Sunday, October 02, 2011

Mediterranean Cruise - Day 8 & 9: Day at Sea & Barcelona, Spain

Friday was our one day that we had at sea.  We spent the entire day on the ship, which I had figured would bore me to death, but it ended up being a nice reprieve after such a busy and exhausting week.  

Dave and I slept until 10:30 that morning, which is something I haven't done since college, I think.  We went to a late breakfast/early lunch and then made our way to the pool deck.  We secured some chairs and then went over to watch the flowrider competition, which wasn't too interesting.  Afterward, though, Dave had a chance to do the flowrider 3 times.  It looks pretty tough.  I would have loved to do it if no one was watching me... I just can't get myself to the point of doing things like that in front of a bunch of people.  While he finished up there I went back to our chairs and read my book in the sun.  It was lovely!

We sat there for a while, then went to the room to pack and get dressed for the final cocktail reception and dinner.  We ate with Alan and Amanda (from Nashville) for our last dinner on the ship and had a really nice time, as usual.  Since dinner was so late, we went off to bed right afterward because we were scheduled to depart the ship at 7am the next morning.

Saturday morning we got off of the ship at 7 and helped everyone in our group weigh their luggage (I bought a luggage scale a year or so ago and it was definitely a good $20 spent), then went to check in.  As soon as we got to the checkin line, we were told that they had overbooked the flight and were looking for volunteers to be bumped.  Bryan and Dena-Marie immediately volunteered.  I hesitated because I didn't really think it was an option for us, but ultimately we volunteered and asked if we could get home earlier than 8:45pm on Sunday.  They switched our flights and got one to get us home by 12:30pm on Sunday afternoon - at that point it was a no-brainer!  $500/ in airfare, hotel, food & transfers in Barcelona... and most of all an extra day to actually see Barcelona!  We were jazzed!

After finally getting settled in our hotel, the 4 of us went out to explore the city.  Bryan and Dena-Marie had been there for a week last summer so they were our tour guides.  Dave navigated our way on the Metra...  our first stop was the Segrada Familia, which is absolutely incredible.  This temple is amazing and the pictures we took cannot begin to do justice to seeing it in person.  From there we went to the beach and sat there for a couple of hours.  We drank some beer and swam in the Mediterranean Sea (how awesome is that?)!  And from there we walked down Port Val to Las Ramblas, did some shopping, found a place to have tapas, and did some more shopping and went back to the hotel.  It was the perfect, relaxing way to end our trip and I'm in love with that day!

Sunday morning we flew out of Barcelona at 7:30am to Paris, ran through the entire Paris airport to catch a flight that left less than 1 hour after we landed, flew 9 hours to Chicago and finally saw our girls at 1:45pm!  It was amazing. They are so beautiful and I missed them more on this trip than I had on any of our other trips combined.  I think because they are now at ages where we could have done this trip with them and they would have been awesome and it would have been fun... so I felt a little incomplete.  It was so great to see them when we got home!  Dave and I crashed hard by 8:45pm that night - they were still going strong and we just prayed that they would stay in their room, fall asleep at a decent time, and not burn the house down :)  All was good the next morning... but Dave and I didn't feel normal until Thursday.


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