11 years … 10 international trips … multiple mini domestic get-togethers … lots of plane/bus/boat/cart/cable/gondola rides — who knows how many miles walked or steps climbed? … countless delicious meals and bottles of wine consumed … and, most importantly, lots of laughs and friendship bonding and strengthening.
The Traveling Sisterhood officially began in 2006 when a group of 11 (friends and friends of friends) took an Italian Riviera with a Touch of France trip. Highlights: Giuseppe, who can forget him? Getting to know each other; that wonderful town of Dolceacqua; Mary losing her luggage for 3 days; meeting #12; celebrating Mary’s birthday with new and old friends.
2007: we were 16 people on a 3-part trip to Greece and it is the trip “Charlie’s Angels” from Howard Beach joined us. A few days in Athens, a cruise to the Islands, and a few days in beautiful Santorini. Opa! Highlights: the beauty of Greece, the food, the plakas, visiting Ephesus, our unique accommodations on the ship and in Santorini.
2008: 11 of us spent a few days each in Madrid, Barcelona and Torremolinos. Highlights: food and mucho more food; El Retiro Park in Madrid; La Sagrada Famila and all the sights including Boqueria Market in Barcelona; the little white towns of the south and getting our feet massaged on the beach!
2010: 10 of us went to South America and spent several days each in Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Iguazu Falls. Highlights: Recoleta Cemetery, tango dinner show, Christ the Redeemer statue, rodizio, and samba show in Rio; the laughs and, oh yeah, almost losing our lives in Iguazu Falls!!
2011: our core group of 10 went to Tuscany where we stayed at the Franco e Quirinale in Montacatini. Highlights: staying in one very nice place; Montacatini Alto; learning the train system; wineries; day trips to different cities; and the friends we made at the hotel.
2012: 11 of us went to Quebec. Our travel experience going and coming was terrible and it was not our most fun trip but we always manage to enjoy being in each other’s company for a few days.
2013: 11 of us took a Rhine River Cruise . We also spent an overnight in Amsterdam pre-cruise, a couple of nights in Lake Lucerne post-cruise, and a few went on to Zurich too. Highlights: the canals & red light district in Amsterdam; our first cruise experience; visiting 4 countries, each with its own picturesque vistas, trying different foods; the Seigfried Mechanical Music Museum in Rudensheim; surprise snow in Lake Lucerne.
2014: 10 of us spent a few days in Bilbao, then 4 in Lisbon and 3 in the resort town of Albufeira. Highlights: Tapas crawl in San Sebastian, Soccer Mania in Lisbon, visiting Fatima, the coastal towns of Portugal and the unique eateries we encountered.
2015: 14 made the trip to Sicily with a stop in Sorrento first; then Palermo and ending with a few days in a fabulous resort in Sicily. Highlights: Sorrento sunsets, Aperol Spritzer, cooking with the Duchess, our fabulous in-the-mountain hotel in Taormina, Mt. Etna!
2017: Six of us spent 2 nights in Venice before boarding a 10-day cruise through Croatia, Slovenia, Naples and Messina. Highlights: the spectacularness of Venice; cruise life and great shows every night; visiting a Slovenian chef in her 150-year family home.
Here’s to many more Traveling Sisterhood big and little trips!