Meet Ginger, Tegan, and Amelia: our fur babies. Jetting off to the Mediterranean for two weeks might seem glamorous, but leaving these loveable/kissable/derpy faces behind for that long was really difficult. If we could’ve brought them along with us, we would’ve. Instead, we brought them with us in spirit, and we brought back something a little different for them.
Gestures mean everything to dogs, these loyal guardians of our home and hearts. So on our first day on Norwegian Spirit, we purchased a cheap child-sized souvenir shirt and took it with us everywhere we went…and we rubbed that shirt on monuments, stepped on it, and dripped wine and gelato on it. We got some odd glances from other travelers, but we carried home with us the scents from our travels through a cruise ship and six countries.
We slept with the shirt next to my pillow the first night, and proceeded to rub it all over the ship during a sea day. Cruise ship…check!
We brought it onshore with us to Malta, where we rubbed it on a column at Rotunda Dome in Mosta, dropped it on the floor of a glass blowing shop and a filigree shop, rubbed some vineyard dirt on it at Meridiana Wine Estate, and dropped it on the sidewalks in San Anton Gardens. Malta…check!
We then took it with us to Sicily, where we drove to the coastal fishing village of Cefalu from Palermo. We dropped it on the floor at Cefalu Cathedral, rubbed it on some building walls during our walk through the city streets, dropped it in the sand in an Ancient Roman bath, spilled some pistachio gelato and Nero d’Avola wine on it, and dipped a corner of it in a tidal pool by the sea. Sicily…check!
We also walked 12 miles around Rome and Vatican City in Italy with the shirt. We dropped it on the old Roman street near the Colosseum, rubbed it on ancient walls in the Roman Forum, dripped espresso on it, rubbed it on the columns and the floor of the Pantheon, dipped a corner of it in the Trevi Fountain, dropped it on the Spanish Steps, and almost accidentally left it behind on a bench in Vatican City. Rome…check!
On another stop in Italy, we took the shirt to three of the five seaside villages of Cinque Terre north of Florence. We dropped it on mosaic tile in Manarola, buried it in the sand on a beach in Vernazza, and rubbed it on several buildings in Monterosso in between wine tastings. Cinque Terre…check!
From Italy, we took the shirt with us to the French Riviera (Monaco and France), where we rubbed it on the old buildings in the hilltop village of Eze in France, used it as a napkin while we picnicked on the beach in Nice in France, and stepped on it in the streets and gardens of Monaco Villa and the casino in Monte Carlo. French Riviera…check!
On another stop in France, we took the shirt with us to the hilltop village of Les Baux de Provence where we rubbed it on buildings and dripped Provencal wine on it, and then stepped on it in the old port of Marseille. Provence, France…check!
In Spain, we took the shirt to the island of Majorca where we rubbed it on the gate of Bellver Castle and dipped a corner of it in a pool near the Cathedral Mallorca in Palma, and then rubbed it all around the little village of Valdemossa while we drank wine, ate empanadas and potato cakes, and shopped. Majorca…check!
On another day in Spain, we took the shirt with us to Valencia, where we took a humid boat ride through the Caves of St. Joseph near Sagunto, and rubbed it on Roman ruins in Valencia. Spain…check!
On our way home from the cruise, we had a lovely overnight stay in Paris, where we stepped on it in Notre Dame Cathedral, threw it on the ground in front of the Louvre, rubbed it on a bridge on the River Seine, and took it with us to see a show at Moulin Rouge. Paris…check!
That shirt is absolutely disgusting, but we’re nothing if not thorough. For the journey home, we packed it in a bag so none of the grime and stench would lose its potency, and tied it in a knot to make it more dog-toy like. So how do you think this sniffy toy was received by the fur babies?
Oh the curiosity!! They each took turns giving the shirt an inspection, and then Amelia (our youngest) ran off with it and put it in her puppy bed where she stores her other toys. She’s spoiled, that one. Well…maybe they all are.
I’m not sure if they fully appreciated the gesture the way our gift was intended…or if it was just something to make us feel closer to them while we were away. Either way, we will be doing this again in the future. I’m certain there was a mutual benefit. Do you do something similar when you travel and leave the fur babies at home?
“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” – Will Rogers