The title of this post is basically the motto of Mykonos Island. If ever there was a party island....this is it.
After the flight from Istanbul, which was just shy of an hour, we landed at the tiny Mykonos Island airport, went through the most lax passport control I've ever seen, gathered our luggage, took about 6 steps and we were already outside the building. To our delight, the shuttle to the Yiannaki Hotel was waiting for us. The hotel was only about 6 mins from the airport so our transfer was short and sweet. We arrived to the cute little, family owned hotel and were greeted by Vickie, my favorite hotel personnel of the whole trip. Vickie provided us with two welcome beverages and all the information we could ever need for our two days on the island. To be completely honest, we were ready to party when we arrived and Vickie had us pretty pumped so went to the room and freshened up and then we headed out for a first look at Mykonos and the night life.
Our first stop was the hotel pool and bar area. We were immediately approached by the owner of the hotel, Yianni, who welcomed us with complimentary watermelon mojitos and then sat down for a chat. (Please note that he did not offer us watermelon flavored alcoholic beverages because we're African American and he thought we might enjoy them because of that stereotype...you know. Watermelon is actually a very highly consumed fruit in Greece. We noticed the restaurants brought it out after a meal pretty regularly...just thought I'd clarify b/c I know what some of you are thinking...I thought it too...jokingly, of course.) It took a while for the drinks to come out but it was worth it because the bartender came from the kitchen carrying two of the most beautiful, exotic looking drinks ever (well not ever but they were pretty close). I'm not sure if the taste of the drink was enhanced by the fact that they were free or that the owner ordered them for us because we appeared parched from our journey but seriously....no joke...they were delicious and well poured I might add. Fresh watermelon and mint....yum. This gesture from Yianni was among many of the awesomely hospitable gestures we experienced during our time in Greece.
That's Yianni. He caught me taking a selfie and photobombed.
I drank some before I remembered to take a pic but...yeah...mojito delightfulness.
After the adult beverages, we were ready to do some damage. We had heard of the island's reputation, but we had no real clue what was in store.
As an aside, the buses in Mykonos are on a constant loop between all the touristy areas, stopping at other local places in between. You don't see many Grecians on the bus though, most of them drive motorcycles, scooters or ATVs. Of course, we were slightly confused, the bus stops are a tad hard to comprehend for first timers and it doesn't help that they do not keep the posted schedule at all. The bus stops remind me of the old wooden kiosks that are in front of the courthouse. On Tuesdays the weekly foreclosure lists get posted.
About 23 mins after it's scheduled time, the bus finally arrived and whisked us away to Old Town Mykonos. We hopped off and entered into what we referred to as "the Mykonos maze", a never ending cluster of white buildings that house all the shops, restaurants, cafes and bars in the area. All the structures look exactly the same in the dark and during the day light hours. We tried to find landmarks to help us find our way but we got so lost in the maze, so many times. Fortunately, that first night I was intuitive enough to forgo the stilettos that I brought to match my dress so I was able to succesfully traverse the maze with minimal injury.
We followed the small crowd into the maze, it appeared to be deserted and we were a little disappointed. We came to a fork in the path, chose to turn right and few steps later we realized we just hadn't gone far enough and eventually found the crowd. Since we had no clue where to go first we figured, when in doubt, drinks are always a good starting point. We dipped into the first couple different bars we saw with drink specials and jumped right in. Initially we thought we'd stick with the night's protocol and ordered watermelon mojitos. But, we noticed another concoction called rum and pera. Just like is sounds, its a shot of rum served alongside a shot of pear juice as a chaser. That quickly became our go-to drink. This picture is deceiving...it looks like we had all these shots but if you read the previous sentences, you know that's not true. I wanted to get a pic of the drink itself but er, uh...that didn't happen as planned.
As the night progressed, we found that bouncing from place to place was the best way to get a full perspective. A street vendor, who became a constant and random fixture in our evening, attempted to show us around a little but that got confusing after a while and we decided to go it alone. We stopped at Katerina's - a recommendation from Yianni that we just happened to find - had we attempted to actually look for this place in the Mykonos maze, we may have had to call a search and rescue team to find us. Katerina's very handsome bartender, George, served us some pretty bluish-green martinis - something citrusy. Then Elizabeth struck up a conversation with a lady at the bar who turned out to be the owner. Again, in the way of Grecian hospitality and kindness, she ordered several rounds of drinks for us...on the house.
This last pic of Elizabeth and the owner of Katerina's is blurry. To me it represents the whirlwind of the night's events lol.
At this point, we've already had an awesome time but there's still more to see so we kept moving. Around the next corner we were lured by the sounds of familiar pop music to another place called Omega. Omega was more of a club than the other spots we stopped in. I made friends with the guy dancing on the bar and met a really gorgeous male model from Pakistan. The bartender from Katerina's followed us there, which was a little creepy (later that night, we had to use some stealth-like ninja moves to lose this guy). We danced the night away at Omega and left when the crowd began to thin out. We checked out a few other clubs and then found our way to Little Venice, the outermost edge of the Mykonos maze that faces the Aegean Sea. Even at night, the backdrop of the sea as we partook of a club sandwich (hold the tomatoes) and chips was enchanting. This little area was quite charming...and so was the male waitstaff at the restaurant we selected for our 4 am snack. Here are some pictures I shot with my iPhone of Little Venice. Not the best quality, my hands were a little unstable, but it was beautiful.
So, the party doesn't stop til like 6 or 7 in the morning on Mykonos. And actually, we heard that some places are still jumping until way later than that....but our old bodies couldn't hang and we poured ourselves into bed shortly after our stint in Little Venice. The problem was, we had to find a way out of the maze and to a cab. We had heard that it was nearly impossible to find cabs so that was a little daunting. First things first...get out of the maze. A nice couple who had obviously succumbed to the maze before us noticed we were lost and directed us to the outside. I'm thankful for them...otherwise we might have coming up missing, like when ships get lost in the Bermuda Triangle. Then for 10 euros a kind cab driver took the scenic route back to our hotel. I'm obviously leaving some things out. Its like Vegas, what happens there, stays there (in general). Nevertheless, night one in Mykonos was a success.