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

A Disney dream come true

Any Disney fan can agree. If you only live 4 hours from a Disney park, you MUST go. For the last 2 years I have been waiting for the perfect timing for such a trip and it finally came true. Brock is at that sweet age where travel is a lot easier than it was even 6 months ago, and he is still young enough that he doesn’t require a ticket for admission. PLUS this time of year is the low season for Disneyland Paris which means shorter lines and a more enjoyable experience for a solo mom and toddler. So when Fil came home on Thursday saying he would be away Monday-Thursday of the following week, I jumped to book our hotel.   Continue reading

Accidentally finding Brock’s one fear

Last weekend we unexpectedly scared the pants off of poor Mr. Brock. Here in Germany we have started to view the sun again, so naturally we went out exploring. We set out to Morsdorf, just about an hour away, to see the Geierlay suspension bridge. At 360 meters (about 1,200 ft) long and 100 meters (over 300 ft) high it is not only the longest suspension bridge in Germany but it was perfectly terrifying to Brock. The original idea for this bridge was abandoned in 2006 because it was deemed infeasible, but in October of 2015, only 130 days after construction began, the bridge was opened.


One writer said that it was “chicken soup for the soul” but we disagree. Fil seemed fine, but immediately I could tell that Brock was scared. We got about halfway across and I said I wasn’t going any further. With each step we could feel the sway of the bridge below us and it was a bit much for me. Me, a motorcycle riding, high speed driving, white water rafting adventurer was not game to walk all the way across. Brock and Fil walked a bit further before Brock lost it and started screaming.


Brock’s face says “WTF guys, NOT COOL”

Not that he melts down a lot in public, but this was the first time we weren’t embarrassed by it. Other visitors just laughed and smiled at him until we got him calmed down. As soon as we got off the bridge he slumped in his stroller and held on tight. Poor kiddo. We were not expecting that at all. Brock is so fearless and loves rough and tumble play, jumping across our couches, bellyflopping on our bed, and swinging high at the playground. Not only that, but I have plenty of friends to have also hiked to the bridge and crossed with little ones with no issues. We felt terrible.

That experience was a week ago, and he still points to the bridge post card on the wall with a scared look saying “bridge”—he doesn’t interact with any of the other almost 50 postcards we have. But I think I have a way to make up for the trauma…. Brock and I are headed to Disneyland Paris in a few days while Fil is away (again) for work! I am so excited and I just know Brock will love it!

Below is a tourist video for the bridge… it’s pretty dramatic and cheesy, but you get great views of the bridge:

Flinging Christmas trees at the Knut festival

Happy New Year and merry Epiphany! Growing up Presbyterian, I had never heard of Epiphany or Three Kings day, but now that I know I will share– my apologies to anyone who understands it better than I, this is just a quick intro to how we experience it in Germany. January 6 marks the epiphany, and brings the 12 days of Christmas to an end. In some states in Germany it is a public holiday, but for all Germans it marks the beginning of the carnival or festival season.  Continue reading

Year Two in the Books

Last week marked our second anniversary in Germany. If our first year over here was a year of exploration and excitement, our second could be said to be that of settling. More weekends than not we settled into the couch and stayed home, had bbq’s with friends, or took Brock to a local indoor playground, but I think that is an okay thing to do. This year was the year for our family to relax and enjoy each other.

Continue reading