Tuesday, December 31, 2013


As part of our day in Naples, we visited the nearby ruins of the city of Pompeii.  We were able to see Mount Vesuvius while the sun was rising from our boat early that morning.
When Mount Vesuvius, the nearby volcano, erupted the city was buried and covered in ash.  Much of the city and objects that laid underneath was well preserved.  
 These stepping stones were how they crossed the street.
 There was such an eerie feeling seeing all the objects and even bodies that had been preserved by the ash.  Such an unbelievable tragedy.  The city was fascinating.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

sorrento, italy

We woke up in the city of Naples and took a bus to a beautiful little Italian city called Sorrento.  A picturesque town snuggled right up against the ocean.  
The streets and the buildings are so beautiful and there is great shopping to be found.  Wes and I just wanted to spend money trying all kinds of food, so we rarely bought things in any of the cities we were in, but we loved browsing.  
 Sorrento is known mostly for their lemons and oranges.  They were some of the biggest lemons I have ever seen.  The produce stands were gorgeous and overflowing with delicious fruits.
After exploring we decided to have our first taste of true Italian pizza for lunch.  There were so many beautiful outdoor restaurants to choose from.  We had a hard time making a decision.
 I think pizza is ruined for me now.  Pizza in Italy is so lite and the cheese is amazing.  Hardly any grease and delicious tomato sauces.  We couldn't get enough.
 The weather was perfect, the gelato was plentiful, and there was so much beauty to behold.  Although we only spent a few hours here it was a place I would love to visit again.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

santorini, greece

Much of Santorini, Greece is built high up on the edge of cliffs.  To get to the city of Fira you have three choices.  You can pay to ride a cable car to the top, ride on the back of a donkey, or walk up steep switch backs.  We decided out of control donkeys weren't for us and wanted to save a few Euros so we decided to walk up.  It was strenuous and we had to step around piles of donkey feces.  Not to mention the out of control donkeys coming down the mountain are running at you and you have to press yourself up against the walls and push them away to avoid being trampled.  It was an adventure to say the least.  
The city of Fira is beautiful, lined with streets and shops.  We spent a bit of the morning walking around and enjoying the sights watching all the little shops and cafes wake up.  
We hopped on a bus to the city I was the most excited for, Oia.  Literally on a cliff, this city is so beautiful with it's white buildings and blue domed roofs.  I instantly fell in love, and was completely speechless.  Gorgeous view on almost all sides of you over looking the ocean.  This city also boasts one of the top ten sunsets in the world.  We didn't get to stick around for that but I could imagine how gorgeous it could be.  I found myself stopping to take pictures at every little opening and viewpoint.  It was such a bittersweet thing because the pictures couldn't capture the beauty I was seeing and I wanted to remember it all.  
We stopped our exploring to have lunch cliffside at a little restaurant.  Since this was our last Greek city we were visiting I had to order a Greek salad to see what it was all about.  The vegetables just taste different there.  Everything was so crisp, fresh and flavorful.  My salad was made of tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, and had a big square of the most delicious feta cheese on top, drizzled with olive oil.  Wes had an amazing tomato pasta dish.  One of the things Greece is known for is their tomatoes and we were savoring every bite.  
We enjoyed the most of the afternoon exploring the little streets.  
We rode the bus back to Fira, strolled around there and tasted some gelato.  
The cable car took us back down.  Is it weird to say this city was life changing for me?  So Beautiful.

kusadasi, turkey

The city of Kusadasi is near the ancient biblical city of Ephesus, the people who resided there were the Ephesians.  We hopped aboard a tour to see these ancient sites.  The first stop was a home that was believed to be the last place where Mary the mother of Jesus lived before she died.  The pope has declared it so.  It was a tiny little brick house that is considered a holy place by many worshippers. 

There is water that runs under the home that is considered holy.  You can fill up bottles to bring home, drink it, wash yourself in it and you will be blessed.  We decided the sick man should probably cleanse his hands with the holy water and couldn't help thinking of Nacho Libre the whole time.  
Outside the shrine in her home you will find a wishing wall where you tie your wishes on fabric or paper to the wall.  We put our own wish on the wall.
Next, we walked through the ancient ruins of the city of Ephesus.  
And of course we had to document their ancient toilet facilities.
The library is so beautiful and detailed.  I was completely blown away by the ancient architecture and detail found on every structure.
 This stadium is said to be a place where the apostle Paul preached to the Ephesians. 
 Back in Kusadasi we explored their grand bazaar, which is apparently the place to shop in europe for all kinds of trinkets, clothing, and shoes.  I fell in love with the turkish rugs that are painstakingly hand made.  They were WAY out of our price range, but so beautiful.  Even the tiny ones they make for souvenirs were expensive.
This little port city made me want to visit Istanbul and other parts of turkey.  It was just a glimpse of so many foreign sights and sounds.