David Butler


David Butler

A few pictures, messages, and thoughts from the road for our friends in family. On our itinerary: Barcelona, Malta, Naples, Rome, Florence, Villefranche, Marrakech, Madrid, Costa del Sol, and Valencia.

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid June 8th 2008

You cannot take a 25 day vacation that includes five counties and two continents and expect to have the family be a picture of health the entire trip. Madrid is where I met my fate. Montezuma’s revenge I could handle, but I wasn’t prepared for the flu. While I only had two days where I was really out of it, it really derailed any Madrid itinerary we had. I was down and out pretty much all day Saturday and Sunday, the days we were expecting to hit the big museums and tourist things. Carrie helped us by getting me to the farmacia and getting me the right meds. It was all over the counter, dispensed by someone whom I’m guessing is not a doctor or a pharmacist, for a grand total of well under 10 euro. ... read more

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid June 6th 2008

Friday night we - yes, you guessed it - did indeed eat babies in Madrid. Delicious, delicious babies. An old friend of my dad’s from back in the day, Carrie Szczerbik, is living in Madrid now, and she took us a little guided of tour of Madrid’s best tapas places. Tapas is a type of eating where they bring you small orders of lots of different types of food. Sometimes you pay for the food, sometimes they just give it you if you get something to drink. So last night we went to this restaurant where we ordered a lot of tapas. We got mussels breads, ham (of course! Spain is crazy for ham!), asparagus, and a HUGE seafood platter! The platter had smelt (some type of baby fish where they fry the entire fish - ... read more
no bones for me

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid June 6th 2008

Ellie- We're back in Spain, and so far it's pretty good. The place we are staying at is like an apartment because it is so big! Our landlord's dog is so cute! He is an Afghan Hound and he looks like a big shag rug! Last night, the taxi driver who drove us from the airport was driving over 150 kmh fast! Once we got to the street our hotel was on, he went in reverse all the way down the street to our street number. That was a bit crazy! ... read more

We spent the day today on an expedition arranged by our host ("host" being the guy that runs the riad, the small hotel we stayed in). We thought we were going for a nice drive to the mountains. Well, the drive was nice. The Ourika Valley is about 70 km from Marrakech and is at the base of the Atlas Mountains. So we're just happy as clams, rumbling out there at about 30 mph in our Mercedes taxi (circa 1974 model, diesel I think, with carpeting on the dashboard and bungees holding the trunk closed), listening to Abdul (the driver), and just living the life. Abdul speaks Arabic and French. I speak English. With an American accent. Turns out my French vocabulary of 50-60 words beat his English vocabulary of, say, 0 words. At least he ... read more

Ellie- Morocco has an excess of three things: people, cats, and mopeds. There are a gajillion cats around every street corner meowing and begging for food. In the town square in Marrackech, there aren't even any stoplights or street lanes! Yet I haven't seen a single car crash or even any road rage. There is this huge marketplace called The Suks, and it is CRAZY! You kind of get used to all of the hawkers and people trying to sell you stuff. About the food in Morroco: it's delicous! I have already fallen in love with this dish called Tajine Berbere, which is basically chicken, potatoes, pickles, olives, and saffron(which makes everything turn yellow!) piled into this special kind of pot called a tajine. It is sort of like a primitive slow-cooker. My mom has discovered ... read more

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona June 1st 2008

Yes its right! I Anna D. Butler have survived Kids Club for 1 WEEK! I made lots of friends.Freinds from flordia, U.K,Malta, and New york. Names are Sara, Miranda, Eloise, Jessica, and Natasha. The first day I met Eloise and Miranda, and Electric(Erik) one of the counselors!. The second day it was Sea Day so that was fun, it was Create Your own Crusie ship! so when I was ready all the pairs were taken except for the spainish brother and sister it was hard to work with them, but they liked my artwork. The third day was just a day at the pool I can't think of the things I did at kids club.The third day I stayed for late night. I was the only kid from my group that stayed for late night but ... read more
anna slide
ellie slide

Very nice day in the south of France, visiting the small town of Villefranche. Nowhere to dock, so we were tendered ashore in a little ferry boat. Easy to understand why this area (near Nice, Monte Carlo, Monaco) gets so many rave reviews - beautiful, quiet, and peaceful. We spent a couple hours ashore while we walked around and let the kids stick their feet in and splash around the cool Mediterranean waters. After that it was back to the ship for a couple of very stressful hours hanging out at the pool.... read more

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Pisa May 30th 2008

A forecast of rain most of the day kept us from taking the 2 hour bus ride to Florence. Instead we opted for a quick 20 minute drive to Pisa - and we loved it. Great town, much smaller than we might have expected. The leaning tower was beautiful, not to mention very cool! In our first "it's a small world" moment of our trip, we ran into a woman from Nashville buying gelato in Pisa. Go figure!... read more

Europe » Italy May 29th 2008

Took the bus for the almost two hour drive to Rome today. We had about 5 hours in the city, but a midday rainstorm limited us to three things: The Colosseum, lunch (pizza again!) and Trevi Fountain. The scale of the Colosseum was huge - felt as bit as Wrigley Field, but built about 2100 years earlier. Trevi Fountain was also much larger than expected and we all contributed the Roman economy by tossing in some coins. The pizza was great but the gelato was better. Today has dented my belief that Italy is a horribly managed county. Naples was really disappointing - all the graffiti, the trash, every sidewalk and street in neglect and disrepair. But the ride to Rome was actually nice. Not just scenic (which it was, with great views of the Mediterranean), ... read more
trevi fountain
3 happy

Europe » Italy » Campania » Naples May 28th 2008

As our first of three stops in Italy, we were disappointed with Naples. It was as dirty and smelly (and the people as indifferent) as rumored. Graffiti and trash literally were everywhere - no building or street was spared (that we saw). We walked the city for a couple of hours and the best we can say is that the Napoli margherita pizza is without a doubt the best we've ever had. Hey, that's something anyway!... read more
dining on board

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