Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I've hung up my dress-for-success clothes, and pulled my domestic "genes" out of storage.

Friday, April 20, 2018

BEST OF THE WEEKEND - 4.20.18









Hi there, friends!
Welcome to Best of the Weekend!

If you are in need of some inspiration in the form of 
recipes, DIY, home decor, travel and more,
you've come to the right place! 
Just scroll on down, and visit a few of the links........
you're sure to get some new ideas!

Ready to party?


We'd appreciate it if you'd follow your co-hosts!



 ****************  

We feature all kinds of posts -- 
 recipes, home decor, DIY, gardening, travel, whatevah
so link up your best stuff! 

Non-Bloggers: There are hundreds of fabulous ideas collected here each week;
just click on the links under the thumbnail photos,
and you will be taken directly to the blog post.  

All of our features are pinned to our Best of the Weekend board! 








Last week's most clicked:



Rustic Sourdough Bread | The Lazy Gastronome



 A few of my favorites:



Grab our button if you've been featured!

 






Let's link up!


Monday, April 16, 2018

TRAVEL THROWBACK: SCENES OF SANTORINI



Breathtaking Santorini should be on everyone's bucket list | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes



Is there a place you've been to that holds a special place in your heart?
I have a bunch of them -- what can I tell you, I've got an enormous heart!
The island of Santorini is one such place.
My heart goes a-flutter whenever I think about it. 
Santorini was at the top of my bucket list for such a long time.
The many pictures I'd seen of white-washed buildings with turquoise trim,
the purple bougainvillea, the deep blue sea.......
I was itching to go to Greece so badly, I could taste it.
And by taste it, I meant that literally, especially the baklava. 

In June of 2007, I got my chance.
Mr. GS, Junior GS (who was not quite eight years old), 
 Aunt GS and I hopped across the pond.
We started in Athens (read about that here), and then flew to Santorini.

One of the first glimpses of Santorini's breathtaking beauty 
was when we rounded a corner and came upon this view.
The town of Fira is built into the cliffs of a crescent-shaped caldera.

It stole my heart right then and there.

Breathtaking Santorini should be on everyone's bucket list | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


I didn't think I could be more in love...........until dusk fell.

Breathtaking Santorini should be on everyone's bucket list | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes



 Looking over the cliff, the view was a different kind of spectacular.

Breathtaking Santorini should be on everyone's bucket list | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


I didn't know a thing about Greek food growing up.
My culinary education in that regard began in college when my friend, Chris, 
who is Greek, shared her mom's care packages of home-cooked meals.
(I told you about her here).

The food in Greece exceeded my every expectation.......
Mousaka, pastichio, dolmades, Oh My!  
The Greek salads, with sweet, ripe, red tomatoes
were as satisfying as a piece of galaktoboureko.
Okay, that's not really true, but they were delicious in their own right.
And I'll take a Greek pastry over Italian or French any day.

Breathtaking Santorini should be on everyone's bucket list | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes



The ambiance at every restaurant we went to was picture perfect.
When I'm in Europe, I wish that my stomach was a bottomless pit,
so I could go from restaurant to restaurant all day long, 
to soak up the atmosphere, and enjoy the food.........
without gaining a pound, of course.

Breathtaking Santorini should be on everyone's bucket list | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


For dessert, Santorini serves up eye-candy in the form of bougainvillea,
which grows like crazy all over the island.
I don't think I'd ever go indoors if I lived in one of these houses.

Breathtaking Santorini should be on everyone's bucket list | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Breathtaking Santorini should be on everyone's bucket list | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Breathtaking Santorini should be on everyone's bucket list | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Breathtaking Santorini should be on everyone's bucket list | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


One thing I love about Europe is that you never know what you'll find around each corner.
Sometimes it's ancient ruins, sometimes it's.......
Oh, hello, Donkey-Hotey!

Breathtaking Santorini should be on everyone's bucket list | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


As charming as Fira was, there was a lot more to see on Santorini.
We drove up to the top of a mountain
for a fabulous view of the famed black sand beach, Kamari. 

Breathtaking Santorini should be on everyone's bucket list | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Breathtaking Santorini should be on everyone's bucket list | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


We had some company up there on the mountain top.

Breathtaking Santorini should be on everyone's bucket list | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


After viewing it from afar, we had to go down to "see level."

Breathtaking Santorini should be on everyone's bucket list | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


 We unknowingly saved the best for last........
On our last night, we went to the town of Oia.
 It is forever etched into my mind how spectacularly beautiful it is.
How is it that some people get to live there........
and I get to live in New Jersey?

Breathtaking Santorini should be on everyone's bucket list | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
\
I love going on throwback vacations..........
Half the fun of traveling is looking at pictures and re-living the trips.
But that always makes me want to go back for real.


You may also like:

Friday, April 13, 2018

BEST OF THE WEEKEND: FRIDAY THE 13TH










Hello, all!
Welcome to Best of the Weekend!
Do you dread Friday the 13th's arrival,
or are you oblivious to it?
Whatever your position on superstition,

I hope you had a wonderful day today!
Now, here's a proposition -- 
come party with me.......
Your sure to find some inspiration!

We'd appreciate it if you'd follow your co-hosts!



 ****************  

We feature all kinds of posts -- 
 recipes, home decor, DIY, gardening, travel, whatevah
so link up your best stuff! 

Non-Bloggers: There are hundreds of fabulous ideas collected here each week;
just click on the links under the thumbnail photos,
and you will be taken directly to the blog post.  

All of our features are pinned to our Best of the Weekend board! 








Last week's most clicked:


How To Downsize and Organize Like Never Before | Little House Living



 A few of my favorites:


Stuffed Avocado - Easy Low Carb Dinner Idea | Life, Love and Thyme


Pineapple & Gorganzola Toast | Coffee Break Reads 



DIY Topiary Trees With Boxwood Sprays | Repurpose & Upcycle 



DIY Paper Flowers | My Printly






Grab our button if you've been featured!

 






Let's link up!


Thursday, April 12, 2018

FOUR DAYS IN ICELAND : DAY 4: THE BLUE LAGOON




Four Days In Iceland: Day 4 - The Blue Lagoon | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes



DAY 4: The Blue Lagoon

Our alarms ring in unison on our last day in Iceland. Fran and I are both bummed out with the realization that night has passed, and our one and only opportunity to see the Northern Lights is over. We have no time to fret - our driver is picking us up before the crack of dawn. 

I wish we had more time here at the Hotel Ranga to explore the grounds in daylight. We arrived at dusk, and we're leaving before sunrise. In retrospect, spending only one night here seems to have been a mistake. But, to be fair, had we seen the Northern Lights last night (optimally, while sitting outside in the hot tub with a glass of wine), we wouldn't have thought twice about staying only one night. We would have been fully satisfied. So goes the best laid plans.

We have our breakfast and focus on the day ahead. Today brings us to the Blue Lagoon geothermal pools! It's about 85 miles from here, and we are paying four arms and four legs to have a private driver take us from here to there. Why? Because there really is no other way, other than renting our own car, which we don't want to do, or taking a bus with multiple connections, which would probably take half a day.

The driver wants to show us a special site along the way. It's a remote area called Strandarkyrkja. Should we be a little nervous that he's taking us off the main road? The thought doesn't even occur to us, perhaps because he is so nice and friendly, but more so because our food tour leader told us there is virtually no crime in Iceland. In fact, murders occur so rarely in Iceland, that if one does happen, the entire country goes into mourning. We follow him, leaving our New York street smarts locked in the car.

A quaint little church sits all alone. It is early morning, so we cannot take a peek inside. We are unaware at the time that the church is said to have special powers in bringing good luck. Maybe if we had stopped here yesterday, we could have prayed to see the northern lights last night. 

Four Days In Iceland: Day 4 - The Blue Lagoon | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


Our driver leads us up the steps towards the beach, where he is hoping we will be lucky, and see seals lounging on the rocks. The are a few way out, but my camera can't capture them. It's such a peaceful and serene location, and a nice way to start the day.

Four Days In Iceland: Day 4 - The Blue Lagoon | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Four Days In Iceland: Day 4 - The Blue Lagoon | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Four Days In Iceland: Day 4 - The Blue Lagoon | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


We're back in the car, and literally the only ones on the road for most of our two-hour ride. After about an hour, the driver pulls over to the shoulder. 

Four Days In Iceland: Day 4 - The Blue Lagoon | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


He takes us over to the moss that stretches as far as the eye can see. He tells us to touch it -- it is surprisingly soft and springy. We had assumed that it would be hard, as it covers black volcanic rock. We're not supposed to walk on it, as it is easily damaged, and can take a very long time -- if ever -- to recover. Icelanders are very protective of their fragile environment. 

Four Days In Iceland: Day 4 - The Blue Lagoon | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Four Days In Iceland: Day 4 - The Blue Lagoon | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


A little while more, and we arrive at the Blue Lagoon. Our driver will pick us up in three hours to take us to the airport. 

Four Days In Iceland: Day 4 - The Blue Lagoon | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


We get a preview of the lagoon before going inside which wows us! Wow!

Four Days In Iceland: Day 4 - The Blue Lagoon | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


Four Days In Iceland: Day 4 - The Blue Lagoon | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

The contrast of the powder blue water and black lava rocks are striking. The water gets its beautiful color from three active ingredients: silica, algae, and minerals, plus the reflection of the sunlight. Although there is no sun today, it is still beautifully blue. It's overcast and misting. And it's cold........the low 40's........a perfect day for swimming!


Four Days In Iceland: Day 4 - The Blue Lagoon | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Four Days In Iceland: Day 4 - The Blue Lagoon | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


The Premium Package we purchased months ago includes a towel, bathrobe, flip flops, silica mud mask, algae mask, and a free drink at the swim up bar. In order to use the lagoon, everyone must shower before going in. I have been stressing for months about showering in a communal locker room, and I'm enormously relieved that we can shower in our bathing suits. Once upon a time I wouldn't have minded such things, but with age, modesty has increased exponentially. I heed the warnings that the lagoon water can wreak havoc on one's hair, and comb gobs of the recommended conditioner into my locks.

We make our way out to the lagoon, soaking wet and shivering under our bathrobes. Brrrrrrr! We hang our robes on the outdoor hooks, and almost run into the water, which is somewhere between 98-104°. It is the most heavenly sensation!  

Four Days In Iceland: Day 4 - The Blue Lagoon | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


We make our way over to the silica mud, and algae and apply our masks, which is quite a sight, and will absolutely not be shared here. I mean, going for the laugh is tempting, but, no. Creatures of the blue lagoon, I'll tell you! Instead, the masks can be seen on strangers in some of these photos.

I have seen many beautiful photos people have taken while they're in the lagoon, and my goal is to get some perfect shots of my own. The waterproof cover for my cell phone doesn't prevent the steam from fogging up my lens, and most of my pictures are awful. The dreary gray sky doesn't help.

Four Days In Iceland: Day 4 - The Blue Lagoon | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Four Days In Iceland: Day 4 - The Blue Lagoon | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

As an add-on to our entrance fee, we purchased in-water massages. For 30 minutes, we float on a mat covered in hot, wet towels while being massaged with mineral oil. The masseuse has to keep submerging us in the water to keep us warm. What an experience! 

Exiting the warmth of the lagoon, and trying to find our robes is excruciating - it's freezing! After a hot shower, lunch in the cafe, and a stop in the gift shop, our driver collects us and we are off to the airport. 

Four days has gone so quickly, yet it feels like we've been here a long time. We are grateful that the rain has literally held off until we're about to take off.

Four Days In Iceland: Day 4 - The Blue Lagoon | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


Our seats are in an upright position, our tray tables are stowed, and New York City is in sight out of the right side of the aircraft. We're home.


Four Days In Iceland: Day 4 - The Blue Lagoon | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


I'm honored to have helped Fran celebrate her birthday in Iceland. We are good traveling buddies, and I think we'll do this again........sometime.........somewhere. We'll discuss it over a sushi dinner, no doubt!




Resources:
The Blue Lagoon

You can read about Day 1 here:




 You can read about Day 2 here:




You can read about Day 3 here:


Linking With: