Saturday, April 24, 2010

Last stop - Malaga, Spain

By Liv

Malaga is a beautiful city with a rich history and even more wonderful local foods. One of our favorite things to do on these port stops is to take a yellow bus tour. These tours give us a thorough view of the city while allowing Stella to take an often much needed nap!

In Malaga, we did a lot of walking because there was just entirely too much to see that we didn't get to during the tour. We stopped in a few places for cervezas, cafe and tapas. The food was delicious and the locals that we encountered were very kind and helpful.

After all the walking, we were ready for a nap. We headed back to the ship and all laid down for our daily family nap. I love naps because Stella always wakes up in a great mood - ready to do some more exploring.

I'm sad that this was our last port to visit, but excited for our next adventure - Venice, Italy on April 24th and then Germany on April 28th!

If you're reading this blog, then that means that you are one of the many people that we miss. We haven't been able to get online for very long, as the cruise charges a ridiculous rate for internet usage onboard, but we look forward to being in touch again once we are settled in Germany.

From the three of us, we send all our love to all of our friends and family!

Third stop - Cadiz, Spain

By Liv

Cadiz was absolutely lovely! Stella was having an off day because she is sprouting teeth, but that didn't stop us from exploring the city! We walked around, did some shopping and stopped in to buy Stella some rocking' red sunglasses because the big bright round thing in the sky was out in full effect. Here are some photos!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Second stop - Lisbon, Portugal

By Liv

Our second stop was Lisbon, Portugal. Again, we decided against the cruise's scheduled tours and instead decided to brave the city on our own.

We picked up some local information from a shop owner and boarded a yellow "hop on, hop off" tour bus for a thorough view of the city. We were amazed at how big the city is - how tall the buildings are and how beautiful the architecture is.

Stella had a great time checking out the sites. We saw some castles, statues, squares and beautiful trees surrounding this awesome city. The "elevator" took us up to a higher level on the street system, and that was very interesting (and frightening for me because I'm afraid of heights!).

Halfway through our stay in Lisbon, we decided that we want to come back. But next time, we will stay much longer.

For my birthday...

... Stella learned to crawl! Video to come soon!

First stop - Ponte Delgada, Portugal

By Liv

Our first port of call happened to land on my birthday. I'm not going to say exactly which birthday it is, but I'll just let you know that I am STILL in my twenties.

The previous night, the sea was very rough and we had a very difficult time sleeping. So, you can imagine how happy I was to wake up to a cup of coffee, a mimosa and a croissant - compliments of my wonderful husband. I guzzled down the coffee and hurriedly dressed in anticipation of the day's adventures.

We decided not to sign up for a "shore excursion" through the cruise ship for a few reasons. First, they are expensive. Second, we thought simply strapping Stella in a carrier and walking the town would suit us much better. It was definitely much easier with a baby to not have a scheduled pick up/drop off time and to instead be allowed the flexibility and creativity of deciding our own adventure.

The day was spent wandering the streets of Ponte Delgada. We stopped in a small cafe and had breakfast - which consisted of steak, a fried egg and french fries. Everything in Ponte Delgada was beautiful - the colored cobblestone streets, the people and the views.

After a long day of walking, we happily welcomed the comfort of our stateroom. We finished my birthday off with a delicious dinner in the ship's only designated "dress up" restaurant. Stella dressed up in her silk dress that Neelima gave her and charmed all the other guests while we ate, drank wine and enjoyed the view of the open waters through the windows around us.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The kiddie pool is the place to be!

Since everyone on board is so old, the kids places are empty. Stella had a blast in the pool and kid's play area. We will post a video soon, too!

Monday, April 12, 2010

I love it when we're cruising together

by Liv

The cruise ship is basically a floating Red Robin restaurant. There is an endless amount of food, tons of singing, dancing, "happy hands" type crew people and matching uniforms. All the crew people are smiling and extremely excited about their jobs. It's pretty fun!

We started the cruise off with a long conga line to some really loud music. We attributed the high volume to the fact that the average age of cruisers seems to be in the mid 70s. And Stella is (so far, from what we have seen and heard) the youngest person on the ship.

Once we checked out our room, we were relieved to see that it wasn't just a shoebox. It is, in fact, smaller than most hotel rooms, but not so tiny that we can't move around in it. Everything was clean and comfortable and we both breathed a sigh of relief as we started our 14 day journey.

Nobody was lying when they told us that there is endless food on board. The ladies in line with us told us that they were on their 50th cruise and offered some words of advice: "Wear your tightest clothes at the beginning of the cruise and save your bigger clothes for the end." I asked why and they explained that you eat so much, your skinny clothes don't fit by the end of the cruise! I didn't really believe them, but after seeing the food courts, I understand. There really is a ridiculous amount of food - and I'm pretty sure that we will need to work out in the on-board gym in order to keep all the calories in check so that we don't need our fat clothes :)

Once the ship embarked, I soon realized that the ship actually SWAYS. I guess I was under the impression that I wouldn't feel the movement of the ship unless we were in really rough waters. I was wrong. There is a constant (but not visible) swaying. I swear I am the only person who notices it because everyone else just goes along with their eating, drinking, bowling, swimming and shopping without the least mention of the fact that they are constantly moving side to side. It's actually kind of amusing, but I did have to double check with Nick to make sure that I'm not the only one who notices it.

Since starting the cruise, we have checked out many of the ship's amenities including many of the restaurants, the gym (It's awesome to do cardio while looking out a wall of windows at the open water!), the library, and we even watched a musical show tonight! Stella has been an amazing traveler so far. For all the people who told us that traveling with kids is impossible, they either haven't tried it or our child is the first non-horrible child to travel with. She eats with us and doesn't mind all the new foods we give her, she smiles and claps for strangers ALL DAY LONG and makes friends with almost every person that walks by. I think that because most cruisers are older, they really get a kick out of seeing a baby on board.

It's been a lot of fun so far and I look forward to posting more about our trip. On April 16th, we will arrive at our first stop, Portugal, just in time for my birthday! We plan on drinking one of the two bottles of wine that was delivered to our state room by room service. One was from Nick's parents, but I'm not sure who the other one was from... would anyone like to take credit for it?

From somewhere east of New York, we are sending everyone our love!

Friday, April 9, 2010


We started our journey on Wednesday, April 5th in Vancouver, Washington. Nick boarded the Amtrak train and proceeded on a three day journey across the country which ended in New York City on April 8th. That same day, Tiffany, Stella and I arrived in New York City via airplane.

Since our arrival, we have seen many of the sights in Manhattan with the bambina strapped slinging it on her Daddy's back. Here are some of the experiences that we shared together:

Nick's departure on the train:

The M&M and Hershey Stores:

Walking around Manhattan:

FAO Shwartz:


Sleepy Stella

Central Park:

Stella making an executive decision on our next excursion:

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Easter before our Emigration

In between torrential downpours today, we somehow find a few moments to go outside and hunt for eggs. All of the grandkids were at Mike & Marlane's house and it was busy, fun and exciting. Stella even found an egg!

Nick leaves tomorrow on a 3-day train right to NYC. Stella and I leave on a flight on Thursday and will meet Nick in NYC before we head off on our adventure across the pond. We are excited and can't wait to post stories about our travels!