Our European Adventure! Part 1: The Booking Details

This July my hubby and I celebrated 5 years of marriage and my 30th birthday.  We have had many wonderful memories in those 5 years, but we have also gone through tough times.  Infertility wears on a couple.  We decided we needed to reward ourselves for the strength we have shown over the years.  We wanted to treat ourselves and take a special trip that would really give us time to focus on each other and check off a few of bucket list items.

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Santo Winery, Santorini, Greece

My husband and I have always wanted to travel to Europe.  I had never been and he had only been once briefly.  However, a trip from the US to Europe can be quite pricey, so we had been putting the trip off while we try to save up.  Our anniversary seemed like the perfect time.  People are always telling us to take advantage of the time we have before kids, so what better way to do that?!

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St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome, Italy

My #1 bucket list place to visit was Santorini, Greece.  It is a gorgeous and unique island that I knew would blow me away.  “The Pilot’s” dream was to go to Rome, Italy.  Rome was also on my bucket list.  We did not know when we would be able to take a trip like this again so we wanted to combine our two dreams in one trip.

We priced it out and decided on 3 days in Rome and a 7 day Mediterranean cruise that would stop in Santorini for a day, as well as a few other stops.  We booked most of our trip through Costco (airfare and cruise).  My husband puts together a whole spreadsheet of options, but Costco always seems to win.

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We book big trips through Costco for 2 reasons:

  1. Cost- We just can’t seem to find a better cost for the amount and quality of what you get.  We also get cash back at the end of the year on all Costco purchases, so that is a nice perk that lowers the price, as well.

  2. Quality- Costco researches all their vendors and only accepts the best.  We have witnessed this many times and this trip was no exception.  We booked many tours on the cruise through Costco, instead of the cruise line.  We talked with others on the boat who had gone the opposite route and found that all our Costco tours were much better run than the cruise line tours.

We went on a Royal Caribbean cruise.  Our boat was Jewel of the Seas.  Overall, it was a wonderful experience.  In further posts, I will go more details about each country we visited.  I have to say I am sharing our experience as much for you, as for me.  We made some truly wonderful memories on this trip, and I want to record as many details as I can.  For someone who has traveled so little, I spent this whole trip being blown away by God’s artistry delivered through human hands throughout history.

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The Acropolis in Athens, Greece

A bit of wisdom I learned from this trip…

Just because you are having a hard time reaching one of your dreams, doesn’t mean you have to put your other dreams on hold.  

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