My initial idea for this topic was to write about how I am craving a Laduree macaron. I have Paris on my mind!
However, I decided to go in a different direction. (In part to try and squash my sweet craving.)
2016 is missing something for me. It will be the first year in many when I am not cruising; so, I am craving some ocean time.
I love the ocean. I have always loved water. I only started cruising 10 years ago, but immediately fell in love. I then went on the following cruise streak:
2011 – Mediterranean aboard Holland America’s Noordam
This was my second cruise. Ever. The first was also Mediterranean, and I so fell in love with the region that I needed to return. I visited some of the same places as before, but also many new ones; including my first time in Africa.
Michaelangelo’s David (replica) in Florence
2012 – Caribbean aboard Norwegian’s Spirit
This was my first cruise with my parents. They took the whole family to celebrate their 50th anniversary. I didn’t love the Caribbean, but it was an awesome vacation.
Andy and his fish
Family swim time
2013 – Baltic aboard Holland America’s Eurodam
I love Europe, and decided to expand my horizons with this cruise and see the northern countries. And even though my parents did a nearly identical trip the previous year, they joined us on this cruise.
Private cabana on Eurodam
St. Petersburg, Russia
2014 – Alaska aboard the Grand Princess
My 50th state! This was a cruise with my parents, brother and SIL, and paternal aunt. Alaska is beautiful. We were blessed with wonderful weather – best all summer, according to the crew.
And while this was one of my favorite vacations, it was also the time when my mother began having physical challenges that led to her terminal cancer diagnosis. I am so, so happy that I had this experience with my parents. I am blessed!
Mendenhall Glacier and lake
2015 – European river cruise on Viking
This was my mom’s bucket list trip, and her last vacation. Again, I was incredibly blessed to have this experience with her. But I also have mixed feelings because she never really recovered her strength after getting home. However, it was important to her that she live what life she had left to the fullest, and she accomplished that!
We started in Budapest and ended in Amsterdam. I added 3 new countries to my list on this trip.
Budapest, photo credit: Viking River Cruise website
Wachau Valley, The sun was perfect to “light” up these buildings on the shore
View of the Abbey from the road below. The two towers are the chapel part of the building.
No worries, my cruise craving will be satisfied in January 2017 aboard Norwegian’s Pride of America. I will be sailing around the Hawaiian islands with my dad, DH, both brothers and their wives; and of course my mom will be with us in spirit.
Hopefully 2016 will be the last year I endure an entire year without cruising.