Trip Report Our 19-Day Mediterranean Adventure – Greece, Turkey and the Search for Free Wifi

Finally, right? It seems like I’ve been waiting forever to start this, but really we’ve only been back three weeks! And in that time I’ve lived in a hotel for two weeks and driven across the country from Washington DC to our new home in...wait for it...Las Vegas! For some reason I have chosen now, surrounded by boxes that need to be unpacked, as the time to start my trip report. Stalling maybe? :D So here it goes!

What: A massive 19 day (13 days on the cruise with 6 more including travel time and extra days in Europe) trip extravaganza. A 12 night Mediterranean cruise with a day in London beforehand and a few days in London and Barcelona afterwards. So yes. This is going to be a long stinking trip report. Oh, and I took 5239 pictures. On my camera! That doesn’t even count the Instagram/iphone photos you’ll see scattered throughout the report.

Great day in the morning.

Why: Because cruises are awesome mostly. But also because I was able to do a last-minute 11 night Med cruise back in April of 2010 with my daughter and some other family and friends, so this was a makeup cruise for my son and husband. It worked nicely as a graduation trip/present. :)

When: June 13-July 1, 2013

I booked this cruise the day it came out, back in January of 2012.

As time got closer we realized it was going to get crazy. My daughter was going to have to miss the last day of school, my son was graduating from high school the Saturday before the trip, we had a house full of family that whole weekend and a big graduation party on Sunday, he then left and was coming home one day early from his senior trip to make it on time, and we were moving across the country to Las Vegas so our household goods were all moved the day before we left. Then the kids were traveling with their youth group to Scotland 3 days after the cruise ended, so it really didn’t make sense for us to come all the way back home and we needed to stay in Europe for three more days before we dropped them off in London Heathrow. Got all that? Yes. Like I said, a little crazy.

Totally worth it though. :)

Who: Us! Here we are a few days before we left! This picture is a celebration of the whole Whiting family – but mostly Chase. The high school graduate. Also appearing in this photo are myself-Tammy, hubby-Stephen, and daughter – Ally.

My parents! My parents were on our last Med cruise, and have been in several of my trip reports. They had quite the trip in store for them. Here they are in Monaco:

My in-laws! My in-laws were also on my last Med cruise, as well as a few other cruises with us, so they may look familiar if you've ever read one of my reports. Here they are in Palo:

My brother-in-law! Scott has appeared in a few trip cruise trip reports as well. He’s the oldest of three boys with my hubby falling in the middle. Here he is in Mykonos:



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Original Poster
Days Before Departure –

So the days leading up to the vacation were crazy hectic as you can imagine. Saturday was Graduation and it was absolutely wonderful. I wasn’t a complete weepy mess, though there were a few tears. My mom on the other hand –


We were up late Saturday night preparing for the big party on Sunday. It was great fun and everything turned out pretty well because of pinterest. Here’s a sampling:

On Monday the movers came. We were expecting they would take two days to pack and take everything the third day. Well they showed up in force and packed it all the first day! That was great but we weren’t quite ready for it. We had to scramble to get our stuff packed. We were packing for the cruise, the kids trip to Europe, and the drive across the country. My bedroom looked like this at one point:

Let’s just say we didn’t do a great job. When I unpacked our stuff in the stateroom and realized I had 4 full sized deodorants, I knew I was in trouble. :banghead:

Wednesday the movers came and took it all and the house looked like this:

The next day, ready or not, we were leaving! So without further ado (well there’s a lot more ado, but I’ll pretend to get this started) I present – Day 1!!


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Original Poster
Day 1 – Departure

Our flight was leaving at 6 p.m. and we were landing in London around 7 a.m. Our goal was to get a few hours of sleep on the plane although we knew that would be hard.

We started out the morning by meeting the landlord at the house and turning over our keys. We were officially without a home. Chase was supposed to arrive back in town at noon, so we picked him up and all went to lunch. We stopped by FedEx to print out some things I needed for the cruise but didn’t get printed before the printer was packed. :rolleyes: Then we were off to our friends who were taking us to the airport.

Here we are in line! Instagram!

Look how excited my mom was. She had no idea what was in store for her.

Here’s the second picture. One of us had graduation money burning a hole in his pocket and found a place in Dulles to purchase the headphones he’d been wanting.

Perfect moment for a toes picture! Yes, I have a traveling toes blog. I post new toes every day that people send me from all over! Here are my “Waiting to fly to London Toes!”




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Original Poster
Finally, we were boarding. We had a crazy long flight ahead of us. Stephen was actually on a separate flight from us, he was flying on miles. The rest of us were on British Air. I couldn’t get a seat next to the kids, but the check in agent assured me someone would switch with us, which is what I figured. I had a window seat a few rows behind them. When we got on, I asked the man next to them if he would mind switching with me. Window seat for window seat.

Nope. He was happy where he was.


So I went back. The two people next to me didn’t want to move forward because one of them was trying to sit by her sister. I went back to my parents who talked the person next to them into moving and we took that row while my parents went to the kid’s seats. It was convoluted to say the least. :D

Yay! Sitting with my kids!

Chase refused to participate in the above picture. He said it looked like the first time we'd ever been on an airplane. :)

I did like British Airways! There was a little packet in front of us with a toothbrush, among other things! Genius! We had a meal and a croissant the next morning, with multiple drink services. We each had our own TV screen with a ton of movies to pick from. Chase saw the list and immediately declared that he was not sleeping. He started a movie and made it a grand total of 15 minutes. He woke up as we were descending into London. :cool:

The flight attendant was very worried about him. He offered to bring him a meal later, to give me extras, everything. So nice!

Chase slept on me for a good deal of the flight. This is why they shouldn’t sit next to a stranger:

Here was the dinner he missed:

One of the movies he missed:

Can I just pause for a moment to say how much I love having an iPhone on flights so I can document? I mean you're not going to see Bilbo Baggins in my trip report if I have to dig out the big camera. Just sayin'. :)

I got about 3 hours of sleep and watched two movies. Not too bad! Now the goal was to stay awake in London all day before we flew to Barcelona that night! It’s a brutal adjustment to the time change, but an effective adjustment.

Up next, a day in London!


Well-Known Member
Yay!! So happy you started your TR! I can't wait to read all about it! Wow, what a hectic time right before leaving! I'm impressed that you were able to pull it off! I'm not sure I would have been able to. Love the graduation party décor!


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YAY! Been waiting for this one! That party set up looks awesome. I wish I had been invited. :D Isn't Pinterest awesome. Of course, I have all this stuff pinned and I never do it. Looking forward to the rest of your report!!!


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Original Poster
YAY, so excited that you have started your report :):):)

Thank you, Angie!! :)

Yay!! So happy you started your TR! I can't wait to read all about it! Wow, what a hectic time right before leaving! I'm impressed that you were able to pull it off! I'm not sure I would have been able to. Love the graduation party décor!

It was a little touch and go at the end, lol! I had a very long to do list, and it didn't all get done! But I guess everything that mattered did. :)

Question...After looking at the party setup, do you have Martha Stewart tied up in your basement and bring her out for special occasions?

Lol!! Don't I wish? I was really wishing at about 11:00 Saturday night!! :)

LOL I was going to say the same. Looks awesome!

Okay, you both figured out my secret! Don't tell anyone! :)

Woo hoo! Can't wait to read more. Maybe it will inspire me to finally get started on my own. :rolleyes:

Do. It.

YAY! Been waiting for this one! That party set up looks awesome. I wish I had been invited. :D Isn't Pinterest awesome. Of course, I have all this stuff pinned and I never do it. Looking forward to the rest of your report!!!

Well you could have come! It was come and go, we never would have noticed one more. :)
And pinterest is the best for parties. That's about the only time I get around to doing what I pinned!


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I've been watching so patiently for this report to start!!!! I wasn't expecting it until at least next week! You just arrived in Vegas! I thought you'd be criss-crossing the town...and unpacking the necessities... LOL!

You are a champ for handling the insanity leading up to your vacation. I remember the day the itineraries released and we talked and you were so all over not sure what to do or what to book and then you just threw caution to the wind and went for it! It was so exciting that day...and it's all built up from there!!! So stinkin' fun!

Your party prep is amazing! I'm sooooo taking notes! Okay, well, maybe not. Knowing me, when my boys graduate we'll be somewhere far from home doing what we do in whatever fashion to celebrate our happy. Loved your spread, though! I'm crashing the next one! Better yet, can I come help with all the prep work???? That looks like FUN! I knew you'd rock the party-hosting in perfect form. The announcements you did were so great. Can I send Chandler out to you for his announcements???

Every time you mention what your mom has in store for her I cringe. I just thought I had it bad. I wanna cry for Mom even now! Bless her heart. I'll shut up. I don't want to ruin your story. ((cringe))

Yay for graduation gift splurges! Go CHASE! Oh wait, he can't hear me with the Beats on, huh? LOL!

Booooo Hiiiiisssss to the guy who didn't want to swap seats. You shoulda let him receive the drool fest. Woulda served him right! I love that Chase was too cool for the group selfie on the plane but not too much that he couldn't sleep on his momma. Love that.

Bring on LONDON!!!! WooHOOOOO!!! We're going to EUROPE!!!!


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Woot woot!! Count me in as another person who has been waiting for this TR to start!! You have me beat by a mile! Still not done my Sept TR and not even close to starting my May TR..... Sigh.... Some many TR's, so little time!!!

Can't wait to read all about your adventures!!! :)

PS - I'm going to have to send you a toes pic for your blog! Toes visit Portland Head Light, the most photographed lighthouse in the USA! :)

Crush Dude!

Back from WDW!Counting down to DLP in November!

I have been telling myself all week not to send any messages to you asking when your TR would start as i knew you were super busy!!! :D

Now my patience has paid off and i cannot wait to read all about your trip!

That party spread looked AWESOME, you huys have much better treats than we have here!

Bring on London and the cruise will be waiting patiently(ish) for the next part ;)


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This will be EPIC!

I hope you got some good stadium pics with Chase!

BTW: Congrats to General Whiting and your family! And now I know someone that lives in Vegas! Good luck with the new homestead!


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Hooray! So very excited for your report! You are my hero for handling all that has been going on - and still smiling while you talk/type/photoblog it later! Party looked a-maaaaaz-ing! Congrats to Chase and best of luck to all in the new home! I'm in for the full report :):)


She chants, "I am going to Alaska next summer, I am going to Alaska next summer" , I will stay the course no matter how convincing your pictures are going to be. Your pictures of the Coliseum last European trip report convinced to do a Med cruise though, so I am weak and easily lead astray:cool: .

I can imagine the stress you must have been under, and totally impressed with what you accomplished. We just came back from vacation on Sunday and I had to get my daughter packed for a 2 week camp leaving Monday and it got a little tense at times, almost disowned a few members of the family:arghh: .


Well-Known Member
Always enjoy your trip reports. Can't wait to read more. That party set up was beautiful. So crafty. Mine would have been pretzels in a bowl.:)


Active Member
OMG!! I had no idea about your trip which is totally cool because I will be doing the same cruise in 65 days!!! My 1st out of the country trip.....well unless you count the Bahamas which I don't! So I just can't wait to read about all the fun you had, and maybe learn some stuff for my trip!!


Tell Chase CONGRATS!!! My middle child is a Senior this year, so I guess I better come kidnap "Ol Martha from outta your basement for his party! LOL

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