Danube River Cruise Part 2: Sydney on Slovakia Twins’ Birthday!

by Sydney.

Our birthday in Slovakia

I had my birthday Tuesday July 19th on the ship. People on the ship gave me a lot of happy birthdays! I also received presents. Piper gave me a Lego, Alexander gave me a Lego and cards Mommy and daddy gave us some gum and money. I gave Piper a nail file because she wanted a Swiss army knife because it had a nail file on it. Daddy made pictures of us from different countries. He hung them up all over the ship! Some were just with me and some were just with Piper and some were with both of us. I thought the pictures were awesome! Almost everybody on the ship knew it was my birthday! Continue reading

Danube River Cruise Part 1: Piper covers Germany and Austria

PART 1:  by Piper.

Dad here.  We knew that Sydney and Piper would be celebrating their birthday on our Big Trip… and since they had to forego a timely birthday party with friends and dinner at their favorite Seattle restaurant (Tokyo Steakhouse!)  … we booked a 7-day cruise down the Danube River with “Adventures by Disney” in part as a kid-friendly birthday for them!

Here’s Piper describing part 1 this “Adventure” including Pokemon Go, salt mines, marionettes, creepy coffins and a Mozart Concert…

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“zlata Praha”… Golden Prague


One morning in Prague when he woke from troubled dreams, Alexander found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back… vertebrae protruding through his fatless physique… and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, flat to concave, just beyond the arches of his ribs. His legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked.

“What’s happened to me?” he thought. It wasn’t a dream. His room, a proper human room although a little too small as in most AirBnBs, lay peacefully between its four familiar walls.

This was the land of Kafka. Of spires and Pilsner Urquell and its 4″ pour of foam. (Oh, the horror!)  Here, our children were coaxed into concert halls for Mozart, the synagogue for art and underground to escape the heat.  We had come to Prague, to be transformed.

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Guest post: A Croatian Folktale by Evan Carr

Evan Carr, age 10, joins our blog as a guest author– but not with a journalistic report of our time together in Croatia.  Instead, Evan authored a “Croatian Folktale” while we cruised the blue waters of the Adriatic.   Here’s Evan’s original tale.  Enjoy!

Our turn to pilot the Lunja, with Gennaker sail aloft

Evan Carr– our guest author

“Ivon and the Magic Emerald”

Once, a long time ago in faraway Croatia, there lived a poor fisherman named Ivon. Ivon had a good heart, but had very little money, barely enough to feed his wife and 3 children. One day though, Ivon was out sailing, when he caught a large, incredibly colorful Trout. As soon as Ivon went to unhook him, the fish spoke. “Hold steady, fisherman. You have come across no lowly Trout. You are looking into the eyes of the immortal God, Jarilo, God of fishing, hunting, and farming.” Continue reading

Would YOU spend 6 Nights on a Croatian Sailboat with the Belfiores? They did…

by Joe (with Sydney and Piper).


People who know me well realize that I have a few quirky habits… and that some of these get a little, uh, magnified under certain circumstances.  For example:

  • When travelling and experiencing limited availability of high-capacity washer/drier machines, I might be comfortable repeating an article of clothing for more than just one day.  (I would NEVER do this at home. Cough..)
  • I believe in the natural cleansing power of salt water, sun, and ocean breezes.  I believe the oil in your skin is there for a reason and cavepeople weren’t “disgusting”. Mix in a touch of claustrophobia and… in the face of a cramped-sailboat-head-for-a-shower… I might just remain au natural for a few days.
  • My favorite article of clothing:  bathing suit.

What’s worse… powerful genetics have caused my offspring to inherit some of these predelictions– with even less measured maturity than I have.  You may debate that last point, but I can say for certain that if we did a “showercon” on the blog, I would NOT be leading the count in the “days without” column!

AND SO … you can imagine the giant leap of faith made by the Carr family— all FOUR of them– when they chose to cram themselves into a boat with FIVE of us for SIX long days and nights.  This is a cramped space, which of course increases pressure and retains odors.

They didn’t know us like some of you do…  but of course that’s changed and they now know us quite.. intimately …

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Croatian Cities: Yes, Dad. I know they’re Beautiful!

By Alexander.


“Dad, where the heck is Croatia, why the heck is Croatia so popular, and what the heck makes people want to go there???”

“Well Alexander, I think you’ll find that all out in due course, don’t you think?”

“And what’s that supposed to mean?”

Our family had been excited for Croatia ever since we booked a sailboat trip down the Croatian archipelago. We also knew that we were to go to two popular cities, Split and Dubrovnik. We even got to spend our eight days with some family friends who have been living in Spain for the last year–  Lynn and Bill Carr– and their two kids, Evan and Maddox, aged 10 and 8 respectively.

I was excited to travel with another family on a sailboat, but we were also going to two obscure-ish Croatian cities which I didn’t know anything about.  When my parents explained to the Carrs about how we kids should create a pre-port, I knew I had work to do.  (if you want to see my Croatia pre-port, it’s here.)  Now was a time for desperate measures.  Now was the time to use my ‘secret’ weapon.  Now was the time to use TripAdvisor!!

What was I to find???
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Switzerland! High Altitudes, High Adventure… High Fevers!

by Kristina.

The Switzerland Alps are awesome!  I’m so glad Joe proposed spending our 4 open days between Provence and Croatia there.

Did we have beauty?  AMAZING views!  Did we have nostalgia?  Of course!  See where we returned to after a 25-year absence.  Did we have drama?  YOU BET!  We reached 12,000 feet… we reached a fever of 103.  Did we reach Barfcon 13?  Read on and find out…


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