From the moment we took our Uber ride to the airport from a friend's house in Charlotte to this very moment, a few hours before embarking on journey down The Mediterranean, we have been challenged to be out of our comfort zone. This is the time one finds if they have what it takes to overcome the various challenges that have presented itself. We were erroneously charged a fee for our Uber ride; Sharee's cell phone battery died; Rhonda's luggage handle broke; our computer was unable to connect to the Barcelona airport wifi, which was very much needed to identify our travel plans; and with little Spanish, we couldn't find anyone to help us find our tour group. However, with gusto, we overcame these uncomfortable moments not with "an attitude" but with some sense of urgency, yet a notion, that "this too will pass".
Thankfully all is well. What did this costs? A few extra dollars spent on phone calls, mobile data access, taxi fare, and lots of broken Spanish. But more important, it came with a peace of mind and that we can accomplish challenges together and not in vice; and a sense of "freedom" that we are about the choices we make. After a few email exchanges, the Uber error fare was reimbursed; Sharee's cell phone battery came to life (Hallelujah) when charged at the hotel; Rhonda's broken luggage handle was able to function, despite it's deformed look; the airport information desk was able to retrieve our hotel reservation information; and a taxi ride was needed after we prematurely exited the metro station when seeking out to find our tour group moments before the tour was to start. Whew!!
Our afternoon was spent on a 2 1/2 hour Sandman's Free Tour of Barcelona. We were the only Americans, and it made for a fun day with tour guide Tommy from the UK and a diverse group that would mirror the UN as we walked about the historic city center of Barcelona. Check out a few of our pics, including one of our seafood paella dish from Restaurante Rodrigo located at Carrer de l'Argenteria. Adios!!
Has travel challenged you in unexpected ways, making you feel out of your comfort zone?
As we've shared with many of our family and friends, we're heading on a Mediterranean cruise this upcoming weekend. We will depart from Barcelona and cruise down the coast of Spain, France, and Italy. We plan to take a few excursions, more specifically to Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast along the seaside cliffs, and also to the city center of Rome and Florence, Italy. Our appetites are strong, and although we plan to stick to a Mediterranean Diet of fruit, veggies and fish, we may have to go "off the record' and try a Sicilian Pizza....Mama Mia!!! Check out the info-graphic provided above by CruiseWeb to see what the excitement is about. And if you aren't able to make it out to Europe, no worries, Carnival Vista is coming to NYC and Miami in the coming months.
Be sure to check back in the coming weeks as we share stories of food and travel on the Mediterranean.
We've been aptly planning for our Mediterranean cruise in the coming weeks, including excursions at each of the ports. Recently, we got an exciting letter from Carnival Cruise stating that during our stop over in Rome, that they'll be participating in World Tourism Day. Woo Hoo!! Why are we so excited?? Well, apparently many of the venues and sites we would normally pay will be offering FREE admission. So tours of the Vatican, the National Museum, among other sites will be available and accessible to all. Logistically this can be a nightmare if you don't like long lines, but financially it's a win-win. If by chance these lines are too long, we're sure we'll find other options of lesser known sites we hadn't visited before. Again, another win-win for new explorations. As you go about your day on Tuesday, September 27, look for activities and tourism sites in your city that may be offering free admission. This will be an exciting day to all, for those living both domestic stateside and international.
Check out what your city or town maybe doing for World Tourism Day, and share in the comments.
Over the last year, we have been privy to a local bi-monthly vegetable and fruit basket subscription that allows us to pick up a basket of fresh goodies on the regular. It has been a great addition to our normal grocery run, and keeps us on task in our healthy pursuit of consuming 3-5 servings of vegetables and fruits daily. We don't know until we pick up our basket what is in store, and it has provided us opportunities to partake in dishes we don't normally purchase. This week's basket is full of corn, red apples, baby mushrooms, and red potatoes, amongst half a dozen other veggie and fruit delights for $20. Our creativity in the kitchen is in overload with such a variety of goods. In previous baskets we've had asparagus, red peppers, and squash, Every other week is a treat, and we encourage you to either look into a similar subscription in your area or frequent a local farmer's market for in season veggies and fruits. We also seek out similar markets when we travel, especially in European countries where it is known to go from the garden to the table top in the same day. Local fresh markets are all over European cities and towns, both major and small. We plan to peruse some of these markets during our travel at the end of the month, and will take pics of our best finds.
Do you eat a healthy dose of vegetables and fruits everyday?
The mission is simple: eradicate the psychological, financial, and physical barriers you have into the world of travel.
Founded by Nomadness Travel Tribe Founder (and Columbia, SC native) Evie Robinson in an effort to encourage more minorities to travel, the NMDN Black Box is a 6-month course where you will receive curated content from travel experts broken down into 15-minute or less weekly classes. It will offer you real life travel scenarios, like how to travel with children included in the free bonus video footage below, and real life problem-solving insights. Check it out. Enrollment ends on Friday, September 2 at 9PM EST. $14.99/mo or $75 for the entire 6 month course.
Check out this EXCLUSIVE sneak peek of one of the most asked questions we receive, how can I travel with my children?
Featured in the video are Tanai Benard of 4 Deep Around The World, Libryia Jones of My Wander Year, and Elmeka Henderson of Adventures in Raising a Vagabond for their expertise.
What's an appropriate age to travel with children?
Last weekend we headed to the low-country on assignment to take pictures at a wedding. It's not our usual thing, but because family was involved and they were willing to pay for our services, we said 'sure thing'. That morning, prior to heading down there, we had shrimp and grits. It's not our typical morning breakfast, but we had some time to spare and a stomach to feed. It's one of our favorite dishes ever since we tried it for the first time more than a decade ago at Mac's on Main(currently closed) in Columbia, SC. We've tasted it elsewhere, and the only other places to compare are those in the 'low-country' near Charleston, SC. Hyman's Seafood and Charleston Crab House are two of our favorite restaurants that serve shrimp and grits. We've heard of a few newcomers, and Nana's Seafood & Soul in Charleston seemed like a real interesting one to visit in the future. However, we don't want to downplay the simple version that was made in our kitchen. Cajun flavored shrimp, Aunt Jemima hominy grits in a light seafood stock, cherry tomatoes, and crushed red pepper. Trust us....it was delicious!!!
Do you enjoy eating shrimp & grits?