Santa Cruz, California, October 28th, 2014

Santa Cruz, California, October 28th, 2014

Monday, June 24, 2013

Jennifer and Her Mom's Excellent Adventure!!! Part Uno.

Annnnnnnnnnnd we're off!!!

June 7th, Day One of the trip, took me to Toronto on a fairly calm flight. We landed, I got my suitcase and caught a shuttle to a hotel so far off the beaten path that I was STUNNED the shuttle bus driver knew where to go!!

I got there in the early afternoon, checked in, scanned the room and dropped onto the bed. 

Some college friends and I had decided months ago to have a mini-reunion dinner at the hotel. I was somewhat trepidacious, but I remembered that grace grows, whereas memories fade. It was a fantastic time of story-telling and getting caught up with old friends, seeing how God has shaped them and hearing about theri families was great. And so was remembering that who I was in 1982 bears only a genetic similarity to who I am now. 

Mom was due to arrive at 6:30 ish, so I hovered between conversation in the dining room and looking way over at the front desk and seeing if she'd arrived. I hadn't seen her in two years, so when I saw her at the front desk, I hopped up from my chair and flew to her! It was SO great to see her !!

I got her set up in our room and left her there to chill a bit before she joined us for not bad food, HOURS of lively conversation and lots of laughter.

That night after finally saying our goodbyes to almost everyone at the table, I said to Mom "It feels like we've come to Toronto to visit, and now we're going home."
"I know, dear, it does feel like that, doesn't it?"
It was kind of hard to get to sleep. So I read quite a bit of Beth Vogt's "Catch A Falling Star". Hmmmm. That girl can WRITE!!!

We joined a few of the friends who'd stayed at the hotel overnight, for breakfast, then sent them on their merry ways. Mom and I had a late check out of 2pm, so we hung out in our room, then packed our bags and took a shuttle to the airport. 
Our flight was due to leave at 8:45pm, so we wandered around, then FINALLY went through security and left the real world behind.

After a fairly easy flight and a great time chatting with Vanessa, the awesomest flight attendant EVER, we landed in Spain.

Spain? Say it with me, "SPAIN".  
Thanks to my Kindergarten Spanish, we found a cab and learned that there are honourable cab drivers in Barcelona. Our driver, Juan Carlos, was livid that another cab driver had tried to charge some tourists 100 Euros for a drive into town. The standard rate was 45 Euros. Mom was rather concerned until I explained everything. Score one for Jennifer's very basic Spanish!!

The Hotel Dante was lovely, as was the city. But Jennifer and Mom were WASTED. So instead of touring around on Sunday afternoon, we slept. The hotel dinner was umm, pricey, but what could we do? Nada, that's what. So we ciao'd down on fairly good food that cost an eyeball and used the free Wifi to update our hubbies.

It wasn't too hard to get to sleep, even though we were GIDDY with excitement!!

We had a delicious breakfast and then headed for our ship, the Equinox. 
Okay, look in the middle, where the balconies jut out, go up 3 decks and then go over to the 2nd lifeboat from the right. We were in suite 8227. I highly recommend the middle of the ship for avoiding sea-sickness.

We found the restaurant and had an unbelievable lunch!! 

Which did not include this. 

And guess where our first stop was?
(yes, it technically WAS the washroom at a gas station along the "motorway"...)

But think again...

That's right...The Eternal City herself...



  1. Welcome back! Sounds like the beginnings of a wonderful trip!


  2. Oh my lands, SO fun to experience this vicariously!!! So glad you and your mom had such a blast. Can't wait for the next post! The Coliseum is something to see, n'est ce pas??? Just thinking about the history there...

    1. The Colosseum is amazing!!! And we had a total blast, like, OUT THERE kind of fun.

  3. You know how to have a good time and enjoy it, which is more than half the trick of traveling. And you know how to write about it, keeping us keenly interested. Encore!

    1. Thanks, D! Yes, there will be an encore, quite a few of them, actually.

  4. This sounds wonderful from beginning to - middle!

  5. Oh man, so much trouble fighting jealousy right now!!! :)

    1. I know that feeling. But think of it this way...nah, I got nuthin'.

  6. Glad you had a wonderful trip!

  7. So glad you found an honest cab driver. God bless him. I know all about natives trying to take advantage of tourists. And yeah, I completely understand the jet-lag feeling. Don't blame you at all for handing over an eyeball for food when you feel like that. ;-)

  8. He was very nice, but was furious that the other guy was giving them all a bad name. My little bit of Spanish went a long way, he was happy that I tried!
    Jet lag is a butt kicker!

  9. My two favorite lines: "...but I remembered that grace grows, whereas memories fade." and "Okay, look in the middle, where the balconies jut out, go up 3 decks and then go over to the 2nd lifeboat from the right. We were in suite 8227." Only women describe things in such way. I am also realizing I wish I would have taken Spanish in Kindergarten. Instead, I will lean on my Sesame Street Spanish (uno, dos, tres....) Since I can't figure out how to get my profile on here, I'll identify myself ~ Shari

    1. Hey Shari! Welcome to TFTR!
      I thought I was giving good directions. Unlike a guy who'd say "in the middle".
      I probably would get kicked out of kindergarten Spanish, but at least I got us to the hotel. ;)