Thursday, July 9, 2015

A Tribute to my Mom and Our Mediterranean Cruise

My mom is my hero.  She is AMAZING.  She is one of six children, and grew up in poor 1st generation

 Immigrant family in Brooklyn NY.  My grandmother, a loving, church going, sweet heart of a woman got sick.  My grandfather- not such a nice guy - decided to put his children in an orphanage rather then take care
of them.  The oldest ran away, second went with a friend, and the rest stuck together as best they could.  My great aunt upon finding out, quit her job and took them out of the home, and raised them with her husband until my grandmother got better. My aunt lived on a farm in Long Island and couldn't have children- so she always said Babci (Grandma in Polish) had enough kids for them to share.  She had warm dinners, play time, church time, study time, and best of all plenty of love.

 Many of these qualities became the core foundation in our very family as well.  My mom was forced to grow up at a very young age, and be a rock for her family, her mother, and eventually me...
When my grandmother got better she moved the kids back to Brooklyn.  I always wondered what would have happened if they stayed in farm life (funny to think of Long Island a huge metro suberb of NYC as a farm- but those were the times).  Nevertheless my mom was 13 when she met my father who was 16.  He had troubles, and although she loved him and thought she could help him- he became abusive.  My mom did not want me to grow up in that environment and got divorced and we moved back to Brooklyn where she raised me by herself as a single mom since I was 8 months old.  I don't say this with shame, but with pride that she had enough courage and faith to leave a terrible situation to give us both a better life. 
 I was the first in my family to attend and graduate from College. My mom worked for the Board of Education for 24 years helping children from Pre K- HS with drug prevention, violence prevention, gang prevention etc.  Recently a student of hers became a FB friend... he was a "bad kid" who always was in trouble.  My mom loved him the most.  She helped him, listened to him, and redirected him.  He now serves in the US Military and thanked my mom.  He said it was because of people like her he is where he is today, selflessly defending our country.  Just one example of the thousands of lives my mom has touched. 

  My mom moved to NC and has continued as she calls it, "doing God's Work" helping the elderly- especially her favorite- Mildred who is 98.  My mom adores her, and the feeling is more than mutual.  My mom although she no longer takes care of Mildred still visits her buddy.  My mom has always sacrificed for everyone, putting herself last.  Her needs, wants, and desires have been put on hold so she can help everyone else around her. 

My mom has longed dreamed of going to Greece.  She talks about it all the time, like some far away dream that one day... someday might get realized. 

Well for those of you who follow my story, you know I have been blessed to travel to 60 countries now, most of which with my darling Husband Jay... but the first trip I ever took out of the country was with my mom and grandma when I was 13 on a cruise - 7 days at Sea and then off to Bermuda!  It was a magical land of turquoise blue water, and I longed for more.  At  Sweet 16-  My mom asked me what do you want for your birthday?  A party?  A car (even if she couldn't afford it... it really wasn't necessary since I was NYC kid).  "No "I said, "I want to go somewhere...".  "Okay" she said without hesitation- "Where?".  Italy! I replied,  Are you nuts she said?  Well maybe, but why not.  It was my 16th, my mom's 40th and my grandmother's 65th Birthday- and I was born longing to travel the world.  Especially our home country!  So- we went! It was the trip of the lifetime, and changed my life!  I cried when I left... and I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life exploring far away lands, eating foreign food, listening to exotic new languages and music, and immersing myself in "strange" and wonderful cultures. 

Well, I am super excited to finally,after all these years repeat that trip of 3 generations- but this time my mom is Grandma and Brooklyn will once again go Globe Trotting and have nothing but pictures to remember ;).  I am taking my mom on her dream trip and then some!

We are starting in a surprise destination, and then heading to Barcelona, Spain to being a Mediterranean Cruise!

 Indeed this will be a dream vacation for all of us :)


Sat, 08/08/15 Barcelona, Spain
View general port information
Muelle Adosado
Puerto De Barcelona
Barcelona, Spain

Check In 1:00pm-5:30pm
see Travel Summary For
progressive Check In Times
Sun, 08/09/15 Marseille (provence), France 7:00am 5:00pm
Mon, 08/10/15 Genoa, Italy (for Milan) 7:00am 6:00pm
Tue, 08/11/15 Florence/Pisa (livorno), Italy 7:00am 7:00pm
Wed, 08/12/15 At Sea
Thu, 08/13/15 Valletta, Malta 7:00am 4:00pm
Fri, 08/14/15 Sicily (palermo), Italy 7:00am 2:00pm
Sat, 08/15/15 Rome (civitavecchia), Italy
See Travel Summary For
progressive Check In Times
5:00am 6:00pm
Sun, 08/16/15 Naples, Italy (for Capri & Pompeii) 7:00am 6:00pm
Mon, 08/17/15 At Sea
Tue, 08/18/15 Crete (heraklion), Greece 9:00am 6:00pm
Wed, 08/19/15 Rhodes, Greece 8:00am 5:00pm
Thu, 08/20/15 Kusadasi, Turkey (for Ephesus) 8:00am 5:00pm
Fri, 08/21/15 Santorini, Greece
Tender Required
wheelchair Access Limited
7:00am 6:00pm
Sat, 08/22/15 Athens (piraeus), Greece
View general port information

 Many places I have never been to myself!  It will be my first time in France, Malta, Turkey, Greece and Sicily (where my ancestors truly are from!).  I am so excited to have this experience with my wonderful and deserving mom... although I will miss my amazing husband as this is the longest I would have been away from him since we got married.  You know what they say- absence makes the heart grow fonder (as if that is even possible for Jay and I :)).

  I cannot wait to share the food, pictures, and best of all cherished memories with my mom and Schmooberry (aka Brooklyn).  It willl be an exciting journey and becomes more real the closer we get.  Time to pick excursions and prepare for all the fun!  Stay tuned for pics and stories :)  Also, if you have been to any of the destinations please comment on any and all "must sees" :) Thanks!

1 comment:

  1. I love mediterranean cuisine and have been to Naples couple of times. Even, I am going to host a party at one of at venues in Atlanta next month and having mediterranean cuisine in it. I hope all guests will enjoy it equally.