16 February 2014

October 2012--Our First Cruise. . . Day 4: Pisa

This morning we were so excited to be waking up in Italy!!  The ship docked at Livorno, Florence, which is in the Tuscan region of Italy.  Given Florence's importance to the Renaissance, we had much to choose from for sightseeing, but the day trip we settled on was to Pisa. . .touristy, we know . .but just had to see the Leaning Tower!!

I woke up feeling terrible and not at all sure I would be able to get out of bed.  But, in hindsight, I am glad that I listened to Keith and got moving. . .the Leaning Tower was one of the things on "my list"! Keith and Charlotte started the day by watching the boats parking and moving in and out of the port of Livorno; it was room service for breakfast (a hit or miss experience!)

On our 8:15 am bus to Pisa

Laila was our tour guide for the day; she informed us that the route we were travelling was along a Roman Road that stretches from Rome to Spain.  She also pointed out the US Army base (below). . .

. . .as well as San Piedro de Porta with its Roman basilica dating back to 981 AD.

The bus arrived in Pisa, and it was time to board our boat for travel up the River Arno to Pisa.  The boat ride was smooth and uneventful. . and we even got free gelato on board!

Not so smooth and uneventful was our extremely bumpy trolley ride to the Piazza del Duomo in the center of Pisa.  Luckily we were able to calm our nerves at Il Turista with a complimentary drink--red wine and beer included! 

After our "comfort break" it was time to head out to see the Leaning Tower, the Cathedral, and the Baptistry.  Like most things we have seen in Europe, the Tower was not as big as I thought it would be!

And of course we had to take the obligatory "holding up the Tower" pictures. . as you can see, some worked better than others!!  ;)

After wondering about the Piazza and snapping pictures, we souvenir shopped for a bit and headed back to meet the trolleys (ugh) that would return us to the charter bus.

Back on the ship, we ate lunch at the Windjammer and then scattered. . some of us took naps :), Maggie went to the Kids' Club, and Keith & Hannah went swimming.

Dinner was smart casual in the dining room that night. . .we headed downstairs for a pre-dinner drink. . .

bellied-up to the bar, just like mommy?

not for you, little bits!

After dinner, we took in a show: "Encore!", the onboard ice-skating show. . . the girls LOVED it!

Even Grandpa got to be a part of the show!!

Then it was off to bed for Maggie, Charlotte, and me. . .everyone else headed to "Saturday Night Fever"--the West End/Broadway show.  The report from Hannah was "It was really good.  I like the singing the best.  They did flips!  And Daddy bought me a strawberry smoothie!"

Our little friends who would greet us each evening for bedtime: