Day 12 // Capri is for mi

Lasstt post about the trip! ūüė¶

This is definitely my second favorite place (first Barcelona) that we went to on this trip. Our ship docked in Napoli, and from there we took about a 30 minute ferry to the beautiful isle of Capri.

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The Blue Grotto is always something I’ve wanted to do, but it is so busy with tourists it would have turned out to be a 4+ hour excursion. ¬†After the two long days of going on tours we didn’t feel like doing something like that; we wanted to relax and just enjoy the town!

We took the funicular up to the main center

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Billionth picture of me overlooking some fantastic location.

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Capri is known for their lemons, and I enjoyed the best lemonade slush I’ve ever had

DCIM100GOPROpretty pretty-and quite expensive sights! From designer stores to five-star hotels.

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s/o to daddy ong for taking these candids

love love love.  We were desperately craving the beach so we hit the rocky shores

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#gopro

I’ll have to admit that I was a little uncomfortable at first with the rocks-not something I’m used to! But after swimming in the salty waters all my worries went away ūüôā This would be the perfect place for a honeymoon or if I ever had a need to just getaway from everything.

Some lemon gelato before we headed back to the ship to head home!

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We spent the whole next day at sea to land back in Barcelona where our flight would be.

I am so fortunate to have gone on such a dream of a trip. ¬†I didn’t think my love for traveling could have grown anymore than it did, but I was so so wrong. ¬†I just want to jump into new places and soak everything in; I think traveling is something you have to do even if you life it or not. ¬†It just opens your eyes and overall perspective on life-to put that in the most clich√© way possible.

So what am I going to write about now? hahaha subscribe and find out ;P ‚̧

Much Love,

Maddi

Day 11 // Roma

Roma mi amores! Where is my Paulo?

Our tour guide that day was named Paulo, very very Italian man.  Rome is a must see there is no doubt about it, I mean, by the number of impacted tourists I think you could guess that.  We trekked through the Colosseum to the Vatican!

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The Colosseum was built with bronze holdings…later the people returned to take the bronze, hence the holes all over the place!

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the underground tunnels for the gladiators

the underground tunnels for the gladiators

smirkin' as usual

smirkin’ as usual

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It amazes me how this was built in such an ancient time.  All types of animals, even elephants :,( would be brought in to fight against the Gladiators.  They even used to flood the inside and bring ships in for a water battle.

Many of these go-to sites were going under major renovation, I tried to avoid taking pictures of the scaffolding or construction sights in¬†the Colosseum, but it was impossible with the Trevi Fountain ūüė¶

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sister was so so heartbroken, she even shed a little tear. ¬†It is going under over a year of reconstruction! ¬†We we’re bummed but it didn’t stop us from tossing in a¬†coin into the little pool they had. oh whale.

Then we experienced the most picturesque lunch on the trip, rooftop style ūüôā

crazy-chick fantasy: I decided black and white is going to be my wedding color scheme

crazy-chick fantasy: I decided black and white is going to be my wedding color scheme

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another picture overlooking another grand city

Then to the Vatican! Did you know that Vatican City is actually considered its own country?

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courtyard

courtyard

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the steps were built so that horses could run up them! for royals. kind of like their version of an escalator apparently. You can barely see the incline here

Everyone goes because of the amazing architecture and artwork, but honestly it is jaw dropping.  Maybe that is because your head it always looking upwards? idk.lol

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it looks 3D right? but its FLAT.

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But really tho, I got a headache after looking up for so long.¬†I can’t believe Michelangelo spent years looking upwards…and painting something so magnificent. ¬†No pictures or noise were allowed at the famous ceiling of God and Adam..sorry guys!

The Holy Door, only opened every 25 years on the Jubliee Year

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Then into St. Peter’s Basilica

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wowowowowwwww

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Where the pope lives!

"pope-y where you at?"

“pope-y where you at?”

The outside views

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looking out Vatican City

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oh I remember I was so relived to get fresh air haha. Such wonderful sights, but I definitely have to say getting through the entire thing was pretty tough-cramped corners, tons of people, and heat.

Until next time Rome ūüôā

The next post is my very last post about the trip! *sighs* One more gorgeous place! Other than Barcelona it was my favorite, so you’re going to want to go and check it out ūüôā subscribe if you like !

Much Love,

Maddi


oo took another look at this to realize how exhausted (and oily!) I look in these pictures..oh man..haha

it was a tiring day! but no complaints here ‚̧

Day 10 // Pisa and Florence

I remember this was a very long and hot day, but we got in some great sights which made it all worth it. ¬†The ship docked right in the middle between Pisa and Florence, about an hour or so away from each by our tour bus. ¬†Any other time I would’ve thought these long drives to be utterly inconvenient and annoying, but because of late nights on the ship¬†and not much rest I was so grateful to catch some extra zzzs!

Our tour group was smaller, which was really nice.  If there is an option to take a smaller group tour I highly recommend it; it may cost a little more, but it is so so worth it.  More personal, less stressful, more enjoyable-I mean just looking at those massive waves of people gave me anxiety.  We headed out early around 7-7:30am (yikes!) and took about an hour and a half drive to the magnificent Pisa.

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the square

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cute little thing in the back

 

see us?

see us?

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you can still get to the top! But with our time we decided not to do that. ¬†It is smaller than I imagined it to be, although nonetheless awe-ing. ¬†BIG TIP: GO EARLY. We got there around 8am, and you can see there are quite a number of people around, too many to be able to take the pictures without a stranger in the background. ¬†But by 8:30am, the place was entirely flooded; you have to wiggle around people, mostly groups of ‘leaning’ picture takers. ¬†I wish I stopped and took a picture of every person that did that oh-so tourist ‘push’ pose against the Pisa..could’ve made an entire album full (an a very amusing one at that).

It didn’t seem like much time until we jumped back on the bus for a two-hour¬†ride (nap #2!) to Florence!

stopped to look over the city <3

stopped to look over the city ‚̧

After this picturesque moment we headed to the Academia where the infamous ‘David’ stands. ¬†Being one of the most visited cities by tourists, it took a while to get into the museum, and that was with a scheduled visit with a tour. ¬†I guess that is tip #2 ! Tours can be great especially for these tourist¬†saturated, must-see, places. ¬†Everyone wants to see the David, but not everyone at once can enter in the same time (obviously). ¬†Private tours can save you some time and stress-I’m not saying you won’t wait in a line at all, but probably a lot less (and a lot less of a headache) when everything is planned out for you.

The David. ¬†There is so much detail and attention to this one piece-it kind of blows your mind away: the muscles, veins, stance. ¬†David is intended as the ‘perfect’ physique..well except for his oversized hands. ¬†Make no mistake, that was no a mistake (heh)! Completely intended as the focal point by the genius artist. ¬†We were so fortunate to be able to take pictures..and legally! ¬†This is the first year ever that they are allowing photographs to be taken of The David.

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yup booty

yup booty

After gawking for a bit our tour guide we headed back out to the streets.

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Clock Tower

Our route to lunch conveniently took us to the Basilica di Santa Maria de Fiore-the Duomo. ūüôā

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It was at least 95 degrees (F) that day, and by this point I was starving…you can see the shininess of our faces lol. After relaxing we got to spend a little time to shop and wander

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florence is known for their leather

florence is known for their leather..I got a buffalo skin wallet

..and see the bridge!

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Hot day but happy me ūüôā I wish we got to spend more time here to get a real feel for the city. ¬†I guess that means I’ll just have to go back then! ;P

Much love,

Maddi

Day 9 // Monaco

Part 2 ! The bus drove us to the other side of the coast on what is called the Middle Corniche-one of the three (lower and higher) roads that go across the Riviera. pretty views

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We stopped in Monaco-one of the richest countries in the world, and home of the largest number of million/billionaires.  The same royal family has been in rule for over 700 years!  It felt like I was in one of those fake play towns that was just upscaled-everything is so clean and well kept-and very easy(expensive) on the eyes.

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famous Princess Grace married here

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the palace of the prince and his sisters

the palace of the prince and his sisters

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The view of Monte Carlo

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Dad and I really struggled trying to get to Monte Carlo-got lost a couple times-walked, took a ferry, ran, caught a bus. ¬†it really shouldn’t have taken us as long as it did. But after about 45 minutes of wandering we made it. ¬†You can feel the wealth everywhere-the people, the buildings, even the butlers and the buses.

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the world renowned casino

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rolls-royce chillin

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we stopped and ate in the famous Hotel de Paris…I think I’ve said “famous this” about seven times now..it all is! all glamorous.

 

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The parking was more a display of cars: porsche, bentley, mercedes. ¬†Even the taxis¬†were mercedes..no yellow cabs around here. BTW FYI it is impossible to catch a cab here-most of the people rent a cab for an entire day, but the buses are in such clean shape it didn’t even seem like a city bus.

couple more pictures to end…

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apparently this yellow submarine is something to take note of if you ever go!...it has it's own instagram!

apparently this yellow submarine is something to take note of if you ever go!…it has it’s own instagram!

Then a nice ride back to Villefranche taking the high Corniche.  We passed by the little town of Eze on the way back.  I remember being so sleepy on the ride i can hardly remember getting back haha.

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Have a good Sunday!

Much love,

Maddi

Day 8 // Nice, France

The day was spent across¬†the French Riviera-caught a tour that would take us to the expanse from Nice to Monaco. ¬†Our ship ferried us to the little town of Villefranche to start…

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From here it was a bout a 15 minute drive to our first stop-Nice! I could not believe how buses moved in and around this area. ¬†Such narrow streets and close corners-there were some moments I thought we were going to crash into a building completely. ¬†This also made me realize how much I did not like tours, but I couldn’t complain. ¬†It was the best way to be able to reach both the places we wanted to see and keep safely in the amount of time we had-some of the people we met that weren’t on the tour barely made it back to the ship in time. ¬†This tour didn’t guide us through every street either-just a drop off and pick up from the bus.

Nice is very nice ;P .

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wooden playground in the background

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Me and my dad went straight to the beach, which was about a 5 minute walk from the center! It was my very first experience on a rocky shore, and although lounging there did not seem too pleasant in comparison to the soft sands of CA, I enjoyed every minute of it.  There were not many people = not much noise, which allowed you to hear the gentle roll and touch of the stones as the water pulled in and out: very meditating.  Oddly one of my most memorable moments of the entire trip..just soo peaceful.

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wearing two of my best friends on my wrists <3 It's funny..they got me those bracelets on their trips to Europe!

wearing two of my best friends on my wrists

:)

ūüôā I remember being a little nervous because I was afraid I ruined my shoes lol

I also got to check “topless tanning in France” off my summer bucket list ūüėČ ! I’ll spare you the picture of that one though.

Then we strolled back to the center of course to take a gander at the lovely little farmer’s market. ¬†I felt like I was the little Madeline from Paris (the cartoon? coincidence?) and had lived there all my life. ¬†I kept thinking what a relaxing life it would be to have a little apartment here: eat in little cafes, run on the boardwalk, rest on warm stones and cool water, buy groceries from the farmer’s market, etc etc. ugh. I feel the nostalgia coming on.

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more marzipan!

more marzipan! We bought plenty of these (but not the piggys!)

so much detail in just one little bite

so much detail in just one little bite

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how can you go to France and not try some of the local cheese!?

how can you go to France and not try some of the local cheese?

Sweetest 17yr old (like me !) who worked the cheese stand with his aunt.

new friend ūüôā sells local cheese

homemade marshmellows

homemade marshmallows

 and can't forget the macaroons

and can’t forget the macaroons !….BOMB btw

So many lovely tastes and smells; we didn’t even buy souvenirs because we spent most (if not all of our Euro that day) on food! ¬†And¬†then we found the local candy store…

candied fruit in the window

candied fruit in the window

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chocolate animal orchestra !

chocolate animal orchestra !

We enjoyed ourselves so much we lost track of time…which caused us to be a little late for the bus..oops. ¬†The other people on the tour may not have liked us, but I liked Nice ūüôā

More on Monaco tomorrow ūüôā

Much love,

Maddi

Day 7 // Marseilles, France

Marseilles!¬†A town located right on the port. ¬†So cute-very stereotypical of what you would imagine of an old Mediterranean town. ¬†My family didn’t feel like doing the tour thing today (plenty of those the next couple days), so we just took the ferry and ventured off ourselves.

We were first greeted by The Cathedral de la Major

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After walking down the streets for a bit we found the center.  Marseilles is the oldest city in all of France!

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Notre-Dame de la Garde in the background

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We were lucky enough to catch the morning fisherman’s market-locals sold fish they literally caught that morning.

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yeah there are a couple seahorses

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so fresh some were still living !

It was a national holiday that day, so most of the local stores were closed (which we were kind of bummed about).  But at the same time since it was a holiday, not many people were out at all (except for crowds of tourists).  It was nice to stroll the streets without heavy traffic.

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Museum

Museum

We did come across an artisan soap shop that was too cute not to include-Marseilles is known for their traditional soaps made from vegetable oils.

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We stopped for some ‘lunch’ which equaled to a triple scoop ice cream sundae..and that was just for me ;P

met the most charming French waiter.  I think from our faces you can tell how goo-goo eyed we went for this one lol

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While me and my dad wanted to adventure around some more, my little sister wasn’t feeling very well so her and mom headed back to the ship.

We took an attitude of “might as well since we’re here” and decided to hitch the city bus (with a lot of struggle) and took a very windy uphill drive¬†to Notre-Dame de la Garde (remember the last picture?). ¬†It is a beyond GORGEOUS basilica ¬†that sits on top the highest point in Marseilles-looking over the city.

the view

the view

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It was built and designed by architect Henri-Jaques Espérandieu-completed in 1864.

The crypt

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We climbed a narrow staircase..

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I was already pretty amazed by this, so I had comprehension of how blind sighting-ly beautiful the actual chapel would be

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And even though I loved the church, this statue was probably my favorite sight.  Aweing.

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We enjoyed our time coming back down..

enjoyed some street snacks of course

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candied peanuts

All in all, if you’re looking for an exciting place to be and tons of activities to do, then Marseilles probably would not¬†be for you. ¬†But this little fishermen’s town makes for a perfect day trip to enjoy just being in France! ~ (and life and happiness and just..ahh I miss Europe)

Another post from another place tomorrow! pinky promise ‚̧

Much love,

Maddi

Day 6 // onto a cruise…with difficulty

Today we boarded the Liberty of the Seas Royal Caribbean cruise to continue our trip around the Med! Its the second largest boat in their fleet, and I feel like I’m living in another small city-with pool and surfing thingy, gym and sport facilities, spa, theater and art gallery, promenade, clubs and casinos, multiple restaurants and shops, and even a ice skating rink..etc etc. This is my 6th cruise to date, 5th with Royal Caribbean, and probably the busiest one I’ve ever been to-so many people.

It’s a seven day cruise; we unpacked all of our clothing in our suite and went out to discover everything about this place. We are set to head off to Marseilles, France tonight!

Since I am out at sea, it’s impossible to get any wifi until we land in port. And even now or then I don’t know if I’ll be able to get connection to anyone, including the blog! :,( which means these posts may be stalled for a bit. Even trying to write this was a real struggle; I’ll still write and take pictures of course when I get the time! (things are going to be a whole lot busier) But if you don’t hear from me I am sorry my friends. these posts will come whenever I get the opportunity…just maybe the pictures later.

Maybe this no wifi or social media will be good for me; A forced, but much needed detox from all this stuff. I remember last time I went on a cruise the only social media was Facebook-instagram didn’t even exist. But wasn’t it a whole lot easier then?

Hasta Luego ! ‚̧

Much love,
Maddi