Sunday, May 18, 2008


Ok, ok! Here it is. I'm glad my sister is TOTALLY INSANE and put up her view of my trip so that I would actually get on this. She is nuts. Don't you wish you had one like her?

This is us in Rome.

So here's the quick overview:
To celebrate beating cancer and well, being alive, we took a five day cruise in the Mediterranean. It started in Barcelona, went to Cannes, Florence, Rome and then back to Barcelona again. I do not love Barcelona. I feel like we always get ripped off there, we have to worry about being robbed all the time and there just isn't that much to do. I'm always hungry in Barcelona. We got there a day early and I couldn't wait to get on the boat.

We cruised on Royal Caribbean on the Navigator of the Seas. It's a big, awesome boat. It has lots of amenities that we never used like an ice skating rink, rollerblading track, miniature golf, rockclimbing wall, etc. The food was so good. There were two different soft-serve ice cream machines that you could go stick your head (or a cone) under at any time. I love sleeping on a boat. So dark, so rocking, rocking gently. So tired just thinking about it.

This is Cannes, France.

I told you I was Euro-hip. Truly, about one in ten women had hair like mine. Cancer must be rampant in Europe. They should do something about that. We were there right before the big film festival and things were already set up. It was a real cool town. We played at the beach and then walked around the city. I ate a crepe with bananas and ice cream inside. Their ice cream is much better than ours. There, I said it. When I asked Mason what he wanted as a souvenir, he said a TV. When I told him I couldn't get a TV, he said he wanted a big, orange sucker. I found it in Cannes.

That's our boat and my cute, cute husband. His neck isn't that long in real life. Just in France. There were 3,000 passengers on the boat, but only about 500 were from America. That was really cool. There were people from about 40 different countries on board.

This is Melanie Stroud (Jaymee's brother's wife and my long-time friend - dating back to our primary days), Brittany Atkinson (Jaymee's sister) and of course, me in FLorence.

Florence is a beautiful place. All of Tuscany was. I love Italy. I'd like to go back someday and spend a couple weeks there. We saw beautiful architecture and amazing works of art. Before you go to Florence, read "the Agony and the Ecstasy" so you can really picture Michelangelo running all through that city. I loved it there. I ate real pizza and bruschetta that had so much olive oil that it ran all down my arm while I ate it. And more gelato. Always gelato.

We bought some shoes and some paintings there. Doesn't that sound fancy? The shoes were ten euro and the paintings were about the same. I'm not a big spender.

This is Brandon (Jaymee's brother) and you know the rest at Trevi Fountain in Rome. If you throw three coins over your shoulder here, you'll get the chance to come back someday. We did it and hit three tourists below us and were asked to never come back. Rome was overwhelming and unbelievable. It's amazing that it was built in one day, because we didn't even have time to see one-hundredth of it in as much time. It seems one could spend weeks in the Vatican alone. That place is a bit much. Gold and marble and frescos everywhere. jaymee and I got some great ideas for our new house there. I loved seeing the Sistine Chapel. I didn't love the people in there that clapped real loud and yelled ,"Quiet!!". I wanted to lay on the floor so my neck wouldn't hurt looking up on the ceiling. As it turns out, they frown upon that. In fact, there was much "frowning upon things" at the Vatican. Don't take pictures in the chapel. Don't imitate the people in the Frescos. Don't use the tapestries to wipe your nose. I had to walk around with my arms folded for a long time.

We saw the colosseum, too. That place has seen better days. Oura toura guidea wasa verya harda toa underastanda - so I can't tell you much more about that place. I loved the Pantheon, but I had always pictured it being up on a hill. Turns out, it used to be but now they have built the city up so much around it that it is just in the middle of one of the squares. It made me think maybe Camryn's floor isn't actually level with her mattress. I'm going to look into it. I definitely want at least a week in Rome next time.

We spent the next day at sea and I got a massage. While the little Romanian jumped up and down on my back, all I could think of was "why me?". Truly, why am I so blessed and lucky? That trip was the best. Even if it rained gatos y perros during our bus tour of Barcleona with Melanie and Brandon. Even if my flight got cancelled and Jaymeson made it home without me. Even if I didn't have any food for 24 hours because he had the money with him. It was the best week of my life.


Anonymous said...

I knew you would love Italy my father was stationed at Naples for three years and we loved it!! I cant wait to go back.

Annette Miller

karen said...

thanks for both versions (melanie and shelby) ha ha....! the narrative is witty so it's always a treat to read...but don't feel pressure to continue to be witty or anything...i'm just saying... what i really dig are your big hollywood shades. That and your cool "do" are the bomb.

Rod and Kandace said...

What a fun trip! Rod said you are cruising maniacs. We want to try that sometime. The pictures are so great! I can't imagine the feeling of going to such OLD places. Sorry you had to end it on an empty stomach all by yourself, makes me hungry and lonely just thinking about it. Happy for you!

Nikki said...

Ooo, I'm definitely doing that. And, you are so funny.

Toria said...

sound like a fabulous trip. You deserve it and so fun that it was with family (I'm still jealous that you Tami and Melanie all figured out a way to be related, wasn't my brother supposed to marry one of your sisters?) Also Shelby- you really shouldn't make cancer (or recovering from cancer) sound and look so good or we'll all go out and try and get it.

Melanie said...

You WERE clever Shel in finding out a way to be related to me!!

Cheryl said...

I kind of got into that relation thing too! But I didn't go to Thunderbird so I guess that's that :) And Chrysta is still available to link cutlers into the fold :)

So anyway back to Shelby...I'm green with envy. I've never cruised in my life. Maybe next year though...any recommendations? Scott and I are dying to go on one so that we can eat to our heart's content at all hours of the day and night. And you looked great! No one would ever know you had cancer. It sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate everything going on in your life, except for the no money no food thing at the end.

Natalie said...

That picture with the manequin was the funniest thing that I have seen in a very long time. And your hair is so cute! And Melanie's post confused the heck out of me. And I am feeling sad for the couple that lived in your house from a couple of posts back. Do you think that they could have worked things out? Congrats on the house, and trip and glorious sunrises. You deserve them all!

Jen said...

I can't wait to go back to Europe. I'm so glad you had a fun time, and a great celebration!

Andrea said...

That was hilarious Melanie! Gotta say I love you and your pictures, but hers were more interesting :-) Did she serve a mission there or something? How's she get all those photos? Really, I'm so glad you went and had such a great time. You look so relaxed! Awesome!