Happy Birthday Mama--From Malta to Venice with the Family Day 1--Departure


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June 10th 2016
Published: June 10th 2016
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One day I will learn. I walked into my assistant principal's office today and said, "Sage advice. If you are leaving on a two week European vacation, even if you're leaving at 10:00 at night, DON'T GO TO WORK THAT DAY!" to which she replied, "I wondered what you were thinking..." Well I was thinking that I'd have time!! At the moment I am draining my phone battery by creating a personal hot spot so I can relearn how to use this blog site. So far so good. Of course this isn't actually ON the web yet.

A word about what's to come--As I said in the introduction, we are traveling together as a family (minus Andrew, our son, Erika, our daughter-in-law, Nicholas the world's cutest grandbaby--Seriously. I have pictures. I can prove it--and John That, our niece's precious hubby) and meeting up in Malta. My sister Julie and her husband Steve an two of their "kids" (21 and 23) are traveling from San Francisco. Mom, her husband Jack, my brother Michael and his three "kids" (22, 25 and 27) are traveling from Spartanburg, SC, our niece Liz and her fiance Jose have already arrived from Madrid, Spain and Mark and I are heading from Williamsburg to Washington D.C.-Dulles. We are on the road with what a friend of mine calls 50,000 of our closest friends. We left in what we continue to believe was plenty of time and are still not hitting the panic button. It's 6:15, Waze says we'll get to the hotel where we'll park the car at 6:45 and should be at the airport at 7:15, three hours before the flight leaves.

Going to Malta is interesting because, seriously, we know NOTHING about Malta. Mom is part of a study club group where every three or four years she has to study a topic and present a paper. She decided to study Malta since were going to spend a weekend. First thing she found out is that this was the island where St. Paul was bitten by a poisonous snake and lived. The second thing she learned is that there are no snakes on Matla and ever have been. Must have been a very long, skinny rat. I prefer the biblical account. I think this weekend will be some walking around, some sleeping in and some beach time. We board the ship on Monday and set sail for Sicily and then to Capri. All of the excursions are included on Regent Seven Seas except those extra special super cool excursions, available at a "nominal fee." Mark and opted for one "nominal fee" excursion in Sicily (Food and Wine Trails of Mt. Etna) which set us back nearly $400. I think their idea of nominal and mine might be just a teensy bit different. But it should be fabulous.

But first Malta. We will meet up with Julie and Crew in Frankfurt and arrive in Malta together. Mom, Jack and the Spartanburg Crew will arrive late morning/early afternoon and Liz and Jose got there today. Their job is to learn all their is to know about Matla so they can be our food and trails tour guides when the rest of us step foot on the island

Mark and I spent 10 days in Ireland about 8 years ago and I kept my first travel blog on that trip. I have enjoyed going back and reading it so much that I did the same thing when we went to Europe on another family cruise 2 years ago. I want to make it clear that I have NO expectation that anyone will ever read this blog. That some do and have told me they enjoy it is icing on the cake but I pinkie promise, I will never quiz anyone or say, "Didn't you read that? I put it in my blog!" So those who want to read along, come on. I can be witty. Not often but the millennium is fairly young so we've got time. I am so excited to spend this next 15 days with my family in places like Dubrovnik and Ravenna, sites I have never visited or have only been when it was still part of the iron curtain.

Meanwhile, let's just get to the airport!!!

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