The toe of the boot, Sicily

It has been a week since we got back to Germany from our epic cruise vacation, and boy am I feeling it. We had a mostly sunny week but as I sit here typing, watching the rain fall, I really wish I was in Sicily again.

Our third port of call was Palermo, the capitol of Sicily, the autonomous island region just off the toe of Italy’s boot, so to say (geography shown below). In 1946 the island, and some smaller surrounding ones, were granted a special independent status where the region of Sicily would be part of Italy, but be autonomous. It really is a unique place. We drove through Palermo, but didn’t really see much of the port city. Our destination was a little over an hour away, Cefalu.  Continue reading

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Rome on your own

This was the big one. The city of Rome on my 29th birthday. I joke, but am kinda serious too… 29, my last youthful birthday. After that it’s all downhill right? We were both really excited to see the sites, Fil was especially excited to see the Colosseum, but number one was having a good pizza for lunch. 🙂

Our port was actually Citavecchia, but an hour bus ride took us right to the center of Rome. We opted for the “Rome on your own” excursion which provided us with the round-trip bus ride and a basic map.  Continue reading

Slow start in Italy

Genoa, our first stop in Italy. In my pre-research, Genoa seemed to be just another city. Beautiful I am sure, but nothing too stand out. The city is Italy’s main commercial port, birthplace of Christopher Columbus, and where pesto sauce was invented, but no really striking markets or architecture. One thing the city does have is the largest Aquarium in Italy, and depending on the source, the largest in all of Europe. It was a clear fit for us after our first night sailing.  Continue reading

High point of Marseille

Our first impression of Marseille, France, was not the best, but by morning all had changed. You see, we arrived later than planned, and the amount of sun really threw off our personal clocks. So while we thought it was maybe 6:00 pm it was really closer to 9. Once we checked into our adorable hotel, I went on a walk to pick up a small bite for dinner. The sun was in full force and it seemed odd that so many street and night people were out. Frankly it made me uncomfortable. Once I realized the actual time it made a bit more sense to me, I grabbed our snack and headed back to the hotel. Not really a good impression. But the next morning we headed out for a walk and to find breakfast and things felt much better.  Continue reading

A Disney dream come true

Any Disney fan can agree. If you only live 4 hours from a Disney park, you MUST go. For the last 2 years I have been waiting for the perfect timing for such a trip and it finally came true. Brock is at that sweet age where travel is a lot easier than it was even 6 months ago, and he is still young enough that he doesn’t require a ticket for admission. PLUS this time of year is the low season for Disneyland Paris which means shorter lines and a more enjoyable experience for a solo mom and toddler. So when Fil came home on Thursday saying he would be away Monday-Thursday of the following week, I jumped to book our hotel.   Continue reading

Luxembourg Duck Race

Europe even does charity events better! On Saturday Brock and I drove the hour into Luxembourg for the annual duck race. 15,000 plastic ducks would be let loose on a river in Luxembourg city, racing to the finish line. Each duck could be sponsored for €5 and the sponsor of the winning duck would win a brand new Suzuki Vitara! How fun! I pre-ordered our 6 ducks online and was assigned numbers 14215 through 14220. The weather was a bit iffy that day so I was in no rush to get to the event early, but we did make it just in time. Continue reading