Monday, June 2, 2014

114. Back Home Again in Indiana

If you're a Purduette, sorry for getting the song stuck in your head, but I couldn't resist. So the trip is officially over and I'm back in the town of Franklin, Indiana. The plane ride back went flawlessly. We had a layover in Dublin so I can cross Ireland off the list now too. After five security checkpoints, and border control, Scarlet and I were off for our seven hour movie marathon, I mean flight. We arrived in Chicago around seven and spent another four hours in the car. I am proud to say that I stayed awake the entire time.


Between second hand smoking a pack each day and chasing down stray cats to pet, I did manage to learn a lot on this trip. Both about life, myself, and my family. There isn't just one underlying lesson that stands out after four months abroad, but instead a lot of little things that I heard or experienced along the way. Here are just a few memories and quotes that have stuck with me.

Clothes don't need to be washed nearly as often as I used to wash them at home. I survived on 4 outfits for 100 days, and sometimes only had shampoo for detergent!

"You'll find it often takes very little to make a difference." This was a quote from our Program Director, Ivan, on the cruise. It's so simple and most people will skim over it. But I also think it is very empowering and important to remember.

I told this story in one of my blogs, but I'll bring it up again. After paying $14 for one cone of ice cream, I will never ever get ripped off by a sales person again. So Europe has taught me to be a stronger negotiator.

No matter how well rested I am, if you put me on a bus for more than 15 minutes I will fall asleep.

"Better to burp and bear the shame than not to burp and bear the pain."

Being active now is the difference between having a page full of meds to take each day and just a few when I get older.

Life is anything but linear. I've always had a sort of path planned out with school, jobs, and clubs that will lead to a successful career and family. But after all of the people I've met and life stories I've heard, I think that the type of success I am looking for can come in many other ways

The house I am sitting in right now as I write this farewell blog is full of many fond memories, but where I feel at home isn't necessarily in a structure, feeling at home is more about who I am with. And I'm not only talking about being stuck with my family in random apartments since February. Most people call their childhood houses their homes, but for the past year when I'd tell people "I'm going home for the weekend" it was never to this house. I felt at home with all the friends who have housed me when my family was off in the RV. I felt at home in the Athena with such a great crew and traveling companions. And I most definitely feel at home at Purdue and Camp Tecumseh. 

Happiness is not based on where you are or what you are doing, it's a choice. I spent 3 months at some of the most beautiful places in the world. I wasn't always happy! 

I'm sure now that I'm signing off, I'll think of a million more things I should have written down. These few thoughts don't do justice to all that I've been exposed to, and I'm sure I haven't even realized some ways I've been affected. 

But to end on a lighter note, I'm sure the first question you all are dying to ask me is "What was your favorite place?" It's a fair question. In fact it's the first one I asked my siblings when I saw them after they'd traveled the US. So if you've already asked it, don't feel bad, it's a trap we all fall into. However, if you do ask that question one of the following will happen:

a.) I'll give a standard answer like "Venice was the most unique place!" and the conversation wont go much further.

b.) I'll make up a new answer each time, so it wont be very honest and again the conversation will probably end soon after.

c.) I'll say "That's such a hard question to answer, I liked everywhere we went" conversation over.

So I know what you're all thinking "So Brenna, what do you want us to ask you?" Well you're in luck! I have taken it upon myself to come up with some really invigorating questions that will make us grow closer as friends and won't doom the conversation.

1. What country had the best food? You can never go wrong by bringing up food.

2. Which country had the cutest boys?

3. Did you run into any other American travelers?

4. How did you handle the language barrier?

5. Did you see any weird plants?

6. Where would you live now that you've seen what each country is like?

7. Did you ever blend in with the locals, or did you stick out everywhere?

8. How did you decide what was important to pack with all the limited space?

9. Tell me about all the apartments you've lived in.

10. What country do you think I'd like to visit?

11. What language was the coolest to listen to? to read?

12.What was the coolest fashion trend you saw?

13. Now  that you've seen so many royal palaces, what would your palace look like?

14. What person in history did you like learning about? Not sure about the answer for that one yet, but I saw a statue for a guy named Draguten. I bet he was cool.

15. If you could go back and change anything about this trip, what would it be?

But I know all of you are very creative people and can hit me with something I've never thought of before. With that, I'll end this chapter and leave you with one last thought. I am confident that anyone can take a trip like this one. I am lucky to have been born into a family who did, but luck really has little to do with the trip. My parents decided they wanted to show their kids the world while we were all still living together, so they sat down a few years ago and started planning. It's as simple as that! If you take anything from this blog, I hope you realize just how capable you are. All it takes is the will to do something different!

If you want to get in contact with me to ask any riveting questions feel free to email me at

Saturday, May 31, 2014

113. Scarlet’s Day in Rome

“Now, you are in charge of Rome” This has been the motto for the past 3 weeks. Scarlet and I were given the responsibility of planning everything we did during the last three days we have in Rome with Grandma and Grandpa. Although we both did the same amount of work in planning it all, I was often looked to for answers and a schedule. Scarlet does not like being under appreciated, so today it was made clear that Scarlet was in charge.

Being in charge is a double edged sword. You get to do whatever you want, but if anything goes wrong, it’s all your fault. On top of that, the person in charge has to make all decisions, no one else ever cares to suggest anything, so sometimes its really a drag. But being in Rome it’s not bad at all. I thought I’d be doing Scarlet a favor stepping back and making her lead. What I didn't anticipate was that every opinion, suggestion, and comment would be taken as a personal blow to her carefully scheduled day. As soon as I stopped talking to anyone, the day got a lot better.

We had a lazy morning and met up at 8:30 for a breakfast where, again, we weren’t given any plates. They must love cleaning up crumbs all over the tablecloth. Soon after, we headed for the Hop on Hop off bus. Rick Steves hates these things, but I think they are just so convenient. Originally, we were going to hop off at every stop and look around, but by the end of the day we were just sitting on the bus riding around the same loop over and over. The first place we hopped off was the Bocca della Veritá this statue has an open mouth and it is said that if you are a liar and you stick your hand in its mouth, it will bite your hand off. Scarlet and I both tried. I’m coming home with one less hand.

We stopped for lunch at the Trevi Fountain and found this little restaurant with the cutest chairs where umbrellas were attached to shade you from the sun. Chairs are now how we judge restaurants.

Another stop was the Santa Maria Maggiore.  Supposedly this cathedral houses the wood of the manger. I didn’t see it. What I did see was a baby being baptized. Just the baby and her closest friends and family. Plus the thousands of tourists walking by.

In the afternoon the rain started, so we found good seats on the bus and stayed there for an hour or so, memorizing the geography of the city. We got back in time for dinner and decided to go to Restaurante Isidor again. What can I say, they were really impressive! I can’t resist a good pasta place. We made it known that we were repeat customers and were given a nice free desert. Of course before going home we had to stop by our last gelato shop in Europe. Scarlet got a cone full of Nutella, not Nutella gelato, just a good heap of Nutella straight from the can. As Grandpa put it, we enjoyed ending our last night in Europe eating gelato with the Colosseum in the background right outside the gay bar. 

112. Mike with the Chains and Snapback

Piazza Popolo was graced with our presence at 6:45 am this morning. Compared to yesterday, it was a very peaceful place. Only a few people dragging luggage around joined us. We were meeting our newest tour group here at 7:15 to head off for Pompeii, but of course were early just in case. The first person we met was Ester from Ireland who was a medical student and traveling Rome on her own. After checking in, the second person we met was our tour guide Mike. Sometimes first impressions taint your view of someone for good. This was the case with Mike.

He was from Southern California and wore baggy pants, a sweatshirt, and a snapback. From then on no one could take him seriously. Turns out, he was very knowledgeable so I still enjoyed the day even though some people in our party of four could not.

Pompeii is about 3 hours south of Rome. You can imagine how psyched I was for all the sleep I was going to get on the bus ride down. I think we talked a bit about the history of Pompeii, but I was out! We stopped for a “comfort break” in Casino. Of course this happens to be a very popular rest stop for a certain ethnic group as well. So the stop was crazy. These people were snapping pictures of walls, grass blades, toilet stalls, and who knows what else. Plus they ran everywhere. I’m not being stereotypical at all. It was a collective group run to the bathroom, not just one or two people.

There is a reason I stray away from all rest stops. If you ever go on a road trip with me, you’ll notice that I don’t seem to ever need a break. One reason is because I really enjoy the sleep I get in car rides, but the other is that bathrooms and the people in them are so unpredictable. Today, the oriental tour group did it for me. On top of that, the line was a mile long. Once I finally made it to the front, none of the toilets worked or had seats.  I’ve been in bathrooms that have light timers that last about 10 seconds then leave you in complete darkness. Some that have a pedal to make the sink water some out, some that hide the flusher, some where you are escorted to your stall by a man, and so many other uncomfortable situations. So that is why I avoid public bathrooms.

After surviving the comfort break we didn’t have much longer until we pulled into Pompeii. Mike handed out the whisperers – another reminder of the cruise we aren’t on anymore – and we found our way to the front gate.

Pompeii is unlike any other ruins I have seen on this trip. It’s absolutely HUGE! And all from the same time period. If you ever go on any tour around Rome you’ll hear “the ruins are like lasagna.” All the civilizations that lived in Rome built over the last. In Pompeii everything is from 79 A.D. when Mount Vesuvius erupted. So its preservation and size sets it apart from everything else.

It’s a bit morbid that the horrid death of these people is so fascinating, but I can’t help it. Because the ash of the eruption fell over the city and quickly solidified, archaeologists were able to find cavities where people’s bodies had decomposed, but the shape of their bodies was still fully intact. They plaster casted these holes and saw the exact position people were in when they died. Personally, I would prefer to go in my sleep like this guy, but some were found with their hands over their mouths trying not to breathe in the smoke.

and a dog

Our tour only took us through a fraction of the city, and no matter how hard Grandpa tried to lose the group and explore on his own, Mike always found him to bring him back.

After Pompeii we grabbed some Naples pizza then headed off to Mount Vesuvius.   The hike to the top was steep and long. The coolest part was seeing the old edge of the crater off in the distance. From this ridge, the mountain used to shoot straight up making it so much larger than what we were going to see.

The old crater edge is to the right

At the top it was cloudy, but we got a peak at the steam coming out of the crater.

This marked the end of our Pompeii day trip! We loaded the bus and started off for Rome. On the way back we learned about some old Roman emperors and the old gladiator fights. It was interesting enough to keep me awake for the most part.

The rest of the evening was spent roaming around Rome. I wanted to check out Trevi Fountain lit up at night and now I never ever have to look at such a crowded place at night ever again. This trip is all about checking things off my bucket list!

Friday, May 30, 2014

111. Caravaggio, Bernini, Titian, and Other Geniuses

“Sorry I’m late, there was a suicide on the metro, so everything was crazy.”

On that note, our tour of the Colosseum began. We were handed downgraded whisperers compared to the top notch kind we got on the tour. I made sure to stand super close to the tour guide so I could soak up every word.

When we were here with Mom and Dad, Scarlet and I were able to walk around the middle floors of the Colosseum. On this tour we went to the dungeons and the upper floors where the women could sit. It was hard to imagine what the lowest level used to look like while only being able to see the skeleton, but our guide tried to paint the picture. Groups are only allowed to walk about ten meters into the dungeons because some guy stole a brick there once or something.

This is where the animals used to be kept and where the gladiators or slaves were before the games. The most interesting part to me was the fact that the largest stones that formed the arches above the doorways and the foundation were not held together by cement. It was designed incredibly well and it’s hard to believe it took less than 10 years to build it all.

We learned the origin of “thumbs up, thumbs down.” During Gladiator fights, when one was about to lose, he could flash some signal to the emperor asking for mercy. The Colosseum was built for the people to feel they had power, so the emperor would look for the opinions of the spectators to choose whether the man would live or die. A thumb up meant he could live, if the thumb was sideways, he’d die. Thumbs down actually meant nothing at all.

The upper two levels were for poor people and women. Most had fallen down, but what was there was impressive. At the very top, we could see where there used to be a roof and columns that made a hallway going all the way around.

Before lunch, we took Grandma and Grandpa on a tour of the Forum, recanting everything we remembered from our Rick Steves tour.

Seeing as our Bed and Breakfast is right next to the Colosseum, we headed there for a quick lunch. For some reason, they don’t give out bread plates in Italy, so we played a fun game called “try to dump olive oil on your bread without getting it all over the place.” I lost and now the Royal Café tablecloth has some new decoration.

Next on the agenda was the Borghese Gallery. This villa is in the Borghese gardens which are larger than two central parks put together. Due to the size of the gallery, only a certain number of people are allowed in at a time and they can only stay for two hours. We met our guide outside the gallery after enjoying some nice ice cream on the garden bench.

Our guide soon became Grandpas new best friend. He was very knowledgeable and interesting to listen to. He was all about teaching us little tricks to read paintings rather than just rattling off facts. This villa is known for its collection of seven Caravaggio’s. He became famous for painting people realistically. Before him, most paintings were idealized, only containing Gods and Goddesses. He also had a sense of humor and got in quite a bit of trouble for painting his favorite prostitute as the Holy Mother Mary.

My favorites though were the Bernini statues. Our guide took us around each one in a circle explaining the story of the statue as we went. Until now, I had looked at every statue head on noticing the beauty, but not the story. One of the most famous pieces was of Apollo chasing one of his sister’s friends, Daphne, after being shot with an arrow that would make him fall in love with the first person he saw. This was no good because his sister, Dianna, the goddess of the moon and hunting, could only have virgin friends. The ideas of this time were all about the purity of women. Took learn about this statue, we started at the back. From here, we just saw what looked like Apollo running through the woods. Moving to the left we saw that he was actually chasing a girl. Even further we could see that his face showed that he wasn’t focused, he was love struck. Daphne looked distressed because she could never love him. To fix this problem, she was slowly turning into a tree. That’s why, from the back, it looked like Apollo was just running through the woods.

We could hardly see everything in our 2 hours in the gallery, but were shown what is considered the most famous and most important.  Not only were the pictures pretty and the stories behind them interesting as well, but the entire place was beautifully decorated. Our guide kept reminding us that everything we were seeing was a masterpiece, even the walls.

This tour included a walk around the gardens where we watched people struggle on segways, saw the dog park, and the largest lemons I’ve ever seen. There were obelisks scattered around and other monuments as well. Our guide described some as fake-fake, others were real-fake, and the last obelisk was really real.

We ended at Piazza del Popolo where there is a church that houses two additional Caravaggio pieces. We almost got there in time to see them before mass started, but everything was already roped off. We still have two days to try again.

My friend, Peter, back home recommended we go to this restaurant, Isidor. I didn’t make it there with the family, but didn’t want to miss it this time. Pasta happens to be my favorite meal, so it would have been hard to disappoint me, but everyone loved this place. It’s famous for its Assagini plates – I just made that up I forget the real name. Anyway, you choose the number of pasta plates you want to try and the chef surprises you with whatever he wants! We chose to try 4 of these mystery meals and couldn’t be happier. We had some white sauce, red sauce, sea food sauce, big pasta, long pasta, small pasta. I was in pasta heaven and couldn’t even finish my last serving. We have a couple more nights in Rome, maybe we will go back to this place and get some more surprise meals.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

110. Security Check of the Century

We're back in Rome! And it wasn't easy getting here. The day started out great! Our plane didn't leave until noon, so we had all morning to hang out with everyone before leaving the ship. Scarlet reorganized the room keys, I appropriated a blue card for the scrapbook (sorry Mr. Z) and we spent our last few hours in the lobby talking with whoever wanted to listen. At 9:30, the cruise was officially over as we stepped into the cab in Greece. And finish story.

I had printed off our plane tickets a few nights before given my connections with the crew, so getting into the airport and to security was a cinch. This is where it all went downhill.

First, we were stopped in the beginning of the security line. The guard wanted to check our liquids. Different, but okay. I had the all ready in my plastic bag anyway. Everyone passed the test except me. Grandma and Grandpa had brought some contact solution over for me after I ran out. They got two of these containers through security in America, so I really didn't think there would be a problem. I thought wrong. She told me the container needed to be thrown away, so when she turned to the next person, I tossed it into the bottom of my bag. They never really check there anyway.

There were very few people in line, so we got up to the front pretty quickly. Normally, setting my computer and liquids out is good enough. Not for these people. They needed me to dig around to find every electronic I had. Five minutes later, I was walking through the scanner. Of course I forgot to take my watch off. Cue pat down. It wasn't too bad yet. Once I'd been deemed a clean American, I made my way over to my bag where another grumpy security lady met me and said "You have curling iron and straightener, yes? Take them out of bag."

Here's the thing about my packing style. Everything has a place, and once the bag is closed, it's closed. There is no taking things out and putting them back nicely. It's like the perfectly planned jigsaw puzzle Scarlet finished last week on the boat. It's fun to do once, but it's not okay to take it halfway apart then redo it in the same day.

Reluctantly, I opened up my bag and grabbed what the lady wanted from the middle of everything. Then the bag had to be scanned again. When it came back through I thought I'd be off the hook. Wrong again. "You still have liquids. Open bag." Thus started the full bag search through and ended with me losing my contact solution and face wash (all which would have gone through an American airport just fine). The one thing that would not have passed through an American airport was the toothpaste that the lady never found so HA!

Grandpa was more concerned about the success of the actual flying part. Ever heard of the company "easyjet?" No? exactly. The cheap tickets worked out fine though! I got my 2 hour plane nap and everyone was happy when we landed in Rome.

We made it to our apartment in a 9 person shuttle van and checked out our sweet view of the Colosseum from the window! The Bed and Breakfast we are staying at, Royal House, is right across the street from it. We are big fans of "freshening up" - or napping - so we freshened up before going out for a late lunch. Eating out for every meal is still a foreign concept to me. The boat was like home, so we had meals there most of the time, and with the family, Mom always made dinner. For the next three days, breakfast, lunch, and dinner will all be served in whatever restaurant catches our eye.

To top off this day, we hailed a cab and headed for the opera house to watch the ballet Sleeping Beauty. I had never seen a ballet before and was very impressed. Dancing isn't something that I am a pro at critiquing, but these girls and guys on stage just seemed weightless and top notch. Scarlet and I were in a box next to Grandma and Grandpa, so we took the first row for ourselves.

Note the glasses due to lack of contact solution.

After three hours or so we walked out of the theater like zombies ready to snuggle into the covers to catch some zzz's. Grandpa negotiated with the cab driver until we ended up back home and everyone slept like babies.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

109. Αθήνα, Ελλάδα

We made it to our last destination, Athens, Greece! Around midnight we sailed up to the port, and being the only one in the lobby at this time, I got the first glace at the city. We are actually docked at Piraeus, which is only a 20 minute drive or so from the boat, but it was still pretty all lit up at night!

After spending last night playing - and winning - English scrabble against Scarlet, Rok and Ivan, and staying up to write the blog, the Friend girls had a rough time waking up, luckily our absence was noticed at breakfast and Grandpa came to get us up. By now, we are pros at getting ready quickly and spending as much time as possible asleep in the morning. So this little alarm clock problem didn't set us back one bit!

The bus took us on a 30 minute tour around Athens and we got out to snap pictures of the Modern Olympic Stadium, and ended up in a square downtown to start the walking tour. Our local guide took us through some major shopping areas, into an orthodox church which was just covered in scaffolding, and left us near the acropolis museum.

Before being let lose, our group reluctantly turned in our "whisperers" - the earpieces we used while touring - to Rok. This was just the first of many goodbyes we have made today. There is an extended tour in Athens after the cruise ends and a handful of people in our group signed up for it, so we had reached the extent of the guided tour part for us.

In attempt to get stuff done early, Grandma, Grandpa, Scarlet, and I immediately headed for the Acropolis. Our attempt was in vain. This entire trip has been planned so well that we haven't had a run in with a large group of tourists. So all that waking up early was completely worth it. Now on the way to the Acropolis at 12 noon, we were following Group 9. Group 13 was up ahead, Group B was behind us, and a few hundred independent travelers like ourselves were scattered in between.

Part of the way up to see the Parthenon, there was a switchback sidewalk that everyone had to follow. We were walking at a snails pace so a lot of people just started to climb the rocks between the switchbacks, but the staff put an end to that pretty quickly. Finally after being separated, harassed, and herded, we made it to the top!

The Parthenon is huge, pictures don't do it justice at all! Of course it was all covered in scaffolding, but still impressive. It was interesting to see what had been reconstructed, and what was being preserved. All I know is that Great Britain should really give Greece back the pieces of the Parthenon they took. Luckily, Scarlet and  I had gone to the British museum and saw what statues and reliefs had been on the Parthenon, but it would have been cooler to see those pieces in Greece!

When we were fed up with the crowd and had enough pictures we headed into town to grab a bite to eat and - you guessed it - to shop! For lunch, we had a popular meal of gyros. The first time I had this meal was in Munich with PMO. I have been waiting an entire year to taste it again, and this restaurant sure didn't disappoint.

With all the shopping we did today, I'll be surprised if I can fit everything in my backpack for the plane ride tomorrow. Our housekeeper, Shali, even pointed out that we have a lot to pack in those little bags. But if I've learned anything on this trip, it's how to efficiently pack a bag.

To celebrate our shopping success, we stopped at a cafe for a drink. I was persuaded into ordering my favorite desert, baklava, and it was the best baklava I have ever had in my life. I would plan another trip to Greece just to have that baklava again.

Back on the ship, the weather was perfect for laying out on the sun deck and listening to music. We had some time before the captains dinner, so that's exactly what we did. Before the captains dinner, we had a farewell toast. The Captain said a few words, Mr. Z gave us more forms to fill out, and Rok and Ivan gave us a little pep talk about how great we all are. Before people started heading to the dinner table, Scarlet and I had a little something planned with Rok and Ivan.

Being a few years younger than everyone on board, we wanted to thank everyone for including us and being so welcoming. We thanked Grandma and Grandpa for taking us along, and all of our new adoptive grandparents we met along the way. Then Ivan whipped out his guitar and we all sand L.O.V.E by Nat King Cole. It was perfect!

Dinner lasted longer than usual with the desert parade by the staff, and everyone saying their goodbyes. Some people had to be on their way to the airport at 3 am, but that didn't stop them from having one last conversation! Luckily, Scarlet and I were not in that boat, so we stayed up with the last of them busying ourselves with giving Mr. Z a hard time, completing evals out loud in front of Rok and Ivan, and separating the hospitality desk candy by color.

Scarlet put it best today when she said "I can't figure out if I'm supposed to be happy that we are going home soon, sad that the cruise is over, or happy that we get a few more days with Grandma and Grandpa in Rome. I have too many emotions!"

Monday, May 26, 2014

108. The Old Tree

I woke up at three am to watch the boat go under this bridge. This is what I got out of it.

When the normal day started, we loaded the bus for the Delphi Archaeological site.

There are so many interesting things about Greek and Roman ruins. Not only have they been covered for centuries, but they have great stories behind them. On our tour of the Delphi archaeological cite today, our tour guide did a great job of telling not only the history of the place, but also the story behind their culture. She was full of old myths and legends from the time. Grandpa gave instructions to ignore all the lies and interpret everything myself.

The Oracle of Delphi was the ancient center of the world. In short, there was a fault line running under this city that released fumes into the Oracle. Pythias were women chosen to be the mediators between the people and Apollo. It was religious and miraculous. Really, she would just have hallucinations from the doped up air she was breathing and then an "interpreter" would tell the people what she meant. the prophecies were like fortune cookies, the answers always had room for interpretation.

There was also a museum that housed some of the found artifacts to help preserve them. My favorite was the bronze statue of a chariot racer. It was in pretty good condition and the eyes were still there, which is very rare. Most of the time, ancient artifacts are all just broken stone, so I always like seeing pieces that still have some decoration on them.

Most of what we saw were classified as archaic, meaning from the 6th century B.C. If you ever see a statue with what looks like a forced smile, its archaic.

When people came from far away to have their prophecies told, they brought offerings along with them, so Delphi had a lot of treasures that couldn't be found in Greece

Another plus about Delphi is that the stray cats were super cute and friendly! They just crawled all over Scarlet and me! I almost stuck one in my purse to bring it back, but didn't think Mr. Z would appreciate that.

When we got back to the boat, it was picture time! Everyone had 15 minutes to get on their best outfit and meet outside the boat for a group picture. It was the fastest group picture session I have ever been a part of. Then again most of my group pictures are with my sorority sisters, so just standing for 2 pictures would not be acceptable for them.

Before the ship took off for Piraeus, there was about 45 minutes of time to kill, Scarlet and I checked out the engine room which was just really loud, and then jumped in the water for a swim. There were some people from the crew out there already so we had an America vs India race. America won.

I spent the rest of the afternoon on the deck drying off in the sun and eventually just falling asleep. Of course I woke up in time to watch the Athena go through the Corinth Canal. This canal cut 266 miles off our route to Piraeus, and only 70 ft wide. So most modern ships are too big for it, not us!

 Looks like we are heading straight for land right?


Tonight Scarlet was not pleased about the desert selection. She discretely called our waiter, Glenn, over to explain the problem. Before we knew what was happening, Scarlet was brought a bowl of chocolate ice cream doused in caramel. I have to say, she did miss out on some great Greek cake.

Our entertainment tonight was a "Lounge Show." This is what it was called on our itineraries and that was all we knew about it. When everyone was sitting in the lobby, Rok and Ivan started handing out parts. Like in a movie. We were going to put on a play! Most everyone was actually part of the play rather than watching it, but that made it more fun. Grandpa was chosen to play the Sun, Scarlet was the Old Tree, and I was the Princess - how fitting!

There were 6 acts or so. I was taken from my castle one night by 3 robbers, tied to a tree, Scarlet, in the middle of the woods (where three butterflies and three wild boars were hanging out), and eventually rescued by my prince and taken home.

Jokes were told, games were played, and everyone had a great time.