First of all, I'd like to thank my good friend Lisa Matthews for her great entry two weeks ago: Opinionated Nuggets and for my husband's fantastic Father's Day Week Entry. I know that some of you are probably wondering where I've been the last couple of weeks. Well, we went on a family trip to Europe. Yes, two kids, a ten hour flight and one hell of a story. Enjoy!
Last December in Puerto Rico, we were all having dinner at my mother-in-law's house to plan our yearly family trip. Last year we went on a cruise around the Baltic Sea, which ended up being a nightmare since I had to have emergency surgery in St. Petersburg, Russia. (You can read all about it on my Baltic Cruise post) This year, well, this year I didn't end up in a hospital alright; but according to Enrico, it was worse than having surgery...Our luggage got lost. Yes, two weeks on a fabulous Mediterranean cruise, with literally nothing to wear. My worst nightmare.
Now, let's rewind to April and May. We were planning everything for our family trip, from shore excursions to wardrobe items. I was saving my cutest outfits, new bikinis, shoes and even accessories for our cruise. It was going to be incredible; after all, vanity is my favorite sin. Two weeks on a Mediterranean cruise and twenty-eight different outfits, five new bikinis and ten pairs of shoes. Exaggeration? Come on! How many times do you get to spend two weeks around the Mediterranean Sea? I had to look fabulous 24/7. Well, let's just say things didn't turn out exactly as planned.
It all started on June 2nd, the day before our cruise. We were flying to JFK to catch a connection flight to Barcelona, since our ship was leaving on the 3rd. Our first plane got a five hour delay. You know exactly what that meant, right? We missed our flight to Barcelona. In New York, we switched from Delta Airlines to Alitalia. It was already 10:00 pm when we finally got on a plane to Rome with a connecting flight to Barcelona. Twenty four hours traveling between delays and flights and we finally made it to Spain. The ship closed its doors at 4:45 pm and we got there at 4:30 pm without luggage. We had absolutely nothing but diapers, snacks, toys and my fantastic Solia flat iron. If I had nothing to wear, at least my hair was going to look stunning every day. There is a God!
It was our first time on a Celebrity Cruise and my first visit on board was to the concierge's desk, a friendly looking Irish man named Joe. He was very helpful and gave us some toiletries and four extra large Celebrity t-shirts to accommodate our wardrobe needs. What the hell? I think that the four of us could fit together in just one shirt. Then he smiled and told me that he was going to do everything possible to get our luggage back.
Our first stop was in Nice and Monaco. My first stop: ZARA; where I got two outfits for the kids, underwear for Lucia, bathing suits for all of us, and two outfits for both Enrico and I. This was going to be enough to survive without luggage for a couple of days for sure. Boy was I wrong.
Next stop: Florence. Oh my God, Firenze was beautiful! We had a wonderful tour guide that day, her name was Antonella. She took us to see Michelangelo's David, il Duomo, the Ponte Vecchio, Santa Croce's church, and all the touristy sites you can possibly imagine. We had a fabulous lunch and Nutella gelato. The Italians had Nutella in absolutely every corner. My dream come true! I fell in love with Florence.
The next day we took a bus to Rome, and although we were still without luggage, that didn't stop us from having a wonderful day. We went to the Trevi Fountain and the Coliseum in the morning, and in the afternoon most people went to the Vatican. Since I wasn't properly dressed (hello!) to go inside St. Peter's Basilica, we walked around Vatican City and the kids and I had some gelato.
On the third day of the cruise, we stopped in Sicily. That morning, I got a call from the ship's concierge telling me that we were finally going to get our luggage! I was ecstatic. We all took a bus to Taormina, a small resort town. Sicily is famous for The Godfather movies and the Italian mafia, but this place was stunning. Narrow streets, spectacular views, crystal clear beaches and everything from souvenir shops to the most exquisite boutiques you can possibly imagine. I wanted to get some new outfits but Enrico wisely said Nina, we are getting our luggage this afternoon. Of course we were! It was around 5:30 pm and I couldn't wait to get back to the ship to wear my new outfits...
To be continued next week and I promise new recipes very soon!
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Tags: Alitalia Airlines, Baltic Cruise, Barcelona, Celebrity Cruises, cruising with kids, Delta Airlines, Florence, gelato, il Duomo, Italian mafia, Italy, Michealangelo's David, Nutella, Ponte Vecchio, Rome, Santa Croce's church, Sicily, Solia Flat Iron, Spain, St. Peter's Basilica, Taormina, The Coliseum, The Godfather, traveling with kids, Trevi Fountain, Vatican City, ZARA