Dionysus, which some say is the birthplace of modern theatre. I tried out the seating and it’s pretty awesome.

Greece 2015 | by Lillian Lee
Hanging out on the marble steps of the Propylaea, a huge entrance building at the top of the stairway into the main Acropolis complex.

What an amazing experience!

Sunset at Vlichada Beach on Santorini Island

Greece 2015 | by Lillian Lee

For our very last excursion to end our time on Santorini Island, we headed to Vlichada Beach. It was a definite highlight of our time on the island.

Greece 2015 | by Lillian Lee

The sunset was beautiful, but also amazing were the cliff formations.

Greece 2015 | by Lillian Lee
Our friend made note to let us know that it looked like a scene out of Star Wars. And, yeah, I can totally see how it would.

Greece 2015 | by Lillian Lee
The black sand on the beach plus the cliffs definitely made this beach stand out. We practically had the place all to ourselves — except for the dog and few other people.

Greece 2015 | by Lillian Lee
And so it made for jumping around like lunatics totally a-OK.

Goodbye Vlichada! Goodbye Santorini! I love you!

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