EUROPE 2005         









 It started innocently enough.   "Girls' Weekend out", which had evolved to a week-long cruise in recent years, was slated to be a one week Mediterranean cruise in September 2005.

Mom was so wistful about the trip - it sounded like she might really enjoy coming along.   Little did she know that Barb and I would decide to take her on the cruise as a sort of early birthday present  (Hint - it was to be a milestone birthday, but you'll have to guess from the photos which one it was).

So we planned to fly to Barcelona for a one week Med cruise.

But one thing sort of led to another.

I didn't want to fly to Barcelona, arrive on the day of the cruise, and then fly out again right after the cruise.  I decided that even though Barb couldn't  take off from her Pawmer House Pet Hotel business, Mom and I could still extend our trip.

I let Mom choose a European city that she might enjoy, and she chose Paris.  I told her I would fly to Chicago, join up at the airport, and then fly together to Europe.

Well ... you can't go to Paris for just a couple days.   And then I just had to go to Mont St. Michel ...   So that part of the trip grew to nine days in Paris.

London Mont St. Michel Paris Barcelona The Cruise Ship Villefranche, Monaco, Monte-Carlo Florence & Pisa Rome Sorrento & Pompeii Map of our trip (with clickable hot spots)

Click on the map for our destinations

And then Mom didn't want to fly to the ship, fearing trouble with her ears. So we took the overnight train to Barcelona and spent a couple days in Barcelona.   Another couple days added.

Of course, then there was the 8-days for the cruise, which was the centerpiece of the trip.

Then, when we returned to Barcelona, we spent a day there due to airline schedules.

And then, well, you can't fly directly from Barcelona to Chicago ...  so, since we had to fly through someplace, we picked London.   By now you can predict what happened ...  we didn't want to just change planes in London.   So, we needed to spend another few days there, too

All in all, I think Mom and I were gone for about 26 days.

It turned out to be the best September on record.

French Flag   PARIS   French Flag

Spanish Flag  BARCELONA   Spanish Flag

Notre Dame in Paris La Merced parade in Barcelona

Spanish Flag   French Flag CRUISE Monaco Flag  Italian Flag

 Union Jack LONDON   Union Jack

Aboard the "Splendour of the Seas" Parliament and Big Ben

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