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jamona2311

WOW a million times wow! 9-26-14 on the Reflection

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We were getting really hungry now as it was about 6:30 so we started looking for some place to eat. We walked up and around the Vittorio Emanuele II monument and up the street almost to Largo Argentina where we found a restaurant Vittoria . We sat outside on the busy street and had a great dinner as the traffic whizzed by. I was really liking Rome. I had Antipasta Italiana, rissotto with seafood and a glass of chianti. I never remember what mom had cuz I never wrote it down but most of the time I got pictures...well actually I forgot this time! hha

Revived a bit by some food we decided to start our Heart of rome walk there since we were close to the Pantheon. I think our feets were getting tired and starting at Campo de fiore wasnt in the plan anymore. We really enjoyed our walk since it took us past some really great things, most in picture below. Doing it at night with the everything lit up made it very special too. Of course one of the stops was the Trevi Fountain.

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Seeing the Pantheon was big for me. I was bummed I never made it inside. Add that to the ever growing list for next time. hehe

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As Im sure you may have heard, the Trevi is under tons of scaffolding and empty. Zeus is completely covered so that at night at least you can barely see him. The clear picture I took of him is of a picture. There is a board walk that goes up to the fountain so that you can get a close look at it but the guards on both ends hurry you along. I had heard about this before we left.

 

What I didnt hear about LOL was that there was a picture of the fountain and a little bowl/ sink type thingy underneath the picture. This is where you are supposed to throw your coin! LOL It doesnt make it very easy and Im sure many miss the "sink" but I got mine in! A lot of people , including myself threw a coin in while on the boardwalk since it goes right over the fountain where the water is supposed to be. Trust me tho, the crabby guards dont like this! hehe. We also found here what my mom says it the best gelato we had the entire trip. It was very creamy and very good!

 

 

Our walk ended us at the Spanish steps. I dont know how we made it and my pedometer ap said we did 19,717 steps before it died that day. Not sure what that is in miles but we were done. Stick a fork in us done! LOL Mom agreed to take a cab back to the hotel! yessssss!

 

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We made it!!! Sitting on the Spanish Steps! Yay!!!

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Thursday September 25

Goodmorning Rome! Another long day and moms allgergies have kicked in since we arrived in Rome. Funny she hasnt had them for years. She goes off to find some meds and then we get some breakfast at the hotel. They serve breakfast in the lovely outdoor breeseway type area. Very cute.

Time to head out to our 9:30 Scavi tour of St Peters. We decided to take the bus when I convinced my mom that this reallly would be too far to walk. hha. Again it felt like we were running late but we made it with plenty of time to wait around. The bus dropped us off really close to where we had to check in with the Swiss Guard. Awww he was such a cutie!

Our guide however was an older english man who talked way too fast! He was definately my least favorite guide. Very knowledgeable tho so what we did get was very interresting. I guess Im just a little dissapointed here since I was sooooo excited about this tour, I wanted to completely emerse my self in it and that was hard to do. Again, not being able to take pictures also is a bummer. I understand why but pictures really help me keep my memory alive of specifically interresting things.

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This is the entrance for the Scavi tour.

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Peak-A-Boo!! hehe

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We exited the tour here and you could go right into St Peters if you wanted to but we had plans for that later in the day.

This was still an amazing tour. They are kidding when they say it will be hot, narrow and stuffy but whos surprised? hha. The history under there, the tale of Constantines box, seeing the graves, learning about how they determine it is Peter burried under there. The bones we saw of him, apparently they were able to tell by his bones because of the type of dirt on them, that they belonged to a heftier man, and the type of clothing.

I mean I guess its still a definitely maybe thing, but I will choose to believe its him and that I saw his bones. Its all so amazing to me, putting the stories together with real places and how it becomes so much more to me than just what Ive learned since I was in Sunday school as a little girl. Kind of like fairy tales becoming real.

We also saw the Grotto and Crypt of the Popes before we left. Wed be back later for our tour of St Peters but for now we had some time to find some lunch. It rained durning this time. Only really the second of 3 that we would expierence on this trip. Not bad at all.

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A few pictures we took around St Peters Square

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I really loved all of these statues

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A good place to hide from the rain and eat our lunch.

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The walk to the Vatican Museums was long and it was still rainy but it was nice we had booked a tour once we started getting close and saw the line of people waiting to get in! OMG they looked like they were gonna be in line all day!!!!! I booked our tour of the Vatican Museum, Sisteen Chapel and St Peters though the Vatican website. It was the best deal I found for this type of tour.

Our tour guide for this 3 hour tour was an adorable curly red headed girl. She must have been in her twenties but goodness she was a ocean of information! So bubbly and excited to share with us.

A few highlights for us were that each room was kinda like the collection of each pope that had been. I guess that makes sense as to why there was so much stuff but that never occured to me before. And not only was it objects but the rooms themselves we works of art. The frescos, the painting, the reliefs, all on the walls and ceilings themselves!

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Our adorable tour guide!

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The Vaticans" coat or arms" the crossed keys

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Well I may not have made it to the church yesterday but here is St Peter in Chains

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A hallway leading to the Sisteen Chapel

The Sisteen Chapel. What can I say???? It was beautiful, it was what you hope it to be, but I was dissapointed.....Again, being able to take pictures would have really enhanced the moment for me. Just looking so far up and trying to take it all in in such a short amount of time left not much of a lasting impression on me, which is such a shame.

Do I sound like a brat for saying this???? Im reallly not, I swear! I just really wanted it to be what I felt in my heart for it before I saw it. I have a added a puzzel of it to my Christmas list so maybe it will come alive for me again when I do that.

The stove that they use in Conclave was not there at the time but our guide showed us where it usually is and what window the pipe goes out of.

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Last but not least we visited St Peters. I also would have liked more time here to absorb it but we were all exhausted by this time. St peters is huge and beautiful and theres sooooo much there. I will definitely be spending more time next time.

I was excited to see the real Pieta. I saw a copy in a huge Catholic church in St Paul, Mn once and I was completly spell bound by it. I didnt know what it was at the time all I knew was that it was amazing and that I would never forget it. 3 zillion pictures later I finally moved on to catch up with the rest of my group.

Another thing that has captured my attention since I started studying about this trip was the writing around the dome. In particular where it says TU ES PETRUS. Wow, that just says it all doesnt it??? The beginning of the Christian church in a nut shell. I couldnt wait to see it for real. Unfortunatlly a lot of my pictures of St Peters didnt turn out to good. I think i was trying to get too much in too fast.

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One of the balconies that the Pope adresses the people from

 

 

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Jamona2311, thanks for the link. We visited Venice, Florence and Rome in October 2005 as part of an escorted Globus tour.

 

Coincidence! We did a Globus tour visiting the same three places in 2004!

 

I, too, am enjoying your review and pictures. Can't wait to see the cruise review. It is a lot of work you have put into this!

 

It was a great cruise and we met many wonderful people!

 

Marianne

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Coincidence! We did a Globus tour visiting the same three places in 2004!

 

I, too, am enjoying your review and pictures. Can't wait to see the cruise review. It is a lot of work you have put into this!

 

It was a great cruise and we met many wonderful people!

 

Marianne

 

Hi there! Thanks for checking out the report. Im glad you like it! :D

 

I too cant wait to get to the cruise part of it. hha

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At 6 we had a food tour with Bruno ( ShellDills review) our feet were killing us and we wernt sure how we were gonna handle much more walking but we fancy ourselves as very amature foodies so we were gonna try our best. We did take a cab to Piazza Mattei and the turtle fountian , which was our meeting place for the food tour.

We started off at a restaurant in the square. There were 3 other couples that we would be cruising with on the Reflection the next day, and another couple from La Crosse Wisconsin! hha small world.

I should have been writing all of this down at the time of the tour instead of hoping my old brain would remember everything, but I didnt. I can tell you that we started out with some appitizers that were really good but the high light of this place was the wine. I can tell you the red was very good! And if I can find a bottle of it here Im gonna get it! My picture of it is a little blurry but hopefully it will aid in my quest.

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The turtle fountain was in front of the restaurant that was our meeting place to start our food tour.

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Bruno our wonderful host! He took us to amazing places to eat and shared a lot of history behind it all with us too. He went to school to drop his Italian accent so hes really easy to understand but I wish I knew what he sounds like with it too! hha

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The Jewish Ghetto where we had fried zuchinni flowers.

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Bronze sqares in front of home with names of family memebers that didnt come home after being taken away during WW II.

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Cant go on a food tour of Rome without some za and beer.

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Pesto pizza was to die for!!!! Ive tried making this at home....dont ask! lmao

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This is where we ate down stairs in the ruins of an old theater. Its curve shape formed the curve of the neighborhood and its buildings! Very cool. Oh and good food too.

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More wine? Why yes, please!

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The seafood was my favorite. So much flavor..mmmmm

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Time for some Sicilian pastries.

 

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See Nonna on the back wall???

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This treat needs no introduction

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The boobie cake! Not exactly the real name of it, but that is what it is supposed to represent.

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The French embassy. Looking for some cheap rent?? Only $1.00. Of course the upkeep is what will break you. hehe

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The tour ended for us at Campo de Fiore. Mom allergies were outta control and we were exhausted.

OMG I almost for got to post the rest of the food tour review, it was in a different document! hha. here ya go.....

From there Bruno took us to the Jewish Ghetto. Here we tried fried zucchini flowers ( yay I had been wanting to try these in Rome) Very good but I could have done without the bit of Sardine in the middle. That made it a bit too salty. Bruno also told us about the history of the Jewish Ghetto, their struggles during WW2 and of how they lived. These days there are little bronze blocks built into the street in front of some of the homes of family members who never returned after the war. Ironically enuf the artist who did these blocks was German.

 

Pizza was on the list of course so we went to one of the most popular pizza joints. Now for me Im not one for pizza, Im burnt out on traditional zas. I have been enjoying a few of the new white pizzas. I wondered what would be on the menu tonight. Well it was a traditional pizza, pepperoni, I think and then the crazy yummy one….. tomatoes, mozz and pesto. OMG sooooo good. Ive actually got some stuff from the store to try to make this at home. I also tried Italian beer….still not a beer fan. hha

 

Walking on we came to a street that had buildings that all together made a big curved street, I mean like even the buildings had a slight curve to them! Come to find out this block was built on the remains of and old theater! Our next food stop is here. We learn that we actually get to eat in the basement which is where the ruins are of the theater. Pretty cool huh?? We have some soups that a lot of restaruants aren’t serving anymore cuz so many people want pizza and pasta. One is a favorite that Brunos mom makes him when hes sick. We also have straw and hay which is basically two kinds ( colors) of pasta, and seafood ( clams/

oysters) and veggies. The seafood had soooooo much flavor and was my favorite at that restaurant.

 

Next it was getting to be time for dessert, so off to Nonnas Sicilian bakery. Now if you know your Italian deserts you know that if they are from Sicily they are the best. I can quite remember all that we had other than it was very good. Canoli of course, a pistachio thing in a shot glass type thing, some dessert alcohol and a boobie desert. I do remember it was in remembrance of this woman whos breast were cut off and doctors today use her as a symbolic figure for breast cancer patients.

 

Mom was really suffering from her allergies at this time ( you know how it gets more annoying at night) plus we had such a long day that we decided we had to call it quits after this. Bruno felt so bad and said if we could get to the gelato shop there would be a gelato waiting there for us with our name on it for the next few days. Hha so sweet. I know we also missed a coffee stop.

 

We caught a cab back to the hotel and vowed that tomorrow we were just gonna take it easy till cruise time. I had stuff planned but we really needed a break, it will have to wait til next time

Oooooh guess what the next day is???? CRUISE DAY!!!!!! Yay we made it. Thanks for hanging out with me so far!

Edited by jamona2311

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Friday September 26 Cruise day!!!!!

I slept in so much so that I missed breakfast, mom made it tho. Shes always up early no matter what.

We were both so excited to being the cruise part of our vacation. Traveling on our own was empowering and a lot of fun but we were really ready to get on that ship and settle in for 10 nights! I know I couldn’t wait till that first sea day!! Hha

We packed up our stuff, I managed to acquire a coffee and croissant from the hotel breakfast room and we were off by 11 in a cab to Termini to wait for 1:00 to meet our group transfer to Civi.

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Looking into the breakfast area of our hotel

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Our bathroom

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Our messy room. I always forget to take a picture when its nice! meh.

We hung out at a café getting yet more coffee and my mom mentions they have wifi. Oh cool, we can catch up on email and facebook ( more on this later) so I dig im my bag for my phone…..NO PHONE!!!!!!!!!!

Oh crud please don’t tell me I left it in the cab?!?!?! This doesnt seem likely since I usually check the cab to make sure we don’t leave anything in it. So the hotel?!?!? Oh god I hope!!!! :o I run out and hail a cab back to the hotel. I walk in and they are so happy to see me, they have my phone! I was sooooo relieved! It took me forever to convince my husband that I needed a smart phone and then an iphone at that! Id only had it for a couple of weeks at that point!

Finally able to start calming down I decided to walk back to Termini. I did think I had to buy a pack of cigarettes at this point. I had been trying to quit since we left and this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I was gonna just use ecigs. Oh well, don’t tell mom. I will say that I haven’t had a real one since I got back, the E cigs are working out just fine. :)

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By 1230 mom and I decided it was time to walk over to Café Trombetto and meet our transfer group. They were the first of many that we would meet from our wonderful CC group. Our transfer with Rome Cabs was smooth and we arrived at port just before 3 as planned. How exciting it was to see our ship there. She is big and beautiful. Much bigger than anything Id ever been on.

By 3:15 we had Mimosa in hand and walking onto the ship. It was late enuf that we could go right to our room. Originally I was supposed to have booked an inside cabin on moms money but with the 123go program going on I went for the 1A balcony room and paid the difference!

It was supposed to be my surprise and thank you to my mom but I broke a few months before and told her about it. This was our trip of a life time to our roots. I had visions of her sitting on the balcony watching the Greek Islands so by and sipping her wine. And this is just how it happened. I could barely let the girl off that balcony she loved it soooo much. I think some of my CC friends didn’t believe me that I was traveling with my mom cuz they never saw me with her! LOL

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Gotta love that moment when you get that first glimpse of the ship!!!

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Thanks to Travis for booking a transfer we were dropped off right at the ship!

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Room 9215 a 1A balcony room righ off the flat of the hump

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Mom chilling on HER balcony!

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Love your review, thank you! And oh my goodness that food tour. I think if I show those photos to my husband I'll be able to talk him into going on a European cruise! It is so fantastic that you're doing all this with your mom. Just fantastic.

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Thanks for doing this review. We were on this cruise also. I can not wait to see your pictures. It was unforgettable!

 

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums mobile app

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Wonderful review. I am reliving our vacations thru your review. We will be taking our first Celebrity cruise, it will be on Reflection also leaving from Rome so I am very interested in any pictures and all of your thoughts on the ship. Your writing style is very easy and enjoyable to read.

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Room 9215 was perfect. The big balcony, the location, and it was quiet. No matter how noisy it got outside the room when the door was closed it was quiet.

Simon was our room steward and he came by right away to meet us. I never did see him much but he and his assistant did a great job taking care of our room.

It was getting kinda late for lunch but we were hungry and decided to go up to the Oceanview for a quick bite to eat before muster drill. On the way we ran into the guys who book the specialty restaurants so I took care of that since I prepaid for the 4 dinner package before we left.

Muster was painless as we just sat there for a while till they played the video and made the announcements. I guess it was kinda longer than it should have been but we didn’t have to go anywhere, like out to the lifeboats or anything.

Afterwards, mom went back to the room for a nap and I went to the Sky Observation Lounge for our informal CC meet and greet. It was sooo fun meeting people and putting screen names to faces.

Ok time for a drink! I headed up to the Sunset bar and got a Eureka, very good and then also got my drink package upgrade to Premium. Great deal and so very convenient! I knew I was at least on a mission to try as many drinks from the Molecular Bar as I could. I also decided to let the Persian Garden pass for cruise and that was maybe not so necessary but it was great to come there at least for a half hour or so after a long port day and just unwind.

When I got back to our room mom hadn’t slept much and our luggage had come so we got busy with that and then got ready for dinner at Tuscan Grill.

 

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If you leaned over the edge of the balcony a bit you could see the aft!

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Looking down

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A quick lunch in Ocean View Cafe before heading off to Muster Drill

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Time to relax for a bit at the Sunset Bar. This side of the bar they allowed smoking....

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And thats just what I did along with my first drink.

 

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Mom and I enjoying some wine at the Ensamble Bar before dinner at Tuscan Grill.

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Ready to eat till they have to roll us outta there.

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Some Calamari and.....

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Fried Goat Cheese salad. So good!

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Lobster Alfredo....

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Sorry, I started eating and then remembered the picture. This filet minjon was monster huge!!!!!

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Moms chocolate creme brulee. I took mine to go. I couldnt eat another bite!

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Our room turned down. Good night mom. Time for me to go play.

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Coming up roses.Its actually pink with rose petals in it and rose essance foam. so nummy! This was on my list of drinks to try!

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The bar seats at the Sunset Bar light up at night

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Ive seen pictures like this in other reviews and took one to have in mine! hhe

 

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Pool area at night. Good night Reflection. Sicily tomorrow!

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Oh jeeze I did it again for got that I had more written from embarkation day cuz it was in another document! grrr sorry if it gets confusing when I do this.....remember this report was written all over the place!!

Thanks for you paitence. Lets continue...

Tuscan Grill was very good but beware!!! There are many courses and they don’t come small. We went with something from each course and they had to practically roll us out of there, hha. We had wonderful service and the most adorable waitress who I had the pleasure of meeting again at Bistro on 5. These specialty restaurants really go out of their way to make this a wonderful experience. Little special touches every time you turn around.

Ok for food! Once again I didn’t really keep track of what mom was having but I will try to add something if I took a picture of her plate. For starters I had the Calamari. Then there was the salad course and I chose the Fried goat cheese salad. For the pasta course I had the Lobster Alfredo and for the main course I had the Filet Mignon, which was crazy huge!!!!! Moms steak was as well. For desert we both got the chocolate crème brulee. I couldn’t eat mine but mom said it was better without the chocolate bottom. I took mine to go but by the time I went to eat if a couple of days later the berries they had put on the top had started to mold, so I will never know. Well never say never right?

We also each had wine that reflected our different drink plans. Did I mention before the sommeliers always knew what to get my mom that would fit into her classic beverage plan. She didn’t have to try to figure out which Chardonnay she could get, they figured that out for her, very nice. This was the case wherever we ate.

After dinner mom went to bed. She pretty much did this all cruise. I would try to stay up. I had visions in my head of seeing all the shows, going to all the fun parties, checking off most of the drinks at the molecular bar, a lot of times just so I could share this with you guys, but also cuz Ive always been a night owl….I think I got old on this cruise. I didn’t have much of a night life and a lot of the nights I went to bed pissed off at myself that I couldn’t stay up any longer, I even had espresso after dinner! Hha. In some of my defense I ended up getting allergies once we got to Greece! Mmmmm ok….that really slowed me down. Im sure the intense pace that we went at all day long didn’t help either.

This particular night I did go to Molecular Bar cuz nothing was going to stop me from finally trying “ Coming up Roses” I had been waiting months to try this drink. Mauritus was my usual bartender there but there was another very nice guy too. I just cant remember his name and I didn’t see him as often.

Coming up Roses was good and very beautiful. My picture doesn’t do it justice. It wasn’t sooo good that I had to have it every night, plus I was on a mission remember, to try them all….hha yeah right! Ugh. I did make it to drink number two, a Violet Hummingbird. After hanging out for a while, talking to people, comparing drinks, I went to bed around 1 looking forward to Sicily the next day.

Saturday September 27 Sicily

What else do you do when you have a wonderful balcony on a Mediterranean cruise, but enjoy your breakfast on it! That we did. We forgot to order the night before, ok well we didn’t even have a breakfast menu so maybe it wasn’t our fault….even tho we didn’t realize this until the next morning???? We were able to order over the phone. It did get kinda messed up but I will blame that on us also with our late order. Mom didn’t enjoy the food so unfortunately we never did this again…

We did both enjoy the experience of it and also really enjoyed the views of coming into Sicily.

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Goodmorning from our balcony!

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Mom watching us come up on the Straight of Messina. THIS is what I dreamed of for her when I upgraded us to the balcony room....

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So cool to look out at this while getting ready in the morning.

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Welcome to beautiful Messina.

We met our group at the Passport bar. Cori and Dave had organized this tour for all of us, including Travis and Sophie, Mel and Amour.

Cori had book Sicily with Mario for a tour of Castlemola and Taormina. Our guide for the day was Marios brother Ig****o, and he did a wonderful job telling us many things on our ride to Taormina. Once we got there he gave us some ideas and directions and off we went on our own. My mom fell in love with Sicily this day. I thought Florence was her town but now Im not so sure. I wonder what my grandma ( who was from Milan) would have to say about this? Hha.

Who can blame my mom tho, Taormina was over the top lovely and with its location high above the water, the cameras were getting exhausted before we ever got to Castlemola. And my wallet really wanted to also but I really had to remember this was only the beginning of the cruise and that I still had to get all of it home! :o Mom and I also walked through the public gardens ( more crazy beautiful views), got a little lost and never made it to the Greek coliseum.

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