August 10, 2012

  • Mediterranean Cruise – Santorini, Greece Wednesday 6 June 2012

    On 6 June, our cruise ship stopped at the tiny island of Santorini, Greece.  Surrounded by blue waters, this island boasts cascades of white washed houses around the caldera (the bay created by the crescent shape of the island). 


    Opting to ride the cable car up the cliff to Fira town, we missed the surely enjoyable if not frightening experience of a donkey ride along a winding precipice.  Once at the top we rented a car and drove north to Oia (ee-uh).


    This is the town depicted in most pictures of Santorini.  Jeremy and I wound through the tight walking-streets of the cliff-side town, finding surprising overlooks to enjoy the amazing views down the island.  


    Then we drove to the south side of the island to the Santo Winery.  We weren’t so impressed with the wine selection, but we snagged a recommendation for lunch at a family owned café. 


    We enjoyed tzatziki and souvlaki from the top of yet another cliff, watching the sailboats drift across the caldera.  Reluctantly we returned the car and made our way to the cable car station and down to the dock to return to the ship. 


    Santorini has been and is still one of my favorite places in the world so far. 

August 4, 2012

  • Mediterranean Cruise – Athens, Greece Tuesday 5 June 2012

    Our excursion from the port of Piraeus consisted of a bus ride into Athens to see the Parthenon at the Acropolis and a few ancient landmarks around the city.

    Major restoration work is being done to the Parthenon to replace and rebuild it to a closer semblance of its original state.

    After snapping all the pictures we could stand to take, we spent the afternoon in a quiet shaded café enjoying a carafe of wine and Greek salads.  I ordered baklava for dessert (one of my favorites).  

    I was expecting the standard small square of honey drenched filo with pistachios and instead got a massive piece with cinnamon and walnut that took Jeremy and I both to polish it off.  Delicious, but we practically rolled back to the bus and spent the rest of the afternoon napping to recover from the sugar overload.

June 24, 2012

  • Mediterranean Cruise – Ephesus and Sirince, Turkey Monday 4 June 2012

    Today we went to Ephesus and Sirince with a tour from the ship.  People say that the front of this library looks like Petra in Jordan, but I haven’t yet been to see it.


    Ephesus is one of the cities that the Apostle Paul visited during his years of ministry.  Much of this Ancient city has been unearthed, and I got the opportunity to walk the same marble paved street where Paul walked, and sit in the same arena where he preached. 

    It was truly amazing to imagine him there spreading the gospel of Christ in that ancient place and see that it still exists after all these years.

    After seeing Ephesus, we went to a little village called Sirince for lunch. 

    The place is filled with little shops and sellers.  A Turkish TV show was evidently filmed in this location in the 80’s.  Cute little place.

June 13, 2012

  • Mediterranean Cruise – Rome, Italy Friday 1 June

    Today was the most tiring touring day, but the most rewarding.  Rome is a truly beautiful, historic, and impressive city that would take over a week to explore properly.  After an hour long private train ride from the port town of Civitavecchia, Jeremy and I arrived in Rome, just south of Vatican City.  We took a cab to the east side of the city to start our tour at the Coliseum. 

    From there we wound through the city past the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and back to Vatican City. 


    Along the way around every turn was yet another beautiful old marble building or church we had to get a picture of.  We stopped at a small café for thin Italian pizzas and a bottle of Chianti to give our necks and feet a rest. 

    Once back at Vatican City, we toured the museum and saw the Sistine Chapel.  While rather small, dark, and anti-climactic, it was still amazing to see the paintings of Michelangelo, especially the infamous painting in the center of the ceiling of the almost touching fingers of God and Adam. 

    I was so tired of walking after five hours of cobblestones and hills, that we bypassed St. Peter’s Basilica, and made a bee-line for the train station.  Thankfully the next two days are sailing days so we can recuperate.

June 12, 2012

  • Mediterranean Cruise – Pisa and Florence, Italy Thursday 31 May

    Today we again rented a little car at the port and headed for Pisa, Italy from the port town of Livorno. 


    After a quick round of pictures documenting the leaning tower (which is surprisingly small) and the equally odd surrounding buildings, we headed off to Florence for a bicycle tour.  We made it to the shop just in time for the tour only to realize we had driven into the middle of a pedestrian only area.  We accepted the potential fate of getting a parking ticket and headed off on the bicycles.  The guide took us all through old town Florence explaining the history and age of the architecture, statues, and fountains.  Florence is a beautiful town that requires a minimum of two days, not two hours.  But we made the best of it, and filled the camera with pictures of cathedrals and statues. 

    Once back at the car we were surprised to see we had not yet been ticketed.  Yay! The shop owner gave us the quickest directions out of the pedestrian zone with the least scrutiny and we were on our way.  On the way out in heavy traffic, we saw this little car (if you can label it a car) called a Twizy.  Inside this go-kart was a middle aged man in a nice suit looking completely unaware of how incongruous his person was with his mode of transportation, not to mention the fact that he seemed totally unconcerned that he may get run over. 

    On the return trip to Livorno, we enjoyed miles of Tuscan countryside, with vineyard after lush vineyard surrounding aged but beautiful homes and farm buildings.   On a future trip, we’ll spend a week exploring Tuscany.

June 11, 2012

  • Mediterranean Cruise – Cannes, France Wednesday 30 May

    Yesterday we boarded the Serenade of the Seas in Barcelona, Spain for a 12-night Med cruise.  Today was our first of eight ports.

    Cannes:  home of the international film festival.  Eh.  Lame.  Instead of wasting an afternoon shopping for junky souvenirs and t-shirts to prove we were in the famous port town, Jeremy and I drove the Golden Cornice road down to Saint Tropez  (san tro pey) stopping frequently to take pictures of the beautiful costal scenery of the French Riviera.

June 10, 2012

  • Road Trip Day Two – Arcachon

    Day Two… 28 May: after a European breakfast of salmon and tomatoes we headed out of the Bordeaux wine region driving toward the coast of France.   We went straight for the dunes of Arcachon and spent the afternoon relaxing in the white sand watching sailing and fishing boats pass by. 

    Then we drove down into the coastal town of Arcachon and strolled the boardwalk.  For dinner we picked a small seaside café and again had fresh raw oysters accompanied by a bottle of white wine.  We stayed the night at the Hotel Las Vagues right on the beach with a 180 view and the sound of the tide rolling in.


June 2, 2012

  • Road Trip through the Bordeaux Wine Region – Saint Emilion, France 27 May 2012

    On 27 May, Jeremy and I met in Paris, flying into Charles de Gaul to begin our two week European Vacation.  We rented a little car so small it would hardly hold our three suitcases, and we zipped down the road toward Bordeaux. 

    Our first stop was a little town in the French countryside called Saint Emilion.  My friend Joy introduced me to this area so it was my second visit, but a first for Jeremy.  We toured through the small cobblestone streets of the village, and made our way to fantastic overlooks to view rooftops and the vineyards beyond. 

    After enjoying some raw oysters for dinner we bought a couple bottles of red wine from the region, and retired to our hotel suite just outside the town in a grand chateau.  The view from our balcony boasted vineyards as far as the eye could see.  Arcachon is next on the itinerary, so more posts to come as I can get them typed!

May 19, 2012

  • My guy

    I just had to post a picture of Jeremy and me this past Christmas. I miss him so much. I haven’t seen him for three months now, but in a week we will meet in Paris for a European vacation. I can’t wait!!

    Jeremy Javonne 3

May 4, 2011

  • Cruise through the Greek Isles

    April 22 – May 2, 2011

    Cruise through the Greek Isles on Royal Carribean’s “Splendour of the Seas”.  Santorini was absolutely my favorite spot.  I think I’m going to live there….





    Then there’s Mykonos which had alleys so small I would have trouble getting my bike through there, but behind you comes a rush and a honk and you realize it’s a delivery truck coming after you up those narrow cobblestone streets!



    I saw the Parthenon at the Acropolis in Athens, and had Tatziki and Baklava at a cafe’ on the water in Crete.



    I saw a palace and overlooked the Mediterranean in Corfu.


    I even saw the ancient ruins of Olympia where the first Olympic games were held. 


    Even got to swing by Split, Croatia for a few hours…

     Mostly, I took lots of naps and read through two and a half books in my 11 day excursion.  Truly a vacation.