Pompeii, Italy.

We booked our trip to Pompeii just hours before we flew out to Europe - impulsive travel at its best, I like to think. Since Pompeii is just a short drive from Naples, the last stop on our cruise, we decided we needed to experience part of what made our combined years of Latin so memorable. While we explored, it all came back to me in a flood of present participles and declensions. Well, almost all. Or some, at least. 

Our guide didn't fully understand transitional devices, nor did he walk particularly quickly, but he got us to and from our intended destinations. That was something. 
^^Naples from the sea.^^
^^the Palaestra, an area intended for exercise and surrounded by gladiator cells.^^
^^a mix of shops and homes. the shops could be identified by a notch in the entryway signifying that the place had a sliding door, which maximized space.^^
^^raised pedestrian paths to keep feet out of their street sewage system. it must have smelled delightful.^^
^^stairway in a wealthy politician's home.^^
^^and the home's summer quarters, or peristylium.^^
^^city baths.^^
^^and the city forum, with a view of Vesuvius.^^
^^I'll be honest - we felt a little crazy taking a photo in a place where so many people had died. the gawking in general felt pretty crass. that's a discussion for another day (or another blog), and someone offered, so...^^
^^Temple of Apollo.^^
^^and the view from the city.^^

If you're looking for more about Pompeii, History.com is a good resource. Such a fascinating piece of history, and I'm so glad we were able to see it while we were in the Bay of Naples.

A stop in Sorrento and Positano wrapped up our trip - photos to come, if you can handle just a little bit more of Europe. And who can't, really? 


Thoughts from Gus.

Hi friends,

Let me be clear about something. I am not afraid of fireworks. It's just that I have very sensitive (highly developed, if you will) eardrums that don't appreciate loud noises. Also, it's very important that I be as close to my parents as much as possible, and if that means faking fear every once in a while, well... fine.

But don't even worry about me. I'll make it through the 4th of July just fine. I will be fine. Nothing to see here. I'm exceptionally brave.

Sniffs and licks,


Barcelona, Spain.

We did the most walking in Barcelona - from the port up to Park Guell and back down again. We figured at least 14 miles, with all of our wandering in between. Our tan lines were unbeatable that evening. 

The city wasn't what I expected. It's much like New York, in some ways - dotted with green spaces, obsessed with food and teaming with life. We loved it for that. But in all honesty, I'm not sure we experienced enough of Barcelona to really grasp it. Like our city, I got the sense that there was so much more to its story than the 14 miles we wandered. Then again, there always is. 
^^if only we could get these palm trees in NYC...^^
^^Casa Battlo^^
^^and Park Guell, another Gaudi masterpiece.^^
^^Church of the Sagrada Familia^^
^^right around the time this tiny steak came out, Blake decided he wasn't crazy about tapas.^^

So that was that. Beautiful Barcelona. 


Palma, Spain.

From Cannes, we headed to Palma, the capital city of the Balaeric Islands. It's such a quiet little city, and we found ourselves taking this one at a slower pace. We wandered and shopped and drank cappuccino in the middle of a light rain, and polished it all off with a glass of sangria. When in Spain, right? 

I also had to use the most terrifying restroom of all time in Palma. It was in a dress shop overflowing with inexpensive vacation-wear, and I suppose I was desperate. The owner pointed me toward some very narrow stairs and said I would need to use my cell phone (one of the three English words she knew) to light my way. My friends, you have not experienced darkness like the darkness of that bathroom. There could have been a whole family of Spaniards in there, and my measly cell phone light wouldn't have uncovered them. 

Back in daylight, nothing but beauty. No captions necessary here. 


Cannes, France.

I'm backlogged these days, if you haven't noticed. But here we are! Cannes photos, finally. 

Gosh, we loved Cannes. It was all sunshine and croissants and gorgeous hanging florals and white sandy beaches for us in the French Riviera. The kind of place that can really lay claim to a piece of your heart, you know? 
^^Blake was a little bit obsessed with this door. he made me stand in front of it for 343,506 photos, before the door's owner made her appearance. "no, we were not stalking your property. definitely not. nous ne sommes pas bizarre Americains."^^ 
^^whatever this flowering plant is, I want one.^^
^^and this apartment. I'm moving here tomorrow.^^
^^believe it or not, this was one of the first sights we stumbled upon. I like to think it called to us.^^ 
^^and oh, look! our boat! see the water slide that we never went on because we're lame/don't like swimming in one hundred toddlers' urine?^^
^^sweet little cafes everywhere you look.^^
^^and sweet little shops, mostly on this street.^^
^^right after I took this, a tired old dog walked over and lay at Blake's feet. he's a dog whisperer.^^
^^Carlton, you pretty thing.^^
^^and this place: home of the chocolate magnificence.^^
^^and this banana something-or-other.^^

France was a beauty, and I enjoyed her so.