Thursday, June 30, 2016

Hot day in Rome!

Enjoy the Forum (our fave) and Coliseum (hot and crowded):






























Not the first feral kitty in sight in the coliseum, unlike 10 years ago...dozens! And we had to go through security machines to get in. Sad.

Kids have gone to Vatican. MM and I are chilling, trying to cool off.

Life is good. Ciao, y'all!

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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Amalfi, Italy













We rode the regional bus along the winding coastal road to Amalfi yesterday. It was thankfully air-conditioned, but crowded. The price was right--8 euros each for round trip tickets. We dipped our toes in the Med, ate lunch, walked about town a bit, then returned to Sorrento where the kids actually took a chilly swim.







Italy is a beautiful country, with friendly folks...and crazy scooter drivers! We saw literally dozens of them today, and were amazed there were no collisions with our bus.

Today, we are taking the train to Rome, where we will stay for two nights. There will be lots of "old stuff" for us to see.

Arrivederci, Sorrento!

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Bellmen!


When the crowded milk train stopped at Pompeii yesterday, the Dyers hopped off with their backpacks to visit the ruins.



Thanks to Ansley for this photo.

MM and I schlepped all 6 bags and our two backpacks the few blocks to our hotel.



Are we great parents or what?!

MM had a much needed beer and rest, then he walked back to the train station to meet the kids and bring them to the hotel, knowing how tired they would be after all that walking.

We all went up to the hotel roof top to enjoy some cool air and a bottle of wine before dinner, watching the locals happily and noisily celebrate Italy's soccer win of the day.

Dinner was excellent Italian fare, with a free dram of chocolate liquor afterward. We may go back there again tonight!

We are off to visit the Amalfi coast today by bus and water taxi. It is sunny and beautiful here in Sorrento. WYWH!

Ciao, y'all!

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Ciao, Venetzia!




After dinner last night, we took advantage of our all day water taxi ticket and too one last trip along the Grand Canal, back to San Marko. The lights were beautiful all along the way.



An added bonus was music added in the square...clarinet, piano, violin and accordion, yes!, playing Canon in D. Very interesting combination.

So now we are about to go to the train station, bound for Sorrento. The kids will get off the train and visit Pompeii...while we continue on to Sorrento with all the bags. Aren't they lucky to have us along?! Porter!!!

I will steal some of their photos to post. My Pompeii photos are at home on my computer, and they are about 10 years younger than theirs will be. Probably little has changed.

Life is good, no, Grand! We are enjoying the FFF...forced family fun...trip. Thus far. Ha!

Ciao, y'all!

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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Back in Venice

We all went straight to the hotel after disembarking the ship, dropped off our bags, and got a water taxi to St. Mark's Square before the crowds got too bad:



It was somewhat crowded, so MM and I opted to find a cold one while the kids toured around. Oops, no church visit till 2p since today is Sunday, so next up was lunch. We were all getting hungry.

The two teens picked the restaurant--the Hard Rock Cafe just off the square--no surprise there! Food is always good, and the girls were thrilled with the experience.



MM and I left them to go back to the church and bring us lots of photos...we have been there a few times, so we are not missing out. Besides, MM needed to go to the train station to reserve the two of us seats to Sorrento tomorrow. We have hotels reserved for the remainder of this adventure, but no train reservations since we didn't entirely know what/when Haley had reserved. No big deal. We "wing it" quite well.

Everyone is enjoying the water taxi rides along the Grand Canal.



It is beautiful...and just a tad Hawt, but we are having a fine time.

Ciao ciao, y'all!

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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Kotor, Montenegro

Kotor is located on a beautiful bay, and is a medieval city of traders and famous sailors...built between the 12th and 14th centuries. Old...buildings, churches, and palaces. We would all enjoy another visit to this city. Our short morning does not do the area justice.








MM and I left the kiddos to wander around a bit more, and we are now back onboard ship, ready for the 1p departure back to Venice. We will spend one night there, then begin our train adventures. No, our trip does not end yet!







Ciao, y'all! Trying to stay cool...


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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Hawt Athens!







Hop on/Hop off bus ride from the port to the Acropolis is a far cry from the ancient chariots used centuries ago. Not that I would know first hand.

Heading back to the ship now.

Did I mention it is Hawt?

Ciao!

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Santorini, Greece

Good morning from Santorini!



This is a tender port, since the waters are too deep to construct a pier here.

MM and I are enjoying "free" wifi while we watch boat and ppl traffic here at water level. The younger knees will go to town at the top of the mountain while the old knees stay here at the bottom. We are happy that we visited 10 years ago...and will appreciate their photos.

Logan aptly renamed the MSC line...Mostly Senior Citizens, as that was what was mostly on their Norway cruise last week. There are more younger kids onboard this week on this multi-cultural cruise.

Food and entertainment have both been good, although MM suffered a bit through the opera diva doing Carnavale the other night. Last night's French Review, complete with cancan, was very good. He can still enjoy a visual shake of the booty.

Our suite is comfy and the balcony is enjoyed by all.




Tomorrow is Hawt Athens! We shall enjoy today's mild temps while we can.

Ciao for now!

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Surprise photos

I posted these surprise photos on my FB page, but here they are for those not on FB:







MM just uploaded the video to my FB page. He lurks there, bless his heart. This is his first video posting!

Today, the kids have gone down to Olympia, since this is their first trip to Greece and that is what they must do. MM and I toured there several years ago prior to my blogging days. I was honored to be a touch bearer in our county before the '96 Olympics, as well as serving as an Olympic volunteer in Atlanta during the games, so I especially enjoyed our visit to the site where the games began. Friend Joy was also a volunteer, by the way. We had fun together.

MM and I are chilling at a cafe right in the harbor here at
Katakolon on the Ionian Sea, enjoying free (for the price of a beer) wifi...and Greek music.

Life is definitely good. And warm.
Beautiful Santorini tomorrow.

Ciao, y'all!


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Monday, June 20, 2016

To Venice we go!

Add travel agent to the long list of talents for My Man. He assisted the Dyers in planning their epic European vacation, and they were wanting us to join them. And so we did, mid-vacation.

Unbeknownst to them, 8 months ago MM and I made the decision to not just join them, but to surprise them onboard their cruise out of Venice. Yes, it was a good surprise. Whew! We were happily greeted with shouts of joy, not "oh, nooo!"




We sailed out of Venice yesterday, and today visited both the (beautiful) Church of St. Nicholas and the (somewhat plain) Catholic Cathedral here in Bari. This is a new port for us. Internet is a bit slow, so I will not be able to post a lot of photos. Bugger. Later on those.

The weather is perfect, but it's gonna be Hawt in Greece, where we will be tomorrow. Since we are in a different port each day, passengers are constantly getting on/off the ship, which means daily muster drills with the noisy whistles that precede the meeting...blasts that just woke up MM! Yes, we are still a bit jet lagged. He managed to go back to sleep.

Hey, we are on a cruise...and with the kids. Life is good! Ciao, y'all!


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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Life in Mayberry...

Follow me to the fish section, sir!



A bear cub wandered off the mountain into town and caused a bit of a stir two days ago when he walked into the local Food City grocery store, thanks to those automatic doors!

Poor thang. He was probably just hungry. The story will undoubtedly be above the fold in next Tuesday's local paper. Ha. We have lots of excitement here in our little town.

On the home front, the wee ones are enjoying being out of school for the summer and playing in the lake. Will is honing his driving skills in my golf cart, hauling around his older bro and his older cousin!



Life is ginger peachy good! Zoom, zoom...

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Saturday, June 11, 2016

Hello, Seattle!

One of the best things about this trip was meeting friends Jean and Bill for dinner last night:



Much love and hugs were shared all around. Miss you guys!

We headed as quickly as we could on through Seattle to our airport hotel, while Dinah clicked away at the skyline. This was her first visit here, but we had no time for further sightseeing. Bugger.

Hotel and sleep was what we needed.

They should be boarded on their flight by now. We head to the airport shortly. They have been great travel buddies.

MM and I have many photos to sort through. And wee ones and furry ones to see.

Traveling is fun, but HOME sounds mighty fine right now!

Until the next adventure...

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Friday, June 10, 2016

Goodbye, Victoria!







Flowers are everywhere in Victoria! And so were the painted and/or blingy Orcas. Even the dull utility boxes were covered nicely in interesting painted flowers, graphics or local maps. What a great idea!

We picked up our friends after breakfast, then drove to the Sydney ferry terminal where we had to clear US customs before got in line to wait on the incoming ferry. We are now going through the San Juan Islands to quaint Anacortes.

Unfortunately, we won't be able to stop and visit any of these lovely places wn route today, but this route is at least very scenic.

We have a bonus waiting in Seattle...friends Jean and Bill are hopefully meeting us for dinner tonight. Woohoo!!! Can't wait for that hugfest.

The weather is sunny but chilly. We can handle that.

Life is good on this Friday floating fun!

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Victoria

Ferry ride got us ashore 3ish, so we drove straight to Victoria, dropped off Dinah and Lamar's luggage at their hotel, and drove around sightseeing.



Found Oak Bay Hotel, old and Tudor style quaint place that we loved, is now GONE. Sad.

After dinner at their hotel, we checked into ours and then walked along the pier.






Today, our plans are to walk around and explore the hood. Yes, beautiful Butchart Gardens is just up the road and MM and I have been there at least twice, however exploring this city has a higher priority for ALL of us. You can't do it ALL in one trip. That is the #1 rule in travel. And today is all we have. Seattle tomorrow.

We will try to stay outta trouble.

Life is good, y'all!

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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Vancouver

After a brief ride through Stanley Park after disembarking the ship, we (Dinah and Lamar included) are now at the ferry terminal waiting to go over to Victoria.



See, we stopped for a look at some old people! Ha.

More later, y'all!

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Monday, June 6, 2016

Ketchikan watching!








Sure, ease on by my balcony and pick me up, Mr. Beaver!

A cool day in Ketchikan...where life is mighty fine!

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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Drizzly Juneau

Drizzly Sunday here in Juneau. In other words, a normal day!

Dinah, Lamar, MM and I got a taxi to search for bald eagles, then he dropped us off in town for a brew.









So, cheers from the Red Dog Saloon, where we are enjoying a beer and an old timey piano playing man.

Next up, a stroll down Main Street back to the ship.

Life is good!

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Saturday, June 4, 2016

Glacier Bay

We had reserved seating and a great wait staff at the Sanctuary all day yesterday.



They brought us food, mimosas, and coffee right to our happy selves, perched right there on our lounge chairs. The.whole.day. King and Queen.



Of course we saw glaciers. And a bear wandering around on a hillside. And whales blowing. Even a sea otter and several birds.

It was about 50 degrees, but everyone had a blanket to keep warm, and the windbreaks helped keep the wind away from us.

Fabulous!

Today we are in Skagway and with the forecast being rain at 50% chance, MM and I stayed onboard and everyone can tell us thanks for keeping the rain at bay. Naturally. MM's knees were hurting, so he didn't want to do any walking today. We have been here before, and will enjoy the tales tonight from our friends who went ashore.

Life is good...except for bad knees.

Tomorrow is Juneau. We plan to go eagle hunting...viewing only!

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