My first trip to Greece was back when I was in the Navy. Our squadron was on the way to a very lovely area of Afghanistan and we had to stop in Crete to service our planes before entering a conflict area. One of the perks of this type of mission was being able to stay in non-military accommodations and have liberty to explore areas not normally open to us on board a ship. We stayed at a hotel called, "Royal Sun Hotel" near the city of Chania on the Northern coast of Crete. The hotel is nestled in fertile hillsides, every room faces the Sea of Crete...it is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been.
The first morning I was there, I woke up as the sun was rising. I walked out onto the patio of my room and was greeted by the natural wonders of Greece. There was a mist, or clouds, or both covering the mountains to the South that was just beginning to break. The fresh smell of the azure sea invigorated me to the point where I was doubtful I needed the steaming cup of coffee in my hands. I could feel the power of the vast body of water in front of me, the majesty of the hills and mountains surrounding me, and the enormous weight of history that permeated every part of this ancient land.
For years I've told my wife that I need to take her there so that she can share in that experience and I can relive it without the pressure of a looming combat deployment.
Years later when I became an importer, I was contacted by an olive oil supplier that wanted to do business in the United States. As I was researching the producer, I was surprised to find out that they are located less than an hour from that magical spot in Chania. I'm a big believer in signs, and this was a big one. I immediately made arrangements to sample the product and shortly after, to begin importing their olive oil. The next step is traveling to meet these suppliers, and learn about the people who make this wonderful product.
We are currently unable to travel because of a global pandemic, but we have our passports ready and our bags on standby. The Royal Sun Hotel is still there in those ancient hills, and my wife is long overdue for a second honeymoon.