Category Archives: Vacations

The Acropolis and Parthenon

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Okay, I’ll be straight up frank with you all, I’m trying to watch a movie and extremely distracted Smile 

Today we went into Athens and to the Acropolis and of course the Parthenon.  I’ll be the first to admit that I thought the Acropolis and the Parthenon were two different places.  Therefor it was a treat to get to see both of them at once – ha!!  It turns out that the highest point of the city is known as the Acropolis and the Parthenon is one of the temples at the top.

We arrived and began the hike up the extremely steep slippery marble steps.  The tickets claimed there were “80 steps” to climb, though I beg to differ it was a lot more than 80 steps…I think it was actually 80 steps to the bathroom.  There was a little old lady who told the tour guide she wouldn’t be joining us all the way to the top because it was to much walking, but she was said she’d walk with us to the bathrooms and then meet us back at the bottom when we were done.  Turns out that the 80 steps were just to the bathroom and by the time this lady made it to the bathroom she realized if she’d made it that far she could make it to the top and she did!

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We took a bunch of pictures with the 12th Man Flag and also with the EBC newsletter, but those are on other cameras but like I mentioned earlier I’m to busy watching the movie!  I’ll try to post those pictures to at least Facebook and Twitter tomorrow, until then you’ll just have to imagine!

We start our first day in Turkey tomorrow, but don’t have a tour so that means I can sleep in!  Yay!!

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Olympia, Greece

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I went to bed last night thinking that today we were going to see the Acropolis in Athens, only to find out this morning we were going to see the original Olympic stadium ruins.  Not that I’m complaining, just was confused!  Like I say every night it was pretty darn amazing to be walking through such a historic monument that’s been standing for thousands of years.  It’s pretty cool.

I apologize ahead of time for the number of photos, I normally just grab photos of my camera (or one camera if I didn’t take any that day), but today I knew I wanted a couple pictures of my dad’s and Brandi’s cameras so there is a lot!

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Okay, so TOMORROW we’ll be in Athens and will see the Acropolis….at least that’s what I’ve been told…we shall see!

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Another Day at Sea

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Today was absolutely beautiful, the sun was shining and warm!  I spent a good percentage of the day up on the top deck laying in the sun.  While the weather was fabulous we started the day with a bit of confusion…nobody had any clue what time it was.  Last night we lost we another hour and now are 10 hours ahead of Seattle.  With everyone using electronic devices (phones, ipads, kindles, tablets) to tell the time, we learned that not all of them reset with time changes.  Sometimes they set, other times they don’t.  Based on all the clocks we had in front of us it could have been 8:30am, 9:30am, 10:30am or even 11:30pm (most of our laptops never reset from Seattle time).  We learned we were off when we were late to trivia by an hour!

Being a sea day we didn’t take many photos, I actually took none so I stole pictures from Brandi!

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All day today the waters were calm and you couldn’t even tell we were moving and then BAM we hit super rocky waters.  I was fine through dinner at a place called Teppenyaki’s that is a Japanese restaurant that the chef cooks in front of you, but because of the now rough waters I’m feeling a bit queasy and the thought of looking at the food pictures doesn’t sound so good! You’ll just have to wait until I get home and compile my video of the trip (most like Christmas!).

I *think* we are in Greece tomorrow and will go see the Acropolis, I’m really excited to go!!  See you tomorrow!

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A Day at Dock

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Today was the end of cruise #1 and the start of cruise #2 which meant we spent a day at the Civitavecchia, Italy pier.  We had grand plans of joining a tour and heading back into Rome to see more of the sites but when we went to book we realized it wasn’t worth the nearly $200/per person 9.5 hour tour.  Half of the tour was back to the Vatican which we had already seen, the other 1/4 of it would be spent on the bus going to and from the ship to Rome (it’s an 1.5 hour trip both ways) and the other 1/4 would be viewing the Trevi Fountain which was currently under restoration and cleaning.  Needless to say we decided against the tour!

Brandi, Sue and Aaron went in to town, but my family decided to stay on the ship and have an “at dock day”.  We watched the old passengers disembark and the new ones embark.  Today was beautiful so we spent most of the day laying by the pool and upper deck reading, playing cards and resting. 

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After going out for a walk we reentered (or tried to) our floor but even with our special key the door wouldn’t budge.  Sadly my dad came right behind us and it worked for him…apparently Alex just isn’t that strong!

 

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The big change today is new neighbors.  Last week we had great neighbors.  In our private area there are eight suites (we take up three of them) and we got along really well with everyone.  The neighbors to the left of my room were from Germany had two kids, 8 and 12, who spent a lot of time in the pool but were really quiet.  The people across the hall have three girls, ages 3, 12 and 14 and we never see the older to girls but their little Emma entertains everyone in the Haven – they also are staying on for this second cruise) and the third set have a son and are also traveling on with us.  It was a quiet group of people.  Our four families got along well and pretty much took over the Haven.  Today however, is a whole new group of people. 

The neighbors next to me left and have been replaced with three loud obnoxious kids who have taken over the pool with constant screaming, yelling and running.  The kids have no respect for anyone, they are continually shouting for the butler to come and bring them items.  It’s just plain rude.  I’m hoping they quickly discover the kids drop-off day care and we see less of them because I can already see they’re going to be a problem.  They’ve now moved into the exercise room and are playing on the treadmill, it’s only a matter of time before one of them gets hurt…..

Tomorrow is another at sea day, so I’m looking forward to another day lounging by the pool, this vacation life is really taxing on a girl!!

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Pompeii

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This morning we got up early and boarded our tour bus for the ancient ruins of Pompeii.  1700 years ago (on my birthday, August 24th to be exact!) Mount Vesuvius erupted sending ash and pumice stones onto the city of Pompeii.  For three days homes were hit and people eventually suffocated to death.  Today, they have excavated a lot of the town and it was amazing to be walking through these ruins.

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A couple of nights ago I put $10 into a slot machine in the casino and with one pull and .30c I won $45!  Once I had won I played two more rounds before I cashed out and was super excited to receive the $43.75 in cash!

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Today is also the last night of the first cruise and there are a bunch of sad passengers.  I’m pretty ecstatic to be getting ready to start all over and begin a 10 day Eastern Mediterranean cruise!  Bring on 10 more days of five-star fun!

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Palermo Rain

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It rained all day long today, icky drizzly Seattle rain.  We headed out with raincoats, hats and umbrellas as we ventured through the throngs of taxi driving, umbrella sellers.  Up and down the streets we walked only to find out that the majority of Palermo is closed on Mondays.  That didn’t slow us down to much, we still saw a lot of pretty buildings and even a haunted mansion before finding a quaint café where we ordered bruschetta, a cutting board of Italian cheese and meats, and then a big plate of French fries!  My dad wanted Pellegrino, but the look on the waiter’s face made it clear he didn’t know what he was asking for.  Kelly apparently knew that by asking for “aqua with gas” meant carbonated water!  (Oh and no Brandi didn’t lose a leg on the trip, even though the picture below makes it look that way!!)

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When we got back to the ship Alex and I quickly got signed back in, but Brandi ran into some problems.  When they scanned her card nothing happened, they tried it twice before sending her over to a different security guard to solve the problem.  The guy who was helping her was super confused, he couldn’t figure out if Brandi was trying to get back on board or get off.  Apparently, when they signed her out it never registered so the entire time she was off the ship it still showed her as on.  It’s a good thing she didn’t get lost because the ship wouldn’t go looking for her for a very long time!!  The security guard kept asking her, “so you want to get off the ship?” Brandi finally convinced him she’d been off all morning and now wanted to go home!

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Once we all finally got back on board we met up with Grandma for lunch by the pool.  At the time we had all just eaten, so we decided not to order, she ordered Mexican tortilla soup.  Once it came we all ooh’d and ahh’d over how good it looked and I ended up ordering one with a lemonade.  Kelly piped up and said she wanted a lemonade too, but when Benny brought the drinks, he brought me my lemonade and Kelly a bowl of soup!  We all laughed and laughed and Kelly modeled “drinking her lemonade”.

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For dinner tonight we ate at the Italian restaurant, La Cachina.  All week I’ve been looking forward to this meal because I love Italian food, however my excitement was quickly squashed because it was the slowest.service.ever!  Alex got so bored that she cut up the plate of cheese Kelly had as an appetizer and created cheese flowers!

To make things even better I received my Caesar salad and saw a bug go scurrying across the lettuce.  Blech.  Even after I sent my buggy salad back the service continued to be slow, in an empty restaurant it took us nearly two hours to get our food.  Most of us didn’t even get dessert because we didn’t want to miss the big final production show at 7:30pm.  Kelly, however, managed to do both by bringing her dessert with her to the Stardust Theater!

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Tomorrow we’re in Naples, Italy and will see Pompeii and then back to Rome on Wednesday which will conclude cruise #1 and on to cruise #2!!

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Easter At Sea

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Today was our second sea day and Easter.  The day started like any other day, as people wake up we drag ourselves out to the Haven for breakfast.  Here’s a lovely photo of most of us not long after getting up!

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We attended a Jazz Brunch in Le Bistro where they had a live band playing New Orleans jazz while we enjoyed a delicious smorgasbord…I say smorgasbord because it was an odd paring of food even for brunch – there’s nothing like waffles & eggs with a side of penne pasta!

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After brunch we played what seemed like hours of cards before heading to an extremely overpriced game of BINGO where we were all big losers.  The highlight of my day was putting in $10 into a slot machine and with a .30c pull won $48!!  I can definitely see how gambling is addicting, it was hard to cash out and not just “try one more time!”.

Apparently the distance between Cagliari (where we were yesterday) and Palermo (where we go tomorrow) isn’t very far, so we spent a good portion of the day just bobbing along.  They turned off the motors and we just sat for hours so we didn’t get to far ahead!  Tomorrow morning we dock in Palermo, Italy and then onto Naples on Tuesday to see Pompeii!

Good night!

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Cagliari, Italy

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For the first time on this vacation I finally slept in.  I woke up to use the bathroom and knew it was only about 4am, looked at my phone and to my amazement it was 9:45am.  I woke up enough to roll out of bed and out for breakfast.  I didn’t sleep well last night and that tiredness stayed with me all day.  After wandering around town for a couple of hours I came back to the pool area and fell asleep, I woke up about an hour later and moved to my bed where I slept until 4pm.  Even after waking up from my three hour nap I was still tired.  I’m not sure what was up with the air today, but everyone in my family was equally as tired and napped.

I didn’t spend all day in bed, I did go out to tour Cagliari, Italy.  While the views were pretty, this city is built on a hill so it was a lot of walking up steep inclines to make it to the outlooks and since I was so tired this made it today that much more work!  In addition to lots of hills it was extremely windy and chilly!

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Tonight we saw a Cirque DuSoleil-esque show which was pretty amazing to watch, however it did look horribly painful!  The performers were flipping, folding and flying through the air with ropes, ribbon and rings.  I spent the entire time wincing with fear that they were going to come crashing down to the ground, but luckily they didn’t and were able to finish the amazing show.

Tomorrow is our second At Sea Day and it’s Easter!  I’m not sure what’s on the schedule for tomorrow other than a jazz brunch, but I’m sure the rest of the day will be busy as well!  After tomorrow we have one last stop in Palermo, Italy before returning to Rome where the first cruise is complete and most of the passengers will disembark and new ones will board.  It’s crazy to believe that our trip is nearing the halfway point!  I’m not ready to go home yet!!

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