TRIP OF A LIFETIME



The last couple years have been filled with many adventures, many ups, many downs, and just typical everyday living. Because I am now 68 years old and still haven't learned to write daily post, I have forgotten many of the things we have done. Maybe that is both a good and bad thing.

The girls are always involved in their day programs. They work, have boyfriends, love to dance, go to Farmers Market, travel, visit family and just seem to enjoy life in whatever they are doing.

But sometimes, something comes along that is way out of the normal everyday living and that is what happened to us this April and part of May.

About a year ago my sister came up with the idea to take the girls to Europe for a month. We finally had a reality moment and realized that was a huge undertaking. Getting luggage on and off planes, trains and buses did not seem like a pleasurable or doable thing. So we decided on a cruise. We planned a 12 night cruise in the Mediterranean. This cruise only had 3 sea days. It started in Venice and ended in Barcelona. We flew to London from Calif. The girls are great travelers and don't know boredom. They are always in the moment. It doesn't matter if the moment is a 10 hour flight or an hour of TV. To them it is all the same. We landed in London and spent the night. Then on to Venice the next day. We spent two and half glorious, tiring days in Venice. My sister met us there after spending two days in Florence by herself. My sister always has a map in hand and mostly gets us to where we want to go. One day my steps calculated 14 miles. My youngest does not walk fast and we were always lagging, at least a half block behind, but we always made it.

There are way too many adventures to list in this short article. So a few highlights.
A gondola ride in Venice.
Lunch outside in Dubrovnik,, wrapped in blankets to keep the chill off, with a guitarist playing on the steps of a church, right in front of us.
Standing in front of the Parthenon in Athens
Riding the cable car up and down the side of the hill in Santorini.
The streets of Naples, Pizza and the old fort
Rome, beautiful Rome. The Trevi Fountain, Coliseum, Pantheon, Old World and it's beauty.
Florence with the beautiful Cathedral and David
Marseille where I lost and found my backpack with my Video camera. Sadly we did not see much of this beautiful city.
London in a day, with 4 disabled girls is not recommended for everyone but we did it. Private tour of Westminster, changing of the guard, Tower of London, Big Ben and so much more.

But wait there is more. The cruise was the most amazing cruise the girls and I have ever been on. We were filming Lisa, dancing around the world. I wrote Norwegian Cruise lines and asked if they would like to do something to help us with the videos. We heard from them right before we left on the trip and thought it would be so fun to have our picture taken with the dancers and maybe a little video. We never imaged that we would end up being the VIP's of the ship. We were met at the entrance to the ship and from that moment on we were given the VIP treatment. This company went way beyond any expectation I could have imagined. Special dinners with the Hotel Director, private room for a steak dinner, pictures with the dancers, pictures with the officers, VIP greet with the Captain, special treatment from the cruise director and his staff and much more.

We have been blessed and will forever be grateful.

This trip was not always easy. My sister got very sick for a few days. The trip was hard on my youngest. The girls were in a very small room but without complaint. We had a horrible 2 hours in Venice waiting for our keys to the apartment I rented. I paid for a tour and the London Eye and didn't make it there because of jet lag. But all in all it was worth it. The girls will always remember this. They will remember the love and sacrifice by my sister. It is not easy to travel with us. They will remember the adventures. They will remember that they were 4 very special ladies on the ship.

Memories are sometimes costly. But memories are what life is about. Special moments. Special days.
Special times.