Monday, January 13, 2020

Goodbye 2019....Hello 2020

New Year - and a fabulous close to 2019.  I am setting my intentions for 2020 - seems like this intention idea is taking over resolutions.   But before I get really started on the New Year
(even though we are almost halfway through January!) I wanted to share photos and thoughts from our holiday on the Viking Star cruise of the Mediterranean.
This was our first time being away from home at the holidays - for both of us.  I was excited and wanted to make it special.
Before we left I picked up a plastic wreath at Dollar Tree and put it in the bottom of my suitcase.  A simple suction hook attached it to our cabin door.   A small bell on the wreath gave a tinkle each time we left the cabin.
The ship was amazing!  Viking really does everything they can to make your trip magical. 

We enjoyed all the history in Athens, Ephesus, and Crete.  Then the Star left Crete for two days at sea.  We were anxious to explore and enjoy the wonderful ship.

While enjoying afternoon tea as the ship sailed out of Crete, the captain announced rough weather ahead.  He was NOT kidding.  There were 50-60 mph wind and 15 foot waves predicted.   Our cabin steward secured all loose items in our cabin and while it did get very rough - we weathered the storm. 

Christmas Eve is my wonderful husband's birthday and Viking left this wonderful cake and bubbly in our room.

We met new friend for dinner and took the cake to share with them.  We also packed "oplatiki" - and Easter European tradition that is a communion like wafer that you share with peace and goodwill at Christmas Eve dinner. We also grabbed another bread plate and setting to observe our tradition of setting a place for the Baby Jesus at our table.
Late that Christmas Eve the storm stopped and Christmas Day dawned bright and calm.  Even Santa took a break after a hard night of work and stopped for breakfast on the Star! ( This man was a fellow passenger...everyone was festive for the holiday.)

Dress code on the ship was casual - and not many people got very dressed up.  We did - and were glad we did, too.   Christmas day we passed the volcanic island of Stromboli and enjoyed a great dinner and beautiful dessert.

The next day was our stop near the port for Rome.   Since we had been there before we took the tour that included free time and after being dropped in Vatican Square we roamed Rome ( sorry!) and enjoyed a great pizza, then tossed a coin in the Trevi Fountain to insure a return to Rome someday.

The next day was Florence and once again we spent the day wandering back streets, enjoying the weather and this amazing and beautiful city.

Pisa came next - surely something to see, but it was very crowded the day we were there.
We headed back to the ship and took time to enjoy the fabulous Spa on the ship.
The spa is included in the price of your cruise.  This hot water spa pool is so relaxing.   After soaking you can go in a snow grotto
(with real SNOW), do an ice bucket, or visit a steam room.  There are comfortable lounge chairs, blankets, water, and you can read or nap while you enjoy a tranquil setting.

Monaco was of my favorite places in the world.  The gardens are so beautiful and smell so fresh.  I loved seeing the cathedral decorated for Christmas and thought the hanging Christmas trees were beautiful.

Some photos of our cabin - very spacious and easy to live in for the two weeks we were there.   
Food and drink were amazing - this is our Lobster Thermador entree on New Year's Eve.  Every meal was great...and the service was outstanding.

After a fabulous New Year's Even celebration that the crew made so special for all us...the next day they prepared this fabulous brunch and had stations all around the pool.   The handmade pasta with pesto made fresh to your order was my favorite...and I enjoyed more than one Bloody Mary !

Last day of trip was spent in Barcelona...such a beautiful city. Then it was time to fly home.  Would we travel at holiday time again - YES!  It was different and very relaxing!
Here is a toast to everyone reading this - wishing you health, happiness, love, and PEACE in 2020!
And now...this is my plate served in our home.  Salads and more water and healthy eating...those are some of our intentions for 2020.
Some others: make more time for reading good books, get more sleep, make a date to do something/visit someplace we have never been or done at least once each month, and to be EXTRA kind to everyone.  EVERYONE.  Because you never know what burdens others are carrying.
How about you ?   Do you make resolutions or intentions ?   What are they?   Let's all make this the best year ever!!!


  1. I loved reading this and looking at the photos of your vacation cruise for the holidays. You visited so many nice places and you and your husband look so happy together. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  2. Thanks, Julie...we are blessed to have celebrated our 43rd anniversary last week! So glad I found your blog...can't wait to add it to my "to read" list !


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