Saturday, November 1, 2014

Vacation 2014

Jen and I were able to take another amazing vacation this year!  Now, I am dreaming about those sunny, warm, relaxing days….

We flew into Barcelona with our friend and coworker,Talitha, on a Monday.  And, we walked and walked and walked!!!  One day we walked over 11 miles!  We saw all the sights and more, including, La Sagrada Familia, Guell Park, the packed out beach, Las Ramblas Street and the Christopher Columbus Columbus statue (which points in the wrong direction…by the way).  We visited this really cool market, called La Boqueria, where we got really yummy fruit every morning.  Oh yeah….and we ate lots of yummy gelato…sometimes twice a day!!  Barcelona was very easy to navigate and a fun city to visit!  We all agreed that we wanted to come back here someday!!

Boarding the Ship
On Wednesday morning, we went for our last breakfast at La Boqueria, headed back to the apartment where we stayed and got our luggage.  Jen and I headed were headed to check in onboard the Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas and Talitha hung around in Barcelona.  We made plans to meet back up with her later to go to the beach.  She had a late flight and we had one more night docked in Barcelona.  On Thursday, we took it easy onboard since we had already seen all that we wanted to see in Barcelona.

Marseille, France
On Thursday evening, the ship left dock and took us the next day to Marseille, France.  We had about an hour drive into Marseille and saw some very pretty countryside.  In Marseille we visited Palais Longchamp, the Notre Dame Basilica and of course had some yummy crepes right by the water!!

Cinque Terre, Italy
All I can say, is what a beautiful place!!  Absolutely stunning Basically, there are these five villages that  you can't really drive to or throughout.  You have to either take a boat or a train or walk.  The pictures will speak for themselves!!

Ajaccio, Corsica
Next up, the beautiful little island of Corsica.  We visited the charming little seaside town of Ajaccio, which is the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte.  We walked around for awhile….saw the sights and found a fun little market and then headed to the beach which was so close.  As a bonus, the water was so clear and beautiful.   It was a very relaxing day!!

At Sea and On Board the Serenade of the Seas
The next day we were at sea.  It was also Day 6 and so another day of relaxing and lazing around the ship was in order…

Valletta, Malta
Another very beautiful island and lovely things to see!  We took a bus tour/walking tour around Valletta and then drove about 30 minutes to Mdina which is kind of like a fortified city.  A brief visit to a jewelry factory and we were back to the dock.  The whole time we were on this cruise, we had a hard time finding places to connect to internet.  So, we decided to splurge a little and get something at Hard Rock Cafe….and then the internet didn't work very well.  Alas…

Sicily, Italy
Oh. My. Goodness.  Here we had the most wonderful cannoli.  So sweet and crispy and creamy….just delicious.  We also visited an active volcano and walked around inside the crater.

Amalfi Coast, Italy
We took a lovely little motor coach (by boat) ride to see the beautiful Amalfi Coast.  We arrived to the little seaside town of Amalfi and had a wonderful time walking around, shopping and of course eating gelato!  I think I had gelato ever place we went, except for Malta, because I wasn't feeling very well.  You really can't go wrong with ice cream!

Last Day on Board
All good things must come to an end….

Rome, Italy
Our final destination….the magical, Rome!  We had a hotel booked for two nights to wind things down.  The hotel was right on the outskirts of town and really hard to find.  Think, two hours on a bus and then walking around a neighborhood trying to find the place.  However, once we found it, we realized it was easy to get in and out of the city.  Once we arrived, we hung out by the pool and found some sandwiches for dinner.  The next morning, we woke up and conquered Rome like none other.  We saw almost all of the main tourist attractions, leaving the Colosseum for our last day because it was going to be free the next day.

This vacation was an amazing experience and I was so blessed to have this time to stop, relax, rejuvenate and reflect on what the Lord has done in my life.

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