S: Second Anniversary Europe 2011 Vol. 1
FC: E | EUROPE 2011 SPAIN FRANCE ITALY
1: How our Europe trip came to be! About 4 years ago we went on a Southern Caribbean Cruise and loved it! Last year we talked my brother and Tracie into booking a very similar cruise - of course they loved it and decided to book another cruise before getting off the ship. They decided they wanted to have their younger sister and brother in law along on this trip because we are sooo much FUN and booked us as well before getting to talk to us. Once they arrived on mainland they texted us as they were boarding their flight home to give us the big news. I will never forget receiving the text, Casey and I were outside doing yard work- I read it, reread it, then read it out loud to Casey and said- they cant be serious? Who books someone on a trip without asking, or making sure they don't have plans.... especially with my reputation??? Well that would be my big Bro Nate the Great! We already had planned on the Costa Rica trip for February of 2011. We didn't know how we could do Europe too- but what the heck, we don't have anything holding us back! At first we didn't think we would be able to go and before we knew it, we had extended our trip a few days, more like 12 days! Our total trip ended up being 19 wonderful days in Europe!
2: Lindsay & Casey 1st stop- Barcelona Spain | Our Flat was located on Valencia Street
3: Up almost 24 hours! No sleep. It's 12:40 pm here. Just stopped at a tapas bar had some sangria and heading out to see the city... I think it's around 80 today and the sun is shining!
4: Princesa 23 Beach Bar | After we got massages on the beach we took a 20 min nap and we are fried. We got some more tapas and cocktails till we found our way to the famous champagne bar; Champagneria. It's out of this world! Not at all what I expected but totally what Casey thought. A glass of champagne in one hand , a cured ham and pork sandwich or plate of sausage in another, with little room to breath. This hot spot has no sign and is down a single lane ally with patrons spewing out the front door. Not hard to do when it consists of of small butcher bar, grill and not a single table in the place. Aged meats hanging from the rafters like an old world butcher and abrupt pops of pink and white champagne every other second.
5: Champagneria Let the Champaign flow & bring on the tapas
6: When the church is finished it will have 18 towers: 12 dedicated to the apostles, 4 to the evangelists, one to Jesus and another to Mary. | Basilica De La Sagrada Familia
8: Today was great. Casey and I woke up, grabbed breakfast at the cafe outside our flat, and walked over to the Sagrada Familia church. Once Nate and Tracie arrived we went to Las Ramblas where there is a huge market!!!!! It was absolutely amazing. We ate lunch at this amazing fish counter called El Quim De La Boqueria.. We got grouper, razer clams, prawns, mussels, and tuna. After the market we did the Fat Tire Bike Tour. We saw Placa Sant Jaume, Placa del Ray, Cathedral, Palau de la Music, Sagrada Familia a , Parc de la Clutadela, Barceloneta Beach, and Santa Maria Delnmar. After the 4 hr tour we came home and showered before heading to dinner.. It was a late night for Nate and Tracie! We did a tapas crawl; had amazing food and pitchers and pitchers of sangria. On the way home around 1 am we stopped for crepes and gelato, loving life!
9: Mushrooms | Razor clams | Mussels | Prawns
11: Sights on the Tour! Gaudi this... Goudi that! Everythings is Gaudi!
12: Gentry Fish
13: El Vaso de Oro Tapas Bar
14: Let the Journey Begin | Late night Crepes
16: We made it on the ship- all 4of us, but one wallet short... on our way to the ship we hopped on the metro- and before we knew it Caseys wallet had been stolen! Thankfully only 20 euros, credit cards and an ID- we noticed it in minutes. I guess we got the full Barcelona experience!
17: Saturday, May 28th- Saturday, June 4th Royal Caribbean International Cruise | View of Barcelona from the ship
18: Place de La Liberte | Toulon is a town in southern France and a large military harbour on the Mediterranean coast.
19: T O U L O N F R A N C E
20: The best restaurant in Toulon- Les Tetes d'Ail. Ask for Julien! | Toulon | the menu...completely in French . | Grimbergen Rouge- fruit beer
21: Pea gazpacho | Beef tartar
22: The market in Toulon
23: 1st Formal Night on the cruise: after dinner we went to the Catacombs bar
24: May 30, 2011 Our 2nd Anniversary | Villefranche- French Riviera- beautiful! we walked around a bit before heading to Nice!
25: Our Ship, Liberty of the Seas
26: We took a 20 min bus ride to Nice- walked around the shops and beach. We had seen a Samantha Brown episode on the travel channel with a recommendation for great gelato, we were excited when we stumbled across it. They had some great flavors- between the 4 of us we tried Black Cherry, Lavender, Mint chocolate and Rhubarb. | NICE
27: Nice , France | Basilique Cathedrale Sainte Marie- Sainte Reparate
31: After some very delicious crepes, we decided to head back to Villefranche, we came across some locals playing bocce. We kept walking and came across the old fort/bunker. Next we stopped at a cute restaurant on the water and shared a bottle of wine. to celebrate our anniversary... Then here comes Kiefer Sutherland aka Jack Bauer from the show '24' driving down the road.
34: Pisa, Italy The Leaning Tower was started in 1174. When it reached its 3rd story they stopped because it had started sinking into the ground. 90 yrs later it was finished.
35: Took us over 20 tries to get this photo, but we finally got it!
36: Florence, Italy
38: Ponte Vecchio- The only bridge not destroyed in WWII. Said to be spared by Hitler as it was one of his favorites.
39: Piazza della Signoria
41: The Baptistery Its exterior is made of green and white marble and has three sets of amazing bronze doors reproductions - the originals are in the Duomo Museum. | The Baptistery Its exterior is made of green and white marble and has three sets of amazing bronze doors (reproductions - the originals are in the Duomo Museum
42: There were many street artists who were very talented.
43: Back on the Ship
44: Pope Benedict XVI | Vatican City | Vatican Museum
45: The Resurrection of Our Lord | Rome Italy
46: The Colosseum could accommodate some 55,000 spectators who could enter the building through no less than 80 entrances. Above the ground are four story’s, the upper story contained seating for lower classes and women. The lowest story was preserved for prominent citizens. Below the ground were rooms with mechanical devices and cages containing wild animals. The cages could be hoisted, enabling the animals to appear in the middle of the arena.
47: Rome was one super busy day! We took a 90 min train from Civatavecchia. WE SAW THE POPE! So that was pretty cool, he was riding around the crowd before his Wednesday afternoon speech to the public. We saw the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel,Royal Forum, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain , Pantheon, and the St. Angelo Castle. Needless to say after running around all day not even stopping to eat we had sore feet that night. | Legend has it you will return to Rome if you throw a coin into the water. You should toss it over your shoulder with your back to the fountain. | Trevi Fountain
48: Once we got back on the ship, we had to soak in the hot tub and relax before dinner.
49: Naples, Italy We were on the hunt for amazing pizza, seeing it is the birthplace of pizza and all! We had got some recommendations from a local that were wonderful. We kinda did a pizza crawl instead of the pub crawl.
51: Pizzeria Dell' Angelo
52: good eats | Our last stop for pizza which should have been our first was Pizzeria de Michele which is where the movie " Eat, Pray , Love" was filmed.
53: The wait was about an hour to get in and you sat at any table that had an opening. We were seated next to two young Italian men. They only have two types of pizza, margarita and marinara. They recommended the margarita with double mozzarella, margarita dopio. The pizza was larger than the plate and because they only had a few options they were able to constantly churn them out at a remarkable pace. It was delicious and well worth the wait.
55: After dinner there was a big party on the pool deck, lots of dancing, cocktails and FUN. This was one of our latest nights- had to take it all in before we had to pack up and move on to our next stop.
56: Tracie & I enjoying Peach Daiquiri's
57: Friday was our final full day on the ship, also our cruising day, I got up around 8 to save us spots by the pool, took a little nap till everyone else got up. We chilled by the pool, did the rock climbing wall and the the flow rider (surfing).