Cruise Day 3- Split Croatia

The compelling thing about a cruise is that you tour the land by day and travel great distances on water at night. So by the time you wake up the next morning, you can be far away. In our case, we had travelled across the Adriatic Sea to Split, Croatia. Neither Croatia nor our next stops in Turkey were places I would have considered making a separate trip to, but that was the appeal of the cruise. I couldn’t imagine getting there any other way.

Split looked like a charming little town with a historic palace, market place and some museums to explore. Mike and I took the kids to the tourist attraction, the Diocletian Palace, while the other three adults visited the museum and market.

The palace was crowded, but once we climbed up the tower, we had great views of the town and out to sea. Unfortunately, the height of the stairs, as well as the rickety construction, gave Kate second thoughts about ascending. I felt bad that I had gotten her into this situation again. However, she bravely waited with me or Mike at one of the lower landings, while we took turns climbing. We were very proud of her ability to deal with the crowds and her appreciation of the old buildings we were seeing.

Next we had fun wandering the market. David, always the animal lover, spotted a woman selling rabbits. He bent down to pat them, just as he had with the pigeons in St Mark’s Square. They took to him immediately. For the rest of the trip, he tried to convince me that he should get a pet rabbit when we returned home.

After our tour, we stopped at a restaurant for pizza and salad. We sat at an outdoor table where we could watch the pedestrians from many countries walking by. While we were waiting for our food, I had my niece call home. I knew my sister would be anxious to hear from her and it was hard to get cell phone reception on the ship (not to mention very expensive).

Predictably, Kate only gave her mom minimal answers; “yes”, “no”, “cool”; so when she was done, I took over the conversation, filling her in on the details of our trip so far. I remembered how much I had longed to hear from my daughter when she was away with her Nana last summer on the Baltic.

My sister could not thank me enough for calling her. “You just made my day!” she exclaimed. I am sure Kate knew her mom would want to hear from her; but, as children do, wanted to draw the lines between her life experiences and her parents’. Fortunately, she had no qualms about sharing this experience with her aunt- so we had plenty of fun moments together, which we will remember for a long time.

A Family Introduction

    In July 2010, my daughter returned from a cruise on the Baltic Sea with her grandmother and immediately declared that we had to take a family cruise together next summer (2011). Neither my husband nor I had been on a cruise before and we were not anxious to do so. However, this Baltic Cruise had been taken on the heels of my brother-in-law’s death and at the outset of my father-in-law’s terminal illness. He had originally planned to go to the Baltic, but became too disabled for travel. It was apparent that he would not be around by the following summer.

For these reasons, we decided to move ahead with our plans in the spirit of healing and bringing everyone together. By the time we had our final itinerary, we had 8 people, ranging from 11 years old to 76, on board for the Mediterranean! Our highly unusual combination included my children (Megan and David), my mother (Hillary), my mother-in-law (Susan), my husband (Mike), my sister (Amy) and my niece (Kate- the daughter of my other sister, not Amy’s). The following travel log is a testament to family spirit, the power of love and the lessons we can learn from each other.