While Aegean Airlines and Goldair Handling tried to find and sort getting my luggage to me, I took a ferry (sans motorcycle) to the Island of Paros. It’s on this idyllic Cycladic island I planned to meet my brother and his family along with our mutual friend Paul Freitas and family.
On the nearly three-hour ride to Paros, I meet Gelini, an accomplished Greek chef who’s worked with Maria Loi in New York and now lives in Athens. She’s going to stay in the villa—which sits in the middle of a vineyard—Jon and Paul rented and cook traditional Greek dishes for us on the days we’re not exploring the local tavernas and restaurants.
As I mentioned several times in my book ‘FORKS,’ life is about the unlikely circumstances that lead to incredible connections and pure coincidences. On Paros, it turns out that Jon’s coworker and current Chief White House Correspondent for ABC News, Cecilia Vega, along with her husband Ricardo, are on the island at the same time. Chef Gelini prepares an incredible multicourse meal for which Jon and Paul line up a fantastic pairing of Greek wines.
Jon and his friends have been in Greece for nearly a week. I hadn’t seen Jon and Maria and my two nieces since last fall when we all celebrated the launch of Jonathan’s latest book, “Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show.” So it’s also good fortune and serendipity that both Jon and I are in Greece at the same time. I hoped to bring my motorcycle to Paros, but with my motorcycle gear trapped in the maze and madness of Athens Airport, I journeyed on ship and foot instead. So great to see the smiles, share the food, and toast to family, good friends, and Greek food, wine, and hospitality.
We took the time to explore local beaches and those hidden and accessible only by boat. Finally, we wandered around the hillside village of Lefkos, where we basked in the ambiance of white-washed buildings accented by the iconic aqua blue of the Cyclades.
Later we took the ferry back to Athens and spent a couple more days enjoying family time together—on foreign soil—even visiting the legendary Athens Vintage Wine Bar & Bistro. I have featured my friend and owner of the wine bar, Panos Krizias, on this blog, my podcast, and during the COVID lockdown on my Journeys Webcast. Sadly, Panos isn’t in Athens this summer. He just opened a second location in Nicosia on the island of Cyprus. I plan to visit him next week—if I get reconnected with my luggage.