Exploring Croatia's Coast Aboard the Norwegian Jade

"It is not that life ashore is distasteful to me. But life at sea is better."

Sir Francis Drake, Sea Captain George

I do love cruises!  I really like seeing the coast line when I arrive at different destinations.  I also like exploring different areas that I'm unsure if I would like to visit for a week or two versus just a day trip.  During my seven day Mediterranean cruise we visited two cities in Croatia including Dubrovnik and Split.

I had thought that immediately going on a cruise after a 12 1/2 hour overnight flight from Florida to Italy would be a good idea.  I was really jet lagged during the majority of my seven-day Mediterranean cruise.  One would think that with how much I travel that I am good at dealing with jet lag.  That is not the case!  I know that it is not a good idea to take a nap immediately after arriving in Europe where the time is six hours ahead but I just can't seem to stop myself.

I learned that going on a cruise immediately after arriving in Europe after a long overnight flight is not the best idea - at least for me.  There are too many opportunities to nap and eat too much which makes me want to sleep even more.  Upon reflection, I would spend a couple of days near the port before boarding the ship and do my best to acclimate to the new time zone.

Here are a few snaps I took of Dubrovnik Croatia from the balcony of my cruise ship.  Thank goodness I splurged on a balcony which really wasn't that much more sailing with Norwegian.  I flew into Venice and went directly to the port to board my ship.  Luckily I was escorted to my room soon after arriving at the port and was able to take a nap - I am a BIG baby when it comes to long flights and dealing with jet lag!




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Visiting the Magical Greek Island of Santorini Again With New Eyes


 Going on a Mediterranean cruise was at the top of my bucket list this year.  My choices were to leave from Rome, Venice or Athens.  I chose to leave from Venice as I knew I would want to spend some time there once I got back.  I had only been to Venice for a couple of days a few years ago and it rained the entire time.   

I also wanted an itinerary that visited the Greek island Santorini.  Although I visited there two years ago I was very sad while I was there.  I learned that our Black Lab named Shadow, who was around 16 years old, was extremely sick as my plane was boarding in Athens.  I could not have made it home on time to say goodbye to him.  It would've cost $3500 for a one way ticket to get home. 

I did think about just going home as I felt terrible that my husband was alone.  We knew shadow had been very ill for a long time, but I really didn't think anything (or hoped) nothing bad would happen when I was so far away. 

                                                          Here is the post I wrote about what happened: 

What Do You Do When a Tragedy or Emergency Happens at Home While Traveling?

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My Earth Day Post: How Becoming a Vegetarian Can Help Our Planet

Retaurant-411940_960_720I took the above photo while I was in Oia on Santorini island in Greece eating a meatless dinner.

First of all I want to say I am not trying to talk down to people who eat meat or convince everyone who reads this to become a vegetarian tomorrow.  Maybe a few people will start thinking about becoming a vegetarian one day or eat less meat such as trying "Meatless Mondays".

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Visiting the Magical Village of Oia on Santorini

 Pano (1 of 1)-190The Above photo is Oia around sunset

I mispronounced Oia the first few days I was there.  It was not until the last couple of days of my visit that I learned the correct way to say it.  Oia is pronounced E-ah not Oy-a as I pronounced it my first few days there.

I think everyone pictures this beautiful picturesque part of Santorini when they think of Greece.  It truly did take my breath away.  The views are absolutely incredible.   The colors are stunning and the architecture is very unique.

 I would like to visit again someday under different circumstances if you read my previous posts you know that it was difficult to enjoy this island paradise as much as I could or should have.  Everywhere I looked I wanted to take a photo.  This post will mainly be photos not only because I took so many, but because I obviously think that a picture says a 1000 words. 

One thing that is important for people who are considering visiting Oia or Santorini to know is the dates that most of the hotels and restaurants are open.  I was surprised to learn that most hotels and restaurants close around November 1st and do not reopen until around March 1st.  There are still a few places to stay and eat, but just not as much to do.  Hotel prices in Oia range from about $200 - more than $10,000 a night depending on the time of year.

I was fortunate enough to receive two editor's choice awards from Pixabay.  Here are the links to the photos: 




This is where I had breakfast every morning:

Pano (1 of 1)-130pink flowers everywhere

Pano (1 of 1)-380July  is a very busy time ofthe in Oia.  I was very lucky to come across an empty street in the afternoon:

Pano (1 of 1)-380This is typically how the streets look in the afternoon:

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Pano (1 of 1)-380Donkeys can be seen walking around town several times a day causing quite a spectacle:

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   Pano (1 of 1)-191Here is a beautiful church I found and went into.  I followed a VERY young boy in who bowed once inside.  I followed suit.

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Pano (1 of 1)-374Here is one of the blue domes that everyone sees in paintings and or envisions when they think of Santorini:

Pano (1 of 1)-221My favorite place to eat dinner with an awesome view:

Pano (1 of 1)-218Being a vegetarian, I eat a lot of greek salads at home.  They tasted much better here.  Perhaps it was the homegrown olives.  I'm sure the amazing view helped too!
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Pano (1 of 1)-218Me at my favorite restaurant:

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Pano (1 of 1)-218My travel charm bracelet with the blue floral bead I bought in Santorini and a few more random photos:

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I really would like to visit Santorini again when I can enjoy it more than I did this time.  Have you ever been to Santorini?  If so did you enjoy it?  Thank you so much for stopping by and have a wonderful week my friends!



Seeking Solace With Santorini's Cats at Kamari Beach

 “You can judge a man's true character by the way he treats his fellow animals.” ― Paul McCartney

It did my heart good to see how well cats are treated on the island of Santorini in Greece.  While I was there I visited a restaurant several times where there were several kittens and cats. After what happened in Bali last year:  “Knowing it and seeing it are two different things.” ― Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay , I told myself that I was going to avoid all stray cats and kittens because I couldn't take the heart ache of having something happen again like in Bali.  

I told the owner at this restaurant that I was  going to go buy a big bag of cat food for the cats that I saw lounging around on a couch in his restaurant.  He seemed offended and said "I feed and water them every day".  It did my heart good and restored my faith in humanity for a while.  I went back there more than once.  I needed to seek the solace and comfort get away from the tourists given the fact that this vacation was not what I had expected it to be.  If you read my last post:  What Do You Do When a Tragedy or Emergency Happens at Home While Traveling?  you know what I'm talking about.  The food was wonderful the service was great and I highly recommend that you stop by this restaurant if you are ever in Santorini.  I just wanted to write about this wonderful experience because it did help me get through a tough time.   Yes, I was on a beautiful tropical island and I had my camera so I was able to take pictures, but in all honesty I couldn't wait to get home.  

Santorini is an incredibly beautiful island and I would like to believe that someday I can go back and truly enjoy it.  Having said that, the world is a big place and there are many other places I want to see you as well.  

Visiting this restaurant was one of the bright spots of my vacation in Santorini.  Thank you to the owner for taking such great care of those cats.  As you can see they are very happy and healthy looking,  

I was very happy to learn about a group on Santorini that helps the numerous strays on the island.   Santorini Animal Welfare Society (SAWA) is an animal welfare association this gorgeous island. They are a small organization and mainly focus on spay/neutering which is extremely important in stray populations.

Here are some photos of Kamari Beach:

Pano (1 of 1)-337I loved the colorful boats and cabanas all over the beach!

Pano (1 of 1)-337It's a very popular place!
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Pano (1 of 1)-337I loved watching the kids play on the rocks
Pano (1 of 1)-337Kamari Beach is a really relaxing area away from the crowds of Oia
Pano (1 of 1)-337There were many, many nice restaurants overlooking the sea
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Pano (1 of 1)-337The beaches are a little rocky - I live near Clearwater Florida where the sand is like baby powder so it's just different to me.
Pano (1 of 1)-337It was nice strolling down the streets lining Kamari Beach
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Pano (1 of 1)-323I found this pretty church on one of the side streets

Pano (1 of 1)-323I also found some nice boutiques with pretty clothes and a happy cat :)

Pano (1 of 1)-323Then I found  a nice, away from the crowds restaurant named Koutouki tou bekri AKA as"cat heaven: 
Pano (1 of 1)-323They were allowed inside out of the hot sun and allowed to rest on a nice and comfortable couch.
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My two very well behaved and entertaining dinner companions:
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Pano (1 of 1)-323Kissing kittens:

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For dinner I had sparkling water with lemon ( my usual) and grilled halloumi cheese with tomatoes and pita.  Very yummy!
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And my favorite apple pie with just "a little" ice cream ;)

Pano (13 of 15)Here is their contact information if you want to visit them which I highly recommend!

Pano (1 of 1)-323Playful, happy, and healthy kittens!
Pano (1 of 1)-323Below is a beautiful table handcrafted by the owner:
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 I will leave you with the message I left in their guest book:

Pano (1 of 1)-323 Thank you so much for your visit.  As always, your comments and or questions are always appreciated.  have a wonderful week my friends!