A wonderfully relaxing vacation to Greece was just what our family needed. I needed to get away, the boys needed a bit of fun, and Ken needed a break from work ... all was accomplished in one beautiful week on a cruise to Greece.
We flew to Venice, Italy on Friday, August 10. The boys thought it was so cool to take water taxis to the hotel and around town. We had never been to Venice and were pleasantly surpised by how much we enjoyed it. I had heard that it was dirty and the water canals were stinky, but we didn't find that to be the case. Maybe it's seasonal and we got lucky, but we really had a good time. I just love being able to walk a city ... the outdoor cafes, the Murano glass, San Marco cathedral and it's glorious mosiacs, the music, the life of the city ... all were fantastic! The boys liked the views from San Marco Tower, the pigeons in the open squares, and the gelato! Yummm!! The gelato!!! Made me remember our honeymoon (in Italy) where I fell in love with Pistachio and Tiramisu flavored ice cream!!
Here are a few pics from our day in Venice:
Gondolas docked for the evening...
Typical water canal full of gondolas...
Boys enjoying their first gelato! Not sure if Jaden is holding Ken's ice cream, or if he ate two. Jaden can easily polish off two ice cream cones, so no telling.
And I have to share this one ... so funny!!! Jaden is really big into taking pictures with my phone, our camera, or even his DS. Nicholas decided to get in on the action for vacation. He took one picture, here it is:
This is the horse in front of San Marco Cathedral. We were on a balcony that didn't allow us to take a clear shot of the front of the horse, so he took a picture of the horse's rear end. He thought it was HILARIOUS!! And so did we! Nicholas is our little jokester! I just love him (when I don't want to strangle him)!!
On Saturday, August 11, we got on board our cruise ship (Norwegian Jade). It was our first cruise. The food was excessive, the evening shows were fantastic, the kid's club was convenient, and the pool was surprisingly cold (but we're used to very warm pools in Houston and Doha). All in all, we're glad we took a cruise, but not sure we will do another one too soon. Ken thought it was too lazy. I have to agree, after finishing my third book, I got a little bored too.
Here are the highlights in pictures ...
Our first stop was Corfu, Greece. I took a lot of pictures, but can anything be more beautiful than this?? God is amazing!!!! His creation is breathtaking!!
Next stop was volcano hiking in Santorini. The city is high on the cliff in the background of the picture. Our cruise ship is just behind Jaden too.
I was super proud of Jaden for hiking all the way up and back by himself. He wasn't carried once!!! Way to go Jaden!! It wasn't a long or strenuous hike, but it was HOT!!
Of course the highlight for the boys in Santorini was getting to steer the tour boat! The captain was so nice to let our boys "drive."
After Jaden took a turn, Nicholas had the courage to try as well!
Next stop was the beach in Mykonos. The water was amazing, but the boys thought it was cold. (My kids are wimps when it comes to water temperature!) I could have sat here with a cocktail all day!!
Ken rented a jet ski and took the boys out. They had a blast!!!
Last stop was Katakolo (ancient Olympia). The boys love reading The Magic Tree House books and we had just finished reading about Jack and Annie's great adventure to Ancient Olympia right before our vacation - perfect timing! Of course the next book in the series was about the Titanic, not so perfect timing right before boarding a cruise ship!! Oops!!!
Ken and I were surprised by the size of the site of the ruins. It was very impressive and a wonderful experience to see the birthplace of the Olympics while the Olympics were taking place in London!
And finally, a few pictures from the cruise boat. We all enjoyed the evening shows on the boat!!
Jaden acted like he met a celebrity when he saw the cruise director! So cute!
The boys loved the few activities they attended in the kids club. Face painting was definitely the biggest fan favorite. The first time, they painted on super hero masks and made capes out of tissue paper.
The tiger face painting was far more impressive the next day!! Roar!
And why is it that we never seem to remember to take any pictures of us?? We have tons of pictures of the boys and only one or two of us. We need to get better about that!
Hope you enjoyed these handful or so of pictures.
Going through vacation pictures and updating my blog was my treat after I finished unpacking...