We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Time off for good behavior

This week I celebrated my one year anniversary of my new knee. As a reward for getting through a pretty tough recovery last winter, we decided we'd get out to see some of the world this winter.  We planned a couple of escapes to places we've had on our wish list for awhile, so we're packing our bags and will be off  exploring.  One of the big motivations for us moving to Italy was our desire to see more of Europe. You can certainly travel cheaper from this side of the Atlantic. It's time to take advantage of it.

We spent 8 fabulous days on Santorini island in Greece at the end of September, kind of an early adventure- I know, I did say we were traveling over the winter. BUT- I didn't want to miss the opportunity for a little sun and swimming, so Greece ( phase 1 of the great get away)happened early.

Today we're packing our bags for Phase 2 of the explorations. Tomorrow morning we're headed to Prague in the Czech Republic for several days, followed by a quick overnight stop in Karlovy Vary before boarding an AMA Waterways River Cruise down the Danube on the 25th. The cruise starts in Nuremburg and ends in Budapest with several stops along the river in between. After disembarking, we have 2 more days in Budapest before heading back to Venice.  Here's our route:

Back in 1999 we did a driving trip through the Rhine and Mosel areas of Germany. Every day we'd see these long low boats cruising slowly up and down the rivers, and thought that would be a wonderful way to see the area. We filed that away on our wish list. Finally, it's time! However, instead of the Rhine or Mosel again, we chose the Danube river so we could see a few different cities en route.

I'm tickled pink at the thought of seeing some German/Austrian Christmas markets firsthand this year rather than just hear about them from friends. I'm super excited to finally visit Vienna, a place I've wanted to visit for more years than I can count. And I'm anxious to set foot in Budapest, one of my great grandfathers immigrated from Hungary. I hope they are ready for me! We are really looking forward to eating schnitzel's, bratwursts, strudel's and lebkuchen.  Mike is also ready to try some of those world famous Czech beers.

I recently got a new Ipad so I've been fiddling with making sure I can get my photos uploaded, and can create a blog post using it.  We should have internet on the ship along the way, I should be able to keep a travel journal of sorts.  Cross our fingers!

While I have a little adventure just ahead of me to look forward to, I have to admit I am  not happy to be missing Festa Della Salute on November 21. And Christmas lights have been going up all over Venice this past week. Babbo Natale will be hanging from windows and terraces by the time we return.   Most days I feel like I am on vacation, I don't really have a big pull to leave here. But, we do need to see the world.  What can I say, my heart is here in Venice. I'll have coming home to look forward to!


Rob C said...

Wow, you've both become true Europeans now, taking your vacation in your own continent!!
Bon Voyage both, have a great time, we'll hopefully see you sometime over Christmas!!


karen said...

Rob- we will definitely get together when you are here. Make sure you send me the dates you're in Venice! See you soon.

Michelle said...

I'm so excited for you! I can't wait to read all about it! Enjoy!

Buon Viaggio!

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

A year already, where did it go! Enjoy your travels look forward to hearing all about it. I have embarked on a new blog to share our recent travels!

Dianne said...

When we lived in Europe, we also took advantage of the nearness of things to do a lot of traveling. While we never did a Danube cruise, I have heard that it is great fun and you will see so many neat things. I remember those Christmas markets (and the food at them - yum!). Have a great time -- we will look forward to your posts.

Michelle said...

I'm imagining you floating along the Danube...when I think of those river cruises I hear Smetana's Moldau playing in my head.
I'll be in Venice next year to see those Christmas lights being hung with glee. I'll be watching with glee and enjoying maybe getting a few visits with you in person.
Have a lovely time.
Michelle (the Seattle one)

The Lovely Betty said...

Have been "lurking" on your blog all year as I have been planning our trip to Venice Dec. 24-31. Was so happy to read you were doing the Danube Christmas Market cruise because we are too - ours is Dec. 9 (Prague)- Dec. 19 (Budapest) on Amadolce. We will have 6 extra days in Vienna before flying to Venice. Looking forward to your comments on the river cruise.