When I set out to plan Steve’s 50th birthday, I knew travel was inevitable. He’s not a guy who wants a party, and he’s definitely not a guy who wants a surprise party. He wants new experiences, great food, great drinks, and to be with me. We had never traveled across the pond together, and I couldn’t choose just one destination! I love to plan plan plan, but this was a daunting task. We’re not big “cruisers” but Viking Ocean offers an exceptional adults-only experience with smaller ships. I knew they wouldn’t disappoint. I also invited his parents, who had both just turned 80 last year. It was a great excuse for all of use to celebrate together.
I will say, this was a GREAT time to travel the Mediterranean. There weren't many crowds and the weather was in the low/mid-50's and into the low 60's. It was pretty perfect.
So, we departed Cleveland on March 1st to embark on a trip of a lifetime...Barcelona to Venice along the Mediterranean.
We upgraded our flights to United Polaris, and it was quite the experience. The Polaris lounge in Newark was pretty incredible and they made it very easy to spend our four hour layover eating and drinking our way through the lounge. The bar in the lounge was first class, and not only was there a buffet, but also an a la carte restaurant. Yes, everything was included.
Stop #1 | Barcelona, Spain
When in Spain, you do chocolate, tapas, pintxos, cocktails, and cava.
Then you repeat.
The grand finale was the famous Sagrada Familia. What a spectacular sight to see. This is architect Antoni Gaudi's most famous creation, and still unfinished after 141 years. One of Barcelona’s most iconic symbols, the Sagrada Familia is the most visited landmark in Spain. Considered to be a great example of modernist architecture designed by Gaudi, many tourists from across the world come to visit this unfinished church.
This was another loooong bus ride from the Civitavecchia cruise port to the Rome city center.
In the end, we walked over 15 miles and enjoyed four different Pizza Margheritas in Napoli. They were all so good!! Not entirely different, so you honestly can’t go wrong with any of them. Antica Pizzeria Da Michele reigned superior over the rest due to the creamy combination of dough, sauce and cheese (per my notes!) The overall efficient and kind experience was also our favorite.