Barcelona has recently become one of our favorite cities in Europe.  It’s got the typical feel of a large metropolis, but without the fast paced frenzy that seems to accompany most cities.  People here are friendly and fun-loving.  The streets are pedestrian-friendly, lined with large trees to separate the sidewalks from the busy roadways.  Many sidewalks have a park-like feel and you will find many people prefer to walk here.  There is great food and plenty to see and do.  It’s a lovely, lively place. Continue reading “Barcelona”


Sometimes I’ve thought after reading about a place that I had a good idea what it’s like – that my imagination could fill in the gaps and provide a close representation of what’s really there.  Since I love history, I’ve read about Pompeii many times.  I’ve seen documentaries that recount the tragic story and show the horrific, but mesmerizing images of the people left behind. Continue reading “Pompeii”

Messina: A Fishing Village and Cannoli

Today we traveled to Messina, the third largest city in Sicily.  The cruise port is just a short walk away from the Cathedral and the Piazza del Duomo, so we planned to walk there first.  On our way to the piazza, we saw someone selling tickets for the local hop on hop off bus for 20 euros per person.  Since Messina is such a large city, it made sense to us to see the city this way – especially since we were especially excited about the stops near the beach and Ganzirri, a small fishing village near Point Sicily.  Continue reading “Messina: A Fishing Village and Cannoli”

Kotor – Old City

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Today, for me, beauty was simply in the details.  Kotor exceeded all of my expectations in that regard.  When planning the trip, nothing about its description really caught my eye, but once we got into port, it was easy to see that the day would be extraordinary.  The view looked like it could have been taken right from a postcard. Continue reading “Kotor – Old City”

What happened to Santorini?

It can be quite a challenge for anyone who travels with food allergies or intolerances.  Kyle and I were both thrilled when we arrived on the ship to find that Princess has done a fabulous job of labeling all of the items at the buffet.  Neither of us can tolerate dairy or eggs, so it will make our time here a lot easier.  The head waiter is also doing a great job taking extra care with us in the dining room.  Every night at dinner, he comes by with the next night’s menu to discuss any changes that might need to be made.   We’re all really impressed with this attention to detail and it is truly appreciated. Continue reading “What happened to Santorini?”

Athens Sightseeing Day 3

Hiking around in the middle of the day on uneven surfaces in 90+ degree weather will eventually take its toll on anyone.  Due to muscle soreness and fatigue, we moved at a much slower pace today.  Instead of taking the stairs down from the 3rd floor on our way out in the morning, we took the elevator.  They look better than they feel – with the exception of Fred.  He somehow always has boundless energy! Continue reading “Athens Sightseeing Day 3”

Athens Sightseeing Day 2

Today was all about seeing more ancient ruins, so we had a quick breakfast and headed out to see the Ancient Agora of Athens.  We’re all still dealing with jet lag, but it seems to have hit Kyle harder than the rest of us, so he stayed behind in the hotel to get some beauty sleep.  On the metro ride in, I wanted to get a photo of one of the graffiti-covered trains.  This isn’t the greatest shot, but you can see that they are almost fully covered.  Just about all of the trains we’ve seen on the metro look like this one.  Graffiti, it seems, is universal. Continue reading “Athens Sightseeing Day 2”

Athens Sightseeing Day 1

The first day of being in a new city is always the most exciting for me.  It’s just so thrilling to know that you’re going to see so many new places and experience so many new things.  Today started with needing to see the front desk of the hotel.  Kyle’s cot kept collapsing with him on it.  We thought we’d fixed the issue ourselves by securing the supports underneath the bed, but we heard yet another crash (the 3rd) at around 2am.  Sure enough, Kyle was on the floor again! Continue reading “Athens Sightseeing Day 1”

A Full Day of Travel and We’re in Athens

Airport travel almost always leaves you with stories to tell and this time was no different.  Since our flight out of LAX boarded at 5:40am, we stayed at a Sheraton nearby the night before.  When we got to the hotel, we could see remnants of the day’s dance competition convention.  I’m not sure exactly what was happening, since we needed to get to our room right away and at least attempt to sleep!  We planned to get up the next morning at about 4am! Continue reading “A Full Day of Travel and We’re in Athens”