starting some cruising in italia

okay…our return home from our quick trip to paris marks the start of a 6 week+ streak with no planned travel! we’re going to be with family in spain in november for thanksgiving, but until then we are at last settling in to our london life a bit more. we couldn’t pass up the awesome opportunities we had to have some adventures abroad the past couple of months, and we thoroughly enjoyed them, but now we are ready to chill out on the traveling for a while. our shipment from the states finally arrived on monday (i bet you’ve noticed i’ve been wearing a lot of the same clothes over and over and over)! it was missing six packages, including my beloved bike, but it has been like a joyous christmas in october opening up the boxes we packed back in march that did arrive safely. it is sooo nice to sleep on our bed again (although the box springs can’t quite fit up our narrow stairway, so still working on getting the full bed up and running!), and we’re on our way to really having a home again, at last. it has certainly been a wild seven months since we left palo alto.

so, i still have a bit of travelogue-ing to do, but then just documenting real life. i’ve never loved ordinary days more.

back in two thousand fourteen, my parents invited the boy and i to come with them on a cruise around the eastern mediterranean. they work with a great tour company based out of utah that organizes cruises and other excursions around the world for groups of travelers. part of each tour is lectures from featured speakers, two of which are my parents! in lieu of being paid, my mom and dad often ask if they can bring one or two of their kids along. when they invited us months ago to come on this september cruise with them, we weren’t too optimistic that we’d be able to make it work since we’d just have arrived in london and started new jobs. somehow, it all worked out and we were able to go cruisin’ with ricky and linda. it was such a treat!!


we spent a week on that badboy ^^ splendor of the seas, making stops in dubrovnik, ephesus, santorini, and olympia before ending the cruise in venice. it was so much fun. the cruise scene is such a unique world. we lived it up with the all-you-can-eat food, the glitzy but pretty chintzy atriums and dining rooms and performances, and the abundance of senior citizens! during our two at sea days, we appreciated listening to my parents and the other lecturer, michael wilcox, speak. and on the shore excursions we explored a lot, learned a lot (gotta love listening in to tour guides with headsets!) and enjoyed a lot. it was all pretty fantastic, and again, such a treat for us.

before we boarded the shipi n venice, we spent a few hours in the charming town of verona, italia, famous in large part because the story of romeo & juliet originated there. it was totally enchanting.

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^^ above you can see some of the members of our tour group. let’s just say we were the youngest ones by quite a long shot. we met really wonderful people who had great wisdom to share. i love people. ^^
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^^ we happened upon this macaron shop and i swooned. the basil lime was the best! we also tried mint chip, passion fruit, and bubblegum! ^^
^^ how about those frescoes?! ^^
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^^ that statue is of dante. our tour guide told us that in real life, he had a much bigger nose and was much more stout in stature – ha! ^^
^^ juliet’s balcony! there’s certainly some tragic-love-story type romance in the air in verona! ^^
^^ the walls leading to juliet’s balcony are covered with declarations of love. ^^
^^ sometimes i wonder how many people’s photos i am in the background of like these ladies! ^^
^^ the verona arena is actually older than the colosseum! pretty cool. ^^
^^ i love that ian often requests this pose. ^^
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^^ there was a darling getaway car all ready to go outside this church. someone’s wedding day! ^^

after we bused back to venice, we boarded the splendour of the seas! and as we sailed out into the mediterranean, we stood on the top deck and beheld the most incredible views of venice! the bells were ringing all over the water city and it was truly magical. i have to share pictures of the whole progression!


next stop…croatia!


  1. How ARE you able to get so much time off? Seriously? hahaha. I was able to take a fair amount off for travel because I was a contract employee without benefits, but my husband had to save up days. Pics looked beautiful.

    1. For real, I want her unreal reality

  2. Your adventures are wonderful. When you write a book and publish all these glorious photos you could call it, "Darling, let's be adventurers!" I would buy it! I love your upbeat attitude and your joy in all things. Also, you have a great eye for beauty--which I enjoy!

  3. Yeah! Love seeing these pics! Your camera is so much better than mine!

  4. Blessed life. Thanks for sharing all of these beautiful pictures and beautiful moments.

  5. Oh, my daughter dreams of going to Italy. She is hoping that's where she will be called to serve a mission for the Church. She just turned 15, but already has big dreams! :) What a fun adventure!!
    I love that I get to travel to so many amazing places through your blog. It must have been extra amazing to get to share the experience with your parents. Great memories, for sure.