Barcelona–Where it all Begins
The entire Nelson and Lupo clan embarked on an amazing journey this summer. All fourteen of us (the Nelson grandparents, their three children and spouses, along with their six grandchildren) took the cruise of a lifetime to the Mediteranian via Princess Cruise Lines. The Legacy Cruise, as Doug’s parents called it, was a wonderful opportunity for the kids and parents alike to experience new worlds, new cultures, old architecture, old art, and some great food.
This 12-day Mediteranian cruise departed from Barcelona, Spain and ended in Venice, Italy. It was a Christmas gift from Doug’s parents to everyone in the family, can you stand it? The Legacy Cruise proved to be an amazing adventure. Everyone appreciated different things on this trip, for some it was the food, for others it was the architecture, for the kids it was much about experiencing it together. For Doug and I, it was about being with the family and the opportunity to take some amazing photos and to see some amazing artwork.
Getting There from Here
Before I tell you the story of Barcelona, I must tell you about this Florida Nelson family’s journey. The day began at 4:30am with an unwelcome alarm clock for a 5:30am car service pickup. Recently we downsized our cars and we do not have a vehicle that can transport all four of us with three-weeks worth of luggage. We arrived at Orlando International Airport with plenty of time to spare, as we prepared to fly to Newark, New Jersey in order to meet the rest of the Nelson and Lupo clan. Two hours flight time to NJ and then SEVEN hours in the Newark Airport waiting for the rest of the family and our official flight to Barcelona via Copenhagen.
What do you do for seven hours in the Newark Airport? A lot of reading, eating, drinking, joking with the kids, lingering, and talking about the upcoming 12-day voyage. Finally the New Jersey family joins us at the airport and the cousins are all excited to see each other! We board a Scandinavian Airlines overnight flight and I quickly learn just how difficult it is to sleep sitting upright. The lights come on a 6am (new time, with change) and… breakfast is served! Wait a minute, isn’t it the middle of the night? I am confused but I guess this is the first step in getting us acclimated to the new time zone.
I learn quickly that the coffee cups in Europe are just not big enough!
Up and At ‘Em
Barcelona awaits, whether you’ve had two hours of sleep or not! We check into our hotel, drop our bags, and agree to get out there and shake off this jet lag. The kids are seemingly unaffected by the time change. Oh to be young again. My first trip to Europe was a visit to Spain in high school, I can remember being full of energy and wonder just like our kids are today.
We head out, the streets are crowded shoulder to shoulder. Many people speaking multiple languages pass us by and it doesn’t take long to realize that we are in Europe! This is very exciting. The last time Doug and I traveled internationally we were in London with Emilie in a back pack, she was 9 months old, this trip has been a long time coming. First thing’s first, we need to stop and get some gelato. This will be one of many gelato stops in many different countries as well as on the ship, let me tell you right now that I gained 10 pounds on this voyage….
Walking the streets helps us to keep awake and soon we are hungry. We find ourselves at the port and eating at a restaurant called Tapas Tapas with a view of the water. Teeny tiny plates of food, mix and match, tapas are a lot of fun. We have no idea about euros, we don’t speak Spanish, we are muddling our way through it. Doug and I order very big beers, this helps all situations.
Back on Track
We push ourselves to stay awake until a reasonable bed time, in order to acclimate ourselves to the European time zone. Back to the hotel, we have walked at least four miles to the port and back (are you kidding me?), the kids go to each other’s rooms and the adults to to the Renaissance rooftop bar. Tomorrow is a busy day, we will tour the city and then board the ship in the late afternoon. The Barcelona skyline is lovely at dusk and we toast to the fact that we can’t believe we are all here in Spain. Tomorrow the adventure really begins.
I’ll be giving a day-by-day blog of our adventures in five different countries. I am happy to share the AMAZING artwork I was lucky enough to witness, as well as some wonderful experiences with people and places on our journey, and of course Doug’s amazing photos of it all. If you’d like, you can subscribe to this blog so that you don’t miss a day, it’s on the website right hand side. Click through to the actual online blog if you are reading this in your mailbox.
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