the adriatic.

Before I continue on with the rest of today’s post I wanted to make a short public service announcement.  I’ve got some amazing giveaways sponsored by Prima Marketing scheduled for next week.  They’ve sent me a fantastic selection of their gorgeous transfers and I’ll be sharing some projects I’ve finished using the them.  I’ll also be giving away a bunch of them with all three (or maybe more?) of my posts next week, so be sure to stay tuned.

Now, on with today’s entirely unrelated post.

A while back I shared the fact that Mr. Q and I were striking out when it came to planning a trip for this year.  We tried booking five different selections and were denied for each and every one.  It was so frustrating that we decided to quit looking for a while and possibly nix the idea of taking a trip in 2018.  Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be.

Mr. Q and I were discussing this and he brought up the fact that in 2019 we will be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary, so maybe it would make sense to skip a trip this year and plan something really amazing for our 30th.

We looked at the possibility of something a little further afield than Europe, maybe Japan or Thailand.  We were seriously considering this idea and had narrowed things down to a cruise from Bangkok to Bali with an extension to see Angkor Wat (which has always been on my bucket list).  But there were a few things about this trip that made us hesitate.  First, the 20+ hour flight to Bangkok.  Yikes!  That’s a really long time on a plane.  Second, the weather in that part of the world.  It’s basically just a question of varying degrees of hot and humid.  Ugh, my least favorite weather conditions.  Third, the crowds.  I’ve seen beautiful photos of Angkor Wat looking so tranquil, but the reality is that over 2 million people visit annually.  The crowds have become an issue and we’re just not good with crowds.  Finally, the cost.  It was going to be a fairly expensive proposition.

While we were doing all of this research we came across another option that made more sense for us, a cruise on the Adriatic Sea.  We’ve been on the Adriatic before, but this itinerary mainly features ports that we haven’t been to like Valletta (Malta) and Kotor (Montenegro).  Plus a couple of favorites that we are happy to return to, Venice and Monte Carlo.

The day in Venice also just happens to be my birthday.  Who wouldn’t want to spend their birthday in Venice?

This trip is during the off-season (November) and is also on a very small ship, only 670 passengers rather than the 2,500+ on the bigger ships.  So not as many crowds (both on the ship and off), and definitely cooler weather.  Hopefully those things will work in our favor.  Not to mention, travel is cheaper in the off-season.  Our airline tickets were half the price of our previous trips to Europe.

Here are the ports we will visit.

Genoa, Italy where we plan to visit the aquarium.

Monte Carlo, Monaco where we’ve booked a side trip to Eze, France.

Naples, Italy where we’ll visit Herculaneum.

Messina, Italy  where we might do a wine tasting excursion, or possibly a Godfather themed tour.  We’re still contemplating that one.

In Malta we’ve hired a private guide for the entire day.  It looks like such a fascinating place and we really want to see it all.  We had such an amazing time with the private guide we hired in Scotland, so we’re going to splurge this time as well.

We’ll see the famous balconies of Valletta …

Hagar Qim, a megalithic temple complex dating to 3,600 – 3,200 B.C.  How in the world did they move those huge stones back then?  I hope we’ll learn more about that …

Marsaxlokk, a small fishing village known for its colorful boats …

And Mdina, a medieval fortified city.

Mr. Q is looking forward to Kotor, Montenegro where we plan to just explore on our own.

Split, Croatia is another spot that will be easy to navigate on our own.

Ravenna, Italy is famous for its Byzantine mosaics so we plan to take a look at them.  Just look at those beautiful colors!

And finally, our cruise ends in Venice, Italy.  We spent a few days in Venice several years ago with my bff and her husband, so we’ve seen all of the major sites.  This time I want to do something special, plus since it’s my birthday I get to choose what we do!  So we’re hiring another private guide who will take us to some unique spots in Venice that are off the beaten path.

We’re still working out the exact details of our day in Venice, so you’ll have to wait to hear more about that one!

We are really looking forward to this trip, but I’m trying not to wish the summer away hoping that November gets here sooner!  I also have to laugh at myself.  The last time I went to Europe in November I vowed never again.  But we’ll be a bit further south this time so fingers crossed that the entire two weeks aren’t dreary and cold.  And as I like to say, never say never!

In the meantime, be sure to check back next week for the Prima Marketing giveaways!

31 thoughts on “the adriatic.

  1. Wow…this sounds like a fantastic trip. Right up your alley, so to speak. The colorful pictures look great…looking forward to seeing your pictures. But not too soon! Time is going by fast enough as it is!


  2. Sounds like a fantastic trip! What an awesome way to spend your birthday. What a wonderful itinerary. I have always wanted to see the Chihuly glass displays in Venice. Someday 😊


    1. Are there still Chihuly pieces on display in Venice? I can’t find any current info on that. I’ve seen a few of his pieces, including the giant one hanging from the ceiling in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.


  3. Wow, your trip plans get me drooling….every place you mention sounds incredible and your pictures are amazing. I was in Venice and it was not my favorite place because of the “smell”, but the hidden away places sure sound intriguing! I’m sure November will be perfect, hopefully just a light jacket will be needed.


    1. I’ve heard many mentions of a ‘smell’ in Venice, and maybe I’ve just been lucky so far but I’ve been there twice and noticed no smell at all. I’ve never been there on a hot day though, always in spring or fall.


  4. Wow. That sounds like an amazing trip, and one that will meet travel bucket lists! I’m not much of a traveler in my old age, I like being home too much, but something like your trip might take me out of my comfort zone. I went to Greece in March once, and like November it was disappointing because the weather was not very good. But here’s to sunny skies and light winds in November! And looking forward to a Prima giveaway!


  5. I always enjoy your trip photos and the blogs on the adventures. What a great birthday and anniversary celebration. It will be lots of fun for you and Mr Q.


    1. Thanks Janice! I’m planning to post here about each port, much like I did for my last trip. We’ll have to go back to travel post Wednesdays!


  6. Hi Linda, I have an unusual English gate-leg table that I’m thinking about selling. It opens to a rather large 60”x 35” dining room-ish table and the dark wood is in pretty bad shape. But I’m just down Century Av in Oakdale from you if you’d like to take a look. Thanks, Susan Pfund



  7. Must be awesome to have a mother with a travel agent background. Otherwise how does one ever narrow down where to go? I’m pretty much a homebody myself. Weekend trips suffice my travel lust. But good for you and Mr. Q. And, I do so enjoy your travelogues when you return.


    1. I really do owe my love of traveling to my mom. She didn’t find this cruise for us (although naturally she did book it for us), but as soon as I showed it to her she couldn’t stop remarking on what a fantastic itinerary it is. She’s actually the one who recommended the Bali to Bangkok option. She highly recommends both Bali and Singapore and said she loved visiting both. Maybe one of these days we will make it to that part of the world, I just need to somehow talk myself into that 20 hour plane ride!


  8. What a wonderful way to celebrate this special anniversary and your birthday! These places look absolutely amazing. I can’t wait to see all your pics and descriptions of each spot.


  9. What an amazing sounding trip!! And so smart to avoid the crowds and high temperatures .. not to mention big bucks. I bet it will be sunny and 70 every day 😀 !


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