Wednesday, May 13, 2009

trip of a lifetime

1 boy, 1 mom, 1 dad with 2 grandmas and 1 papa just got back from the trip of a lifetime to 5 countries - Zurich (Switzerland) with long layovers both ways, Venice (Italy) for 3 nights, Azamara cruise for 7 nights stopping in Kopar (Slovenia), Zader & Dubrovnik (Croatia), Santorini & Nauplion (Greece) & Athens for 2 nights.

Overall, it was an incredible experience. Here are a few of my random thoughts about the trip:
- The boy was an amazing navigator through the twisting, narrow streets of Venice, but it still gave me nightmares thinking of him getting separated from us and navigating those streets alone.
- After that, letting the boy have the run of the ship was easy.
- My first impression of the cruise staff was how super friendly they were. Then I found out that this ship is known for having the friendliest staff, so I began to get cynical and wondered if they were friendly because they wanted to be or because they had to be.
- The cruise is definitely one of the more high-end things we have ever done. I started the trip feeling kind of guilty, but by the end I was getting kind of used to the pampering.
- The cruise staff was a way more diverse group than the passengers.
- Traveling with grandparents is definitely a bonus.
- Dubrovnik turned out to be one of my favorite stops. Exploring this walled city by the sea was an incredible experience.
- Walking through ancient Mycenae ruins gives you the perspective that our US history is pretty puny.
- Encountering some kind of ruin around every corner of Athens just reinforces the feeling that ancient history permeates this place.
- Almost everyone we met throughout our journey spoke some English.