European Cruise: Day 18 long day of travel

We have a little bit of morning in Barcelona, like just enough to sleep in and have some coffee and a pastry while people watching before we head to the airport. We depart just after 1 and land in LAX around 10pm hahaha, and yet we will be traveling for almost 17 hours.

This was the only photo I took hahahaha. At this point I was tired. We ate lunch at the airport then boarded the flight to Amsterdam, it was about 2.5 hours then we hurried through Amsterdam because we had about 1.5 hours to make our connection and had to go through passport control. But we made it. Then started the long 11ish hour flight. I didn’t want to sleep since we would be getting into LA at night and I wanted to be able to get back on normal time. I watched like 5 movies. We landed in Salt Lake City with 1 hour and 5 minutes to deplane, get through customs, get our bags, recheck our bags and get the third person in our party a boarding pass because for some reason we couldn’t print their last boarding pass in Barcelona and go back through security…….we made it by some miracle however Carra’s and I’s bags did not because we got them checked only about 40 minutes before the flight took off. Thankfully we were already staying overnight in LA so we just picked them up the next day.

We got off the plane spent about 40 minutes waiting for our bags then learning that they didn’t make the plane, then we boarded a shuttle to our hotel, got checked in and walked next door to McDonald’s then ate in our room and passed out for about 5 hours. \

We woke up early, got back to the airport, got our bags and got on the plane to finally get home…….are we there yet????

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European Cruise: Day 17 Barcelona

Today is our full day in Barcelona and we are going on a tour!

First let’s touch on the Catalonian referendum that was going on. This was Sunday, the day of the vote. We drove by this on the way out of town on the cruise, it was a demonstration. If you haven’t heard of the referendum, Google it. It was very interesting to be here for this……a little nerve wracking as well, we were on high alert the whole time, no way was I going to be caught in the middle of a riot.

We headed out of town about an hour into the mountains to visit a monastery.

It was like a mini little city, there was a hotel and a hostel and a little restaurant

That is the funicular to the top of the mountain.

Inside part of the monastery.

This was supposed to be the most powerful spot, geothermal waters run under it and the original church stood in this spot.

Lots of candles

hiking!

The mist was pretty, it started to burn off as we climbed down.

Back in town, people gathered in a plaza to keep apprised of the situation.

Gelato and a church!

another church!

there is a fair type place near the water, we went and rode the ferris wheel

Bye Barcelona!!!!!

European Cruise: Day 16 Barcelona

Today we disembark the ship! The ship docked at 5am in Barcelona. I slept in until 7:30am. Everyone but me is taking a dis-embarkment so i need to figure out what I want to do. Once we get settled into our apartment its time to start cramming in those sights to see again!

I got off the ship and took the bus from the ship/port to the actual town then started walking around to find where everyone else would get let off their tour.

On the way I happened to find the Starbucks!!! And got my 3rd you are here mug!

Then I stopped and had espresso and a croissant then met up with the others and dropped our bags at our residence then headed back out.

By then it was snack time and I may have gotten an espresso with vanilla gelato in it!!!! It was delicious

Time for sightseeing!

Nice view of the city and ocean beyond

Park Guell

Amazing bakery we stumbled upon.

This empanada was so good and only 1 Euro!

Sagrada de famillia

European Cruise: Day 15 Toulon

Toulon, France. In port from 7am-4pm. We have an all day excursion through Marseille and Aix-en-Provence.

Today we had to get up early and meet our group at 7:30. Our excursion lasted all day. We got straight on the bus for a 2 hour drive to Marseille…….I may have slept almost the entire ride. Apparently I was getting worn out hahaha. We arrived at Notre Dame (I guess there is more than 1 cause we certainly weren’t in Paris).


 
It was very pretty and you could see Chateau D’if in the background! 


I love the Count of Monte Cristo so this was really exciting to me, if we had had the whole day there I would have take the ferry out to see Edmond Dantes’ cell (fictional character but they have a cell for him hahahaha). Oddly the most exciting thing to me about Notre Dame was that I needed coffee and they had coffee machines that had espresso and it was actually GOOD espresso!!!


 American needs to get those cause our coffee vending machine things are terrible. Then we drove about 10 min away to the dock/port area of Marseille and had 15 minutes to wander around. Now I had done my research and there was a Starbucks in Marseille, 2 actually, so I immediately asked our tour guide if we were near either of them and we were right around the corner from one!!!!! Carra and I booked it around the corner and I got my first “you are here” mug of the trip!!! I was super stoked.


 We even had time to stop and get post cards and a magnet on the way back for Carra and make it back to the bus with 2 minutes to spare.

Next we drove about 30-40min to Aix-en-Provence. Where we went in Provence she said was akin to Champs Elyse in Paris, very upscale and ritzy. We took a little hour tour with her then had 1.5 hours to do what we wanted. I broke away from the group because I had seen a little market a few streets back that was only open for another 20 minutes and what better way to have lunch in Provence then get a baguette, some cheese and grapes! And that is exactly what I did and it was glorious! 



Then I picked up some post cards and found a Hagen Daas shop hahaha and had another espresso while I people watched, it was the perfect last 30 minutes of my day. Oh and I got some coffee caramels that were to die for!!! If they weren’t so dang expensive I would have bought a whole bag of them!!!!! They were so good and rich!!!

Tomorrow Barcelona!!!!

European Cruise: Day 14 Corsica

We have reached France. We are in port from 7am-7pm and have a half day excursion. countryside drive and wine tasting! Kind of like pizza in Naples you cant be in the south of France and not try wine. Again its a commandment. We are also going to an essential oil factory to see how they make perfume and to a nougat factory, wine and candy, best day ever!!!!

Today was another day we had to take a little boat from the ship to the shore.

The view from the essential oil factory. It was set up in the hills and beautiful.

Overall I wasn’t super impressed with the factory, there was nothing wrong with it but we have essential oil here so I wasn’t super wowed.

Posing in front of the fermenting wine hahahahaha. Their wine was good and SUPER economical. I got their rose, which was an award winner, for 7.50 euros! That’s like $10.

Had to take a picture with the vineyards.

The nougat factory we went to was small, cute and local. The owner came out and gave us a demonstration, and we got to of course sample everything. I bought some little cookies they called Napoleons, shaped like his hat. Corsica was the birthplace of Napoleon. I am going to try and upload a video of the guy but we will see if my phone cooperates.

This was a half day tour and I had every intention of going out and exploring the town but a wicked headache started to hit me on the way back so I went back to the room…..where it just got worse and worse until I was on the floor trying not to cry (because that just makes a headache worse) to the point where I got nauseous from the pain and vomited. At that point it was time to go to the medical area. I went down practically in tears, they gave me a shot to stop the nausea so I didn’t get dehydrated and some pain meds for the headache. I ordered a pizza to my room and went to sleep.

 

Hello!!

Good morning and happy Saturday!!!!

I am slowly trying to get back into the grove of daily life. I am pretty tired though, part of that is that my cold came back!!! That is somewhat to be expected when I was sick when I left, spent 10 days on a boat with refiltered air and many hours on a plain with refiltered air. I made a giant vat of chicken noodle soup yesterday so I have soup for the week.

Here is a recap of what being home has been like so far.

I started couch25k again to get me back up to my running. I wont do every day but it will be good to get me started again and I can run faster during the run intervals to help with me speed. This was week 1 day 1. I went 1.52 miles. If you want to start running this app is free and great!!! It is how I started running almost wow I think 5 years ago. And now I have 4 half marathons under my belt and bought the $5 app to get me to a marathon with the same program!


Grilled cheese are on the menu as well as soup. I love apple, onion and cheddar grilled cheese on sourdough, so perfect for fall.

Won a Lula Roe contest and got a free item, I picked this tunic. So cute and perfect for fall!!! So comfortable, I may end up living in this.

My food prep before my trip will start paying off now, delicious enchilada!!

Top ramen, before I made my vat of soup.

It has been pretty relaxed. Just spending time with the boyfriend and my puppy and resting. Transcontinental travel is exhausting, but so worth it.

I will slowly keeping finishing my Europe posts as well as settling back into life posts.

Talk to you soon!!!

How are the first few weeks of fall going for you?

European Cruise: Day 13 at sea

Today is our 2nd day at sea. I didn’t get to sleep in as much because I had a mini spa day planned!!! Carra and I got some on board credits so we got massages and facials. I got breakfast delivered so I didn’t need to rush up to the buffet then headed to the spa. My massage was wonderful! It included an exfoliation treatment. I was disappointed with my facial though, I have had much better ones for much less cost.

After the spa I got some lunch and of course dessert lol.

After that I read a little bit then got ready for our second formal night on board the ship.

After dinner we caught some trivia shows and then made the last performance of the night of Hawley magic! It was really fun to watch, they are great showman and did some pretty incredible tricks!

After that is was off to bed, it was a nice relaxing day.

Home, Sweet Home

It feels amazing and horrible to be back home. I missed by dog and my boyfriend but other than that I wish I could have seen more.

Back to reality means back to paying bills and going to work. Back to apartment and house hunting with the bf so we can move in together. Working on getting all my transcripts transferred over to a new school here so I can start working toward the nursing program they have now that I know where we will be staying. And I need to starting getting all my annual Dr appts set up since it’s actually been like 2+ years since I did any of that.

Obviously I am actually looking forward to moving in with my BF and getting closer and closer to nursing school is a good thing and I have nothing against health checkups except the copays hahahahaha. It just sucks to come back from vacation and I am super tired, traveling transcontinentally is difficult. Thankfully I work today then have two days off.

Went for a 1 mile walk today with the dog, need to get back to my running.

I will keep posting my Europe trip slowly but surely until it is all done.

Have a good night, talk to you tomorrow!!

European Cruise: Day 12 Corfu

Greece!!!!! We are in port from 8am to 4:30pm. I have a half day excursion planned with Carra’s grandma. We are taking an island drive and are going to tour the Koum Kouat Distillery, yep! I am getting my drink on! They distil some kind of Grecian citrus alcohol. Mmmmmm. And since I am too broke to eat a big lunch this means when I get back to the ship to wonder around on my own i’ll be walking around Greece drunk hahaha.

On our way!!

Is that not a crazy beautiful sight??!!

I put my feet in the Ionian sea!!!! Didn’t even know that was a thing

More beautiful-ness!!

Their local coffee drink, called a frape lol, was interesting. It was both sweet and bitter at the same time. 

Old town Corfu was beautiful!!!

After the tour i wandered around and had an espresso, of course


Just before getting back on the boat.

Your Monday Motivation is to book a trip and get out and live life!!!

European Cruise: Day 11 Kotor

Reporting to you from Kotor, Montenegro. We are here from 7am-4pm. Really before this cruise I didn’t even know there was a place called Kotor, I think I had at least heard of Montenegro though. Again no excursion or set itinerary. We had to tender in this port, meaning the boat anchored off shore and we took little boats in. 

Killer view right? That’s from our stateroom. It’s a fjord!!!

That’s from our balcony lol. We are traveling in style!!!!

On the little tender boat to Kotor from the ship. 

There was an old fort and inside was the sort of old historic town. 

Really pretty. There was I think a monastery up on the hill. I went in on my own amd looked around and did a little shopping. 

The outside of the fort, it even has a moat!!!

After looking around and doing a little shopping, I bought locally made vinegar, then i sat down and people watched while drinking espresso and listening to the drizzling rain. Then i headed back and read in our room looking at the fjord while a storm rolled in. It was wonderful.