Why The 2 Idiots Recommend exploring Livorno and Pisa
When we visited Pisa, it was through a Mediterranean cruise – the best of the three cruises we took when we went around the world with our son. Having wanted to see the Tower of Pisa since she was a child, Natasha was especially excited about the visit, but we discovered the port is actually in the city of Livorno and that you’ll need to travel inland to find Pisa. It’s a place everyone should see and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but we were surprised to discover Pisa isn’t much a city to visit; it’s truly just a square for tourists. However, we still enjoyed our day in Pisa, with some extra time to wander in Livorno, a very pretty town. Where Pisa is touristy, Livorno is not. Just as we like it!
Just because you are a passenger on a cruise ship does not mean you have to follow the hordes of passengers who disembark to embark on a cruise excursion. Families have the freedom to do exactly what they want in every port – including staying on the ship, should you so choose. Personally, after taking numerous cruises, we learned quickly we would rather do our own thing in port. (In fact, we even have an article on the 6 Reasons to NOT Take a Cruise Excursion.) To us, visiting a place and trying local foods, meeting local people and seeing local neighborhoods enriches a trip and makes any planning worth it. We have a few simple tips to keep in mind when setting off on your own – trust us, we learned the hard way!
When traveling by cruise, you may feel like the cruise ship has everything under the sun to keep you entertained and show you the world. While that may be true on the ship, it’s when you get on land that they lack the same oomph. Excursions are run by local guides and work on a partnership level with cruise lines. You can trust they have been reviewed and they will get you back to the ship on time, but they don’t give you a chance to explore and discover a new port stop as you would if you were to arrive by plane or train.
While on a Mediterranean cruise, one of the port stops will be Marseille. We imagined a coastal French city to be romantically nautical, and it was exactly as we pictured: sailboats and ships, gorgeous waterfront views, and to-die-for seafood.
WHY THE 2 IDIOTS RECOMMEND DRIVING THROUGH SOUTHERN SPAIN?
Spain is our favorite country, and having fallen in love with Barcelona, we fell even more in love with Spain after driving along its southern coastline. Had we not tried a road trip, we would have missed small towns that are filled with Roman ruins and friendly people, amazing seafood and wine, and a beautiful countryside filled with sunshine — not to mention an area covered in such a large expanse of white greenhouses that it can be seen from space (more on that later)! We did a lot of research planning our trip, trying to pick stops that were unique and would offer a different perspective on Spain. Here’s where to go and what to see when traveling in Southern Spain.
It took us a few months during our 9-month trip around the world with our 2-year-old son to brave a walking tour with him. We had been too nervous to try a walking tour, but after taking our first tour – and surviving – we discovered we had been missing out. From that moment on, at practically every new city we visited, from Buenos Aires to Rome to Lima to Barcelona, we signed up for walking tours with our son.
People often ask us to tell them about the vacation we took in 2017—and we often offer a gentle correction: When you’re traveling for eight and a half months, that’s not a vacation. It’s a sabbatical. And the difference is more than just semantic. It represents a totally different state of mind.
While the greatest gift you can give your child is the gift of travel together, we also know there are some gifts that can make traveling with kids easier. As the holiday season is upon us, we take a look at some unique gift ideas for your children before you take your next vacation. Plus, 9 of the 10 gift ideas are $60 or less!
After visiting one of our favorite cities, Barcelona, with extended family – and two more children – we hit the road to explore Southern Spain’s coastline, discovering the allure of the coastal city of Tarragona.
Upon first impressions, we were, well, not impressed. It seemed like a small, little town with not much but boy were we wrong. Not only did we see some incredible sights, we ended up having some of our best meals in this incredibly charming ancient Roman city. All you need is two days to see it, although we easily could have spent more time here.
Hello, everyone. It’s Natasha, flying solo for today’s post. I want to share with you some thoughts on a subject that’s near and dear to me—finding structure while you travel.
I’m an organized person, and I always have been. As a girl I polished my shoes and straightened my Catholic school uniform every night, packing my bag to make sure I was well-organized for the next day. And if my room was disheveled, I couldn’t study or do any of my homework until I got it cleaned up. Something about clutter and entropy just makes me anxious.