German cloudy weather has had me in dire need of some good sun. And while hanging out in Kosovo was all fun and good, going for a long weekend in Albania was even better. While I was home, my mom and I took a girl’s trip to Tirana for – as the title says – a weekend full of “pool, sun, food & fun”. Here’s my recollection of this super fun trip in four parts.
PART 1: GETTING THERE & BACK 🚌
Being two kweens in possession of not one, but two valid drivers licenses, with a combined driving experience of 0 years, we of course had to take the 5-hour bus to go there. Now, the way there was a typical Balkan bus ride: dusty & dirty, and my mom swore she would never do it again. The way back however was a 5-star business class bus experience with Sharr Travel. My mom swore she would never travel with anything else! 🌸
PART 2: THE STAY 🏖
Typically, one goes to Albania for the beaches, but we were in the mood for some urban touristing and Tirana is just perfect for that. We stayed at the Rogner Hotel, very central and with a great pool and an even greater breakfast buffet.
PART 3: DECONSTRUCTING A DAY ☀️
So, what did we do? Our day basically consisted of the following fun format (and then rinse and repeat for all the days we stayed):
7am: We’d wake up like the early birds that we are and get ready for the day. Of course this included putting our pool towels on the pool chairs first thing in the morning, to reserve ourselves the prime tanning spots.
8am: We’d head downstairs for the first part of our breakfast, coffee by the pool
8:30am: After drinking our first (but certainly not last) coffees of the day, we’d make our way to the breakfast buffet to make our pics. To my mom’s consistent disappointment, I would always opt for American-style pancakes. She thinks the only real pancakes are crepes. She’s wrong of course.
9:30am – 4:00pm: Post-breakfast, and already ready, we would move to the pool area and do a consistent cycle of hopping in and out of the pool to swim and tan all day. I would go so far as to say that I’ve never entered and exited a body of water more frequently in my life. Usually, I’m the “take-a-dip-once-and-if-my-swimsuit-dries-up-after-I’m-out-I-will-never-reenter-in-the-water-again” gal. Not this time though. In-between this time, we would grab lunch at the lobby, and / or grab drinks at the pool.
4:30pm: By mid-afternoon, we would make our way back to the hotel room to shower and freshen up. I would sneak in a game of Daily Killer Sudoku while my mom was getting ready. We’d be out and about by 5pm looking for our next dinner spot.
6:00pm: Aside from breakfast and pool time, dinner time was a highlight in and of itself too. We sort of made a plan at the start of the trip on where we would all eat. Dad gave us his recommendation too, which we tried the first day. We ate some really yummy food! In fact, I’m salivating just thinking of it!
7:00pm: Because we were on vacation, we’d usually go for a dessert spot somewhere afterwards too. This was particularly fun every time as well. More often than not, we paired this with a evening coffee. If you know my mom, you know she drinks Turkish coffee at 10pm before bed time, and still sleeps like a sheep. If I on the other hand have three coffees by 10am, I will stay up all night. But, caffeine sensitivity aside, it was worth it for the fun times 🙂
8:00pm: Somehow, after all that food, we felt the need to walk around and walk it off a bit. We’d usually end up going to the city park and doing a huge lap. The first time we did this, we actually got a bit lost and accidentally took a very long road. I would joke to my mom that we shouldn’t ask for directions to not show any signs of weakness, and we didn’t. We persevered and got on the other side.
10:00pm: By the evening, we would be back in our room and ready for bed. There was just one more thing left to do – and you betcha it was super important: watching Love is Blind: After the Altar. If you haven’t watched Love is Blind … uhm, go watch it and you’re welcome. We would end our evenings either watching that, or watching one of the many good movies that were on TV. Two movies I particularly liked: Ford vs. Ferrari, and Her Last Will. Both typical vacation movies: movies I would never watch on my own, but that I enjoy tying to a memory.
11:30pm: My mom would be sound asleep, and I would be scrolling on my phone one final bit to lull me to sleep. A bad habit I am trying to break.
PART 4: COMMENTARY 💕
I love this girls trip to Tirana with my mom! We didn’t stay long, but so many memorable things stand out to me, that make it feel like a lovely forever. From really soaking up the sun, to all the good food, to finding an old croissant place we had always wanted to visit in the past, to getting lost in the park and then accidentally seeing a small mouse (my mom hates mice!). It was a lovely time! Sure, I might or might not have gained a few pounds (👀) but hey, in hindsight, it was totally work it. 💕
Hope you’re enjoying your summer too! 🌻