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International Travel with a Four Year Old – Day 8: The Ever-Beautiful Barcelona

Whew! 21,000 steps later, we are in our cabin and resting up for the night. This was the one city along our journey I had visited before, so it was the one I was mentally prepared to stroll through. After running through options last night with Kiley about the best way to see the city and not die of exhaustion, we decided to just suck it up and walk anyway. I'm glad we did. The highlights of the day for Declan were simple: he liked the gelato we stopped to get and he also liked shooing pigeons. That's it. He wasn't really a huge fan of the things that enticed us, but that's to be expected. After all, he's still… Continue reading International Travel with a Four Year Old – Day 8: The Ever-Beautiful Barcelona

European Travel with a Four Year Old – Day 7: Marseille, France

Well, the day has come and gone without a hitch. Just like that, our time in France has slipped away from us. I have to say this, coming from someone who has never really had any interest in visiting France - Marseille surprised me. I really enjoyed it and I could easily see myself going on a return visit someday. One day here is not enough. You should come and just take it easy here someday. The day began on a fairly long shuttle trip in the rain. It was relatively light rain, but we knew we had at least forty or so minutes of walking ahead of us so that would easily add up. We did get pretty wet… Continue reading European Travel with a Four Year Old – Day 7: Marseille, France

European Vacation with a Four Year Old – Day 6: Livorno

So, it has been a full week from the time we first left on our vacation. It's moved fast, but it didn't really start to lose steam a little until today. Perhaps it is because the clothes we packed are starting to dwindle as we wait for the special laundry service day when the cruise ship will only cost us 30ish dollars instead of hundreds for a full load. Perhaps it's because Livorno is a beautiful port city that is dead because of the season and because it's a Sunday. Maybe it's because we are conditioned to have no longer than one of vacation at a time and our homesickness is starting to seep in. It's probably all of those… Continue reading European Vacation with a Four Year Old – Day 6: Livorno

European Vacation with a Four Year Old: Day 5 – Naples & Pompeii

I am typing this from the first decently choppy night on the cruise ship after we left the port at Naples. The first night was a little rocky, but tonight there's considerably more wind and it's definitely noticeable and ever-present. It serves as a great reminder that mother nature is in charge, something that the people of this area are not likely to forget. Naples, though full of history and art and music, is a great city underneath the grittiness and grime that unfortunately pervades the cityscape here. From an outsider's perspective, the city looks run-down and dilapidated. Perhaps there's a lot of truth in that, but the people of Neopolis (literally "new city" in Greek) that I encountered wouldn't… Continue reading European Vacation with a Four Year Old: Day 5 – Naples & Pompeii

European Vacation with a Four Year Old, Day 4: Onto the Cruise Ship

We have embarked on the journey. The ship we are on is called the Epic, from the Norwegian Cruise Line. We got up pretty early and ate more delicious breakfast at our Rome hotel, which I will miss. Before we left, I took one more look out our balcony and pondered the building across the way. It was an old building, something I figured might have been important at some point. Turns out, it was. The building was just one of the several buildings of the Museum of Rome, which was itself a culturally significant complex in its time. The complex was created during the time of the Emperor Diocletian, around the end of the 3rd Century and into the… Continue reading European Vacation with a Four Year Old, Day 4: Onto the Cruise Ship