Last summer, my brother and nephew took a father/son trip to Italy and did lots of sightseeing, exploring, and even took an Italian cooking class.

Paul (center) and his son Connor (right) enjoyed learning how to make fresh pasta and sauces from experts in Italy.

Paul (center) and his son Connor (right) enjoyed learning how to make fresh pasta and sauces from experts in Italy.

While their schedules were busy, we really appreciated them taking time out to find postcards to send to us, even when it meant several unexpected stops or delays to find a stamp and mailbox. It was so fun to hear from them as they explored new places together and see Europe through the eyes of a 14-year-old boy.

In Rome, they took a Vespa tour of the city and toured Castle Sant Angelo (Emperor Hadrian’s mausoleum) along with the Vatican museums.

Connor pointed out that the Vatican has over four MILES of museums! Another favorite of theirs from Rome was the Pantheon, a truly remarkable structure [read more about Rome and the Pantheon here].

Another stop on their trip was in my brother’s favorite Italian City, Florence. Paul spent a semester studying art history there, and has told many tales of the city’s wonders. Connor told us that if we ever go to Florence we must see the Pitti Palace.

Paul’s list of must-sees is a little more complete (as you’d expect from someone who spent a semester there), and includes The David, Santa Croce, Santa Maria Novella, and The Uffizi Gallery. Finally, Paul said a highlight of this trip was getting to walk on the Vasari Corridor.

On their trip, they also visited Venice. Looking at the gondolas pictured on the postcard one can imagine gliding down the canals of the city in the evening, perhaps returning to a hotel after a dinner out.

Paul pointed out the Venice has 120 churches because the city is made up of 120 islands, and each has its own church. Paul and Connor also shared some things to see in Venice, which include the Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Cathedral, and the Tintoretto’s.

Paul and Connor returned to the U.S. raving about their trip and all they saw and did. Clearly Italy has a lot to offer and we look forward to getting back there again someday.

[well]When you’re traveling next, be sure to send us a postcard at Postcard Jar, P.O. Box 334, Crete, NE 68333. We’d love to hear from you![/well]

  • We've been having the best time in the Florida Keys visiting Steve's mom and dad this week. Today, it was cold for Floridians, but we loved the sunshine (and were thankful for awesome neighbors who were likely shoveling the snow from our driveway back home).⁣
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We are so thankful for a flexible schedule and opportunities like this one to share time with family. Life seems to pass us by so quickly the older we get and we're fortunate to be able to travel and share experiences with the people we love most. ⁣
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Feeling especially blessed tonight, in the beautiful Florida Keys.
  • We enjoyed a delicious dinner tonight at Hideaway Cafe on Grassy Key with Steve's mom and dad. We went early at 5 p.m. for the sunset dinner menu which has smaller portions and the most beautiful views of the sunset. ⁣
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The food was fresh and made-to-order and served by gracious and professional staff who made us feel right at home. ⁣
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Hideaway is a great restaurant choice for dinner if you're in the Florida Keys. Get a reservation ahead of time, as it fills up quickly, even at 5 p.m.
  • Need some inspiration for staying healthy while traveling? Good news! We are taking over the @noom Instagram stories this afternoon and hope you’ll all follow along as we share tips on how to make healthy living choices while on a cruise ship. We’ll take you inside the beautiful @celebritycruises Edge and show you how we stayed on track with our Noom goals while still enjoying a fantastic cruise vacation. Be sure to follow @noom! Our takeover has just begun. 😁
  • The Rooftop Garden is a unique space on the top deck of the @celebrityedge. There’s no water slide on this ship, no go-carts, and the’s no rock wall for climbing. Instead the Rooftop Garden provides a “living urban playscape inspired by childhood playgrounds and designed to waken the inner child in all of us,” according to the Celebrity Cruises website. There are live plants, comfortable outdoor seating, and unique art installations that set the space apart from anything else at sea. @cruisecelebrity
  • Blu is a restaurant on the Celebrity Edge that is dedicated to guests in Aqua Class.  It serves “clean, crisp flavors and inventive cuisine” in a gorgeous blue venue. To give you an example of the types of entrees served, for dinner tonight Blu is offering seared duck breast with wilted chard, farro risotto, and black cherry jus; a cracked pepper corn-crusted tuna salad, watercress, and dijon vinaigrette; and pumpkin gnocchi with sautéed arugula, sundries tomatoes, marinated artichokes, goat cheese and basil pesto. What would you order?
  • Yes, cruise ships are huge, but if you do a little exploring, you’ll find that the designers have included many small spots perfect for intimate conversation and watching the world go by. We found this nook in Eden, on deck 5 of the Celebrity Edge, near the stern.
  • Last Sunday we began the second half of our very first back-to-back cruise on the Celebrity Edge. We’ve had the best cruise vacation and have enjoyed every single minute of our vacation. The Edge  been an ideal place to relax, recharge, and prepare for a new year. We’ve also used this time to try new things and focus on a healthy lifestyle. Thank you all for coming along on our journey and sharing your sweet comments with us along the way. We are grateful for each of you.
  • We just love these guys!! These two characters were the bartenders on the Retreat Sundeck for our cruise aboard the Celebrity Edge. Johannes and Vince created a light, fun atmosphere and made you want to go to the pool every day. Their personalities helped make the Retreat a welcoming place with professional service. We shouldn’t be surprised, though. We found similar cheerfulness in crew around every corner of the Edge, under the command of @captainkatemccue.

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