Now that it’s essentially finalized, here’s our itinerary:
Get on a plane in Minneapolis at 4pm. Attempt to sleep. (We booked Delta’s ‘Economy Comfort’ seats… pretty sure that’ll be money well spent on an 8.5-hour flight.)
Get off the plane in Paris at 7:30am. Take the AirFrance bus from CDG to Orly. Fly to Rome. Get to our hotel around 4pm and go wander.
Midday sometime, take the train to Civitavecchia, the port about an hour from Rome. Board our cruise ship (Holland America Eurodam), have a seat on our verandah, and drink champagne while we sail off into the Mediterranean. With any luck, the ship will not run into an island and tip over.
Stop in Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy. Take the scenic hike to Portofino. At some point take the ferry back. (The more boats you can go on on vacation, the better.)
Play craps at the famous casino in Monte Carlo. And see the city, obviously, not that we can afford much there. Oh, and the Grand Prix route!
Barcelona. The only must-see there is La Sagrada Familia, and then we’ll just be excited to wander around seeing the city. Our ship doesn’t leave til 11pm, so we’ll get to experience a bit of evening entertainment as well.
Day at sea! That means we’ll probably do things like go to trivia, take a class, have seven meals, hang out in the sports bar, play basketball, sit in deck chairs and read, and go to the pool. Since it’s one of the fancy dress-up nights on the ship, we’ve also made reservations for dinner in one of the nicer restaurants.
Tunis. (NEW CONTINENT ALERT!) I’m most excited about this stop. We’re going to see the ruins at Carthage, Sidi Bou Said, and the medina.
Trapani, in Sicily. I realized that I know almost nothing about Sicily, but everything I’ve read says to just wander around, see the city, and try the local food. Sounds like a good plan. Also we want to take the cable car to Erice.
Arrive back in Rome at 7am. Spend the day doing more Rome-touristy things, and possibly Vatican City if we have time.
Fly to Paris in the afternoon. Pick up rental car. Drive to Brussels. Have beers with the monks who make it, if we’re lucky.
See Brussels and possibly Bruges, if we feel like driving there. Is it weird to be more interested in hanging out in Brussels than, say, Paris? Because I am.
Monday 5/14 – Wednesday 5/16
Take the Eurostar through the Chunnel sometime in the afternoon Monday. (I CAN’T WAIT.) Wander around London for three days. Hope that people don’t think we’re going to the American Bar just because we’re Americans. The Olympic construction will be mostly done, so we can see that too!
Take the train back to Brussels and reclaim our car and belongings (we’re backpacking in London). Go be tourists in Belgium/France and end up in Paris sometime that night.
See Paris. Demand that Matt wear a French sailor shirt all day.
Get up way too early, drop off the car at the airport, and fly home. We have a layover in Chicago on the way back, so that last hour-long leg is going to hurt a little.
Attempt to recover from jet lag and resume normal life.
If you have any must-see suggestions in any of these places, let me know!