Focus On Fun Travel

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Post Christmas Dreams

Christmas 2010 has come and gone!  I continue to be amazed at how quickly this year has passed, and 2011 is almost upon us.  Barbi and I, here at Focus On Fun Travel, have been hard at work for everyone who has discovered us. Our desire to help everyone discover this One Beautiful World, is what drives us.  We too want to share in what is out there see, smell, and revel in.  When we watched, The Bucket List, we started to keep lists ourselves. 

This year, we also have experienced some awesome wonders, such as: 
  • A Transatlantic Cruise on the Crown Princess from Ft. Lauderdale to Rome. We were a little apprehensive in not knowing what to expect crossing the Atlantic ocean for 8 days, but since, there are no regrets.  What glorious, restful days these were, on such a beautiful ship. Reading a book on our balcony stateroom. Enjoying Sushi in the Piazza, while listening to some entertainment. Naps with the gentle rolling of the sea, sometimes with the balcony door open. Meeting new friends, sharing first class cuisine for dinner, and watching world class nightly entertainment.  By the time we had stopped in our 3rd port (Barcelona), we were ready for more relaxing sea time.
  • Entering the Sistine Chapel after standing in a hard rain.  Once we arrived in Rome, after enjoying some of the most beautiful sites in the world (Gibraltar, Alicante Spain, Barcelona Spain, Marceille France, Livorno (Pisa and Florence) Italy), we were only anticipating all that we would get to see while we were here. It was a very rainy day, May 15, but we were excited for all that awaited us. The walk through the Vatican Museum, shown at left, was just the beginning.  Even though the crowds were huge, the amazing artwork displayed here was almost overwhelming. Hardly any space was not taken up with some type of painting.  If you wanted to, you could stop and just stare at what was in front of you.  From here were eventually ended up in the Sistine Chapel, which is a place that you cannot take pictures or video.  It was dark here, so pictures would have been difficult, but still the wonder of Michaelangelo's masterpiece can only be experienced.  From here, we entered St Peters Basilica, with its enormous roof, and again, more artwork to excite the senses. Statues, Paintings, tile work...WOW!  It was almost a relief when we left to go outisde to St Peters Square.  Now we find that all of Rome..almost, is one big museum of art.  Buildings are not immune from the master's hands.

  • Meeting a dear friend outside the Collesium. Saturday was Rainy all day, but we managed just fine with umbrellas, shops, and the metro. Our hotel was about 3/4 mile from the entrance to the Roman Forum, where the Collesium is. Sunday was sunny and absolutely beautiful.  After attending a local church, which I highly recommend, as it is all part of the experience, we had previously arranged to meet a former exchange student of ours, who lives in Germany. She decided to meet us in Rome! How cool is that? And what better place to meet, than at the Collesium.
Meeting Olga was truely the highlight of our trip. It was a tearful reunion that will always be remembered and cherished, as we had not seen each other for 9 years.  Facebook can only do so much.  There is nothing better than a hug and rubbing shoulders with a loved one.  To the right is the 3 of us in the metro station.  Our time together was much too short.  Notice my hat?  It was better than an umbrella and easy to pack. Just roll it up!
But this trip wasn't the only bucket list item we fulfilled this year. There are grand and glorious things to see right here in the United States, and we took the time as a family to enjoy some time with friends, who were our guides, in Northern California.  I honestly don't believe there is a single person out there who would not enjoy seeing the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. 
Taking a ferry ride to explore Alcatraz Island for the day.
Sampling some world renouned cheese in Sonoma. Tasting perfectly aged wine in this cousin of Italy, which is the Napa and Sonoma Valleys.  Seeing for your own eyes, a movie icon and most dangerous beach, Goat Rock State Park. 
Wondering up to the Harbor seals that are lounging nearby.  Gazing up in Awe at one of the many Redwood Forests in Northern California, such as the Armstrong Grove shown here.

Our personal bucket list, I believe, is very dynamic, as we find that we can add things to it when we discover places we did not know were there, just by driving down the road.  And though I, like Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, wanted to have lunch at the Great Pyramids, or unlike them, want to climb to the top of Mont St. Michal, dive in the crystal waters of greece, walk the streets of Jerusalem, spend an evening in an Irish Pub, Stare in the face of a Beef Eater, float down the Danube River, dive for pearls in Bora Bora, Barbi and I will continue to take it one year at a time.  Looking back at 2010, even though it flew by, we had a great year for family memories.  And it is the Family memories that you can take with you when you go, not the souvenirs.
So, What is your bucket list of dreams and why?

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