Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Spend a Day in Aix-en-Provence!

Light blue shutters on yellow stucco walls.


There is something about old wooden shutters.  Real shutters.  Shutters still in every day use to block out the August heat  of the day.  I’ve got “faux” shutters on my house.  They are there just for decoration, but THESE shutters I love!

It became a theme – at every port we visited, to look at the shutters.  Some open all the way, some partially closed, some shut tightly.

And that pale blue on yellow.  Lovely!

Hello, I’m Home!

We made it!

All luggage made it.

We even made it home 6 hours early because of availability on an earlier flight that took us from Barcelona to Atlanta, bypassing JFK all together ---thank GOODNESS!

It was 3:30pm in Atlanta, and my body was saying it was time for bed – 9:30pm Barcelona time, and there was still one flight left to go.

By the time we arrived in Greensboro, got the luggage, retrieved Moby and headed on home….it was all I could do to love on the critters, hug my son and toddle off to sleep in my own bed beneath my own quilt.

This is the longest cruise I have ever been on, and when you have a 2 hour dinner affair every night with everyone in your group, you really do get to know people!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A touch of Aix-en-Provence!


We made port in Toulon, France yesterday morning.


I first visited France about 6 years ago on a trip to Paris and the surrounding areas, but to find myself in the famous south of France, the area that inspired artists like Cezanne was a dream come true.

It was also a “short” tour day, meaning we had to be back on ship by 3:30pm so that we could reach Barcelona this morning meant that we chose an easy walking tour around the charming town of Aix-en-Provence to soak up a bit of the flavor of this area of Provence.

This is also just a teaser post as we are in port in Barcelona and getting ready to disembark!  More when I return home.

Monday, August 29, 2016

A Day in the Cinque Terre!

This is Manarola!

I was just here – May of 2015!  The trip that inspired all of Allietare!

Yesterday was a bus, boat, train, bus day as we drove through Tuscany, boarded a boat and approached the Cinque Terre by sea.

We stopped in some towns I didn’t get a chance to see on the last trip, and got to spend more time in Monterossa than we did the LAST time.

In May, the town can be crowded…but in AUGUST….it is packed with tourists!

Many of these places do not have beaches, and what beaches you will find are quite rocky.  Instead, tourists and locals alike will pick a big flat rock slab, lay out a towel, and sun themselves on the rocks “much like lizards…..” in the words of our guide, Andrea!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

In a Time Crunch–Rome Teaser!

 Yes, I did stitch hexies on the way to Rome!  It was a lovely drive with beautifui country side – the sea to my right, and farm land and vinyards to my left….So great to be back in Italy again as I have very fond memories of the land that inspired Allietare!

This is going to be a very short post…our days are running together.  The last 4 days of this cruise have  long excursions that start at 7am, get us back to the ship at 5:30pm, dinner starts at 6:30pm and lasts two hours – yes, we dress for dinner in the dining room and I love relaxing and chatting with everyone in my group on what they did this day.

By the time dinner is done it is 8:30 and I can barely keep my eyes open.  I am asleep by 9pm.

The alarm goes off at 6am to start all over….today we are headed on a boat ride to the Cinque Terre, a spot I want to visit again since the last time was just not enough.

I have one hour between wake up and meeting in our assigned area before starting our journey.

Where is blog posting fitting in?  In 15 minutes before heading to breakfast where I will let it upload while I eat something quickly, come down and hit post – slow internet!

So today – only a few teaser photos from Rome!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Class Day Three at Sea!

Busy stitchers all around!

All talking about our port day the day before – Croatia!

One thing I love about cruising is that we are free to choose ANY of the ship’s excursions and see what we want to see.

Or choose NONE of the above and either stay aboard ship to get a massage and relax and stitch blissfully away, or curl up with a good book, take a nap – or just wander into town for a bit of sight seeing and try a local eatery.

I think that amongst us – we did ALL of the above!  And there was a lot of chatter about what we had done and seen the day before.

This was our last full workshop day at sea, but there were still 4 more port days ahead of us.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Krka National Park, Croatia!

Croatia is a country that has been through so much during my life time.

On Oct. 29, 1918, Croatia proclaimed its independence and joined in union with Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia to form the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes.

The name was changed to Yugoslavia in 1929. When Germany invaded Yugoslavia in 1941, Croatia became a Nazi puppet state.

Growing up I just remember hearing vague things about wars and rumors of wars yet I really had no idea where this area of the world was, and why all of this was going on.  It was beyond me.  I vaguely remember the following, again, placing it so far away from home:

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Venice, Italy–Day 2!

If I had a month of Sundays – it wouldn’t be enough to explore all that there is to see in Venice.

Oh, sure – there is the usual “Very High End” shopping districts down quite a few of the narrow alleys in the main areas around St Mark’s square –and we would shake our heads as we walked past mostly empty store fronts with 1,500.00 euro Gucci bags in the windows…evidently the finer folks that can afford these things were not in Venice the two days that we were in port.  But the street vendor kiosks were busy!

Getting up on the top deck bright and early and watching the sun rise over sleepy Venice was a magical moment.  I love my early mornings.  And this one was glorious!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Venezia, Italia–Day One!

Venice with friends!

Oh, no – we are not having a good time at all, can’t you tell?  HA!

Venice is amazing. 

I’m still pinching myself that we were able to spend nearly 2 days in this jewel of a city with so much history and culture.  Actually, two days is NOT enough – not by a long shot.

But we crammed in as much of Venice as we could into our two days knowing that no matter what we saw, it would be wonderful.  And no matter what we saw, there would be things we wanted to see that we would have to save for another time down the line.  This was a TASTE of Venice, and there was so much more.