Off to see the world

We’re leaving for a cruise this week. When I say we, I mean Jason, myself, and all four–often feels like seven–of our offspring.

Thanks to some really good advice we’ve learned that cruising is the cheapest, fastest and most enjoyable way to see the world. I’ve got to be honest, I don’t know that I’ve ever taken a vacation this long. We’ll be gone for a solid 12 days and it sounds like a whole lot of work.

A whole lot of work, that is, until I start thinking about 12 toy-free, microwave-free days. 12 days where someone else makes the beds and stocks the buffet and watches–oh yes, watches–the children. (Actually, we’ll only be on the boat four of the days but you get the point.)

We’re joining a bunch of other Americans from church so our group is going to total around 70, and at least half of those are smallish children. The ship has free child care and boy are we going to work that system.

The schedule boasts a total of seven terrifying ports. We’re starting out from Savona, Italy and heading to Olympia, Greece. Then we’ve got two days in Israel, a day in Izmir, Turkey (on Thanksgiving, Turkey on Turkey day!), another in Athens and finally a day in Rome with a smattering of boat days intermixed.

I am a brave woman. I fear very few things in this life (including and not limited to loose teeth) but I’ve got to tell you, this trip has me quaking in my boat shoes. It’s not one vacation we’re planning, it’s seven. Seven different ports to organize and read up on and try to absorb in a very short period of time. I’m still trying to figure out how we got over here to Germany in the first place, my little brain can’t handle all this world culture and history.

There’s no doubt our time in Jerusalem is why I’m so excited for this cruise. Having spent a semester in the Holy Land way back when makes this feel so surreal. It’s amazing and foreign and intense and oh my gosh, I’m taking my babies. For eight years I’ve had one horrible reoccurring nightmare where I lose a child in the Old City of Jerusalem (a quagmire of broken streets and shops and slightly stinky vendors). Here’s hoping dreams don’t come true.

After considering my safety options, I’ve come up with a few ways to make sure all four of our little children make it home with us. First, I’ve having each child tatooed with my phone number, email address and a brief description of what they will and will not eat. Second, I’m taping them to my body.

That’s about all I’ve got so far.

Second only to losing a child is my fear that my sweetheart and I won’t be able to stay sweet to each other for 12 days of public travel. I wouldn’t normally care so much, but in this case we’ll be in very close quarters with a number of other families. I’d like them to think I don’t scream at people on a regular basis.

(On that note, my voice is so hoarse these days and I haven’t understood why. The other day, while standing at the bottom of the stairs and loudly threatening to throw the television out the top window unless people started working, I realized my smoky voice might have something to do with my predisposition for vocal theatrics.)

In giving this some serious thought, I’ve decided to “Yes Dear,” my way through this cruise. Can we see the Pantheon? Yes dear. Drag the kids through the Vatican museum? Yes dear. Buy fake Roman swords and duke it out in the ship hallway after everyone else has gone to bed? Oh baby oh baby. As long as the man lets the buffet and me have our special time together, he can do just about anything he wants.

72 hours to go, I think it’s time to start packing.


  1. I’m excited for you! You are way more brave than I am, though. Of course, we could end up in Germany with the Army next fall (very real possibility) and do the same thing you’re doing right now. Yikes.

  2. Found a thought on Pinterest the other day (yes, I said Pinterest) that might be applicable here, basically it said that most of the things we fear never happen anyway. So hope that helps. 🙂 The other phrase I found there that I love is: “A ship in the harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” So, GO! Have an unadulterated adventure…. with the buffet… but with the whole experience… and the fake roman swords in the hallway just to make other people wonder! NGL, I’m feeling a bit jealous. All your ports sound fantastic! ::hugs::

  3. sounds pretty remarkable to me. However, the whole bonding time with hubby could be stressful (tee,hee) Surely you can throw in a yell every now and then.
    That whole tatooing idea for the kids…smart.
    I might have to do that to Myself, as I get older, incase I am found wandering aimlessly lost in the streets somewhere.
    Have FUN….

  4. Have a great time I am so excited for you. Please take lots of pictures and be sure to post them for us who live vicariously through your blog.

  5. Do tell us more about this trip. Sounds lovely. What cruise line/tour group is this? Thanks and enjoy!