Yeia sou friends! Valerie here. You may call me Dairy, Val, Val Pal, Valeria, or really anything else that comes to mind. I don't care.
(and really, I don't...ask Hailey. She'll tell you about how her precious football team was not doing well at 3am in the morning when she woke me up to tell me this news. I vaguely remember responding with, "I actually don't care." Sorry folks, the filter comes off when I'm tired. Hahaha!) **Thank you America for also reminding me how much you hate my pats
But back to the backstory. And I will try to keep this brief.
I spent almost 3 months in Thessaloniki, Greece when I was 18. (And it's pronounced thess-ah-lo-KNEE-kee. I WILL correct you on this...and the pronunciation of the word "gyro." ;) **She will, in fact, correct you of this.
I was here with an outreach team of 10 other girls from all over the world. And during that time, I fell in love. I honestly can't even put my love for Thessaloniki in words, but this city is so near and dear to my little heart. I think about this place constantly and the day I left, I knew deep down that I would return someday.
And try to return, I did.
I tried for nearly 6 years, but nothing ever worked out. Until one day in October when the milkers weren't working for evening milking (farm girl problems) (Angus cows for the win) and Hailey unexpectedly called me about a wedding she was working on booking. We chatted for a while, then I randomly asked if she wanted to go to Greece with me. She said sure. Within about 2 weeks, we had tickets booked. As Hailey has told you, things happen when I'm serious about it. And I was serious. ;)
My Greek friends were excited, but not nearly as excited as I was.
This trip has been so good for my heart. Hailey asked me to write this blog post today, and I'm nowhere near as witty as her, but I want to share my love for Thessaloniki with all of you as I had the opportunity to share it with her today. You may not understand how deep my love is for this city. Or you may never even have a connection with a city like I've had with Thessaloniki, and Hailey might not either, but that's okay.
This place is beautiful, has the BEST gelato (I'm not kidding) (She's not kidding), and is so rich + full of history. Did you know that the modern city of Thessaloniki is build on top of the ancient ruins of Salonica (or Thessalonica...you know, like 1 & 2 Thessalonians)? Apostle Paul was writing those letters to the church here in Thessaloniki. Whaaaat. You can also see Mount Olympus from the White Tower. Can I insert a heart-eyes emoji here? No? Okay. But rather than sit and try to describe every sight, we happen to bring along our cameras for your viewing pleasures. Enjoy these snaps of today featuring Hailey commentary since Valaria is falling asleep on me: