Home again, home again + winners!

It's a fortnight today since I arrived home from my whirlwind and thoroughly amazing trip to the UK and Mediterranean, and having arrived back into life as I knew it before, along with all the various responsibilities and requirements that go along with it, it's almost difficult to believe that I was gone at all!

Except for the amazing memories that I will look back on forever. Oh, and the photos...

If you will humour me, here's a quick snapshot of my time away in pictures, starting with my couple of days in Yorkshire...

Pink lemonade in The Paper Haven studio the afternoon that I arrived in the UK!

Pink lemonade in The Paper Haven studio the afternoon that I arrived in the UK!

Hanging out at The Shambles in York

Hanging out at The Shambles in York

A sparkling afternoon tea at the Grand Hotel, York

A sparkling afternoon tea at the Grand Hotel, York

Royal Mail! Love the red postboxes!

Royal Mail! Love the red postboxes!

We packed in a bunch of stuff in the UK during the very short time I was there, but on Saturday morning, it was time to head off to Barcelona. Coming from Western Australia, it continually blows my mind that a mere 1.5 hour flight can deposit one in an entirely different country and culture, but such is the case with a flight from the UK to Spain!

Goodbye England! #soenglish #somuchgreen

Goodbye England! #soenglish #somuchgreen

We arrived into Barcelona in the late afternoon and left again the next morning, so rather than rush off and try to fit in any sights, we spent the time connecting with fellow demonstrators at the hotel. The evening was spent playing several pants-wettingly hilarious rounds of Heads Up with the Taylors, which I will admit was one of the many highlights of the entire trip!

First glimpse of our ship, the Norwegian Epic

First glimpse of our ship, the Norwegian Epic

Cosy twin cabin! It's a bad angle to see the half centimetre gap between the two single beds :-)

Cosy twin cabin! It's a bad angle to see the half centimetre gap between the two single beds :-)

The first day on board was a sea day, where we wandered the ship, ate our bodyweights in the various food options around the place, and hung out with fellow Stampin' Up! cruisers.

Sangria in the Garden Cafe on deck 15!

Sangria in the Garden Cafe on deck 15!

The next day we cruised into Naples, where we had booked a trip to go to the Isle of Capri. Sadly, the sea was deemed too rough to send the ferries over to the island, so instead, we grabbed a driver and a van with a crew of other peeps who had also been booked on the trip and saw some local sights instead. The coast drive was stunning...

Overlooking Sorrento

Overlooking Sorrento

#soitalian

#soitalian

Looking down over Positano

Looking down over Positano

Could NOT go past the gelato in Sorrento...

Could NOT go past the gelato in Sorrento...

...or the ginormous pizza in Naples!

...or the ginormous pizza in Naples!

There were bright and beautiful fruit stands everywhere!

There were bright and beautiful fruit stands everywhere!

Overnight we cruised to the port of Citavecchia, from where it was a coach ride into Rome. And the pages of history...

The Colosseum

The Colosseum

The Pantheon

The Pantheon

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain

I have so many photos of alleyways in Italy! And pretty things like these hanging baskets

I have so many photos of alleyways in Italy! And pretty things like these hanging baskets

Our third stop in Italy - and my favourite - was Livorno, which was another coach ride, this time into Florence. We wandered for five hours or so, dodging chic women on push bikes, vespas and small cars in narrow alleyways and crowds of people taking in the very same sights we were... I was determined (and successful!) in purchasing an Italian leather handbag and will treasure my Florence purchase for a long time to come

The Duomo

The Duomo

Amazing painted dome inside the Duomo

Amazing painted dome inside the Duomo

Another street/alley photo *sigh*

Another street/alley photo *sigh*

Day five saw us dock off the coast of France in Cannes. After our three days of pounding various Italian streets, we elected to stay on board this day and relax on the deck in the beautifully warm Mediterranean sun...

I had new togs for the trip and this was the one and only outing they had!

I had new togs for the trip and this was the one and only outing they had!

Day six was Marseilles. We boarded a bus to the port area and wandered the beautifully picturesque streets, stopping separately for coffee and crepes...

Marseilles Old Port area with the Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde on the hill in the background

Marseilles Old Port area with the Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde on the hill in the background

Pretty flower market along the old port area in Marseilles

Pretty flower market along the old port area in Marseilles

As well as the amazing stops we made and the sights we took in, the time on the ship itself was an amazing opportunity to connect with new and old stampin' friends and take in the many activities that were on offer. We saw a Cirque du Soleil show one night, Priscilla Queen of the Desert on another and Burn the Floor on yet another. There was karaoke and dance parties and endless opportunities for fun and/or misadventure.

A couple of our evenings started out like this...

Before...

Before...

And finished up like this...

...After

...After

And I wouldn't change a single thing about any of it!

I will be eternally grateful to Julie for taking me along as her guest, my family for being so loving as to allow me such an adventure (and doing a brilliant job of getting on without me for two weeks!), and Stampin' Up! for bringing so many fabulous people and opportunities into my life in these past ten years.


While I was away, I ran a little competition for my online customers, and have recently drawn the winners...

Congrats, ladies!

Congrats, ladies!

The winners' Paper Pumpkin kits will be going out this week along with my regular monthly customer thank you cards!

Thank you for allowing me a moment to revisit my incredible recent trip! It's been quite a buzz to look back over the photos again, and I'm looking forward to giving them the Project Life treatment soon too!