Our memoir begins here:
My Baba has always wanted to go on a Mediterranean cruise. I asked her why just the other day, and her response was simply: “I wanted to see what’s on the other side of the world, and I hadn’t seen that yet.”
She has a point. You know the feeling: seeing something for the first time or around the next corner, even seeing a new chapter of its existence, a new season. Visiting the usual places at familiar times and doing habitual things can give you a sense of comfort, yes, like coming home or your mother’s best recipe, but it cannot give you that something-new, something-wonderful feeling. My Baba and I invariably have one thing in particular in common: drive. When we say we want to be there, we will find a way to make it happen. That drive is the force that fuels our desire to travel.
My sister, Julianna, has always wanted to go to Greece, presumably due to her love of the sea and its beauty, particularly in that area. And me? I’ve always wanted to just GO. Together we presented the idea of a trip to our Baba so she could scratch the Mediterranean off her bucket list and we, as young ladies, would have a more experienced travel partner. Baba jumped on the idea of course, and that would bring us to late-summer 2014.
Pinterest was our friend. Collectively we spent hours making lists of all the places we wanted to see in that region. France was mentioned since it was along that coast, but the idea was thrown out after realizing our budgeted three weeks was just not enough time. We settled on September of the following year in Greece and Italy to avoid the tourists and prices associated with peak season, and the shut-downs in late fall. We had heard from a few sources this happens on the off-season, especially throughout the Greek Isles.
After deciding that cruising was the most cost-effective way of traveling through the Greek Isles, we started our hunt, and in October we booked a cruise. After perusing Pinterest, we decided the islands of Mykonos and Santorini were a must, narrowing our options. Not many “Grand Mediterranean Adventures” went to both little islands. As Princess cruise lines biggest fan, my Baba was ecstatic when we found the perfect Princess cruise that would sail us to our top destinations. Apparently, many people seem to agree with her, and a room for three could not be found. Fortunately, I was able to find an almost identical, lower-priced cruise with Royal Caribbean, departing from Rome…