May 7th: make our way from Salt Lake City to JFK International Airport (pictured above). We have a lovely 5 hour layover to get us nice and tired for the red-eye flight to Rome.
May 8th: depart JFK at 9:55 pm and land in Rome the next day at noon. We will be picked up by the cruise's shuttle service and taken to port Civitavecchia (pictured above). We will check onto the boat and explore until we leave port at 6:00 pm.
May 9th: explore the ruins of Pompeii (pictured above) near Naples Italy.
May 10th: spend a day at sea relaxing, reading, swimming, eating, eating and eating.
May 11th: spend another day at sea and continue eating.
May 12th: deboard in Alexandria, Egypt where we begin our Grand Cairo (pictured above) overnight adventure. We will visit Egyptian Museum Of Antiquities , Citadel Of Salah El Din, Muhammad Ali Mosque, Khan Khalil Bazaar, and our day will end with a SOUND & LIGHT SHOW AT THE PYRAMIDS (thank goodness we will have a tour guide to explain what some of these place are that I know nothing about and good thing my husband loves history). You have to pay to take pictures during the light show at the pyramids and you have to pay to ride a camel and see scenic views of Giza - but who knows - we might do both!
May 13th: start with a BREAKFAST CRUISE ON THE NILE followed by Step Pyramid of Sakkara, The Great Pyramids (pictured above) and ending with shopping and photo opportunities of the Sphinx. Because Egypt is a primarily muslim country we will be wearing clothes to cover our knees and shoulders and not have anything with loud prints.
May 14th: begin our Grand Overland: Jerusalem (pictured above), Bethlehem & Galilee adventure. We will visit the Garden of Gethsemane, Church of All Nations, Via Dolorosa, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Jewish Quarter, The Western or Wailing Wall, and Bethlehem. We will then have lunch and a shopping break in Bethlehem before travelling northeast from Ashdod on the approximately 60-minute drive to Jerusalem. We will drive along the Road of Courage, traversing the stony hills of Judea and continue north to Bethlehem passing Rachel's Tomb and the spend the night in Jerusalem.
May 15th: we will travel the approximately 100 mile drive to the Sea of Galilee (pictured above). Along the way we will visit the River Jordan, the Mount of the Beatitudes, Tabgha, Nazareth, Capernaum, and have a photo opportunity of the Sea of Galilee. After lunch (which comes with free WINE) we will travel north through the Jordan Valley to Nazareth. We will continue to Capernaum and then travel west through the Sharon and Jezreel Valleys to Haifa. We will then rejoin the ship in the late afternoon following a brief panoramic tour of the port.
May 16th: enjoy a much needed and relaxing day at sea and continue our great eating.
May 17th: spend a day in Ephesus (pictured above).
May 18th: see the highlights of Patmos (pictured above) and enjoy lunch while watching a folkloric show (Greek food is my all time favorite and I am so exicted!
May 19th: see the best Santorini (pictured above) has to offer.
May 20th: begin our stay in Athens. We are deboarding the boat at 6 am where Charity's wonderful mom is picking us up and acting as our wonderful tour guide for the next 4 full days and a little bit. The first day will include the Ancient Agora (pictured above), Agora Musem, Temple of Hephaistus, Roman Agora, Tower of the Wind, the Hadrian Library, the Acropolis and the Plaka.
May 21st: continue seeing Athens by enjoying the National Archaeological Museum, the Temple of Olympian Zeus (pictured above), the Temple of Poseidon and anything we missed the day before.
May 22nd: Epidaurus (pictured above), Mycenae and Corinth.
May 24th: leave Athens and fly to Rome with only 1 suitcase per person that can't way more than 44 pounds. Charity's mom is going to send home a box for us because I think that I will have bought 44 pounds of stuff by that point... :) We have rented an apartment in Rome that is right by the Vatican Museum. The first day, after flying to Rome, we are going to enjoy the Borghese Gallery (pictured above) and Gardens and end with a Night Walk Across Rome.
May 25th: begin heavy sighseeing of Rome by enjoying Palantine Hill, Colosseum (pictured above), the Roman Forum, Capitoline Hill, Piazza del Campidoglio, Monument to Victor Emmanuel II, the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and the Spanish Steps. May 26th: tour the Vatican (museum steps pictured above), St. Peter’s Basilica, Piazza Novona and Campo de Flori.May 27th: enjoy Capitoline Museums, Baths of Dioctetian – Octagonal hall and the Appian Way (pictured above).May 28th: day trip to Tivoli Gardens (pictured above).May 29th: fly from Rome airport (pictured above) to JFK and then home. When we arrive we will be in need of a relaxing - do nothing vacation - because we will most likely look like this...
We decided to come home on Friday so that we would have both Saturday and Sunday to do the following:
We are so excited and hope that you enjoy checking on us every now and again to see what we are up to. We are going communication-less and will not be checking email, making phone calls, or checking in. We are going to just enjoy each other's company and see the world! Have a great May 2009 - we know we will!