Eight Months. That’s how long we’ve been researching and anticipating this trip. Including travel, we’re on a 16 day journey exploring parts of Western Europe. Unlike past travels abroad, nearly half of this trip we planned on our own, without any pre-planned itinerary.
I’ll be updating blog posts throughout the trip, with lots of pictures along the way.
I’ve never been to London. Michael lived there for six months while completing an internship (with the BBC) in college. He didn’t do a lot of the touristy things while he was there, so it will still be like experiencing the culture and the history of London for the first time.
We have our Oyster Card, our London Pass and booked a tour of Buckingham Palace and the gardens. With only four short days to try and absorb it all– we’ve made lists and itineraries of what we most want to see. Doing the research ahead of time and knowing we can’t see everything, we plan to go and just have a great time, seeing what we can without the pressures or expectations of doing everything.
In addition to experiencing the city, we’ve booked tickets to see five shows. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-Time, The Play That Goes Wrong and Funny Girl.
We have three days to run around Rome. We’re staying, as what is considered part of the ‘pre-cruise’, with all sightseeing on our own. We plan on doing a lot of walking– from the Spanish Steps to the Colosseum. We’re saving the Vatican until after the cruise.
Broadway On The High Seas 7 Cruise in Italy
We’re sailing on the Silversea ship, Silver Wind which only accommodates 294 passengers with a crew of 208.
The entertainers this time around are an eclectic, exciting mix of Broadway alumni.
We leave Civiavecchia with stops in Sorrento; Taormina; Valletta, Malta; Trapani; Cagliari; Bonifacio, France; and returning to Civiavecchia.
We’ll have daily land excursions (including a visit to the ruins of Pompeii) with wonderful concerts aboard ship at night. It’s like two vacations in one.
Following the cruise, we’ll be back for one more full day and night in Rome.
We’re looking forward to an incredible adventure.
Out of the abyss there is a cry in the dark.
It starts softly, faintly
Piercing the silence.
It grows louder
It seems to come closer
Until it becomes a deafening scream.
Then it passes
Fading to a whimper
Another visit of that nightmare gone
Then just silence.
This is my memory. This is my grief. This is my mourning.
Friday morning, I stood alone in a field of flags. Crying. Remembering. I was surrounded by 2,976 American flags blowing gently in the breeze.
3051 children lost a parent that day. Their average age was 9 years old.
I walked through rows and rows of flags in a field of rain soaked grass, I began reading the markers: citizens, police officers, firefighters…. and their ages…. 34, 41, 32… 21.
21. Lukasz Milewski.
Lukasz immigrated to America from Poland in July– just two months before. His parents came one year earlier, leaving their two children behind to finish school while they prepared a new home for them in the land of opportunity. When he arrived, Lukasz immediately found a summer job working in food service for Cantor Fitzgerald at the World Trade Center. A start of a new life. America.
Only two short months. His American Dream was cut short. Stolen from him.
This is just one story. One heartbreaking story– of many– that would not reach their natural conclusion. His opportunity, his voice, his life– silenced.
The passing of fifteen years has done little to take away the great empathy and sadness I feel for the many lives lost on September 11th, 2001. My heart goes out to the families whose futures were forever changed– whose hopes and dreams were so unexpectedly taken from them.
Life goes on.
I pray that they have found peace.
I pray that they have achieved some level of happiness.
Life goes on.
We will always remember.
But life goes on.
These are the stories we must tell. We can’t be silent. We must be the storytellers. Stories of hopes and dreams. We must honor them by passing down their stories of courage. We will never forget.