the campas

the campas

Friday, September 20, 2013

Hayes Family Takes Europe: CRUISE. (pt. 2)

One of my favorite parts about cruising is how you can step on the boat in the afternoon…enjoy a lavish evening of fine dining and fancy show…go to a dance party…fall asleep in a comfy bed…then wake up the next morning in a completely different country!  It is truly how traveling should be done always.  No matter what.

I think the most noticeable change was going from France to Spain. The culture, landscape, and people are so different in these two countries, it’s weird to me they are so close! The only full weekend we had in Europe was spent in Spain, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

DAY 7: SATURDAY, AUGUST 10TH,2013:

We slept in a little bit on Saturday.  Running around Europe is tiring!  Plus, we didn’t arrive at our destination, Palma de Mallorca, until that afternoon.  We enjoyed a leisurely morning on the slides,eating at the buffet, and sunbathing.

When we did arrive to the island off the coast of Spain, we got off the boat and took a crowded and hot bus into town.  

Mom discovered a modern art museum in her Rick Steve's book that was free and supposedly really interesting.  Problem was, it closed just about a half hour after we got off the ship. So what did we do?  Oh you know…just RUN our little legs off to get there! The museum was cool, but the running was what I will remember from the experience!  We ran through a good portion of the interesting city…bustling with tourists, Spanish locals, tapas,and ancient architecture.  Muy bien!!
After viewing some confusing modern art….we got delicious ice cream and went to see an old Catholic Church nearby…secretly just to sit on a bench and enjoy the air conditioning.  España está muy caliente!!  (Tired of my Spanglish yet…?  Imagine visiting Spain with me!  Ay yi yi!)


We explored Palma and walked around the cute shops they have…then went to their big fancy Palma Cathedral.  It was very large…very grand…and very expensive!  But it was nice and cool inside.

We walked around closer to the water after that…and made some quality purchases.  In Europe…the new “fake purses” seem to be fake Ray Bans!  Everywhere you go there are people selling fake Ray Bans.  We partook and got some “Rey Beris,” did you see what they did there?  Haha. We bought some Spanish coke at a little store, relaxed by a pretty fountain…then started the journey back to the Epic.

Palma de Mallorca is a very nice place,but there’s not a whole lot to see there, and it’s not really that big.  We took the bus back to our boat, but were so tired and hot that we missed our stop! That meant a little bit of a walk back to the boat…but we didn’t mind.
Once on board...we used the Internet before eating dinner at the buffet.  We weren't feeling particularly fancy..so the buffet sounded like a good idea!  And of course, it was.  After a short rest back in our rooms, we got ready to go see Blue Man Group...
(just me texting brian.  so excited).
Blue Man Group was a hilarious experience.  Mom and dad didn’t want to see it, because when mom went in Vegas…she ended up with a migraine.  Eeek!  We decided to sit near the front, and I was sitting next to the aisle.  All of a sudden, Becky told me to look at the seats in front of us.  There they were: BLUE FINGERPRINTS.  Confused and concerned, we asked Lizzie about this..since she went to the show in Vegas just weeks earlier.  She responded: “Oh yea, they come and walk through the rows and get close to you and pull you up on stage..usually if you are in an aisle seat.”  WHAT THE HECK!

The next hour and a half were spent in sheer terror of the blue men and their freaky painted faces.  They were extremely close to us,but we didn’t get pulled up.  Becky and I were shaking and holding hands the whole time, I may have uttered a few prayers.  It sounds ridiculous…but that’s what we are.

During the Blue Men show of terror, mom and dad went to a Broadway piano concert…rock trivia game (where dad rocked!  Get it!?)and a Beatles music show.  We met up at the H2O adult pool, then went back to bed to rest up for Barcelona!!!


DAY 8: SUNDAY, AUGUST 11TH,2013:

Sunday was one of the days I was most excited for.  I had heard so much about Barcelona from BYU friends who studied abroad there, and I was excited to go!  We got an early start, only problem was...so did everyone else.  Remember when I said most people got on and off the boat in Barcelona?  Yea, so true.  Some lady even yelled at mom for trying to cut her to get off!  People were cray!  Becky defended mother's honor very valiently.  

After a long line, we got off the ship to see another long line to ride the bus.  Already tired of lines and not wanting to waste time in Spain, we decided to walk across a huge bridge and into the city.  The walk wasn't that bad, maybe a mile or two.  Very worth it!

After we were in the city...we saw a Christopher Columbus statue welcoming us to Barcelona. Festive. 

We walked up the Ramblas, a long road with many shops and things to see...including a McDonald's with free wifi holllaaa! Then we strolled to the Metro station. 

 First on our list: La Sagrada Familia!! My genius parents bought our tickets to this ornate Cathedral ahead of time...and I am sooo glad that they did! The line was about a half mile long....3 hour wait in the hot Spanish sun!! We got to walk right in...pick up our audio guides...and enjoy a self-guided tour.
After reflecting on our trip, this stop may have been my all time favorite! It was INCREDIBLE. Sooo fancy, detailed, grand, and breathtaking. If you know the story, unlike me before this trip, a religious fellow started to build this grand church, and today, decade later, they're still working on it. One of the best parts of the tour was taking an elevator to the tippy top....then descending to the bottom down winding stairs and harrowing ramps. Very grand views...but a little nerve wracking!
After fully enjoying this gem of a structure, we took the Metro to the Picasso Museum, which proved to be a very good decision. The line wasn't too long....and the since it was later in the day, it wasn't crazy crowded. We got to see dozens of Picasso works of art. Turns out he was very involved in creating this museum (I always forgot he was alive not too long ago), and donated many of the works of art. aka: weirdly contorted faces.
After the museum, we stopped at a little grocery store to buy neon Mt. Dew and weird Gatorade to rehydrate our dehydrated selves. Then we enjoyed walking around the beautiful city...seeing weird works of modern art and the pretty buildings. Spain has a certain slow pace of life that I enjoyed. Maybe it's all those siestas.



We also got some Spanish candy, something I have heard about for a long time.  It's all very delicious!





One thing about Spain that is absolutely memorable is the country's love of FOOTBALL! Holllllyyy cow every other person there was wearing a dark blue and red stripped Barca jersey! Each tourist shop sold the jerseys...and we had the idea to get Nate Jensen and Brian Campa some team gear since they each expressed an interest in the culturally phenomenon that is European soccer. We ended up going to one of the official Nike stores to get them shirts and socks.

We rambled up the ramble a little more...then took the Metro back to the bus station and rode the bus to the Epic ship. How I wish we had another week to explore Barcelona!! It is such a cool place.

We went to the Manhattan for dinner and enjoyed a waiter who literally sang to us...then Mom, Dad, and I went to see a Spanish Ballet performance on the boat. It was very festive...flamenco dancers and all! We all rested in our rooms after that....Becky and I introduced Lizzie to "Forrest Gump." Our TVs had a "classic move" channel that played awesome movies! It was that or watch "Spongebob" in literally every language possible. (Our boat has a contract with Nickelodeon...we had to restrain ourselves from going to the various character meet and greets).

We ended the night with some Spanish tapas.....then went to sleep in a food coma. It was a great day! Thanks for the mems, Espana.


DAY 9: MONDAY, AUGUST 12TH,2013:

If you have ever been on a cruise then you are probably familiar with the term "fun day at sea." A fun day at sea is basically a day the boat makes a lot of progress getting back to the original destination....meaning you don't dock and get off. It can be very hilarious/boring/fun/confusing.

Becky and I weren't playing around about the FDAS....and woke up bright and early to reserve seats by the pool since we figured it would get crowded. And we were right! It did!

All the Hayes girls enjoyed a leisurely morning by the pool...reading...eating...going down the slides. It was great/

Then we met up with dad at the Irish pub restaurant for lunch. We had been wanting to try it, and it was all for free so YOLO! It was delish...and we wanted to go bowling after but that was a bust since every else had the same idea. I think that was the one thing we never got to do. Darn.

Lizzie and I went to a card making activity at the Bliss Lounge...home of karaoke and many other fine activities. Our festive sea cards turned out great!! Then Mom and us sisters went to the gym where I ran a lot since I was guessing I gained like 50 billion pounds.

Then came an activity I am not proud of. Lizzie, Becky and I spend 20 bucks on a game of bingo and LOST hahahah fail. We really wanted to try though! Is it gambling? Probs. Oops.

After that we got ready for dinner and looked extra fancy since we got our family photos taken. I was skeptical but they turned out GREAT! I mean, we actually all look decent which is rare. We ate at the Manhattan and heard the cruise ship singers sing some of the greatest love duets. All of which are now on Glee, no joke. It was great!

We listened to part of a Nat King Cole tribute...then went to a trivia game called "This or That." It was SOOO fun and my dad ended up winning a round! The game is a great FHE activity...so I will share how to play. A big group of people stands in a room, and the host says two categories. For example, we had "pope names" or Britney Spears son." Then he says a word or phrase, for example: Innocence. Then the room divides into two....for whatever category they think it is. It's hilarious! Let's just say....my dad won for "Best tv shows/Worst tv shows." And Lizzie and I lost on the very example I presented. Major fail!!

Lizzie and I rode the slides after that, since it was late at night and they weren't crowded at all. Lizzie also fell in love with the Serbian lifeguard, fun fact. Then we met up with everyone and watched a Beatles tribute band. Seriously they were so good!! And Paul McCartney looked so much like him...pretty sure I already mentioned that...but it needs reinforcing.


After that Becky and I went to a Latin Dance Party cause we are krazzzyyy then watched "Back to the Future" and went to bed!
                           
DAY 10: TUESDAY, AUGUST 13TH,2013:

The day after the FDAS, we docked in Napoli, Italy. We had been to Naples on our Italy trip three years ago...and weren't impressed. Some hoodlums spit on us...yuck! Plus every guide book says to not go there. It has a reputation for thieves and crime....which we found out is all too accurate.

                                
We were debating about just not getting off the boat, but had a little bit of cabin fever, and decided to explore for a couple hours. We took a walking tour of the town, and saw a Dante statue at a pretty square in town...also we found Brian Campa's street in Naples...Via Toledo! Woo! 



We decided to take a funicular up a hill to see an old monastery/castle thingy. It was a hilarious experience, as we never paid to take it up OR down...due to plenty of confusion.
                                              
                        
While we were walking to the castle...someone made a freaky hissing cat noise at us. That was fun. Then we got there and it looked completely dead, so we disappointingly decided it was closed! But....it wasn't! We eventually found the hidden entrance and went in.

That monastery was hands down one of the weirdest and coolest places I have been. It's a beautiful ornate building that's been turned into a museum of sorts.  There were halls of art...halls of ancient boats...gardens.


Best part of all...we saw the world's largest creche collection.  No joke!  It was awesome!!  We saw this massive nativity seen that literally took up an entire room and boggled my mind.  It was rather jolly...to say the least!

After that we enjoyed some big Mediterranean views...then....we went back down to the main part of town on the funicular.  Then the craziest thing everrr happened.  Get ready for an awesome story!

Since pizza was invented in Naples, we decided we needed to get a few slices for lunch while we were there.  We were on a fairly crowded street when we spotted a street stand with pizza and soda.  Perfect!  The lady was pretty nice, and we were enjoying ourselves and taking pictures...looking super touristy of course.  As we started to leave the stand with our pizza, Becky looked back at my dad and said "dad you just got pickpockted!!"  What the!?  It was a confusing but memorable ten seconds.  My dad looked down at his left pocket as a shady looking character was drawing out a pair of long...silver tweezers.  He was in the midst of pickpocketing my dad when Becky spotted him!  As we were all processing this...he calmly slipped the tweezers into his own pocket then disappeared into the crowd.  As we frantically checked to make sure dad had all his money, cards, keys, and passports...which he did...our little wannabe thief walked off!  CRAZY!  He wouldn't have gotten anything, that pocket was empty...but....super crazy still!  Hooray for Becky!  


                           
                            



We were so happy it wasn't a big deal...but of course stupid Naples lived up to all the hype.  It really is a dangerous place to be!!

We took that as a sign and went back to the ship to relax.  Lizzie, Becky, and I read and layed out by the pool.  We all got ready and had a last fancy dinner at Taste.  Lizzie, unfortunately did not feel well, so she went back to the room to rest.  When she was feeling a little better...we all went to see Legends again because I was obsessed with the Adele impersonator.  Unfortunately, Tom Jones was "sick," lame!  It was still a great show though.

After that we tried karaoke again where Lizzie and I embarrassed ourselves further with a rendition of "Don't Go Breaking My Heart."  Haha.  Then we definitely ate a second dinner at the buffet...last night YOLO!  We watched part of "Annie Hall" in our room, then Becky, Dad, and I went to an awesome ABBA dance party!!  It was hilarious, they were blaring ABBA songs and people were dancing...so fun!  We stayed for their Glitter Disco Ball Dance Party...enjoying some old disco tunes.  It was great.  I decided cruise directors and their minions are grown up EFY counselors.  

That was our last night on the cruise...and while we were sad to leave behind the world of endless food, karaoke, dance parties, and seeing a different country each day...we had a lot to look forward to!  Another 3 days in Rome!  Yay!