Destination Life

A Small Fat Greek Wedding (& Baptismal)

greekwedding_The handsome couple.

The main purpose of our Greek trip was to be there for a wedding and baptismal! I’ve been friends with my friend MJ since we were in middle school so much so that her family really feels like my own. When she told me her sister would be getting married in Greece and asked if I’d like to come, I didn’t even hesitate! I love weddings and I love the couple – it’s so obvious how much they love each other.

He said, “That dress is amazing!”

To be honest, I’ve never watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding, but attending a Greek wedding was quite an experience. I spent the morning tagging along running last minute errands while the bride got her hair done. I got ready and it was finally time for the ceremony at the Church of Agios Spyridonas in Kalokerines.

Giant candles at the altar.

I guess it’s part of Greek tradition, but when everyone is driving up to the church, they honk their horns incessantly while someone is shooting a shot gun in the air – it’s crazy! But the energy is so much fun! You can just tell there’s a celebration going on. The mass was held in a small Greek Orthodox Church (Kalokerines) but before we all walk in, the bride was walked to the door by her father-in-law.

The bridal party at the altar.

The mass was entirely in Greek and I really wish I understood what was happening, but regardless, it was a great experience. (Now I can say I’ve been to a Greek wedding!) Orthodox mass reminded me a lot of Catholic mass but several different things happen during the ceremony. The bride and groom walked around the altar 3 times, the maid of honor had these wire crowns tied together with a ribbon and would alternate back and forth between the bride and groom, and the best man and maid of honor also walked around the altar with them. I also noticed they put the wedding rings on the right hand instead of the left and everything happens in threes. At the end of the ceremony, there were a ton of pictures! And when the couple left the church, we three rice at them.

The crowns being alternated.

But that wasn’t all for the day! We went straight from the church in Kalokerines to the Monastery of Panagia Myrtidiosa in Myrtidiosa. It was kind of crazy being in a monastery but the inside of the church was absolutely gorgeous. It always amazes me how beautiful and detailed old churches are.

Walking into the monastery courtyard.

The church steeple.
The courtyard outside of the church.

When you walk into the church there’s a sandbox of thin candles. After some research, it seems like you light a candle when you walk in the church as a little prayer and remembrance of Jesus.

Candles in the sandbox.

How crazy is the detail in the church?!

I always wonder how they painted the ceilings back in the day.

Me sitting in the chair along the wall in the church.

The Orthodox baptism actually reminded me of Catholic baptism, too, but there were different traditions. I think what a lot of people who aren’t religious don’t understand, is that all the traditions or things that are done have a meaning behind it. Sometimes even religious people don’t care enough to find out, but I love learning the symbolism of things.

In baptism, the godfather plays a huge role. Ideally, the godfather is the main person in the ceremony and the parents are supposed to stand back and watch, he even brings the baby basket with the baby’s white baptismal dress. The ceremony starts at the entrance, really similar to the wedding, then eventually they move to the altar. The baby is then stripped and covered in oil and dipped three times in the water. Poor kid, she was screaming bloody murder! I know baptism means different things for different religions and I’m not sure what it means in the Orthodox religion, but it’s still beautiful. I noticed in the Greek Orthodox religion, they like to do things in threes. The also cut off the baby’s hair three times and I think I remember them walking around the altar three times.

After the ceremony, the baby is dressed in her baptism dress and there are of course food and pictures! While we were heading out of church, the church bells were ringing because the high priest and the other priests were heading into the church.

Following the food celebration, we had more food! We drove from Myrtidiosa to Kapsali to have dinner at Lemoni. Even though it was a small party, maybe less than 50 of the newlywed’s close family and friends, the Greeks sure know how to celebrate. Got to experience an authentic Greek toast OPA! and teach them the Hawaiian toast CHEEHUU and just eat, drink and be merry with some amazing people. I may or may not have had a LOT of fun but I am so grateful that I got to experience a little Greek wedding.

Me and one of my BFFs at the wedding.

Friends who are like family! <3

With the handsome couple.


The Underdog Greek Island: Kythira

Where Kythria is in Greece

First stop on our Greek trip was the island of Kythira in southeastern Greece. When most people think about Greece, they think about the blue domes of Santorini, the Acropolis in Athens, or even the pristine beaches of Mykonos. I don’t think I would have ever gone to Kythira, let alone known about it if my friends hadn’t had their wedding and baptized their baby there.

Arriving in Kythira like a hot mess!

Kythira is gorgeous and I absolutely loved that it wasn’t filled with tourists. It’s about an hour flight from Athens and only has one flight in and out everyday. Its tiny little airport reminded me of the old school inter island terminals in Hawai’i.

How small the Kythira airport is.

Before I get into the gory details, a quick outline of our few days in Kythira:

My first legitimate Greek meal.

After traveling for almost 24 hours from Texas, USA to Kythira, Greece, we arrived at Kythira National Airport and stopped by a cute little street cafe for a bite to eat and my first taste of Tsipouro/Raki – a Greek liquor made from grapeseeds. (It’s seriously reminiscent of rubbing alcohol.. I actually really liked it.)

Street view from the little cafe.

We finally made it to Kalokerines at my friend’s family’s summer home. It was definitely quite an experience seeing Kythira and Greece from a local view. My friend’s mother was from Kythira and they spent many holidays visiting the island. Their summer house had been built within the last few years. The shutters and doors were the cleanest light blue.

Our room for the first night!

Since there were so many of us flying in for the celebration, I stayed the second night in a rental home down the road called Violetta. I was in love with how cute the house was. The house was split into four individual apartments. I hadn’t seen the top floor since we only had the bottom two, but each apartment/room its own bathroom and mini kitchen.


The corner where the apartment I stayed in was.

As much as we wanted to hit the ground running, we were exhausted and jet lagged from 18+ hours of traveling and we knocked out for a few hours. I swear my eyelids never felt heavier but we didn’t wanna waste any time in Greece! We went to what I think was downtown Kythira to hang out for a while.

Downtown Kythira

The next morning, we had to pick up more friends/family from the airport but not before making a quick stop in Avlemonas to jump into the Bath of Aphrodite. I loved that place so much, I made a separate post about it!


Bath of Aphrodite

After we picked everyone up and they got settled in, we went to Perissa Beach. Perissa is a black sand beach with huge grains of sand – they felt more like tiny rocks than sand! It’s quite an adventure getting there. There’s a dirt road heading there that winds down towards the beach – thankfully I was not driving or we all would have been in trouble!

Perissa Beach

Sunset from Perissa

The next day was the wedding and baptismal – which I’ll also write about in a separate post – and the following day was a trip to Kapsali for lunch and a stop at Diakoftis.

Drive to Kapsali

Beach at Kapsali

Cobblestone walkway in Kapsali

Kapsali is a little beach area with a few restaurants and coffee shops lined up on a cobblestone road along the beach. Diakoftis or Koftis Beach was a more touristy spot; it’s also really close to the harbor where you can catch a ferry to Athens or the other islands. The beach itself was more of a lagoon since it was enclosed by a long rock wall. The water was SOO unbelievably clear – I could walk out pretty deep and still see my toes!

Drive down to Diakoftis Beach/Harbor

Diakoftis Beach

Kythira island for me was like the underdog no one was expecting to win. Santorini is amazing, too, but I just loved the laid back feel and really felt like I was relaxed and on vacation. Definite must sees for me are the Bath of Aprhodite and Kapsali! But that’s not even it from my Greek trip – stay tuned for Athens and Santorini!

Life Lessons Lifestyle

3 Things I Learned About Moving To A City Where I Didn’t Know Anyone

The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge


A little over a year ago, I packed my car with a ton of clothes, my beloved Xbox and one of my best friends and made the 15 hour trek from Phoenix, Arizona to Dallas, Texas. It felt a little unreal when we cruised through Las Cruces and then it felt like FORever driving through West Texas.


how sad and empty my apt was the first month


I knew virtually no one moving here and had no clue if I would even like it. I lived out of an extended stay for 2 weeks trying to find a place to live. I had to wait a whole month for the movers after that to get my furniture – my living room had my Xbox, a gamer chair, and a 32 inch TV on the box the chair came in (see picture above). I got lost on the freeways more times than I can count and got frustrated not knowing my way around town. It has definitely been an adventure but I’ve grown to be quite fond of Dallas but I also learned a few things along the way.


Old Red Museum, Downtown Dallas

I learned a few things living in Texas, like:


  •  There’s a city called Texhoma on the TEXas-oklahOMA border. There’s also a city called Texarkana on the TEXas-ARKansas-louisaANA border. I was very amused when I learned this.
  • There are no mountains in Dallas. I thought the desert was flat, but I was wrong.
  • Whataburger is a thing. So is Dr. Pepper. Anything that was born in Texas is a thing. Mention a honey butter chicken biscuit to any Texan and watch their eyes light up. I dare you.
  • It is perfectly acceptable to say y’all in a professional setting. I have been tempted to, but I cannot bring myself to say it.
  • If you can, AVOID THE 635. It is never a good time.


Yeyo at Lake Carolyn, Las Colinas


I’ve been away from home for 10+ years now and living completely on my own for the last 3. Moving somewhere where you don’t know a soul is kind of terrifying. But it’s exciting at the same time. Here are 3 things I learned along the way:


1. Don’t be afraid to jump.

One of the most ‘traumatizing’ life events is moving. Moving to a new city and state where you don’t know a soul and doing this all ALONE magnifies the trauma. It’s terrifying. But it’s also exciting and liberating. The first few months were really lonely and the stark change and culture shock had me mildly depressed for a while. (Ask my sister, I called her bawling my eyes out and I had no legitimate reason why.) I questioned if it was even the right decision. But a year later I’m SO glad I moved. I found friends, I learned the freeways and I found my way.

Deep Ellum


2. But don’t make the leap when you’re unstable.

When I graduated college 4 years ago in Tucson, I had a ton of personal problems that I thought I could runaway from. Running away doesn’t make them disappear, it just defers them. I thought moving to a completely new state where nobody knew me would solve my problems. I was THIS CLOSE to moving to Chicago and then briefly (and ironically) almost got placed in Dallas. God knew me better than I knew myself and placed me in Phoenix. I remember thinking, ‘Ugh, I’ve been trying to get the hell away from here.’ Looking back, I think it was the best place for me to be at the time. My two best friends lived in Phoenix, I knew the area and I had a ton of friends to support me. In the emotionally fragile state that I was, I think the shock of somewhere new would’ve been overwhelming. 3 years later, I’m glad the cards fell the way that they did and I was in a much better place emotionally and even career-wise to make the move.

Truth & Alibi, Deep Ellum


3. I wouldn’t have gotten this far without my faith.

My first 4-5 months in Dallas was probably my loneliest. It didn’t help that I moved right before the holidays and literally spent Christmas alone on my couch in my apartment. I didn’t even have my dog, Yeyo, with me. Although it was a particularly ‘dry season,’ it was also one of my sweetest times with the Lord. It kind of breaks you down a little bit when you’re sleeping on an air mattress for a month because the movers take for-freaking-ever but it also makes you question yourself – What do you have when you have nothing? I knew that I had God and I wouldn’t have made it without that truth.

The Rustic, Uptown Dallas


I’ve been lucky to have a lot of support from my friends and family. Making a huge move on your own is tough, but it’s been so rewarding and I’m so grateful to have had the experience. It’s scary and you might ask your self all the what ifs – like what if I fail? But my darling, what if you fly?

Destination Europe Greece

My Favorite Spot in Greece: Bath of Aphrodite

bathsofaphroditeRecent travels really got me thinking about how much travel really feeds my soul and how awesome it is that I’m pretty well traveled – I think so anyway. My last post was about the YOLO Trip, but my most recent trip was a planned ahead 10 day trip to Greece – which was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! My first time ever in Europe (definitely not my last) with great company and a real local tour of part of the country. I kind of prefer not traveling alone for the sheer fact that you have someone to share the experience with, but traveling with 6 was like multiplying the awesome-ness. Our first stop on the trip was to an island in Southeastern Greece called Kythira – see map below:


After being awake for roughly 24 hours but finally arriving to Kythira, we napped pretty hard before hanging out for a while at a bar in “downtown Kythira.” The next morning we went to my favorite spot that we visited the whole trip – The Bath of Aphrodite in Avlemonas. Avlemonas is on the eastern side of the island and I love that it was a hidden gem. No tourists, no crowds to battle – nothing but the clear blue ocean.


Not to mention that the bath itself was SERIOUSLY unreal.



According to – The Bath of Aphrodite was the birthplace of the Greek goddess of love. This was probably my favorite ocean spot of the whole trip, I wished we could’ve stayed longer or even gone again. The water was warm and crystal clear – you could see little fishies swimming around and even the coral on the bottom. There’s no sand, so you literally just jumped from a rock into the sea. Where we were, it wasn’t really deep either which was a big plus because if you know me, you know I don’t swim very well!


Next to the bath there was a little string of cafés and restaurants. I loved that it wasn’t super touristy or crowded. I wish I could describe in words how gorgeous it was – as beautiful as the pictures are its even better in person.


I spent 10 days in Greece and even though we probably spent the shortest time here, it was most definitely my favorite stop. I’m almost 2 months late posting my Greek trip, but hey, better late than never, right?


Destination USA

The YOLO Trip: Santa Fe, NM

In an attempt to chronicle my traveling excursions, I’m going to retroactively post about past trips. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I like to scroll through my IG feed to remember what I did, where I went – sometimes even what I wore (insert monkey covering mouth emoji here). It’s crazy to me how far (literally and figuratively) I’ve come and my little #xyzexcursions are a constant reminder to myself that, “Damn Roxy. Life is good.”

I’m infamous for what I like to call The YOLO Trip – one day a friend hits you up or you’re having a random conversation with someone and they’re like “We should go here or do this!” Most people have these conversations and never do it – I on the other hand get so excited that I turn around and book a flight ASAP or road trip the next weekend. The most last minute trips I’ve planned have been to random places, like Knoxville, Tennessee or in the case of this post, Santa Fe, New Mexico. To be completely honest, a lot of the spontaneity comes from my lack of being able to deal emotionally so I will “run away” to refresh myself and frankly it works for me.

An old high school friend of mine had always joked about me being a plus one to one of the many weddings he’s been invited to. The opportunity finally presented itself – he had a wedding for one of his college friends in Santa Fe, New Mexico last June. I stalked the prices online for a few days literally right before the wedding and worked out scheduling things before I finally pulled the trigger said eff it, YOLO! 

imageoutside of St. Francis Basilica (don’t mind the tourist ladies!)

A good chunk of the wedding guests stayed at the LaFonda Hotel (insert Napoleon Dynamite joke here), a cute little hotel in the middle of downtown Santa Fe. As much as I love the “YOLO Trip,” I’m honestly really bad at taking pictures. I wish I got at least a few pictures from the little walking around we did, but you can just look at how awesome this church is. Downtown Santa Fe had me reminiscing about Tucson a little with its brown adobe buildings.

inside of the church

The ceremony itself was at St Francis Basicilica, a huge gorgeous Catholic Church, with the reception at the LaFonda. I’ll spare the boring details of the wedding, but let’s just say the day was full of stiff coffees, spirit animals and some bomb ass cookies. 😉

Coffee Dallas Eats Food & Drink

Houndstooth Coffee at SYLVAN | THIRTY

I love coffee. Or maybe I’m just a caffeine addict. Coffee is definitely an acquired taste, a taste I learned while doing all nighters at Old Main at UofA. But even though I’ve been a loyal Starbucks Gold Card member since 2010 (and I say that a little too proudly), I can’t say hands down that they have the best coffee. So far, my favorite coffee shop has been Peixoto Coffee in my old stomping grounds of Chandler, AZ but I’m always open to trying a new cup.



I went to get my hair trimmed in downtown Dallas and with the help of my handy Yelp app, I found Houndstoodth Coffee nearby. It’s part of a little shopping center/loft apartments thing they have at SYLVAN | THIRTY and it was kind of hard to see from the street where it was at. Aside from the usual coffee and tea, apparently they serve beer and wine. The shop itself is bright and modern inside, definitely with a hipster vibe.


I ordered a large (16 oz) Iced Sweet Latte and for $6 I thought that was overpriced – you can get a venti iced caramel macchiato with an EXTRA shot in it for around the same price. The latte itself was really good and I would probably go back to try other things on the menu, but as a cheap Asian, I wasn’t really feeling their prices.



At first I didn’t really get what this quote on the wall meant, then I realized it’s talking about the houndstooth pattern duh but I still didn’t get it. Their website kind of explains but tbh it goes over my head – how that specific pattern is the pattern of coffee I don’t know, but give me a good cup of coffee and I really don’t have to know.


Houndstooth Coffee @ SYLVAN | THIRTY

1878 Sylvan Ave
Dallas, TX 75208

Arizona Eats Food & Drink

Poke, NOT Poki

It seems like one of the more popular ‘food trends’ of this year is the poke bowl. Growing up in Hawai’i poke was a food staple and when I first moved to the mainland, it was really hard finding a place that serves poke so it’s kind of weird seeing it take off as a new trend.

IMG_4434The menu.

While in Arizona, we went to lunch at Ahi Poki Bowl in Scottsdale. As trendy as it is, there are definitely no complaints here. Ahi Poki was like the Chipotle of Poki – pick your starch, fish, and toppings and you’ve got your very own poke bowl. My only gripe about this place – I cannot for the life of me understand why they spell it with an ‘i’ and not an ‘e.’ Poke (pronounced poh-kay) is actually the Hawaiian word for cut or slice, but since the bowl was so satisfying and I haven’t found a place in Dallas that serves poke yet, I guess I can pretend like I didn’t see that. How amazing does this bowl look doe? Tuna and salmon over white rice with avocado, seaweed salad, tobiko (fish eggs), cucumber, sesame seeds, crab salad, and furikake. [insert emoji with tongue hanging out]

Ahi Poki Bowl
2905 N Scottsdale Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85257


The Big D Chapter

It has been 257 days since I left the desert to embark on the next chapter of my life in Dallas, a.k.a. “The Big D.” There was a time when I said I would never live in Texas and I never in a million years would I have imagined that a little island girl like me would end up in North Texas. But as the old adage goes, never say never.

Truthfully, the city has grown on me – the people, the weather, the Southern culture, and dare I say, hearing the word y’all. Even in the wake of the sniper shootings three weeks ago, I have to say that I have seen more love in this city than I have seen hate. Was it kind of scary? A little bit – especially since I work in the middle of downtown Dallas. It was a little odd being at the epicenter of it, but kind of cool in a weird way. See this snap from my office the day Obama and Bush came to town for the memorial:


It still blows my mind that this time last year I was day dreaming about what city I’d be in, stressing about when I’d move and if I’d even have a job. Now I’m finally settled in and starting to feel like this is my new home. I don’t know what the things year or even few months hold, but whatever happens, I’m ready.

Girl Boss

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The XO Manifesto

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XO believes women are not better than, but the world is better with women. We believe strong women have a story and we are committed to helping each other write and share those stories by supporting one another, pushing each other to shoot for more, and breaking the molds.


Whether you’re a woman in tech, stay at home mom, entrepreneur, blue or white collar worker, or still figuring it out – XO is a community for women (and the men who support those women) who intend to break negative stereotypes.


For every female who has ever felt dismissed because of the way she looks, for every girl who’s been told she’s too sensitive, for every woman who’s heard that she’s too much, for the girls who have never felt like they were enough, and for the woman with the dreams so big it scares her – you’re amazing, you’re beautiful, and you’re absolutely worth it.


At XO, let’s connect, listen, help, and share with each other because you can never have too much love and positivity.



XO women rise from the ashes, pull no punches, and lift each other up.

Be fierce and stay kind.

Everything happens in its time.

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Do you have a story to share?
Know an amazing woman?

Send me an email at [email protected] or leave a comment below!