10/13/15

Portofino, Italy

Portofino, Italy

After my long hike to Portofino, I was ready to sit down and have a drink.  I was so thirsty, that I opted for a cold soda instead of wine...that's really thirsty people!  The rest of my family was feeling the same way.  So we grabbed a table and each ordered a soda.  The drink was refreshing and the people watching was great, but the waiters were so rude.  When I asked for the restroom he actually started yelling at me in Italian because I couldn't understand his English.  To top off the event, our bill came.  It was $60 with tip for our FOUR sodas.  Portofino is not a cheap place, folks.

9/19/15

Hiking to Portofino, Italy

When our cruise ship stopped at Santa Margherita, Italy, we had many excursions to choose from.  Our final decision was to hike to Portofino and back, while enjoying both cities and the views in between.  And what views those were!

Gorgeous view while hiking in Italy

The walk took a little over an hour and was easy at times, with a few moderate spots along the way.  We got an idea of what it would be like as we viewed the northern Italian coast from our cruise ship balcony.  Gorgeous!

8/20/15

What I Ate Wednesday

Just like every morning on our Mediterranean cruise, we started with room service breakfast on the balcony.  Not a bad way to start any day.

In room breakfast on a Holland America Cruise

Then we were off to explore Monaco, Eze and Nice.  It was going to be a big day of exploring, so we loaded up on breakfast, pretty much skipped lunch and ended the day with dinner in the main dining room.  Vacation eating can be a bit different.  Do you eat the same on vacation as you normally do at home?

7/20/15

Nice, France in the French Riviera

The beach in Nice, France

This was my first glimpse of Nice as we came in on an excursion with our cruise line.  The plan was to do a sight seeing drive thru the city and then get off the bus and tour a french flower market on foot.

6/9/15

Eze, France

As I travel around the world, there are some places that I just fall in love with.  Eze was one of those places.  Until I booked this excursion on our Mediterranean cruise, I had never heard of Eze, France.  It was included on an excursion with Nice, which I was very familiar with.  You hear so much about the French Riviera, of which Nice is a part, but this centuries old town of Eze, not so much.

Eze, France

5/17/15

Monte Carlo, Monaco

The first stop on our Mediterranean cruise was Monaco.  Unfortunately it was raining when we arrived.  Even with the clouds, we had a fabulous view from the balcony in our room.

Monaco as seen from our ship's balcony

Lots of yachts in Monaco

We made guesses on how much that giant yacht cost.  What's your guess?  The opera house below is part of the famous Monte Carlo casino.  This is another shot I took from the balcony as we waited out the storm.

3/10/15

Dinner #1 in the Vista Dining Room

My family loves to eat!  We couldn't wait to get to the Vista dining room on the first night to pick our favorite table at the back of the ship.  Menus in hand, we were ready to go.

Dinner menu on our Holland America Mediterranean Cruise

We like to try lots of different things, so we order accordingly and share.  If someone doesn't want to share, then we just order two of that thing.  My son thinks this is the most awesome thing.  As a teenage boy, he eats more than all of us.  And being able to order as much as he wants without worry of the price thrills him.

3/8/15

Our Signature Suite on Holland America Cruise Line

Recently I've been sharing our time in Barcelona with these posts.  But did you know our time there was leading up to a Mediterranean Cruise with Holland America?

Our Holland America ship, the Noordam

My daughter and I spent several days pre-cruise in Barcelona, which I highly recommend.  My husband and son flew in on the day of the cruise and met us right on the ship.

2/12/15

How to NOT Overpack

How someone packs says a lot about them.  Do you procrastinate or pack a week in advance?  Do you shove everything in a bag not thinking about how it goes together or do you try on every outfit?  Do you look up weather where you are going?  Or do you even know where you're going?!


I am one of those organized packers that starts a week in advance.  I lay out all my ideas for outfits, and yes, I try them all on, including shoes and jewelry.  I actually make a daily schedule for trips that are longer than a week and I plan what I will be wearing each day.  I HATE to overpack!  I allow myself one miscellaneous outfit, just in case.  I get excited about finding something new to help me organize my suitcase.  My husband is the exact opposite.  This picture above describes us perfectly.  After 22 years of marriage I have finally let it go and don't worry about his methods.  


I recently bought a sheet of these from a local store.  I like to fill out the top and give them to my kids to help them pack without my help.  It is a good reminder to read through before you zip up that bag for good.  I recently watched a video on YouTube about how to not overpack from Ingrid Nilsen.  I liked the way she organized her things so I decided to share it with you.  


I want to know what kind of packer you are.  Please comment below and share.  Thanks!

This post linked to Do Tell Tuesday

2/5/15

Basilica Santa Maria del Pi: Barcelona, Spain

Of course you have heard of la Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain, but there are other cathedrals that you should visit as well.  One of the more well known ones is the Cathedral of Barcelona (easy to remember).

Cathedral of Barcelona, Spain

On the day we visited, there was a line to get in.  Not near the line la Sagrada had, but a line, none the less.  After waiting for some time, we found out that you can't wear shorts into the cathedral.  Bummer!  So we decided to come back another day with pants on...never happened.  Anyway, since we couldn't get into the cathedral we had more time to explore the Gothic Quarter where it is located. And guess what we found?  The Basilica Santa Maria del Pi

1/24/15

10 Travel Beauty Tricks

Everyone wants to look their best as they exit the plane.  And after traveling across the entire ocean~ that can be difficult.  I have been writing about my trip to Spain, which was a very long trip from Chicago, including a layover in London.  My number one key is to sleep.  You feel better, and with a little help, you will look better as well.  Check out this video from the YouTube channel Polished about 10 travel beauty tricks.


Which trick was your favorite?  Any special tricks of your own you want to share in the comments?

Take care and safe travels...

1/5/15

La Rambla & the Gothic Quarter: Barcelona, Spain

One of the most popular things to do in Barcelona is take a walk down La Rambla.  It is a tree lined street that connects the Catalunya Plaza (where we stayed at the Olivia Plaza Hotel) all the way to Port Vell at the statue of Christopher Columbus.

La Rambla in Barcelona, Spain

It is very busy and very touristy.  Were it not also beautiful, with the trees and gorgeous buildings, it would not have been one of my favorite things to do.
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