Archive for the David Dolnick Category

Found by David Dolnick: “Bob Marley & The Wailers vintage shirt” (original band merchandized) on Ebay

Posted in David Dolnick, Reggae Archives, vintage posters/fliers/memorabilia on May 27, 2010 by Listen Recovery

http://cgi.ebay.com/VINTAGE-BOB-MARLEY-AND-WAILERS-BURNIN-SHIRT-1973-M-/350352974273?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Vintage_Unisex_T_Shirts&hash=item5192aa21c1

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Jackson 5 & B.M.W. photo JAMAICA 1975

Posted in David Dolnick, photography, Reggae Archives on July 10, 2009 by Listen Recovery

bmw&j5

Gotta say, this is one of the most amazing images from the archives that I’ve viewed.  The colors and details of the moment capture by the photographer during this era are unique.  The Jackson 5 & The Wailers all together in a huge tree branch, just outside of Bob’s home at 56 Hope Rd in Kingston.  It was a homecoming!.  Even Ms. Jackson (mother) attended the trip to meet with the ‘mystic man’.  Bob had a huge impact on the J5, as their manager / personal assistant (Don Taylor)  tells.  There are more images of this encounter during the mid 70’s.  At the peak of Bob & The Wailers music career this beautiful meeting of the two most powerful entertainment families.

It is with great honor to introduce this photo by an unknown photographer. Which we know he is out there, and would love to give him credit on this humble brief article about one of the most classic moments in music history.  Dig deep to get deeper!

Love & Shout out to David Dolnick for making Listen Recovery one of the homes of the “Roger Steffens Archives 1973”

LISTEN RECOVERY: David Dolnick from Mykonos, return to Greece. part 2

Posted in David Dolnick, euro journey, Listen Recovery, photography on June 12, 2009 by Listen Recovery

Hi Friends,

We are 100% not regretting our decision to go to Mykonos instead of Petra. The more we’ve thought about it, the more we realized that Jordan, Israel, southwest Turkey etc… are all fantastic destinations for a future voyage.

There is not a ton to report about Mykonos. It’s a tourist-centric island (much like Santorini) that caters to the younger crowd (18-25). At night, techno music fills the town of Mykonos, blaring from cafes, bars and nightclubs. In between zillions of designer clothing and jewelry stores, and of course Greek restaurants line the numerous confusing path/alleyways that make up the town. We are staying just a few miles south of that area, at a hotel on the beach called Hotel Acrogiali (www.acrogiali.gr). It’s 60 euros/night and includes a hot breakfast buffet, free Internet in the lobby and beach chairs in front of the hotel – a super deal and surprisingly, the same price as the hotel we cancelled in Petra.

Numerous sandy white beaches, some more secluded than others, line the southern end of the island, and there’s a “boat taxi” that for 5-7 euros (roundtrip) provides you quick access to all of them. The most famous beaches are Paradise and Super Paradise. The “Super” in Super Paradise, I have been told, means super gay. We went to Paradise Beach today and it was cool, but a little bit of a disappointment. When you’re told you’re going to Paradise, you expect something more lavish. The beach was a little smaller than I thought and the clientele was not the young, hip crowd I was expecting. Older couples, gay men and, for some reason, many groups of Italians. The western end of Paradise Beach is the nude section, and let’s just says when you think of the word paradise, you don’t think of what I saw.

In accordance with the young crowd, there are lots of cool water activities. Jet skis, scuba diving, inner tubes, speed boats etc… All of this is a far cry from the more relaxed and honeymoon-friendly atmosphere in Santorini. If Mykonos is San Francisco, Santorini is Los Altos.

So I don’t have much more to add to this update. My days have been consumed with lying on the beach, eating gyros and thinking about not being in the desert.

Take care everyone!

David Dolnick

Listen Recovery out!

Beach in front of our Hotel

Fishing in Mykonos

Hotel Acgrorali - our hotel

Paradise Beach 1

Pasta making in front of Italian Restaurant

LISTEN RECOVERY: David Dolnick, Cairo. photo and letter journal part 1

Posted in David Dolnick, Listen Recovery, Middle East journey, photography on June 4, 2009 by Listen Recovery

Hi Friends,

We did make it to Cairo and what a trip it is….lots to say about this city, so bear with me or hit delete (don’t worry, I’ll never know!)…. Santorini to Athens (45 min) and then Athens to Cairo (2 hours)… and oh yeah – WE’RE MARRIED!!! – just kidding…. I hope I didn’t give my family a heart attack with that….

You see, it’s much easier for a couple to be married in the Muslim world than dating. Filling out the visa papers, going through the health check at the airport, and checking into the hotel is much simpler with a little white lie. In addition, for a pretty girl like Bronwyn walking around the streets here, a ring on the right finger serves as a little bit of kryptonite for those wandering Egyptian eyes. And hey, anything is worth a try, so we’ll see how it goes – although checking into the hotel and asking for a 2nd key for my “wife” was a trip. In accordance with our white lie, we proceeded to argue about money until we got to the room and the ring switched hands.

Flying into Cairo was like something out of a movie. First the health check – pure chaos as soon as we entered the terminal from the plane – a mass of people in white lab coats and face masks taking our picture (one by one, glasses off please) and handing out little white cards for us to write down our name, where we’re staying and phone number (kinda like a virus outbreak on the TV show 24). Following this was visa check and then an onslaught of people from the “tourism” bureau to help us with our bags and get us a taxi. Even though I was ready for the scam thanks to the Internet, we still fell for it. $20 for a long cab ride (40 min) to our hotel, help getting through customs and getting an air conditioned van wasn’t a bad deal, even though we probably could have done it on our own for $12 or so.

Speaking of money – it was finally nice to start dividing by whole numbers. In Cairo we get more than 5:1 on the US dollar. One of the few things I won’t miss about Europe is the Euro; as pretty as it looks, the exchange rate ain’t that pretty.

Speaking of money part 2 – I want to give everyone a little context about life in Cairo. 80 million people live in Egypt, and roughly 20 million of them live in Cairo. Although I haven’t been able to find exact income numbers, a college-educated 25-year-old is probably making about $325/month (a little less than $4,000/year). And keep in mind that this is the most affluent city in the country.

Quite a contrast from our affluent, western oasis in the middle of the city – the Cairo Marriott, which was built as a royal palace in the mid-1800s. As we drove up, I thought there was NO way there was a palace anywhere near the block we turned down – oh how things can change in a split second. When the van pulled up to the hotel, we had to stop at a security gate first, where armed guards made us turn the engine off so explosives-sniffing dogs could surround the car while 2 men investigated the hood and car body. Upon entering the front door, we passed through a bag screener and metal detector, just like at the airport. To say the least, it was quite a trip to have that as our first experience at our hotel. At least we feel safe here… kinda.

The hotel is like an enormous estate. 1,250 rooms, 15 restaurants, casino, bar, shops, gardens, pools…. Cario is 85% Muslim, and Muslims are forbidden to drink alcohol, gamble or “show skin”…. But none of that applies inside our “compound,” as we like to call it. This estate is really just a money-making haven for the locals. We realized later that the whole married façade wasn’t really necessary at check-in because people are wearing bikinis, drinking beers and gambling like crazy… Pork, however, seems to be off limits still, which is a good thing for my arteries.

Speaking of my arteries, the next sandwich-like item on my worldwide feast is the shawarma. Much like the gyros, the meat comes from a vertical spit and the meat is shaved off. They wrap it in a flatbread that looks like a mix of a pita and a tortilla. Sauce, lettuce, tomatoes and once again, I’m in heaven….

I wanted to share some smoking stats with y’all because I couldn’t believe what I read in the paper here: 13 million smokers in Egypt spend 22% of the country’s per capita income on tobacco. There is an 8-9% increase per year in the number of smokers, 500,000 are below 15 and over 73,000 are under 10. Under 10 – that’s amazing…

Prayaragrah (paragraph about prayer): I knew something was up when on the flight to Cairo (right after we were allowed to use “approved electronic devices”), the guy next to me took his shoes off and started rocking back and forth. After a first glance I got my Heimlich maneuver skills ready, then after a second thought I realized what was going on – it was time to pray. At the Cairo airport, the signs for “Prayer Area” are bigger than the WC (bathroom). In addition, there is more room dedicated for prayer than the bathroom and it’s cleaner. I almost got on the matt myself after our bags were delayed, but they finally came around, thankfully. In the Egyptian Gazette newspaper that we get delivered to our room every morning, they list the prayer times (in a bigger font than the weather, I might add). Today’s were: 4:11 am, 12:53 pm, 4:29 pm, 7:51 pm and 9:23 pm. Don’t worry – if you forget, don’t get the paper, or aren’t within 100 yards of a mosque to hear the incredibly loud call to prayer, a car drives around with a loudspeaker belting it out. Thankfully the Marriot shields us from this noise and thankfully, I also read about this before I came. The loudspeaker is so loud that one might think it’s a giant Arabic rock concert nearby. It’s strange to say the least, and I’d like to think I’m getting used to it, but I’m not. Although Cairo is very cool, that simple jarring noise instantly takes away that “I could live here” feeling that I sometimes get when visiting new places.

Our hotel room has a great view of the Nile River, pictures attached. There is a Nile River cruise we’re going to take at some point, will fill you in.

PYRAMIDS, PYRAMIDS, PYRAMIDS…. Ok, what I’ve been waiting for every since we started planning this vacation. The first morning here we took the tour to visit them. I’ll try to limit this to my observations and not give any history lessons. They are more amazing than I thought. They are also taller than I thought, and until the mid-1800s, they were the tallest man-made structure (thanks to the French and that wiry Eiffel Tower they threw up). The pictures I saw before I left did not do the pyramids justice. I hope my pictures provide a little more perspective, especially when you can see how big each of the bricks is.

My first experience with the pyramids was with Indiana Jones when I was a young boy and I always thought they were in some distant desert. They are not – they are right on the edge of the bustling city of Giza, right outside Cairo. In fact, you can see a KFC/Pizza Hut while standing at the sphinx, right next to the pyramids.

The pyramids are littered with people trying to sell you junk, sodas, rides on camels, pictures with camels, anything and everything, and they are EXTREMELY persistent. “Desperation breeds aggression,” Bronwyn keeps telling me, and she’s right. It’s kinda sad that surrounding this monumental feat of mankind is poverty, begging, trinkets and smog from the city. I took some pictures of some of the people around the area, just to give you some perspective.

The traffic in this town is intense; if you’ve been to Beijing (or happen to live there) it’s very similar. People pay no attention whatsoever to any type of traffic lanes or laws (if there even are any). No pedestrian walkways, no traffic lights (only turnabouts), chaos in its purest form (I guess I should take that back – there are pedestrian walkways, but if no one observes them, do they really count?). Renting a car in Cairo for a tourist would be an interesting form of suicide if you ask me. Hertz does have a lot of ads at the airport, but if you’re anything like me and are leery about driving the 405 in LA, this would be like doing it on four flat tires going 120 mph, shaky breaks and drunk – pure insanity.

Internet at the hotel is freaking expensive – $30/day (or $12/30 min in the business center) – WOW….. In fact, everything at the hotel is fairly pricey. I probably won’t be online more than a day or so, so I apologize about the delay in these updates.

Obama is coming to town on Thursday. From what I’ve read the town is going crazy, especially with security. I’ll have more updates on this later, but I do have this fantasy that I thwart an assassination attempt on the President and become some international superstar. Needless to say, I plan on thanking each one of you for giving me the strength and fortitude to save the leader of the free world while becoming a worldwide hero and phenomenon.

Until then,

David Dolnick

Listen Recovery in Cairo!

We're Almost There!

All 3 Pyramids Together(2)

Bronwyn Loves her Diet Pepsi - Arab Style!

Camels

Can I never get away from Laker Fans

Combo Shot

First Pyramid

Kissing the Sphyinx

Marriot Hotel - AKA our Compound

Our Niel View

Our Tour Group

Pyramid 2 - notice the Limestone Top Still intact

Sphynx

Street Shot 1

Street Shot 2

The Arab Version of a Lamb Quesedilla

Trying to Sell us Stuff at Sphynx

Typical Apt Buildings

Vendors

LISTEN RECOVERY: David Dolnick: Greece journey letter. part 3

Posted in David Dolnick, euro journey, Listen Recovery, photography on May 31, 2009 by Listen Recovery

Hi Friends,

Hope everyone is having a great weekend – here is my last update from Santorini. Next stop – Cairo!

The biggest museum on the island is in Fira and it features the ancient ruins of Akrotiri. We have been told it is the MUST-SEE museum on the entire island and, much like the island, it is small. We got through the one-room museum for 3 Euros and 40 minutes of our time. One interesting point is that the museum is directly next to a large Orthodox Church. One of the first things you read when you walk into the museum is that the island has been around 1.5 million years. Kinda strange that next door they preach that the world’s been around for only 6,000 years. With Christianity as abundant as gyros, I’m surprised they allowed this type of exhibit to exist (please note: just a comment on a literal interpretation of the bible; I know the church has changed its view on this over the past 150 years, and this is not meant to be a theological debate).

Speaking of gyros – I continue to eat them, and they continue to be cheap and wonderful (I’m at least at 6 — hope you took the over). The latest one replaced tzatziki with a mustard sauce – surprisingly, it was magnificent.

We took a crazy trip on a boat where we visited the only local active volcano. Great views as we trekked up to the top of the crater. Following that we took a boat to some hot springs where the water was brown from mud and sulfur. Many of us (including B and I) jumped in the water and swam to the mud (you can see pics of jumpers from another boat). We were told of the healing properties of the mud and put it all over our body. You can see in the pictures some of the girls swimming back still had mud on their face. The mud did not cure my sunburns (and for the record, just because I was born in San Diego and have olive skin does not mean I’m immune to sunburns, even though I’ve told many of y’all that for a while now). The boat tour also took us to the island of Thirasia, just off the coast of Santorini (they used to be connected but some of the land sank during one of the volcanic eruptions many thousands of years ago). I think more people live in my apartment complex than live on Thirasia, but in any case, another beautiful island town and I’ve attached some pics. (Taking these similar pics over and over has not gotten old, although I’m sure you’re over looking at the same thing many times so I’ll try to keep attaching them to a minimum.)

On the boat there were a bunch of sorority girls (22 of them to be precise, and how do I know that? They counted out their numbers to make sure all were accounted for). Guys – not nearly as cool as it sounds. Surprisingly, lots and lots of college-age groups of American girls lounging with their friends on the island. These ones were especially annoying – many that I have seen in smaller groups seem the exact opposite. These girls: Loud, obnoxious, unintelligent sounding and trying to be cool, mixing some of the weakest drinks I’ve ever seen. One liter of cola mixed with one shot of Crown Royal is beyond rookie and gave me a good idea of who I was dealing with, especially when they wondered if they were making it too strong? When I’m abroad I try to give a great (not just good) impression of being an American. It was disappointing seeing the people that we have to make up for.

During a shopping day Bronwyn got a new dress and I got a killer wood carving from this guy Ernesto. The carving is packed away so I don’t have a picture of it, but I highly recommend you check out his link (www.ernesto.gr). His MC Escher wood carvings are amazing but pricey. This trip will be long and there are three more countries to see (for those of you keeping score its – Greece, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey – in that order) so it wasn’t time to go crazy, especially in Euros.

Brining my camelback (backpack equipped with a “hydration pack”) and about 40 granola bars was a brilliant idea; saving tons of money on bottled water and snacks. The water in Oia is ok to drink from the tap, which is perfect. Later in Cairo, we won’t be able to do this – so we came equipped with an ultraviolet water sterilizer which I hope will do the trick.

We also had another day at Kamari Beach – FABULOUS. This time it was a Friday and you could tell the place was picking up a bit. In addition June 1st is Monday, marking the start of the European summer vacation season (as well as the price hikes).

No Starbucks or McDonalds on this island – thank god.

Thanks to a recommendation we ate at 1800 restaurant in Oia (http://www.oia-1800.com/) – AWESOME new-age Greek food. Many animals (dogs and cats) are a part of the dining experience in Santorini (as hosts – NOT food). You can see the picture of the cat at 1800 begging for food and you could tell, based on her timing, she’s got it down to a science.

Another restaurant we ate at was Katrina on the Ammoudi Port, just steps from the dock. The cheapest fish dish was 50 Euros and that was just red snapper. Wanting to save our cash for shopping, we stuck with heavy appetizers instead: AMAZNG fried tomatoes (as pictured), bread, tzatziki and shrimp.

For our last night on the island we’ve moved to a new hotel ,as Aris Caves could not accommodate us for the entire stay. The hotel is at Perissa Beach (Hotel Zorzis) and is very nice– clean, pool, TV and Internet. Many of the hotels on the island seem to offer free in room Internet – as if island life can get any better?

One of the final things we did in Oia before we left was to watch the sunset from a pool bar – a very posh pool overlooking the sunset and western cliffs of the island. A little bummed we didn’t find this until our last night there, but we’re glad we got one awesome sunset in. It was really after this point (and maybe the accompanying bottle of wine) that we realized how magical this island is. I really hope you all have the chance to visit sometime.

So I am off to Cairo. I can’t tell you how excited I am to visit. If Santorini is the appetizer, I can’t even imagine what Mama Africa has in store for us!

Enjoy your weekend!

David Dolnick

Listen Recovery

A local chilling out on Thirasia

AWESOME Fried Tomatoes

Pool Bar Oia

Pool Bar Oia 2

Ancient Thira Museum

Jumping into water headed to Healing Mud

Swimming back with Mud


LISTEN RECOVERY: David Dolnick: Greece journey letter. part 2

Posted in David Dolnick, euro journey, Listen Recovery, photography on May 29, 2009 by Listen Recovery

Hi everyone,

Thanks for all of your warm wishes. In honor of not just making this a “then we did this, then we did that” note about Santorini, I’m going to just highlight the cool stuff in the order it comes to my head.

Still no lamb—I’ve searched the net a bit and can’t find an answer. We’ll be headed to Athens at some point, so you can bet I’ll be eating some then.

Fira is a city is in the middle of the island and is the most visited part of the island (either people that are staying overnight or from a cruise ship). The entire island is 100% tourism; everything revolves around that (ok, maybe 99%, as I’m sure they export a little bit of wine). When a cruise ship comes to town, each ship literally dumps 3,000 people into the streets. Needless to say, the narrow cobblestone walkways don’t cater well to this influx of people, but the local shops don’t mind. The store owners stand outside, smoking cigarettes, shuffling people into their stores with promises of deals and beautiful “chotchkeys (i.e., junk).” Inside one of the stores I overheard this conversation: “But this says ‘made in Mexico’—I want something from Santorini!”…“I can assure you ma’am, everything else in this store is from Santorini”… “Show me, I haven’t seen anything yet!”….

A few people have asked me about language. Almost everyone speaks English, with the exceptions of the people cleaning our room (errr… cave) and the people we see cleaning the town.

As I said earlier, our first voyage to water was not great, EXTREMELY rocky and not lots of fun. Our next voyage to the red beach was awesome; much more what we were looking for. The last destination was simply amazing – Kamari Beach. Hundreds of symmetrical umbrellas and beach chairs line the beach front from end to end. Adjacent to the beach is a very long beach boardwalk with restaurants, shops and markets. All of the restaurants were boasting English-speaking “cumentary /comentury /camantary” (I think they meant “commentary”) of the Barcelona/Manchester U champions league game that night. On the northern end of the island there is an ENROMOUS rock (mountain) that ends the beach as it extends far into the ocean.

The ultimate dream was almost complete at Kamari beach as we scouted out our beach chairs in the sun and searched for drinks. I asked a bartender if we could buy a drink from him (at the boardwalk) and bring it down to the beach—he said “OF COURSE” and his expression said “What a stupid question!” In the interest of saving money we ended up buying our own supplies to make drinks, which worked out perfectly. No problem bringing glass on the beach in Santorini (if anyone knows Mayor Sanders in San Diego, please let him know it seems to be working ok for the Greeks).

Later in the day I took a break while sunbathing at Kamari beach, walked a couple hundred feet, grabbed a gyros from a restaurant on the boardwalk (2.50 Euros) and brought it back to my beach chair. The gyros was fantastic and I can’t believe how cool it was just to quickly grab one and come back (BTW the over-under on me eating gyros in Santorini is 5—I’m already at 3).

A few friends of mine told me before I left that we planned to spend too much time in Santorini. We respected their opinion and told ourselves that we could go to many other islands to pass the time. After visiting Kamari, we won’t be going anywhere else. Not only would we be perfectly content going there every day, but there is so much more on the island that we haven’t yet seen: ancient ruins, wineries, museums, more beaches, etc…

There were a few restaurants that came recommended via the Internet. One of them was Ambrosia de Nectar (BTW – there is another restaurant called Ambrosia, people get mixed up very often). At Ambrosia de Nectar they had a dish that was featured by Food Networks’ Giada – called warm feta. It was AMAZING, but it’s too bad the rest of the menu wasn’t all that great.

My Greek friends also told me to get ready to drink great wine. Local Santorini wine was supposed to be fantastic and it is! Why? Volcanic soil and great weather make it one of the best places to grow wine in the world (at least from what I’ve read).

I was also told by many that I need a car or a scooter to get around. But the buses have treated us very well, mixed in with a few taxi rides and our legs; we’re doing fine sans our own engine.

Tomatoes on the island are fantastic as well. An amazing vibrant red like I’ve never seen before. A little research told me that Santorini is known for its tomatoes and they even have a cherry tomato conference every June (who got the job of planning that?). The tomato plants don’t even need to be watered—the moisture in the air and the sun are all they need. Now that’s my type of plant!

When you look at the pictures I want everyone to remember, there are no elevators in Santorini; only old cobblestone stairs. At first I thought we would get used to them, turns out we haven’t. Thanks god for the picturesque views, I’m not sure I could keep this up in Lodi.

More later,

David Dolnick,

Listen Recovery Crew

Chilling Out

Cocktails before Sunset

Kamari Beach 2

Kamari Beach Gyros - Because I can!

Kamari Beach

More Great Views

Warm Feta

Shopping in the Streets, before the Rush

David Dolnick: Listen Recovery Crew, journey to The Greek coast. by D.Dolnick

Posted in David Dolnick, euro journey, Listen Recovery, photography on May 27, 2009 by Listen Recovery

For ya’ll that don’t know, the Listen Recovery Crew got a few members off the Californian plato. Dj Nuts in Brazil, Dj Sesqui & Tah Rei in Portland, and last but not least, our brethren David Dolnick.  David is a huge archivist and enthusiastic collector of Bob Marley and the Reggae world.  Rich and I first meet David at our headquarters in 2005.  The first time we meet, David had heard of us (listen recovery) about our passion for collecting and archiving music from around the world.  He also knew that we are huge Bob Marley fans.  So he’s introduction to us was, “Hi guys, my name is David and I’m here to share a cd with you guys… I hope you guys enjoy and appreciate this gift”, “Is basically some studio recording sessions of Bob Marley in Miami and Kingston”.  To our surprise David had more than just 15 tracks in one cd.  Time passed and David bacame part of the Listen Recovery Crew.  Helping curator for the Crew. David had shared many ideas for future projectsl, including some replicas of Bob Marley and some reggae icons wore drobe.  Also, David and Listen Crew are working on the new ‘blazer’ collection for 2010.

And an interview about ‘The bridge to Roger Steffens Archives”.  From 1997-2006

I’ll write more about David Dolnick in the near future and his collective ideas for the crew.  David is currently traveling the Greek coast line.

Here is his lastest letter to us and his friends.  And of course some photos as well.  David is a huge fan of Phillycheese steak sandwiches.  Some of the photos include the encounters with his fave fast eats. In this case… we say… Travel Wide.

Dear Friends and Family,

We’ve made it and it’s even more amazing than I expected. I’ll start from the beginning of our voyage that began with a red-eye to Philadelphia on Friday evening. I once heard a joke it went like this “Grand Prize, one week in Philadelphia—2nd place, two weeks in Philadelphia.” Well if that was correct, then our 9 hour layover in Philly was to be the ultimate prize, and it did not disappoint. The goal in our 9 hours: one Philly cheese steak and one Liberty Bell (to go please). As many of you know, I am an enormous fan of the cheese steak, and wandering through the streets of downtown Philly there seemed to be an opportunity at every corner. But I was holding out for Pat’s King of Steaks, the mecca of all culinary disease on the Eastern seaboard. Lugging around two twenty pound “carryons” limited our mobility to say the least, and after a few hours the struggling, sweat, heat and sleeplessness started to catch up with us. Thankfully we found a bench in a park, adjacent to a cafeteria with liquid hydration and the famous Philly Soft Pretzels for dehydration.

So why was this trip even more amazing than I expected? Because in front of the park we were sitting at, as we contemplated our next move, they had a “Best of Philadelphia” cheese steak competition. “Are you kidding me?” was the only thing I could think about as I waited an hour before the incredible chefs got their tools ready to create heaven in a bun. Steaks on South (SOS), Dalessandro’s and Chubby’s were the three featured restaurants. We only had time for 2 lines (Dalessandro’s and SOS), and although SOS had the most polished getup (SOS van, hired magician/cheerleader, professional signage) they should have spent their time on making a better sandwich. Dalessandro’s got our vote—hands down they were awesome

Then a ten hour flight to Athens, where we connected with ease to a 40 minute flight to Santorini. United took us to Philly, US Air to Athens and Aegean Air to Santorini. To our surprise Aegean Air was FAR superior in quality of plane and service (although McDonalds could have beat US Air, the only thing crappier than the length of the flight were the stewardesses that we shared it with).

At noon on Sunday we arrived in Santorini and with the help of our hotel (ariscaves.gr), a taxi was waiting for us with a man holding a sign with our name on it. We were told we needed it since on your own, no one could find the hotel. They were right, no numbers, no nothing, just endless random streets and walkways all over. Aris Caves are extremely unique. They are caves built into the side of the cliffs in Oia (pronounced ee-ya, on the southwest end of the island). There are only 7 apartments and we are staying in #5. It’s awesome. Christa is the lady who operates the property and she is extremely friendly with great advice.

The first order of business was to unpack, eat and get to the beach. Eating was very good. Fantastic greek salad, amazing Tzatzki and the rest was just OK. At the north end of Oia we walked down to some EXTREMELY rocky beach front. The water did not treat us well and we ended up falling asleep on the beach attempting to layout. As we walked back the sun started to go down. We were previously told that the Sunset in Santorini is like a religion, with hundred s of people flocking to the nooks and crannies of the western end of the Island for a picture. Once again this advice rang true and we found some fantastic places and took some amazing pictures. Much like life, some people are stupid and many stopped at “central” locations lining up 3-4 people deep to get a good picture. Thankfully Bronwyn and I know how to move our legs and found some great unobstructed views in a few of these small nooks of the cliff.

Following this we went back to our cave (so cool that I can say cave and actually mean it!) and I went out to grab some dinner to bring it back. Gyros for 2.50 Euros – AMAZING! Unfortunately, as I have seen all over the island, Gyros come in 2 flavors – chicken or pork. What, no lamb? I’m still investigating why but I’ve never seen pork Gyros, only chicken, beef or lamb – Very strange. In any case, lamb seems hard to come by around the island. Something I once thought was a staple of Greek life (well maybe just not on the islands, or at least this one), can’t seem to be found everywhere – I’m still adjusting my culinary expectations.

Day 2 was filled with more fun. A place called Red Beach filled with red/black sand and enormous gorgeous red cliffs, and a beach called White Beach filled with white sand and white cliffs. Amazingly, they were only a couple hundred meters apart (and yes they are both very creatively named!) We spent some time shopping around another town called Fira and had a very nice dinner overlooking the sunset. Although I was never a journalist, I happen to know a few and they’ve told me people like lists. I like lists to so I’ll tell you 5 things I’ve learned…

1) 1. Greek Salads come with HUGE chunks of Feta cheese on them, almost like they’re trying to get rid of the stuff.

2) 2. Souvlaki has so far sucked. I’ve tried it 3 times from 3 very different places, one that came highly recommended. They cook the meat too long, so it comes out dry and VERY boring. Not even worth eating. I have given it up for the time being.

3) 3. Lots more Japanese tourists than I thought.

4) 4. The Tzatzki has been AWESOME everywhere we’ve had it. Bronwyn is a connoisseur and she’s has said it’s as good as she’s ever had.

5) 5. Rule for ALL toilets in Santorini – no toilet paper down the pipes. Yes, that was a surprise and I wonder how the Starwood Resort deals with that?

Santorini is beautiful, just love it here. Not many trees, lots of plants and bushes and tons of Bougainvillea (and for my guy friends that is a plant, NOT a disease). Ok that’s all for now. This update is on delay but such is life on an island 🙂

Hope everyone is doing well!!!

David Dolnick

Listen Recovery Crew

Cheese Steak Award

Dalassandros Steak

Deep in Thought looking at White Beach

White Beach

Dinner

Sunset Part 1

Sunset Part 2

Night in Santorini

Our Cave

Santorini

Red Beach Part 2

Red Beach

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