Congratulations Filiberto!

With our DEROS (Date Estimated Return from Overseas) fast approaching I started thinking about all the things in Germany we will miss. Our German friends, localized foods, festivals, the option to travel… the list goes on. And at the same time looking forward to our next adventure. Somewhere new in the States for us probably. Someplace that Brock would start school. Someplace that maybe we would buy our first home. Turns out I was a little premature. But my nails will say it all… Continue reading

Gemstones of Germany

Idar-Oberstein is an interesting town not far from us, maybe 15 minutes away. We often take visitors to hike the mountain there, but more regularly we go to Idar to shop at the home improvement store for our garden and hobbies. I’ve been meaning to blog about it for some time, but I keep pushing it off since it has become a regular place for us. But when Danielle visited last month, we toured the gemstone mine, one of the few things in Idar-Oberstein I had yet to do, and I was reminded of how wonderful the city is. I decided it deserved a blog post!  Continue reading

Trooping the Colours 2017

Danielle and I were incredibly lucky to be in London for the Queen’s official birthday celebration, Trooping the Colours. The Queen’s true birthday is April 21st, but is officially acknowledged on a Saturday in June, and this year the celebration happened June 17th, less than 24 hours after we landed in London for our girls weekend.   Continue reading

London Calling

Yoohoo, London calling! You might think it is impossible to see London in 36 hours, but with a little planning you can do quite well. London was a trip that I wanted to do for some time but had put off for a number of reasons, but when one of my best friends says “I’ll come visit you, but can we go to London too?” I said YES! We planned her whole trip to Germany around Father’s Day since Fil would be home and could watch Brock while we had a girlfriend’s weekend away.

All I can say is that if you have any less than a full week to spend in London, plan, plan, and plan. Danielle and I made a list of the things we wanted to see and did our best to cross everything off of it… and we did pretty darn good. Each of us only missed one attraction that we wanted to see. Now of course we could have extended our list to fill any amount of time, but for our short time we wanted to hit all the bigs, and we pretty much did just that.  Continue reading

Our favorite, Valencia

This is it, the final port of our cruise before returning to Marseille and then back home. Beautiful Valencia turned out to be our favorite port and a true surprise for both of us. Spain was never on our “must travel to” list so we were not really excited about it, but since it was our last port we gave it a shot and were blown away. Goes to show you should always try things you normally wouldn’t. 

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Double take, two quick ports of call

After the most amazing day in Sicily, we were interested to check out Cagliari even though we did not have any plans or ideas of what lie on the island. Cagliari, the capitol of Sardinia, was our last port of call, and was another stop that didn’t seem to have anything that would take our breath away. But we went out and adventured anyways with the hope of finding a gem.

You might detect a theme here… we climbed up the mountain that the city was perched on to the top to catch some views. Looking down on the port the city did look really beautiful. I don’t think we really captured it in the pictures.  Continue reading

The toe of the boot, Sicily

It has been a week since we got back to Germany from our epic cruise vacation, and boy am I feeling it. We had a mostly sunny week but as I sit here typing, watching the rain fall, I really wish I was in Sicily again.

Our third port of call was Palermo, the capitol of Sicily, the autonomous island region just off the toe of Italy’s boot, so to say (geography shown below). In 1946 the island, and some smaller surrounding ones, were granted a special independent status where the region of Sicily would be part of Italy, but be autonomous. It really is a unique place. We drove through Palermo, but didn’t really see much of the port city. Our destination was a little over an hour away, Cefalu.  Continue reading

Rome on your own

This was the big one. The city of Rome on my 29th birthday. I joke, but am kinda serious too… 29, my last youthful birthday. After that it’s all downhill right? We were both really excited to see the sites, Fil was especially excited to see the Colosseum, but number one was having a good pizza for lunch. 🙂

Our port was actually Citavecchia, but an hour bus ride took us right to the center of Rome. We opted for the “Rome on your own” excursion which provided us with the round-trip bus ride and a basic map.  Continue reading

Slow start in Italy

Genoa, our first stop in Italy. In my pre-research, Genoa seemed to be just another city. Beautiful I am sure, but nothing too stand out. The city is Italy’s main commercial port, birthplace of Christopher Columbus, and where pesto sauce was invented, but no really striking markets or architecture. One thing the city does have is the largest Aquarium in Italy, and depending on the source, the largest in all of Europe. It was a clear fit for us after our first night sailing.  Continue reading

High point of Marseille

Our first impression of Marseille, France, was not the best, but by morning all had changed. You see, we arrived later than planned, and the amount of sun really threw off our personal clocks. So while we thought it was maybe 6:00 pm it was really closer to 9. Once we checked into our adorable hotel, I went on a walk to pick up a small bite for dinner. The sun was in full force and it seemed odd that so many street and night people were out. Frankly it made me uncomfortable. Once I realized the actual time it made a bit more sense to me, I grabbed our snack and headed back to the hotel. Not really a good impression. But the next morning we headed out for a walk and to find breakfast and things felt much better.  Continue reading