Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Rich and Jane's Big European Extravaganza

Yes, we are off on another trip!  Back in the fall, we decided to book a cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Rome.  After looking at the dates, we realized there was another cruise a week later, going from Savona to Stockholm.  Wowie, could we do both, with a week in Rome in between?  Yes, we could!  The first cruise is on Celebrity and is a repositioning cruise similar to the one we took to Australia a couple of years ago: mostly sea days, but a great way to get to Europe (and super inexpensive compared to some!)  The second cruise is on Costa, infamous for  running aground off the coast of Italy awhile back, and the captain abandoned ship while there were still passengers on board...I think there was also a Costa ship that caught on fire a few months later. So we will see how well this one goes. haha

My mom and one of her friends, and Rich's sister and one of her friends decided to join us on the first cruise and the week in Rome.  We left Unalaska on April 4, just to give ourselves a cushion in case we had bad weather at home or other delays that would prevent us from getting to Florida on time.  Of course, since we built in extra days, we had beautiful flying weather and no problems so we are just chillin' out in Ft. Lauderdale till we leave on the 9th.

In Anchorage waiting for our flight to Chicago.

After a six hour flight, we arrived in Chicago at 5 AM.  Neither of us could sleep much on the plane.  I am getting too old for these all nighters!

Then Chicago to Ft. Lauderdale, another 3 hours of flying.  Arrived in Florida at 10:30 AM and luckily our hotel let us check in early.  We were pretty jet-lagged and I had a bad headache from no sleep so we took at 4 hour nap, which threw us off even more.  Walked around a little bit and got some dinner. Watched two movies, "Selma," which I loved, of course, and "Birdman," which was interesting but odd.  Then we couldn't fall asleep till 6 AM! Crazy!

The next day we met up with Rich's friend Kevin, who used to live in Unalaska and worked with Rich. They hadn't seen each other in 12 or 13 years. We had a good time chatting and enjoyed Korean tacos and Bao buns for lunch before we said our goodbyes and Kevin dropped us off at our hotel.  It was fun to meet him and I know the guys had a good time catching up.

Today we are finally on a decent schedule and went to do some pre-cruise shopping.  We walked part of the three miles to the mall and then caught a bus the rest of the way when we decided it was pretty hot and Rich was about to get a sunburned head without a hat on.  My Alaskan husband has no suit, nor even a decent jacket for dress up nights on the boat or for any special occasion, so we splurged on a nice jacket for him and enjoyed talking with our sales guys all about Alaska, Sarah Palin, and who can or cannot see Russia from their house.

Caught the bus back, had dinner at the hotel, came back to our room and the TV remote did not work.  We called to see if we could get a different remote and the maintenance man came up to fix it.  After going back and forth a few times, he came to the conclusion that it was not fixable and would probably have to trade out the TV.  It was already late and we didn't have to have the TV so we told him no worries and they could just exchange it tomorrow after we checked out.  The front desk called us and told us they were comping our dinner. Score!

All of our fellow travelers arrive tomorrow and we are planning to do some laundry and a little more shopping before leaving on the boat on the 9th.  Internet is pricy onboard so I will probably not be posting much here but will be updating on Facebook and Instagram if you want to follow along.  Has anyone ever used the app "1 Second Every Day"?  I thought I would give it a try--it's just what it says, you video one second each day and in the end you have a quick little movie of your trip.  One second is really fast so it will whip by but I thought it might be fun.

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